Sunday, February 14, 2016

The cracked pot

An elderly Chinese man had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the man bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the man one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The old man smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?" "That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them." "For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cooking Khichri- Akbar and BIrbal

 One Winter morning , Emperor Akbar and BIrbal were strolling by the lake , the Emperor happened to touch the water in the lake and found it icy cold, He had a sudden idea. He called out to Birbal" I will give a thousand gold coins to anyone who dares to spend an entire night in this icy chill water". The challenge was duly announced and a poor man came forward to take up the challenge.
   The man spent the entire night in the freezing water and went to the court the next morning.
Akbar was astonished that the man accomplished the task . Akbar asked the man ," How did you survive the entire night in the icy cold water?" . The poor man replied, " Your Majesty , there was  a lamp on the fort's window. Throughout the night , I was looking at the lamp and kept myself away from the thought of cold."
  Hearing the man's reply , Akbar said, " Since you warmed yourself with the heat of the lamp, you are not entitled for any reward."
 The poor man turned to Birbal for help.
    The next day , Birbal sent a message to the court that he would come only after his khichri( an Indian dish) was cooked.  After a long wait , Akbar went to Birbal's house and saw Birbal watching his bowl of khichri cook hanging from a pole five feet above the fire.
    Akbar laughed at Birbal and said ," Birbal, your khichri won't cook, It's far from the fire."
    Birbal answered , " Your Majesty, this khichri will receive heat from the fire the same way the poor man received  heat from the lamp in the far off fort." Akbar realised his mistake and rewarded the poor man.

Story and Picture courtesy Mindmelodies publication

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Carrying the coconuts

  One day , a poor coconut seller had the good luck of gathering a lot more coconuts than he usually could. He loaded his horse cart heavily and started to the near by village to sell.
   As he was about to start he saw a boy standing near his cart. He asked the boy," Can you tell me how long it would take to reach the village?"
   The boy looked at he cart and said , " If you go slowly, you will reach very soon, but if you go fast , you will reach only by Sun down."
    "What!" exclaimed the coconut seller and smiled. He could not believe the strange logic of the boy. The coconut seller climbed his horse cart and started hurrying towards the village. He whipped the horse again and again to make it trot faster. However , since the cart was heavily loaded ,many of the coconuts fell off. The coconut seller had to stop the cart to pick them up. Then he hurried his horse even more to make up for the lost time, the coconut fell off again and once again , the coconut seller had to stop and collect the fallen coconuts again and again. By the time he reached the village, it was night and he had also lost some of the coconuts on the way.

story and picture courtesy Mind melodies publication

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Don't Quit.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile , but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don't give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The monk and the cobra.

       There once lived a venomous snake in a hole under a large tree. The tree stood in  a corner of a field near a village.The cobra attacked people at the slightest provocation and many people died because of the snakes deadly bite. Fear of the cobra kept people from coming near the tree.
       One day a monk was passing through the village and saw this beautiful tree and decided to meditate under its shade before he moved on. Some boys who were driving their cows back home saw the monk and warned him about the cobra .The monk continued to walk towards the tree. The boys fled .
       As the monk sat down to meditate the snake came out from his hole with an angry hiss, ready to strike.
The monk chanted a mantra looking straight in to the cobra's eyes and miraculously the cobra laid down on the ground peacefully.
       After the monk finished his meditation he opened his eyes and found the snake still lying beside him. He spoke to the snake ," Your bite is venomous and it kills people , it is a very wrong thing to do. I will teach you a mantra repeating which will teach you to be more tolerant and loving towards other creatures".
The monk taught the snake a mantra and left the village. The cobra repeated the mantra and became very peaceful. He lived on berries and fruits that were available to it in the nearby fields. Slowly the people in the village forgot their fear for the snake.
      After a few weeks the same boys passed that way and saw the snake , at first they were afraid but seeing the snake so quiet and peaceful starting taunting it by throwing stones.One evening the boys stoned the cobra and made it bleed when one boy took the cobra by it's tail and started swinging it round and round and round and let go of it . The cobra went crashing on a huge rock. The boys clapped and  laughed and left it to die.
       The cobra continued to chant the mantra taught by his teacher which gave him strength to crawl back to his hole. Now the snake went out only in the dark when no one was about and ate a few dry leaves and berries.His wounds were slowly healing.
     After a few months the monk happened to pass by the same village and found the cobra weak and thin. He asked the cobra about the wound on his head. The cobra replied ," Some children playfully swung me around and my head hit a rock, I nearly died .How are they to know I have changed , it is not their mistake". Hearing the cobra the monk was deeply moved. The monk said ," Yes , I told you not to bite , but I did not ask you not to hiss".
     The cobra understood the truth in his teacher's words. He chanted the mantra taught to him but when someone tried to harm him he hissed and that frightened them away.

Picture coutesy- Ramakrisha math book.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The fish challenge.

       Gopal was a clever and witty barber, He lived in a small kingdom , ruled by a king called Raja Krishna Chandra. The Raja often turned to Gopal to help him out of difficult situations or solve a difficult problem.
          In Gopal's city, Hilsa fish was a very popular dish. Hilsa fish being available only once a year ,never failed to grab everyone's attention and interest. When it was Hilsa season, house wives exchanged recipes, shopkeepers discussed the latest price of Hilsa. Fishermen talked about catching the biggest Hilsa of the season.
        The King Raja Krishna was surprised to see even his courtiers discussing Hilsa fish rather than more important state matters. Finally , unable to bear this anymore he decided to put an end to all this talk about the fish. He thought he would be at peace even if people would stop about it for a few minutes. He announced an award of fifty gold coins to anyone who could bring to the palace a big Hilsa fish from the market . The only condition being that while bringing the fish to the palace no passerby must talk about the fish.
       Even after a week not one succeeded in this challenge, simple as the task seemed many tried to attempt it but the look of Hilsa fish did not fail to excite remarks from onlookers. After a week Gopal decided to take the challenge.
      He woke up one morning, shaved off half of his beard, put mud all over his face and hair , put on old clothes and wore his shirt backwards. His wife when she looked at him demanded to know where he was going looking like a tramp .Gopal simply smiled and said he was going to the market to buy the biggest  Hilsa fish available. So saying he left her and headed to the market. There he bought a big Hilsa fish ,he started walking towards the palace making very little effort to hide the fish.
     On the way people who met him were shocked at Gopal's appearance. They wondered if he had finally gone mad. What with mud on his face and his beard half shaven he did look strange. some others feared that Gopal had lost his memory . When Gopal reached the palace gates the guards hardly recognised him  and wouldn't let him inside. One guard went inside to inform the king, the king summoned Gopal inside. He took one look at Gopal and was shocked to see his best advisor looking like a tramp. He demanded Gopal to explain himself. Gopal merely laughed and replied that he had won the challenge and the king owed him fifty gold coins. The king looked confused he wanted to know what challenge was Gopal talking about.  Gopal unwrapped a big Hilsa fish from under his arms and showed it to the king. No one who had met him had spoken anything about the fish, in fact no one had noticed the fish ,Gopal's looks had taken away all their attention. The king laughed at Gopal's cleverness and gave Gopal fifty gold coins and suggested he go home at once and clean himself. Gopal went home happier and richer.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Manuneedhi Cholan

          King Manuneethi Cholan had hung a huge bell in front of his palace . He announced that anyone seeking justice could ring the bell and their voice will be heard.
          One day the young prince went around the city in his chariot. People cheered him where ever he went and welcomed him by beating drums and  with pipes. An young calf terrified with the loud noises ran berserk and got itself crushed under the wheels of the prince's chariot. The mother of the calf helplessly watched its little one die .The cow walked to the palace gates and rang the huge bell demanding justice from the king. The king came out and saw the cow,he learnt from his courtiers the death of the young calf under the wheels of his son's chariot.
          King Manuneethi Cholan kept his promise , he ordered his son to be killed for his recklessness. The prince was killed the same way the calf had died ,he was crushed under the wheels of the chariot .The king went through the same pain the cow had as he witnessed his son die and thereby being just at all cost.