A trader named Shamshad lived in a town. He had a vast business. He was very rich. But he was a very miserly person. Spending was a dirty word for him.
Shamshad was such a miser that he ate dried up Chapatti with a piece of pickle in his meal. He wore simple home made clothes. He never employed any servant. In his house to save money His wife did all the household work. The couple had no issue.
Shamshad went on foot wherever he had to go. All people knew that Shamshad was very wealthy but extremely stingy. So, Shamshad had been nicknamed TIGHT FIST. All the money he earned he would convert into gold coins.
Behind his house, he had a big garden. He went there every morning and evening for a walk. There, at a spot he had buried a big earthen pot in the ground. That pot contained his gold corns. As he converted his earnings into gold coins, he kept putting them in it one after another.
At night, only one earthen lamp was lit in his house. If his wife had to go in another corner to do some work, she had to carry the same lamp for the light.
Shamshad had not told anyone about the gold coin treasure he was raising. Even his wife didn't know that her husband was treasuring up so much gold. She thought that he was living on crumbs because his business was not doing well.
His wife Shehnaz was a simple orthodox woman. She talked to no one else except Shamshad. She never went out of the house. She had no knowledge that her husband was notorious as TIGHT FIST. Shehnaz yearned for fine clothes and jewellery. But she never made any demand on her husband under the impression that he was poor.
If ever there was vegetable or roti left over he would not let it be thrown away. He ate the same as the next meal. He even avoided using shoes or slippers to save them from wearing out.
Every six months, he would get his head shaved off to save on periodic hair cut expenses. He wore dresses inside out after the normal wear to save on washing.
All the time, Shamshad thought of new ways of saving expenses. He did go to the garden everyday. His wife thought it was for health reasons. But the fact was that he went to enjoy the fruits of his miserliness. He would gleefully watch his treasure and sometimes he would even count the gold coins.
It had been happening for quite a long time. One day a thief happened to peep in over the wall of the garden and saw Shamshad putting gold coin in his treasure pot. The thief waited for the night to fall. In the darkness of the night the thief made off with the potful of the gold coins.
In the morning, Shamshad went into his garden as usual. His blood curdled when he reached his treasure spot. There was a big hole where his pot used to be.
He felt giddy. Should he tell his wife or inform police? His mind was not working. He staggered a few steps and collapsed. When he didn't reach home for quite sometime his wife came to the garden looking for him.
Shamshad was carried into the house with the help of some neighbours. He fell ill due to grief and shock. Medicines were doing no good to him. At last he revealed to his wife the loss of his gold treasure. It pained his wife too.
His close friend Ganshyam came to see him one day. Shamshad confided to his friend the theft of the gold pot. Ganshyam understood the cause of hrs illness. He advised him to stop the treatment as the real illness was in the mind of Shamshad. Ganshyam asked, ‘Tell me…why were you collecting all that gold?"
“For myself," Shamshad replied
“For yourself? But you were not spending it. “
Shamshad mumbled, ‘I was saving it for future. For my old age…For my children if God blesses us with."
Ganshyam reasoned, “When you were not using that wealth now then why would you need it in old age? Listen to me. Forget that you lost any gold treasure. Go on living as before, eating left over and wearing simple clothes."
Shamshad moaned, ‘How's that possible? I have lost my treasure. How can I remain calm?’
Ganshyam spoke, ‘Friend! The wealth that was of no use for you meant nothing. Who has that gold pot right now makes no practical difference to you. May be the thief is putting it to some good use."
Imagine that the gold pot is still buried in your garden…If you like, you can go on living a miserly life as before. If you have learnt a lesson! then spend the money you earn now on for the happiness of your wife and yourself. Don't worry about the children which you don't have unfortunately. You have lost nothing but gained a valuable experience."
Shamshad saw reason in his friend's advice. Gradually, he became healthy again. The experience changed his habit. He was no more tightfisted. He spent money and lived comfortably with his wife.