Another Story from the ASP Aiyar collection:
THE MOTHER-IN-LAW, THE DAUGHTER IN-LAW AND THE BEGGAR
A BEGGAR went to a house and asked for alms. The senior lady of the house, the mother-in-law was just then absent, and only her daughter-in-law was present. The daughter-in-law refused alms to the beggar, and the latter was going away sullenly when he saw the mother-in-law returning. “Why are you coming away from our house ?” asked the mother-in-law of the beggar. “Because your daughter-in-law refused all alms” said the beggar. “Did she ?” asked the mother-in-law in wrath. “What right has she to refuse alms in my house ? I am the mistress of the house, not she. Come along, my man, never take a refusal from nobodies. The mistress of the house is the only person who can say you ay or nay.”
“You are the incarnation of charity itself,’ said the beggar in joy, and followed the mother-in-law to the house. The mother-in-law called out her daughter-in-law and asked her whether it was a fact that she had refused alms to the beggar. The poor daughter-in-law pleaded guilty wondering why the mother-in-law took so much interest in a beggar that day.
“Wretch,” said the mother-in-law, “how dare you refuse alms when you know that I am the mistress here and the person entitled to give or refuse? Come here, my man” she said turning to the eagerly expectant beggar, “I, as mistress of the house, refuse you all alms. Hereafter, never take a refusal except from the mistress of the house. Now you may go away.” And the poor beggar slunk away in sheer shame and chagrin.
Don’t know why. I am reminded of N Ram’s criticism of Sid V on coverage of Modi