- A newly minted coin; paid out from a bank.
- In mixed company in a shopkeeper’s cash drawer.
- An old rupee’s advice.
- Lost in the gutter; life among the poor.
- An active life; better than life in a miser’s strongbox
I am now an old coin, and have been in circulation for many years. But I can still remember my early youth. My active life began when I was paid over the counter of a bank, along with other new rupees, to a gentleman who cashed a cheque. I went off jingling in his pocket; but I was not long there, as he gave me to a shopkeeper. The shopkeeper looked pleased, and banged me on the counter to see if I were genuine. Then he threw me into a drawer, with a lot of other coins.
I soon found I was in mixed company. I took no notice of the greasy copper coins, as I knew they were of very low caste. I was condescending to the small change, knowing that I was twice as valuable as the best of them, the fifty Paisa pieces, and ten times better than the cheeky little ten Paisa. But I found a number of rupees of my own rank, but none so bright and new as I was. Most were old coins, dull and worn-as I am, also! to-day.
Some of them were jealous of my smart appearance, and made nasty remarks. But a very old rupee was kind, and gave me good advice. He told me I must respect old rupees, and always keep the small change in their place. He summed up his advice with the remark, “A rupee is always a rupee, however old and worn.”
Then the drawer was opened and I was given in change to a young lady, who put me into her purse. But the purse had a hole in it; and, as she walked along the street, I fell out and rolled into the gutter, where I lay for a long time. At last a dirty boy picked me up; and for some time after I was in low company, passing between poor people and petty shopkeepers in dirty little streets. But at last I got into good society, and most of my time I have been in the pockets and purses of the rich.
I have no time to tell the hundredth part of my adventures. I have lived an active life, and never rested long anywhere. Anyway, I have had a better life than a rupee I knew who spent all his time locked up in a miser strongbox. What a dull life!