Sudama was a shy one. He picked but a neglected pebble from an algae-riddled pool of pebbles alike, shaped into being them by not more than a trickle of the many trickles that made the Ganga, the Ganga. He strained his eyes to see its dynamics when flicked at an angle to the lazy water. He knew that he would just pick up another pebble if this one didn’t do well and ‘gerr-plonk’ted straight into the deep. He aimed. And flicked. It wouldn’t kiss the stream more than a couple of times before it vanished to be made into sand at the bottom in years. But it was his best shot yet. And he was happy.
And Sudama left with beaten rice knotted in a towel for a bigger shot. The journey left him mortal. For Krishna was mortal, like immortal was not being Krishna. And Sudama now walked back with damsels in his hair and gold at his feet. He couldn’t walk. For the illusion had been too much for his mediocrity. He was drunk. And he had just lost to Kali at a little game of dice. He had taken a chance with the last die. Like the pebble that grazed the water that wasn’t grazed after all. But it was his best shot, thought he. And he chose to lose at a game that he could have won with but choice; a choice that was called abstinence. The right one. And yet he chose wrong. Kali won, like he always did. And Krishna embraced him with open arms. “Welcome, my friend of young years. We are but one now! All of us. The women. The gold. The elixirs. The perfumes. The drapes. The cushions. All of it! We are one!”
Sudama, the shy, smiled back and said “Thank you.” And all was happy. Nothing lost. And as he walked back, he already missed Krishna. He not once regretted the choice. He was too simple to know if it were wrong or right.
He reached home. There stood a palace in place of his little middle class ramshackle of yesteryear sweat and blood and all that it had taken to make a home. There stood a woman in silks in place of the one that he had left home with a promise of return with a chance of a future in a world that had lost to Kali at the many games of dice. She smiled at him and welcomed him into her newly furnished bedroom. They were one now. And he lived in debt thereafter.