Kindness is never futile. It always pays back sooner or later.
Balaram Babu could only get married because he was a Brahmin. His father Dayaram Banerjee was a business man and flourished as well until his friend Chuni Lal had him addicted to playing cards. Dayaram had lost all his money, his wife’s jewellery and even his business. Realizing the blunder he had done he committed suicide. Balaram was quite different from his father. He was not greedy like his father. All he wanted was to help others. At the age of 21 Balaram’s uncle got him a job at a shop. But he had no intention of working there. Half the days he did not bother to go to work and the rest half he spent annoying the shop’s owner.
His mother and his maternal uncles thought that getting him married would bring a sense of responsibility in him. His family fixed his wedding with the daughter of a farmer. The farmer had a condition that the groom should be Brahmin and would stay with him and help him in his work. Balaram and Sumana were married.
Balaram was shown the fields but he showed no interest in working there. His father in law complained that he was busy looking at the crows, cows and pigeons instead of shooing them off the grains. His wife was furious with his attitude. She said he was too lazy to work.
Surprisingly the first few weeks at work went well both for Balaram and his new family. One day, Balaram went on the inspection of the fields and saw a goat tied up right next to the field. He felt sympathy for the goat and let it free to graze. His brother in law saw it and immediately complained it to his father and sister. Another day, he rescued a wounded pigeon and brought it home for care.
The series of unpleasant incidents began. From rescuing wounded birds to letting animals graze on fields to bringing sick and needy home for food and shelter.
To his wife he was a useless man who had absolutely no interest in doing any kind of serious work. One day she shouted on him, “You fool! You live on my father’s money and you go on wasting it. What ingratitude!”
Balaram was deeply hurt. He failed to explain to his wife the happiness he gets from helping the sick and needy. He started spending as less time as possible at home and more and more time loitering on the fields, meadows and roads. This made his wife angrier and she threatened to throw him out. Balaram had decided that from then on he would do whatever his new family asked him to.
A year went by; Sumana had given birth to a son, Sitaram. Balaram loved his son deeply. His world revolved around him. He often took his little son for a stroll. One day, he saw a wounded snake on the roadside. It was bleeding profusely. It could hardly move. Balaram at once decided to help it. But the next thought that stroke him was his wife’s displeasure. However he arranged a bucket put the snake into it and carried it home. He hid the bucket in the store room and nursed the snake. At dinner, he had secretly saved a bit of the fish he was having and was talking it to the storeroom when everybody fell asleep. His wife had woken up and followed him. When she saw the snake she was shocked. She was so terrified with fear that she could not move. Balaram brought her back to their room. He offered her water and tried his best to convince her that it was harmless and helpless. Sumana warned him to do away with the slimy thing in the morning or else he would never see his son again.
Balaram put the snake in the bucket and took it to the lonely banyan tree at the end of the village. There he nursed the snake and visited it for the next two days when he took his son for stroll.
On the third day the snake was not there in the bucket. Balaram searched for it but could not find it. He came back home with a mixed feeling. He was happy that it was fit enough to leave and sad because he wished to see it one last time. He visited the place consecutively for a few days but it was to be found nowhere.
Days passed by; one night when Balaram was sleeping soundly, he heard some noise. He felt too lazy to get up and find out from where it was coming from. He heard it again, and again. He woke up with a shudder; it was the hissing of a snake. He quickly switched on the light. He saw the snake that he had cured. He did not know whether to be happy to see it or to be scared. At that moment he smelt something. It was the smell of electric wires burning. The snake had started moving out of the room; Balaram followed it and spotted the place where the short circuit had occurred. He quickly went inside and woke everyone up and brought them outside safely. The snake had gone away by then. He felt relieved that it had gone away for nobody would have believed the help it had done, the gratitude it had shown. Balaram thought to himself an act of kindness is never a waste.