The city of Ur was witnessing a period of great progress. With the advent of coins, the idea of money had taken firm root. As a result, trade and commerce flourished. The city attracted the best minds from distant lands. Mathematics, Architecture and Philosophy flourished in Ur. The people of Ur, were prosperous and happy, like never before.
Then one day...
News came that clouds carrying poisonous rain were coming Ur's way. If anyone drank this rainwater, the colour of his skin would change. The chieftain warned everyone in Ur not to drink this water. But when the rains came, there were many people who drank the rainwater: some out of curiosity, and others who simply didn't believe the chieftain.
Sure enough, after drinking the rainwater the colour of their skins changed. Hot-tempered people became red like beetroots, the cheerful ones became yellow like sunflowers, sad people became dark blue, and all the children became green. Everyone was upset and people didn't come out of their houses for months.
The chieftain called physicians and learned men from distant lands, but no one could cure the people of Ur. Just then, Junoo declared, that he knew the cure for the ailment. he said that the people would be cured, if the juice of a certain plant, which grew on the sea-bed was given to them.
No one believed Junoo. He was the local mad man. How would he know? He spent his time experimenting with herbs and spoke a language no one understood. He spoke to animals and birds and could tell the time by looking at the length of the shadows.
But the people of Ur were desperate for a cure and the chieftain announced a prize to anyone who dared to dive down to the ocean bed to look for the plant, Junoo spoke of. Many young people came forward and tried but failed. Then a diver named Lulu from a distant land came to Ur and said he would get the plant. However, if he succeeded he demanded an award of coins equal to the weight of all the people in the city of Ur. The people of Ur could not help but agree to his demands.
Lulu dived into the sea and sure enough there was a plant that was lying at the bottom of the ocean, which he obtained. Junoo put it in a cauldron and prepared a potion, which was then given to everyone. And lo, behold, everyone's colour was restored.
But how were they going to pay Lulu?
The chieftain ordered a giant scale to be prepared where twenty persons could be weighed at a time! But who was there to make such a scale? Where was there such a master engineer?
The Old Man Monetary is copyright of Reserve Bank of India and is posted here in public interest and to spread banking awareness among kids.