There was a moneylender who was very, very bad. He always asked for high interest payments from his clients. An old man started coming to him every day because he needed money badly for his daughter’s marriage. Each day the poor fellow visited the moneylender with the hope that the moneylender would lower the interest, but instead it only went up and up. Unfortunately, this moneylender was the only one in the village who lent money.
One day the jeweller saw the old man going to the moneylender. The jeweller said to the old man, “Every day I see you going to the moneylender. How much money are you borrowing from him?”
The old man said, “I have not yet borrowed any money. Every day I go to his shop with the hope that he will lend me some money. He is ready to lend me as much as I need, but with very high interest. I cannot afford to repay the loan with that amount of interest.”
The jeweller said, “If I come and beg him to lower the interest, it will not work. But do not worry. I will solve your problem. Come to my shop tomorrow before you go to his shop. I promise I will help you.”
The next day the old man went to the jeweller’s shop. The jeweller gave him four glass pieces which looked exactly like very expensive diamonds. The jeweller said, “Now you go and tell the moneylender that you found these in an earthen pot buried underground and you are absolutely sure that these are diamond pieces.”
The old man went to the moneylender and said, “Today I have something to show you.”
The moneylender asked, “What is it?”
The man said, “I had a dream. In the dream I saw that there was an earthen pot under the ground at a particular place. When I went to that place and dug under the ground, I found a pot containing these four diamonds.”
The moneylender said, “Are these really diamonds?”
The man said, “I think they are diamonds. If you do not believe it, I shall take them to the jeweller. You do not know for certain and I do not know for certain, but I am convinced that they are real diamonds. If you do not want them, I am going to the jeweller.”
The moneylender hastily said, “No, no, stay.” After the moneylender looked closely at the glass pieces, he felt sure they were diamonds.
The old man said, “You keep the diamonds. I am asking for a lower interest on my loan and also for more time to pay you back. If I am unable to return the money, then you can keep the diamonds.”
The moneylender said, “I will give you the money, and the interest will be very low.”
The moneylender was extremely greedy. He thought that he would be able to sell the diamonds for a very high price. So he loaned the old man the money for his daughter’s wedding, and the interest was next to nothing. In the evening, the moneylender secretly went to the jeweller and said, “Can you tell me if these are diamonds?”
The jeweller said, “I am very busy now. I cannot take the time to look at them. Come back in two weeks.”
The moneylender said, “Can you not take a few seconds just to say if these are very expensive diamonds?”
The jeweller said, “I cannot give a proper opinion at this moment, but they look like diamonds. I will not be able to be one hundred per cent certain unless I examine them.”
Then the jeweller smiled, so the moneylender took it as a sign that they were definitely diamond pieces. He took them home, and he was so happy that in two weeks’ time he would get an accurate appraisal.
In the meantime, the old man who had borrowed the money had a marriage ceremony performed for his daughter. At the marriage many people gave him gifts in the form of money. When the marriage festivities were over, he went to the moneylender.
The moneylender said, “How was it possible for you to marry your daughter in such a short time? Only one week has passed since I saw you last.”
The old man said, “It was so simple. You loaned me the money. That is why it was possible for my daughter to get married. Now I wish to repay the loan and collect my diamonds.”
In the meantime, the moneylender had made exact replicas of the four glass pieces in order to fool the old man. Since he was sure that the ones that he had were diamonds, he happily gave the old man the false glass pieces. He thought that he had cleverly cheated the old man.
When the two weeks had passed, the moneylender went to the jeweller and asked him to examine the diamond pieces.
The jeweller said, “All right. Today I shall look at them very carefully.” After looking at them for a long time, from every possible angle, the jeweller announced, “These are all glass pieces.”
The moneylender was furious. He said, “Then why did you say they were diamonds?”
The jeweller said, “I did not tell you that they were diamonds. I said to come back in two weeks’ time. I told you on that day that I had no time to examine them and in two weeks I would look at them closely. Now you have come back, and I have done my job. I see clearly that they are all glass pieces. They are not worth even one paisa.”
So when we cheat others, we get what we deserve.