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The Notorious Cheat

The Notorious Cheat :

A woman named Dalla was a big cheat. Cheating people was an easy game for her.

One day, she was going through a lane. She saw a gentleman coming from the other side. The man asked the address of one of his friends who lived in that colony. Through talks she learnt that the man was a rich trader and he was going out on business. Dalla introduced herself as the sister of the friend that man was looking for. Dalla took the man through lanes on the pretext of taking him to his friend.

She continued her clever talk and the man became convinced that she indeed was his friend’s sister. The trader handed his money bag to her. They walked side by side. She pointed towards a house in a narrow lane and entered into the lane. The trader followed her. Dalla went in through an open door of a house. The trader also went in.

Inside the house, he found no sign of Dalla. The trader called out the name of his friend. Some persons appeared in the room. They said that no person of such name lived there. The trader told them that a woman claiming to be his friend’s sister had led him there. But the people wouldn't believe him. They took him to be some trickster and thrashed him.

Badly shaken trader came out and looked around for Dalla and his money bag. She had just vanished. The fact was that she had swiftly hid herself behind the door after entering that house. When the trader was talking to other persons she had got her chance to slip out and disappear.

Now Dalla planned to rob a jeweler. She bought costly clothes and put them on. Then, she hired a horse coach and reached the bazaar.

Outside a jewellery shop she found a woman standing with a child in her arms. Dalla kissed and fondled the child. The child came into her arms.

Dalla told the child’s mother that she wanted to buy an anklet for her child who was of the same size. She went into the jewellery shop with child, promising to return in a few minutes. The mother didn't mind as she was to go into the cloth shop directly opposite the jewelers with her husband. She could keep an eye on Dalla. The child's mother and father saw Dalla trying some anklets on their child.

Meanwhile Dalla set an anklet aside and wanted to see more items. She claimed she was from a Nawab family. She selected some very costly items and said that she would show the jewellery to her husband who was in a nearby shop. The jeweler refused to let her take the jewellery out. Dalla said, ‘Alright I will leave my baby here and you can see my coach out there.

The jeweler allowed Dalla to take the jewellery. She would naturally come back for her baby, he thought. When she didn't come back for quite some time the jeweler got worrying. Then the baby started bawling.

The parents of the child came running from the opposite shop. They picked up the child and tried to quieten it in a natural way.

The jeweler objected, ’What are you doing? Let the child's mother come."

The parents revealed that it was their child. The child looked happy and at home in the arms of his mother. It chilled the jeweler. He went out and asked the coach driver about his mistress.

The coach driver informed that the woman had merely hired his coach. He had been asked to wait for her. Now they both realised that they had been tricked.

Dalla was thinking of some new trick far away. She cooked some rice and curry besides some other items. For sweet dish she prepared halwa and rubric. Then she put on farming woman dress and put on an act of working in a roadside field. She spotted a trader going on the roads with a bulging purse. She asked, ’Brother! Where do you go in such hot afternoon?"

The trader replied, “To city to buy goods.'

'Brother' You must eat and have something cool in this heat. My house is nearby. Come, take a breather."

The trader agreed. Dalla took out a rabbit from her bag and put it down. She said to it, 'Go home and tell the cook that I am bringing home a guest. Cook for two. Tell him to prepare curry and rice Halwa and rubri would be nice for sweet dish.'

She released the rabbit and it ran. In a trice it was out of sight. After some general talk, Dalla started for home with the guest. At home, the guest was given cold water. After that Dalla served him curry and rice. There was halwa and rubri too in small bowls, it amazed the trader.

Dalla brought the rabbit from an inner room. She talked with the traveller while they ate. The traveling trader stared at the rabbit. He wished to have that wonderful rabbit to use as a messenger.

He spoke, ‘I want to buy that rabbit."

Dalla protested, 'It is a miracle rabbit. I can't sell it. The rabbit looks after me like a son. I can’t even think of..."

The trader tried to persuade her, “I have got five hundred silver coins. I will give you a hundred of them."

Dalla refused and they haggled. The trader raised his offer to 300 coins. The trader saw a good deal in that rabbit. He had made up his mind to buy it.

At last he offered all the five hundred coins. Now Dalla said, ‘Think about it seriously. I don't take back anything I once sell."

The trader said that he understood. He went away with the rabbit. When he neared his village he said to the rabbit, ‘Run home.I shall be coming. Tell my wife about my arrival and ask her to cook Makka Ki Roti and Sarson Ka Saag for me.'

The rabbit raced away as soon as it was released. On the way the trader attended to a business and reached home an hour later. The rabbit had not reached home and there was no food he wanted to eat. The trader was enraged. Where did the rabbit go? He told one of his friends about the rabbit. The friend laughed. Infact, whoever heard about it made fun of him. Now he began suspecting that the woman had fooled him. He decided to take her to task.

When he reached Dalla's house he found the rabbit there to his surprise. Dalla knew all the tricks. She had raised many similar rabbits. She knew the trader would come back. When he complained about the rabbit she asked. 'Did you give the rabbit address of your house.’’

The trader replied in weak voice, 'No…'

Dalla explained "That's why poor rabbit came here. Take it."

The trader realised his mistake and took back the rabbit. This time the trader had brought along one of his friends. They saw a tree in the courtyard of Dallas house that had coins growing on it in place of fruits. It was laden with coins. Dalla plucked a few coins and went in. The trader friends were amazed. They called out, ‘Does your tree bear coins?"

Dalla laughed, “Can't you see that? Of course, it does." The crafty woman had somehow glued the coins to the tree. She plucked a rupee coin and gave it to the traders to see. The coin was genuine.

They asked for the tree. Dalla refused to sell. The trader thought that if he got the tree all his business losses would be recovered. He begged Dalla to sell her tree to him.

The trader friends gave Dalla all the money they had for the tree. According to the condition Dalla collected all the coins the tree was laden with. Then, the traders uprooted the tree and took it away. The friends reached home with the tree. The tree had begun to wither on the way. They planted it and put a lot of manure and watered it. In spite of all the nursing, the tree failed to regreen and bear coins. And they found no trace of Dalla.

She had left long ago. Presently she stayed in an inn. She bought the services of a teenager boy. Then, she got two types of sticks made.

According to plan, one night she started beating the toy with one type of stick. The cries of the boy brought a lot of people there.

They saw the beaten up boy fall down. Dalla was loudly cursing him, ‘You won't pay heed to me, huh? You won’t?’ The people thought that she was beating her son for being disobedient. All of them rebuked Dalla for her merciless beating.

Suddenly, she took out another type of stick from her bag. She made circles with the stick in the air above the boys head and chanted “OOBARACADA – OOBARACADA.’

The people watched puzzled. All of a sudden the boy sat up, caught his ears and promised. 'Mother! Now I will never disobey you.'

The travelers went to their rooms greatly wondering. A rich farmer came to Dalla and wanted to know, “Is your stick really magical? If it is, please give it to me. My wife doesn't obey me. I will pay you any price."

“No. It is my magic wand. I won't give it to anyone," Dalla refused.

But the farmer was after it. He was ready to pay 100 gold coins. After some more refusals she sold the wands for 150 coins.

The farmer beat his wife with one wand and she fell down half dead.

He made circle in the air with other stick and chanted 'OOBARACADA- OOBARACADA'. Nothing happened. All the neighbours rushed to his house when they heard cries of a woman. Everyone rebuked the farmer.

His wife recovered only after a long and expensive treatment. The farmer looked for Dalla but she had disappeared.

So don't believe in what strangers say which can be a trick.

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