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One lakh vs. 91 crores
Many people believe that Shakespeare is the best playwright/poet in the world. But in my opinion, the Ancient Indian poet, Kalidas (a.k.a. Kalidasa or Kalidasan) is far better than him! This story gives just ONE reason why (there are many others!):
Kalidas essentially led a nomadic life, wandering from one court to another reciting poems (much like a bard). However, his favorite court was that of King Bhoja in Dhara (a city in Himachal Pradesh in Northern India). In fact, he and King Bhoja were very good friends.
But friends don't always get along, of course. Every now and then, the two would have a quarrel, and King Bhoja would exile Kalidas (or do something similar).
Well, at one time, Kalidas left to a remote village after being "exiled." But after a while, as usual, Bhoja missed him. So he publicly announced that he would provide one lakh (100,000) gold coins to anyone who could come up with a new poem. Secretly, however, he summoned the wise men who were to judge the poems, telling them to reject every poem except Kalidas's.
Kalidas heard of the challenge and wrote a poem. Then he sent the poem with a villager and promised that he (the villager) would get the reward.
The poem was as follows:
"91 crores (910,000,000) gold coins
Did your father once borrow from me.
Isn't it about time now, O King Bhoja,
To return the money?"
So, if this were an old poem, all that money would've been waaaaay overdue...and if it wasn't, well, then it would be a new poem! (Of course, the scholars said it was new, figuring that 10,000 was less than 910,000,000!)
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