A collection of Indian tales of wit, wisdom, humour, bravery, devotion and lots more...

Tag: cow

All For A Pot Of Flour

Today my blog has completed one year. To celebrate this, my daughter has written this story which I am posting below:

Once upon a time, there lived a young man called Changilal who had neither money nor family. Changilal used to help anybody in need. One day, after his daily stroll to the temple, he heard a few hens clucking nearby. Curiosity gripping him, he started going towards the direction of the sound. He found that the chickens were clucking since they were really, extremely hungry. He found this out because they were picking on the bare ground. As he was very kind, he wanted to help them in some way. He found a bag of grains lying somewhere nearby. Without hesitating, he pulled the heavy bag and threw a handful of grains to them. All of them started eating the grains joyfully. He was so happy in committing a good deed that he did not notice the owner of the chickens come behind him. He took a long time to realize that someone had tapped him on the back. He turned back slowly only to discover that whoever was standing behind him was smiling widely. “I am the owner of this farm.” said the man. “I am really happy that you have fed my chickens. I want to give you something in return.” Saying this, the man went to a house just next to the small chicken farm. He came out with a big pot in his hand. Aloud he said “This is a gift that I wish to give you for feeding my chickens. This is a pot of flour. I hope this will help in feeding you.”

Overjoyed by this offer, Changilal took the pot of flour and left for home. Changilal who had starved for the last few days, was really tired even to make chappatis with the flour. He tied the pot to a hook hanging from the ceiling of his house. “Now it will be safe here” he thought. He laid down on his cosy cot and thought of what he could do with so much flour…..

The next day he went to the market to sell the flour. Since this was very high quality flour, he had got two gold coins for it. Delighted by his profit, he set out further into the market, his head bobbing with joy of what he could buy with these two gold coins. “ I could buy rice” he thought “or milk……” “Aha!! Milk! “ He had just seen a man selling calves. “ only for 1 gold coin, and one calf is yours!” said the man. Changilal was thrilled. He could buy two calves with the money he had!! And the calves would grow into cows and they would give milk!! Instantaneously Changilal turned to the man who was selling the calves and stretched out the hand which had the 2 gold coins. The man gave Changilal both the calves he was selling in exchange of the gold coins. Changilal, now on cloud nine, went home joyfully. What a profit he had made!! He would now be a rich man only because he had done a good deed.

Days passed and the calves had now grown into beautiful white cows with the patient care of Changilal’s hands and in course of time they gave birth to two calves. Changilal was now ecstasic that he could finally sell the milk of his cows after so many days of patient waiting! He sat down on a stool and started milking his cows. Churrk! Churrk!, Churrk! Churrk! Milk was streaming from the cows into the big bucket he had kept for milking his cows. “Yippee!! thought Changilal. Now I can sell this milk in the market and get 5 gold coins!!
So Changilal set off to the market. Pop! Blob! Pop! Blob! The milk was swaying in the vessel! “Yes!! Now I can sell this milk for 5 gold coins and buy something else!” thought Changilal. He had reached the milk stall. “Best quality milk, sir” said Changilal. “for 5 gold coins!”

The shopkeeper had lots of customers on that day and was in shortage of milk. Glad that Changilal came, he had to make a good offer since this was his only chance to keep his reputation up and said “O Changilal! Thank the gods you came! I am in shortage of milk! And I can pay you whatever you desire!”
Pleased by his good fortune, Changilal gave his milk for 5 gold coins.

Elated Changilal now set off further inside the market. He now enjoyed his life thoroughly! “Now I have 5 gold coins!!” thought he. “I can buy 2 more calves or many pots” he thought. “I could even buy silk sarees to start my own business!!” Thrilled by this idea, Changilal now went to the ‘Valli silks’ which was a very famous silk store. He bought 10 silk sarees with his 5 gold coins. He was now pleased with himself. He now walked to his house thinking in which part of the house he could start the silk shop. He could name the shop Changilal silks………

And so he did! He had now converted his whole house into a saree shop. The house was now filled with all kinds of beautiful, colourful sarees. It was only after two months of plentiful profit that he noticed a beautiful woman in the shop. She was called Sita. He fell in love with her instantly and asked her to marry him. She happily agreed.
Therefore, their marriage was celebrated with pomp and ceremony.

So Changilal and Sita had 2 children. Ramesha and Suresha. Ramesha was the elder son and Suresha, the younger. Suresha was very naughty and he used to tease the cows who were the root of Changilal’s happiness. Changilal got really angry with Suresha and started beating him with a long stick. Tup! Tup! Tup!………….

But this did not sound like beating a child! This sounded like beating a pot of flour! What was this???? All of this had been a dream!! Changilal was still lying down on his cot and his house was still a house. Not a silk shop! He peeped out of the window only to see his old wilted grass! Not his white cows and lush green grass! Sita was nowhere to be seen! His children had disappeared to thin air! All of this had been a dream!!! He had now beaten the pot of flour which was the only hope of Changilal getting rich! The pot had broken into pieces and the flour had spilt all over him!! All was over!! Changilal was nowhere close to being rich!! All his hopes were shattered!!

Moral: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

What you want and what you need.

This is a rather philosophical story which I am going to narrate. We have come across many situations in our life where we want something but end up getting something else.

In India, mostly, we reconcile ourselves that a particular thing had to happen that way and so it happened.This attitude is sometimes even beneficial especially to overcome sorrows. There is even a saying, “Man proposes God disposes” though we never know why God disposes some things. Sometimes it seems that there is a Mastermind or Sutradhar who is doing all that is happening. Maybe it is true. This story is on the above lines.

Once Lord Krishna called his friend Uddhava and asked him to come for a walk with Him. Uddhava was pleasantly surprised and suspected some mischief ahead as he saw a twinkle in Krishna’s eyes.He agreed to go with Him.

They went out to the country side where the houses were far and few and walked for some time.Krishna was in plain clothes without his paraphernalia.  After a while, they spotted a huge mansion, upon which Krishna said, “Uddhava, I am feeling very, very thirsty. Can you go to that mansion and ask the owner if he can give me something to drink?” Uddhava sincerely believed Krishna and went to the mansion and told the owner that his friend out there needed something to drink. The owner was very pleased that he had an “Athithi” (guest) to serve (Those days people were excited to have guests!!) and welcomed both of them in and washed their feet and offered them a seat and gave Krishna the best fruit juice ever in a large cup. Krishna drank the juice with great relish, smacked his lips, thanked the owner and both of them came out. After walking for some distance, Krishna turned around and looked at the mansion, raised his hands and said, “May he get more and more wealth and more prosperity!!”. Uddhava was relieved that there was no mischief after all. Maybe Krishna was really thirsty.

They continued to walk and had come to the woods nearby. At a distance, they saw a small hut and a beautiful cow tied  to a tree in front of the hut. Krishna told Uddhava, “Uddhava, I am feeling thirsty again. Just go and see if any one is there in the hut so that I can get something to drink?” Uddhava was puzzled. He asked Krishna, “Hey Krishna, you had juice just a while back. Now you say you are thirsty again. Is this the start of any mischief? I am not going to take part in your mischief!” Krishna said, “Uddhava, please do as I say. That is why I called you for this walk. Now, go and see if anyone is there to give me a drink.”

Uddhava had no other way than to obey Krishna. He walked to the hut and there was an old Sadhu, who wore nothing else but a loin cloth. His  hair was matted and he did  not seem to have any possession in his hut other than the young cow. Uddhava walked to the sadhu and told him that his friend out there wanted something to drink as he was thirsty. The sadhu was, for a moment extremely happy that a guest had come, but suddenly remembered that he had nothing to offer, not even water. His face fell, but just in a flash he remembered something and told Uddhava, “Well it is a pleasure for me to welcome your friend. Do you see my cow there? I shall just milk her and give it to him.” He looked at the cow with pride and told Uddhava, “Can you see how beautiful she is?” he said, “She is my only possession and I love her so much”. His voice was so passionate when he spoke of the cow. Admiring his only possession, he milked the cow and brought a jug full of frothy milk to Krishna. Krishna drank the milk with even more relish than he drank the juice. They both took leave of the sadhu and went for some distance and then, when the sadhu was out of earshot, Krishna raised his hands in the direction of the hut and said, ” May the cow die!!”

Uddhava  was shocked. What was going on here? He looked at Krishna with anger and said, “What is this Krishna? I thought you were a just person and what have you done now? What harm did the sadhu  do to you? The cow was the only possession of the poor man and you have commanded it to die!!. I am thoroughly disgusted Krishna”

Krishna was as cool as ever. He calmly turned to Uddhava and said, “Uddhava, you know me for so many years and you did not understand what I did? Well, let me tell you. The wealthy man in the mansion is still immersed in material pleasures. He has not moved one inch towards spiritualism or towards seeking a higher goal other than material pleasures. Hence I blessed him with more material pleasures. But see the sadhu, he  has given up all material possessions. He has moved up so much towards the higher goal and is very near to reaching me. The cow was the only hindrance in his ascent to the higher goal and so I removed the hindrance. The moment the cow died, he has also given up his life because he had nothing left to live for. He needs to reach me for all the penance he has done but you want him to live on here with his cow.” Krishna gave his usual charming smile.

Just then Uddhava saw a small beacon  of light coming from the direction of the hut of the sadhu and merging  with Krishna. The life energy of the sadhu had merged with the Supreme energy.

Now Uddhava understood Krishna. He also understood that what one wants is not always what one needs.

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