The Story of Rahul


There was once a young man called Rahul who was a trusted courier for a mighty emperor in India who had to travel to a distant land across all sorts of inhospitable terrain with a vitally important message (the significance of which really cannot be over-emphasized) to deliver to the king there. This was by far the most difficult – as well as the most important – mission he had ever been on. After many years of arduous travel and many hair-raising adventures the resourceful Rahul reaches a point where he is in imminent danger of running out of money and so he decides to stop for a while in a charming little town in the Eastern foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and invest what little gold he has left in flour and spices and various other ingredients, and to rent a little stall in the local market. Rahul then buys himself a cheap but nevertheless serviceable oven and proceeds to bake a batch of spiced honey cakes and finds – as he had anticipated – that this particular example of exotic confectionary sells very well indeed seeing as how there is a definite niche in the market for this type of product. Re-investing the money he makes from this pilot venture, the resourceful courier bakes a dozen batches of honey cakes and sells them all the following Saturday, and is thoroughly delighted with his day’s work. If he keeps at this for the next few months, he calculates, he will easily have enough money made to finance the rest of his journey. Everything goes very well for our man and so after a few weeks he decides to hire a young assistant to help him with the rather time-consuming job of baking. After another couple of weeks he rents a shop in the high street and takes on professional staff to work full-time selling his product, which by now is the talk of the town. In due course Rahul has a chain of shops all across the country and has a veritable business empire up and running – an entrepreneurial endeavour which keeps him very busy indeed. Things are going so splendidly that he decides to postpone the last leg of his journey until next spring, rationalizing that winter is no time to be travelling through mountainous terrain. Spring comes and goes and by now young Rahul has been made mayor of the town, as well as diversifying into general groceries, haberdashery, Persian carpets, wall-hangings, exotic silk underwear for ladies, ornamental fish-ponds and fortune-telling, just in case the cake-business fails due to a shortage of honey, or some such unforeseen disaster. Due to his remarkable business success, it is of course not too long before he attracts the attention of an eligible young woman from a good family and he is married with all due ceremony, and before long he has a sizeable family to be taking care of as well as his many and varied commercial interests. All is indeed going well for Rahul as you can see, who really does seem to have made something of himself. And then one day – many, many years later – (he is in ripe middle-age at this stage) whilst having his nails filed by his personal manicurist Rahul suddenly remembers with a shock what he was supposed to be doing. “Oh shit!” Rahul cries out loudly, “I knew I had forgotten something…”




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