There are only Three Rupees. If you give it to him, where will the blanket for the January Nights come from? I won't give the money! Tell him that we will pay after the harvest.
The landlord has come. Get the rupees you set aside! I'll give him the money and somehow or other we'll get along without it.
Tell me what other plan can be found! Is somebody going to give you a blanket? We have so many debts that we can't pay off! What I say is give up this tenant farming! Whatever you harvest goes to pay up the arrears, so why not finish with it? Earn some money for your own belly. I won't give the money!
Come on, give it to me. I will figure out some other plan!
Then I have to put up with his abuse!
Halku came in and asked his wife Munni for the money to give to the Landlord. Munni had been sweeping. She turned around and replied to him. For a moment Halku stood hesitating. Without a blanket he couldn't possibly sleep in the fields at night. But the landlord wouldn't be put off: he'd threaten and insult him.
Take it! Give up farming this time! If you work as a hired labourer you'll at least get enough food to eat from it! Fine, work farming someone else's land!
So what did it matter if they died in the cold weather as long as they could just take care of this calamity right now? As he thought this he moved his heavy body (that gave the lie to his name) and came close to his wife. He tried to coax her but Munni drew away from him and did not give the money.
Halku told her that if she did not give the money, he has to put up with the landlord's abuse. The bitter truth in Halku's words came charging at Munni like a wild beast.
Cold, Jabra? Didn't I tell you, in the house you could lie in the paddy straw? So why did you come out here? Now you'll have to bear the cold.
You thought I was coming out here to eat puris and sweets and you came running on ahead of me. Now you can moan all you want.
Munni went to the niche in the wall, took out the rupees and handed them over to Halku! She also told him to work a hired labourer instead of farming someone else's land.
Halku took the money and went outside, looking as though he were tearing his heart out and giving it away. He'd saved the rupees from his work, pice by pice, for his blanket. Today he was going to throw it away. With every step his head sank lower under the burden of his poverty.
A Dark January Night. In the sky even the stars seemed to be shivering. At the edge of his field, underneath a shelter of cane leaves, Halku lay on a bamboo cot wrapped up in his old shawl, shivering. Underneath the cot his friend Jabra the dog was whimpering with his muzzle pressed into his belly. Neither of them was able to sleep. Halku curled and asked Jabra why he came out in the cold.