Political Myopia by Kodavatiganti Kutumbara
Telugu original by Kodavatiganti Kutumbarao, in Yuva, March 1977. Translated and posted with permission by Ananda Kishore.
I found this curious item in the Dibba archives.
Dibba was once renowned for its metal industry and its metallurgists. Bravery of its soldiers aside, Dibba weapons were a terror to neighboring countries.
However, Dibba didn't have sandalwood. Tirugundam used to export sandalwood to Dibba. Age old feud between the two countries notwithstanding, they had commerce between them.
Then suddenly Tirugundam's king banned sandalwood export to Dibba. There about fifteen families in Dibba that couldn't pass a day without sandalwood. Hence diplomatic negotiations for sandalwood ensued.
"We will exchange sandalwood for large shipments of swords, lances, spears, and arrows," said the king of Tirugundam.
The king of Dibba and his ministers agreed to that. Metallurgists worked hard day and night to produce the weapons Tirugundam demanded. They didn't have time enough to make weapons for Dibba army.
That year was the first time Dibba was defeated by Tirugundam in war; it was devastated. Apparently it took twenty years to recover.