Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Frustrated Swindler

The Frustrated Swindler
When I was young, I thought I'd make,
by devious means, a fortune.
And for advice, in doing this,
I did, a set'h, importune.                        \1

And this is what he told me then,
while twirling, slow, a whisker.
"The money to be made is there,
where businesses are brisker.

"As bees must go to flowers if
they wish to find their honey,
So travel west, where firangis,              \2
with Frankish zeal, make money.

"There's comfort when you earn a pound,
a euro or a dollar.
But when it's rupaiyahs you earn,         \3
for mercy, you might holler.

"For while the other three go up
or hold, at least, at steady,
A rupaiyah's value tends to fall.
For this, you're rarely ready.

"So go on down to London or
to Zurich, with a swindle.
And once you've stashed your pounds or francs,
rupaiyahs, use, to kindle."

And so, I flew upon a plane
and landed in the West.
And there, to carry out my plan,
I tried my very best.

But then, alas, I found my luck
was not as I had wanted.
The dollar and the euro dropped,
that once were highly  vaunted.

And so, dejected, I returned
with only debts grown bigger.
And in my native land, I found
I'd turned into a beggar.

On meeting once that selfsame set'h,
I told him, "Your advice
was either wrong by error or
on purpose, Mr. Nice."

He laughed and twirled a whisker and
he went upon his way.
The moral?  This:  No set'hs, believe.
And in your birthplace, stay.

2014 December 10, Wed.
Brooklyn, New York

Hindustani (Urdu-Hindi) words
1. set'h:  very rich person
2. firangi:  westerner, European (possibly from "Frank")
3. rupaiyah:  rupee, rupiah (from the word for silver),
    unit of currency in Pakistan, India, Malaysia  
Thanks to my friend Vivek for inspiring this, by sending me, as a joke, the following "news article".  Click on the image to see an enlarged view.  Hit the escape key or click on the white X at the top right of the black screen to return to this post.
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