There was once an intelligent and hardworking man called Gopal Bhand. He was known for his intelligence and tact in dealing with people and their problems. People used to come to him with their problems and seek his help.
As luck would have it, the couple living next door to Gopal was stupid. On top of that, the husband and wife both used to daydream. They spent a good deal of their time in dreaming about their future rather than in working to improve their present.
One day the husband told his wife that he wanted to buy a cow so that they would have plenty of milk.
They started planning about buying a cow and in due course of time they started day-dreaming. While talking they came to the conclusion that they could soon be the proud owners of a cow, if they saved a little more money. The reality was that they had a long way to go before they could buy a cow, as they had very meagre savings. Dreaming does not cost anything, and so their conversation continued. They would buy a big and healthy cow even though it might cost a little more. Both of them were of the opinion that money did not really matter. They also decided that their cow would be black in colour and that they would call it `Kamli’.
The husband decided that he would start building a shed for Kamli as soon as possible. The wife, not wanting to be left behind, thought that she should also do something to show her love for Kamli. She said that she would soon buy some pots for the milk.
She was so excited that the next day itself she went to the market and started looking around for good pots. She spent a lot of time trying to search for them and finally bought five beautiful pots after a lot of bargaining.
In the evening she proudly showed the pots to her husband. She told him that the first pot was for the milk they would get from Kamli, the second for the butter they would be able to make, the third for the buttermilk they would get while making the butter and the fourth was for the ghee that she would make from the butter. Her husband was very pleased with the prospect of getting so many things from a single cow.
They again started talking about Kamli and how they would look after her. The wife said that she would give the cow a good bath daily and would feed her with good fodder. So their cow would soon be giving large quantities of milk twice a day. The husband said that he would himself get good fodder for Kamli every day. They decided that they could sell the extra milk and ghee and would soon become rich.
Suddenly the husband noticed the fifth pot and asked her what that was for. The wife hesitantly replied that it was to carry some of the extra milk to her sister’s house. Hearing this the husband was enraged because he did not like his sister-in-law. He shouted at his wife and asked her, “How can you even think of giving any milk to your sister and that too without my permission?”
The wife retorted saying, “I do not need your permission for this as I am the one who saved the money for buying Kamli. I am the one who looks after her and feeds her and I am the one who milks her. So I have every right to do what I want with the extra milk.”
This angered the husband even more and he shouted back, “You saved that money from what I earn after toiling and sweating the whole day long. I am the one who cuts grass for Kamli. And now you want to waste my efforts on your stupid sister. Moreover, she never gives us anything.”
The fight continued and both of them refused to give in to the other’s demand. Finally the husband could not control himself and he smashed all the pots. He then asked his wife, “Now that there are no pots left, how will you carry the milk to your sister’s house?”
Gopal, who had been hearing all this, could no longer control himself. He went to the couple and asked them what the matter was.
The husband at once said, “This woman wants to give all the extra milk that Kamli gives us to her sister.”
“Kamli?” Gopal asked him. “Whom are you referring to?” “Oh! you don’t know, Kamli is the name of our cow,” the husband replied.
Gopal who had never seen a cow in their house was surprised and said, “Your cow? Where is it?”
The husband still did not realize their stupidity and said, “I am talking about the one we are planning to buy as soon as we have saved enough money. Soon we are going to have a healthy and beautiful cow who will give us plenty of milk. My wife wants to give all the extra milk to her sister while I want to sell it.”
The wife interrupted him saying, “Not all the milk, only some. After all we have so much of milk.”
Gopal corrected her and reminded her that they did not have any milk at that moment and that they would have some only after they bought a cow.
At once both the wife and the husband said, “It is only a matter of time. We are saving money for a cow and we will soon have Kamli with us.”
Gopal asked them how much money they have saved; answers revealed that they had just decided to start saving money the day before. Being an intelligent man he at once realized that his neighbours were once again day-dreaming.
Gopal decided to cure them of their disease once and for all. He exclaimed, “Now I know what was been happening to my vegetable garden.” Saying this he hit the husband hard on his head with a stick.
The husband was caught unawares and asked Gopal why he had hit him. Gopal answered, “Your cow has been eating the beans and cucumbers from my vegetable garden.” Saying this he gave the husband another hard blow.
The husband knew that Gopal had no such garden so he asked him, “What beans? What cucumbers? Which garden are you talking about?”
“The one I am going to plant soon,” Gopal replied. “I intend to grow beans and cucumbers in the empty patch of land next to my house.”
The wife who had been watching all this suddenly realized what Gopal was trying to say, and she burst out laughing at their foolishness. Slowly the reality dawned on the husband too. They both vowed never to day-dream in future.
Gopal congratulated them on their decision and hoped they would not forget their promise in a hurry.
Anyway he need not have worried. The two big bumps on the husband’s head were enough to keep reminding them both of their beautiful but imaginary `Kamli’ for a long time.