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A PAISA AND A PALACE - Part 2 | A Folktale from Goa

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Only the villagers knew that Lata had disguised herself as man and they started calling her Lateesh. Once the ships started coming to the island, Lata started trading the pearls and slowly her reputation started to expand. Through word of mouth, people got to know that Lateesh had some of the best authentic and high quality pearls to sell. Soon, the Island was not a just a destination where ships stopped between their passage, they specifically came to the Island to get the pearls. One after the other the ships arrived, and all traders believed that they were trading with a man. Her business started to expand and boom rapidly.

Lata earned so much money that the entire village lived comfortably but somewhere in the back of her mind, she still thought of that tragic day, when her husband had abandoned her, alone. She remembered how he had challenged her to build a palace with one single paisa and so she decided to build a palace that looked exactly like her husband’s. A place which she called home. With the help of the villagers the construction of her palace soon begun.

On the other hand, Savant was the not the same person anymore. After deserting Lata on the Island, Savant’s ship had gotten stuck in a storm, resulting in shipwreck. He lost everything, his crew, money, goods… everything. All the good had washed away with the water and the whole situation was completely horrible for Savant. He had borrowed money from people in order to conduct his business and now his shoulders carried the burden of paying them back. He sold his house and all his belongings to get rid of that burden. By the end of it, he was bankrupt. On top of that his father had also fallen severely ill. Just like the falling rows of the Dominoes, his life too fell apart.

The man who used to own a fleet of ships, now instead worked in them for other people and that ship, on one of their travels, reached the same Island. Savant’s mind instantly recalls what had happened on that Island. He had left his wife and from there everything in his life had just been a huge blunder. He had been repenting about this fact all along because nothing felt right or went right after that incident. So, he decided to search for his wife when they reached the island. After failing to locate his wife, his fell upon the palace that was being constructed. He realized that the palace wasn’t there the last time he had visited and that is when he stumbled upon Lateesh, not having even the slightest clue that he was actually his wife… Lata. But for Lata, she recognized him immediately. Hiding her identity, she approached Savant and asked him, “Are you a trader?”

“Who me? I lost all of my wealth and money, now I am just a humble worked in a ship. I would like to stay back on this island and if possible, look for a job.” Lata looked at him with concern and replied to him, “Sure, you can be a worker for the construction of my palace.” Savant felt grateful to Lateesh and stayed back, starting as worker immediately. Lata looked at him with wonder, in two minds, asking herself, “Is this the same man who abandoned me?”

The construction was over soon after this incident and to celebrate the happy moment, Lata held a party and invited everyone. While everyone was enjoying the party, Savant kept looking for Lateesh, to speak with him. Upon finding him, he said, “I had a wife, whom I left here a long time ago. Tragedy stuck at me the moment I disrespected a woman. I humiliated her, abandoned her and after that everything went bad for me.” Savant’s eyes were distant, as if living the incident all over again, but he continued, “She used to say that she could build a palace with just a single paisa. Is that possible? I was an idiot then.” Lateesh replied to him, “Maybe it is possible. At least I did it. I started with a single paisa.” Lata removed her disguise after saying that, and Savant was surprised to learn that Lata had been in front of his eyes this whole time. He reflexes kicked in and he started apologizing to her, “Please take me back as your husband,” he pleaded.

Lata, however happy with the fact that Savant wanted her back, she was uncertain. She had the right to be because of the sufferings she had been through. She did not know what to do.

Here’s a question for you, should she leave him or accept him? The ending is in your hands, the story is yours. Do let us know your answers in the comments section.



Ulka Mayur


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