Once there lived an acharya. His name was Sandipan. There were no schools then as we have now. The boys had to live in the ashram of acharya. They did all his household work.
Shri Krishna and Sudama were among his students there. They played, worked and learnt together. Both served the acharya by doing work for him.
They were fast friends. After completing their education at the ashram, they returned to their homes.
Sudama was very poor but Krishna was rich and became the king of Dwarika. Time passed. Sudama became poorer and poorer and he had to live on alms. Once the wife of Sudama came to know about Lord Krishna. She asked Sudama to go to Dwarika to meet Him.
Sudama was unwilling to go but, anyhow he agreed. She gave him some rice as a present to Shri Krishna. After walking for some days he reached Dwarika. He asked the gate-keeper to inform Krishna that Sudama wanted to meet him.
As soon as Krishna heard about Sudama, He left aside all his important engagements and came to the gate bare footed. Seeing Sudama, his old dear friend in such a bad state, Shri Krishna embraced him and wept bitterly. Krishna then took him to his private chamber where Sudama presented Lord Krishna the rice which he had got for Him. Krishna took out the rice and ate some of it. Sudama lived there for some days happily. At last he took leave of Krishna. When he reached back home, he found a palace in place of his old broken house. His wife was wearing expensive clothes and ornaments. Now Sudama was no longer a poor man. Krishna had given him everything.
Moral of the story: A man who stands by his friend in adversity is a true friend.
(The writer is a student of Class-VII, Central School, Herbertpur, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.)