The pans of the balance

We had long ago said that he had attained eko-mAnuSha AnandaH, but he was not happy. He remained vigorous in the quest of new wealth and new glory. The gifts of viShNupatni mattered to him above all. He welcomed her to his house with his efforts, but behind shrI came the hideous jyeShThA. He and family were seized by jyeShThA. Unlike his most illustrious ancestors, the smoke from whose fire altars reached the skies, he had no mantra-s. So he could not keep alakShmI away when she came and his Ananda was ended. The wanderer somasharman said “all is transient” and moved on bearing the kapAla in his hand.

The other shreShTha arrived full of expectation. He looked at somasharman and lectured at some length. Then he declared, surely this somasharman must be a goner. Could there be someone so singularly interested in the obscure – obscure organisms, obscure molecules and obscure texts, that to in a “dead language”. Surely this somasharman is an obscurantist! Leaving the shreShTha without any reaction he wandered on, with his kapAla. He passed the bower where he and his good friend of yore, rati-vallabha-paNDita had rejoiced in the halcyon days. He said to himself again “all is transient”, rati-vallabha is gone. Just then he saw mR^iganayanikA pass by riding a gardabha. As she passed him she turned not to look at him, but shouted: “let it be known to Doldrum that Dildrum still lives.”

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