The Golden Harvest

Dinu walked around the lush green field, his hands swaying from side to side, caressing the crops. The harvest was good this time. A good harvest meant good money. No more mortgages. No more insults from the moneylender. He would get his daughter married. No more abusive words to his only daughter. Was it her fault that she was dark and fat? With the remaining money, he would buy his wife a gold chain. She has been hankering for one for ages. The rest would go into the savings account.

It was growing dark. He got ready to take up his post on the ‘machan’. Every night, he kept a vigil on his fields from the raised platform. No animal or human dared venture into his territory.

‘Hey Dinu!’ Turning around, he saw Lokesh, the moneylender.

‘Good crops! Finally, you are free of all the debt.’

Dinu smiled.

Lokesh continued. ‘Planning a lot, eh?’

‘I want to see my daughter married.’

‘Ahh, you will need a lot of money to marry her off. Where did she inherit that complexion from? Sure, she is your daughter?’


‘The harvest is not even ready, and you yell at me, Dinu?’

‘You insulted us…

‘Don’t forget that if something happens, you will be at my feet again.’

Dinu looked away.


Dinu must have slept off for a commotion woke him up. Rubbing his eyes, he looked around. The orange flames caught his gaze.

Whose plot, was it? And then it struck him. It was his! All his harvest.

Dinu rushed into the burning fields, trying to salvage what he could. Alas, it was over!

The next morning, he sat among the blackened fields, his hands on his head. A vacant look in his eyes.

As it grew dark, the man got up and began walking.


Lokesh Babu smiled at the familiar figure. He knew Dinu would arrive soon.

‘Poor fellow. Don’t worry. I have kept an amount ready for you. But how will you get that daughter married? I have an idea. You don’t have to pay any interest as long as…’

Dinu looked up.

‘As long as your daughter makes me happy! Send her to me every night.’

Dinu got up and left.

‘Dinu…. I know you will come back. You see, there is no way out.’ The evil moneylender grinned.

The next morning, the villagers woke up to a horrific scene. Dinu sat beside the butchered remains of his wife and daughter.

Today, Dinu can be seen roaming around. Thin and frail, the tattered remains of his shirt hang on to his lanky frame. At times, he cries out loud. Sometimes, he laughs.

Every night, he is seen sleeping on the post overlooking the burnt stubble of his plot. Whenever Lokesh passes by, he spits and curses him.

Dinu lives on, hoping for a good harvest.

If you ever visit Raichandrapur in West Bengal, sit down and listen to his story. The story of a golden harvest.

Sreemati Sen

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