During the leisure time, child hood friends Vinayak and Bhupati spend time in gossip on various topics including their business. Vinayak was working with fruits, vegetable and flower merchant. Bhupati was a salesman with the scrap vendor. Vinayak was simple and sober in nature. Bhupati was a crooked and mischievous. He blames his friend Vinayak for working with fruit merchant.
“Fruit, vegetable and flower is a loss making business.” Said Bhupati
“I am sorry; your knowledge is very poor. Perishable goods like fruits, vegetable and flowers, the margin of profit would always be more than fifty percent. If one item remains unsold or perished and another item sold it would take care of the loss.” Replied Vinayak
“I don’t agree with your statement. For a prudent businessman; either he must have physical stock or cash in the box towards the sale proceeds. In your case, perishable goods naturally spoil after some hours, if they are not sold. The result would be no stock and no cash. At the end of the day result would be loss.”
They continue their argument for some time claiming their own stand was right. If the argument reaches to the critical point, they stop at that stage to avoid embarrassment.
Vinayak and Bhupati were born and brought up in the small village called Hosahalli. Bhupati was just three months older than his friend. During their childhood, Bhupati always wanted to win in any game by cheating others. The other children decided to boycott him in all the games. Vinayak and Bhupati discontinued their studies at primary school level. Bhupati was most notorious since his childhood. Every time children used to lodge complaint against him to his parents. Out of affection, his parents did not take it seriously with the hope that he will improve later.
Bhupati and Vinayak attained 25 years of age. Their parents told them to leave Hosahalli village to search a job in a nearby town Raja ram Nagar. They left the village with the object to start an independent business. Being poor, they failed to invest required amount in the business. Initially, they secured job in the reputed cloth store of the town. At the time of joining, Vinayak had warned Bhupati to be honest. Bhupati promised his friend that he would change his attitude and become a good man. These guys had shown entrepreneurship qualities in the cloth store. The owner of the shop was impressed to see the honesty and hard work of these boys. But later on, he observed the cunning nature of Bhupati and removed him from service. Bhupati caught red handed, while taking one costly silk saree outside. It was noticed by none other than the owner. Both had just completed one year in the clothe store. The owner told Vinayak to continue to work in the store. Vinayak also left the service along with his friend.
Bhupati approached Mahadev a scrap vendor of the town and requested him to provide a job. The shop was in the town for more than 25 years. In the beginning, Mahadev refused to help Bhupati. He introduced himself as a son of Maruti Pawar of Hosahalli village, who happens to be a childhood friend of Mahadev. Bhupati also assured him that he would work hard to improve the business. Mahadev agreed to help him only after getting his proper introduction. The owner was an old man and his health was deteriorating day by day. He had no children and lost his wife long back. He was in need of an honest person. During the period of one month Bhupati did good work. Mahadev satisfied and continued him in his business.
Vinayak also found a known fruit vendor. He did not face any problem. Fruit vendor Ramanna was a distant relative and belongs to Hosahalli village. He was in need of an assistant. Ramanna’s only son Prajwal was a brilliant and studying in the Engineering College. Ramanna told Vinayak to start work immediately. Both friends became trainees with their respective businessmen immediately and agreed to the salary offered by them. During the period of one month probation, they worked hard and gained sufficient knowledge. They achieved the confidence to start their own business. In the absence of finance, both had no choice except to continue the existing job.
In the beginning, they had to face many problems. With the guidance and help from the owners, they overcome all the problems. In the very first year itself, Bhupati showed excellent performance and increased the business to twofold. Mahadev was happy to know the progress due to the efforts of new comer. By the end of third year, due to the efforts of Bhupati, all the dues of the creditors were cleared. He tried to clear the legal hurdle in the title deed of the open plot, where the business was operated. Pick up van was purchased and appointed a driver and cleaner.
One day, friends met in a hotel over a cup of tea.
“Vinayak, do you know the total turnover of scrap business has increased more than double. I have purchased a pickup van and our open plot is free from all the legal hurdles. My boss is extremely happy with me.” said Bhupati
“Congratulations! Well done.” replied Vinayak
“What about your business?”
“My business is yet to pick up. My boss is a kind hearted man.”
“I have already told you several times that your business generates less profit.”
“Yes, you are right. I don’t want to argue with you in this regard.”
“You are my close friend. I would like to share a secret issue with you. I need your support.” said Bhupati
“Okay, I will certainly help you. Please tell me what the secret issue is?”
“You know, my boss Mahadev is not keeping good health. He is child less and lost his wife long back.”
Vinayak got suspicion about his own friend. Without revealing his suspicion asked, “Go ahead.”
“It is a top secret. Do not reveal it to any body. I have already consulted the lawyer and obtained his opinion. I am waiting for the opportunity.”
“Please tell me in detail.”
“You know the health of Mahadev is deteriorating day by day. His memory power is also diminishing. I told the lawyer to prepare a will in favor of me. Once it is ready, I will obtain the signature of Mahadev. After his death, I will be the owner of entire property worth more than rupees one crore.”
“You are committing a great sin. The old man Mahadev has full faith and confidence in you. Why do you want to cheat old and helpless man? It would be certainly a curse for you. As a close friend, I sincerely advise you to desist from such illegal activity. I request you to stop this.”
On hearing the advice from his friend, Bhupati became furious.
“Vinayak, keep quite. I do not want to listen to your advice. You are nothing but a fool. You don’t have sense at all. When a fortune is coming, wise man like me grab it by adopting any means. You will remain as a poor man throughout your life. I will become rich after some time. If you support me, I will get strength and take you as a partner in my business without any investment from you. Enjoy your remaining life.”
“I prefer to die as poor man rather than amassing the wealth by illegal means.”
“Get out, and do not show your ugly face to me hereafter.”
Vinayak left the place with great disappointment. Bhupati was successful in his plan by obtaining a signature on the Deed of Will from his owner Mahadev. After a fortnight, Mahadev passed away. Bhupati with the help of a lawyer became the owner of the entire property of Mahadev.
Prajwal passed B.E. Computer Science in first class with distinction. He got software engineer job in the United States of America and joined duty immediately. After six months, he returned to India to take his parents along with him. While going, he helped Vinayk to set up another good business of his choice. It was a reward from the owner for his honest work. Vinayak was happy and expressed gratitude to the owner. The Fruit shop was closed. He opened a cloth store on the basis of his past experience. The finance was arranged by Prajwal through the bank loan. He gave some amount to Vinayak to run business. Vinayak with his hard work managed the cloth store efficiently earned good profits and reputation in the market. Bank was satisfied to observe his conduct of account and assured him to enhance the loan limit.
Bhupati’s happiness was temporary. He earned wealth by duping others. His mind was terribly disturbed. Guilty consciousness was beating him every time. He spent many sleepless nights. He lost control over the business and incurred heavy loss. His pick up van was met with an accident taking the life of driver and cleaner on the spot. Their family claimed huge compensation. He could not claim insurance of the vehicle due to procedural lapses. The parties, who supplied him materials on credit basis insisted payment immediately. Within a span of two years Bhupati’s business was totally collapsed. He suffered lot due to the heavy loss. He became not only drug addict but cultivated all kinds of bad habits. Unfortunately after sometime due to the attack of paralysis, he lost his right side of the body. He became dependent on others. His last days were horrible. At this most critical time, his close friend Vinayak came to his help. It was too late for Vinayak to rescue his beloved friend Bhupati. Due to prolonged illness and in the absence of proper medical treatment, Bhupati passed away.
Vinayak felt very much for the sudden and untimely death of his close friend.
Cunning attitude of a person would lead to disastrous situation and end in tragedy.