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Arthvyavastha (अर्थव्यवस्था)

In a sleepy town, in ancient India named Arthvyaap (अर्थ्व्याप) lived a community of people called the Samaanyas (सामान्य). Arthvyaap was a typical setting, an elder was considered the head of the community - Pramukh, a group of traders, an elite crowd of intellectual pundits, and other  workmen like farmers, cobblers, blacksmiths etc.

One of the young pundits was an extremely sharp mind called Saakshaat (साक्षात) who had such a sharp mathematical brain that even though he was just 17, everyone from the Pramukh to the traders consulted him in matters relating to finance and numbers. Saakshaat was also good friends with his childhood buddy name Aanglesh(आंग्लेश) who was the son of a not so rich but well to do trader. Aanglesh's father managed a large trade of fruits and vegetables in the town market and to ensure an early start for Aanglesh had allowed Aanglesh to start a foodgrain store alongside his shop in the town.

The economy of Arthvyaap worked quite homogeneous with everyone earning their fare share based on the work they did. The staunchly religious community worked on a credit-free principle as a rule - workers were paid a salary every month, traders bought goods out of their own savings and made money on selling them - there was no borrowing or lending existent in the community.

One Sunday morning, as Aanglesh and Saakshaat were lounging in the Aamrai (Mango farm) on the outskirts of the village, Aanglesh's expressed his frustration with the limited sale he could make in the town markets because he had a limited capacity to buy goods to sell, while the large dealers from the nearby villagers sold more than double his sale.

Aanglesh explained to Saakshaat how he had trained his men to sell more effectively and match the right produce to the taste and ability of the consumer. He explained that on days, his people were able to sell off all his stock in nearly half the day itself. Only if he could buy more - he would make twice as much money.

This account set Saakshaat thinking of the numbers and the chain which Aanglesh was talking about - he had learnt in his studies of Bhautiki (Physics) about how Anunaad (resonance) works - how a pendulum oscillates at multiple amplitudes with increasing amount of initial displacement given to it. Saakshaat's mind went racing the next week, as a plan formed in his mind.

The next Saturday evening, Saakshaat visited Aanglesh and explained him his scheme - Aanglesh would borrow a small sum each from all interested villagers for 15 days and return them the sum after 15 days with an interest at a rate higher than the estimated rise of prices (inflation).

Aanglesh would meanwhile use this money to buy more foodgrain and sell more of it in the town - since Aanglesh's cash cycle usually lasted about 3-5 days, he would use the extra money thrice or four times over in the 15 days of lease he had. He would thus have the enough profits to provide a good return to the villagers as well as a good margin for himself. Aanglesh, being confident that his boys would make a good sale with more money, was convinced at once to participate.

Now Saakshaat and Aanglesh went to the Pramukh to convince him to allow them to float this scheme in the community.  Pramukhji was not convinced - he said  credit  was not allowed as per the age old traditions. Saakshaat and Aanglesh went back disheartened.

However, Saakshaat was not going to give up - he kept thinking, it was then that he hit the novel idea. The next evening after convincing Aanglesh, he went to Pramukhji again. He explained that  instead of returning the money back with an interest, each of the contributing villagers will be given a Tamra Parta (Bronze Sheet) in return for the money.

Each fortnight, when Aanglesh returns to the village with his profits, each contributing villager will be given a share of the profits in proportion to the amount of money  he provided. If the villager wants the original money back - he will have to surrender the Tamra Patra, or if he retains he shall continue to receive fortnightly share of his profits.

Saakshaat reasoned to Pramukhji that this was not credit, as no one was earning interest - rather they were becoming a part of Aanglesh's trade business. Pramukhji was not convinced - he felt that no one would give excess money to Aanglesh as they needed it to run their own households and trades. Saakshaat argued back saying, he himself had a pile of rupya kaudis (Rupee Coins) at his home from last week's puja dakshina where Seth Kirodimal had donated generously to all pundits.

Pramukhji finally relented - one he felt that there would be  few takers for Saakshaat and Aanglesh's scheme and hence the boys would temper down with time. Also, Pramukhji had been a mentor to Aanglesh's father in his young days and knew his family as an honest trading family - he was sure the boys would do no harm.

(Tamrapatrak Vyavastha: Arthvyavastha - Part II)

2 Comments to " Arthvyavastha (अर्थव्यवस्था) "

  1. Anonymous says:

    क्या कहानी लिखी है यार निखिल! :)
    waiting eagerly for the next part

  2. good start ... looking forward to the birth of exchange!

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