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

Tag: poor

The Kingdom In A Seed

Long ago, the kingdom of Vidharbha was ruled by a just king by name Vidhyadhara. Vidhyadhara was very learned and wise and brave at the same time and so he was the perfect ruler of his country He was very much loved by all his subjects. The only grievance the people and the king had was that Vidhyadhara had no heir. The very thought that there was no successor to the king made the people and the king very sad.

Now, the king was a very avid gardener too. He took great interest in growing new species of plants and relieved his stress by spending time in his garden. He had great knowledge about various plants.

One day, Vidhyadhara called his minister and asked him to make an announcement to the public. The announcement was for a contest for the children of the kingdom. They were asked to come to the palace on a particular day.
On the given day, the gates of the palace witnessed a long queue of children waiting eagerly with their parents. Soon after, the king came out and said, “My dear subjects, as you all know, I am looking out for a successor to this throne of mine. I am now going to give you each a seed which you should plant in a pot and take very good care of. On the last Sunday of the second month from now, I would like you to bring me the pots and show me the progress and I will decide my heir accordingly.”The king then proceeded to distribute seeds of different flowering plants to each child present there. The parents and children were elated alike and all of them happily took the seed from him and went home.

Now, among the children who took the seed from him, was Suman, the son of a poor man. Suman came home and with the guidance of his father, prepared a pot with the best soil he could find and planted the seed. He poured just enough water every day and saw to it that there was enough sunlight. Weeks passed, but there was no sign of Suman’s plant growing. Suman then added some new soil and manure, but of no avail. He was deeply disappointed as the deadline was fast approaching.

On the appointed date, Suman’s father called out to him,” Suman! Are you getting ready to go to the palace? Today you have to show the pot to the king!” Suman was in tears. Sobbing, he told his father, “I…. will not… go….” On being asked why, he told his father that he could not face the king with his empty pot. Suman’s father told him, “Look my son, you have put in a lot of effort haven’t you? But the plant has not come up. You should not be disheartened. Go to the king and tell him that in spite of your efforts, the plant did not come up. At least the king will know that you made sincere efforts”

After listening to his father, Suman was not still reconciled, but could not disobey his father and so took his pot with only the soil in it and went to the palace with his father. This time again, the same long queue was there with all the children holding pots with beautiful plants, some with flowers and others with beautiful healthy leaves. Suman felt even more depressed looking at the happy children who were beaming with pride. He felt that the children were looking at him scornfully. And many of them were. Suman bent his head down in shame .

Suddenly there was a commotion and Vidhyadhara appeared from the entrance of the palace with his ministers. The children greeted him with shouts of joy. The king returned the greetings and sat on the special seat put there for him. One by one the children went to the king and showed their pots with the plants. The king did not show any emotion, but smiled at each kid as he saw the plant held by them. The kids who had shown the pots were asked to sit in the lawn nearby. Suman was the last child in the queue. Soon it was Suman’s turn.

With tears filled in his eyes and choking with grief, his head still hung, Suman slowly inched his way to the King. “Come my son”, said Vidhyadhara, as Suman came near. He lifted Suman’s chin up and asked him lovingly, “Where is the plant, my boy?” Suman could not contain his grief. “My plant did not come up your Highness”, he said, as he burst into tears. Sobbing uncontrollably, he continued, “I did everything to take good care of the seed you gave me… But… but…” and started crying loudly. The king put his arm around Suman and comforted him.He then turned around and said in a loud firm voice, “I have selected this boy to be my successor”.

The parents and other children who were waiting hopefully got up shocked at Vidhyadhara’s announcement. Vidhyadhara continued, “Yes, I have chosen this boy to be my successor. I was looking for integrity, sincerity and ability to admit failure, in my heir apparent. And this boy has it all!” The people around still could not understand what the king was saying.

Vidhyadhara continued, “I had given all the children roasted seeds on that day and asked them to bring the plant that grew out of that… and I can see that only this boy has been sincere to confess that the seed did not grow and he had the courage to admit what he thought was his failure. He is the right person to be my successor and rule this country righteously!! The seed that I gave was the seed of Integrity!”

Suman and his father could not believe their ears! It was a pleasant shock to them and now all of Suman’s wishes to study a lot and come up in life were going to come true!!

 Truth always Triumphs.
 Honesty is the best policy

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.

Sonar Barsa

Long long ago, in a remote village in Bengal, lived an old farmer Subroto. Subroto was too old and weak to work in the field any more and that year there had been a severe drought that his field had become a piece of parched land, totally barren.

Subroto’s wife Moitree was also very weak and old and she was getting very irritated that there was not enough in the house at all. She kept showing her anger on Subroto, yelling at him whenever she could, accusing him of not providing her enough.

Poor Subroto was very patient but day by day as Moitree kept on yelling at him, he got fed up and one day , decided to leave the house for good.  The next morning before Moitree was up, he collected his stick and a shawl and left the house in the wee hours.

Subroto kept walking aimlessly for hours together. The sun was rising up slowly and in a few hours was shining bright and hot. Subroto, having not eaten anything at all felt really tired and he sighted a huge banyan tree ahead. ” Let me rest here for sometime”  he thought as he sat and stretched himself under the cool shade of the huge tree.Lots of birds had their homes in the tree and quite a few of the birds were making lot of beautiful sounds.

Now, Subroto happened to know the language of the birds. As he lay under the tree enjoying the breeze and the sounds, two words caught his attention “Sonar Barsa” . “Sonar Barsa? ” That meant Gold Rain. Where was the gold rain? He looked up and saw two parakeets discussing about the ” Sonar Barsa ” . They were talking of a magic cow which a magician in a nearby village had and how the magician wanted to gift it to the first  poor person who met him the next day early morning, as he was going away from the village. The cow it seems , was called “Sonar Barsa” since its dung turned into gold the moment it touched the ground. Subroto further understood from the conversation of the parakeets that they had overheard the magician talking to his cow that morning about his gifting her to the first poor person he saw the next day. Since he had not made his intention public, no one in the village knew of it.

Subroto jumped up. He wanted to go and get “Sonar Barsa”. He started walking fast , almost running and reached the magician’s house by evening. He saw a huge tree near the magician’s house and went and rested under the tree through the night, forgetting his hunger and thirst. He could hardly sleep. The next day early in the morning he rushed to the magician’s house and knocked the door. He met the magician and told him about his poverty and asked him if he could help him. He was careful enough not to mention about “Sonar Barsa” as he did not want the magician to know that he knew the secret. As expected, the magician led him to the back yard of the house and there was this beautiful black cow. The magician looked at Subroto and said, “Subroto, I shall be leaving this village in a few days from now . I am going on a Yatra to the Himalayas and I am disposing all my belongings.” Pointing  to the cow, the magician continued, “Here is my darling cow Sonar Barsa. She is called so because the moment her dung touches the ground, it turns into Gold. Take her with you and look after her well and she will take care of you and your poverty will vanish in a few days”. Subroto’s eyes were wide open with joy , his mouth dropping!!. He could not believe his luck. “Thank you, Oh Thank you Sir! Thank you so much Sir!!” said Subroto as he prepared to leave with the cow. “Be careful” said the magician, “the country is full of crooks”.

Subroto started walking back to his village. Now, he could face Moitree with pride and gift her all the gold she wanted in her life. He was happily walking with the cow in tow and by the time it was noon, he was feeling very very tired. It was a hot day and he had in his excitement not slept for the whole night.

He sighted a large shady tree and thinking that he would take a short nap, tied Sonar Barsa to the tree and lay down. Suddenly he heard lot of birds chirping, and woke up with a jerk. To his dismay, he  found that it was past sunset. Lots of birds had come back  to their nests. Thankfully, Sonar Barsa remained tied to the tree. Subroto was in a dilemma. He could not reach his village if he started his journey so late and he was afraid of walking through the lonely roads through the night. Suddenly Subroto remembered that his old friend Dipankar lived in the next village. “Well, I hope Dipankar is at home” thought Subroto. “I shall try my luck and spend the night there”, he thought. He led Sonar Barsa and reached Dipankar’s small house in the next village. Dipankar was very much there and was very surprised at the sudden arrival of Subroto. Dipankar was a rich fellow but was miserly. So he and his wife offered Subroto a simple meal which Subroto had with much relish as he had not eaten for days. Dipankar enquired about why Subroto was there and that too with a cow!!. Subroto was a naive guy and was not used to lying and so he told him the whole story .  Dipankar was jealous.” Why should this guy become richer than me ? ” he thought. He struck upon an idea. He also had a jet black cow. Quietly when Subroto was sleeping, he interchanged the cows and tied his cow where Sonar Barsa was tied. In the morning poor Subroto, in his anxiety to reach home, got up early and bade good bye to his friend and took the black cow and walked home.

“Look Moitree , look what I have brought!” he yelled in a loud voice. Moitree was relieved to see Subroto back but was not happy at the sight of the cow. “There is no food for us, how will we feed the cow?” she thought and started chiding Subroto, when he told her of the wonder the cow possessed. Moitree did not believe but then sat down near the cow’s hind looking eagerly as to when it would expel some dung. She did not have to wait long. In a few minutes there was dung.  “Pacchaack…..Pacchaack…” the dung hit the floor and splashed on Moitree’s nose. But it remained as dung much to the annoyance of the couple. Moitree flew into a rage and started yelling at Subroto. Subroto did not know what to do and hurriedly left the home. He felt that the magician had cheated him. He was sad that all his time had been wasted. He was dejected and did not know what to do. Finally , he decided to go and fight with the magician. He walked so fast with anger that he reached the magician’s house by evening.

The magician looked at him questioningly and before Subroto could open his mouth, asked him, “So where did you lose Sonar Barsa, huh?” Subroto was shocked. Only then it occurred to him that his stay at Dipankar’s place could have been the reason for losing Sonar Barsa. He meekly told the magician that he did not know, but that he had stayed in his friend’s house the last night.

“Look” said the magician, handing him a rope and a sturdy stick. “Take this for tending your cow. Now go and stay tonight at your friend’s house and go back tomorrow to your house. Hm.” The magician’s voice was so commanding that Subroto did not speak one word and reached Dipankar’s house.

Dipankar had gotten  a chunk of gold dung that day and was extremely happy but was alarmed at the sight of Subroto. But Subroto did not show any of the ill feelings and on his own told Dipankar that he had come to get the stick and rope from the magician for tending his cow. Dipankar was curious about what would be magical about the stick and rope. Well, maybe he could beat Sonar Barsa with the stick to get more dung gold , he thought. As on the earlier day Subroto was entertained with a good meal and just as Subroto went to sleep, Dipankar came with a similar looking rope and stick to replace the stick and rope given by the magician. Just as he touched the rope , Zeeeeeeeeeng …., it wound itself around Dipankar tying his hands and legs and the stick started jumping about whacking Dipankar hard on his hands and knees . “Ooh! Aah ! Oooh! Aaah! Don’t Beat Don’t Beat” yelled Dipankar at the top of his voice. But the stick was in no mood to listen. Hearing the noise,Dipankar’s wife came running and she was horrified to see Dipankar being beaten. She tried to catch the stick but it whacked he also on her nose and continued whacking Dipankar.

Subroto was also woken up by the noise and he rushed to the hall where Dipankar was being beaten up by the stick. On seeing Subroto, Dipankar yelled, “Subroto, forgive me, I stole your cow.  Aah! Please please aaah …. aaask the stick to stop.” Subroto was shocked to see Dipankar being beaten up and more shocked that his friend had stolen Sonar Barsa. But being a good man, he ordered, “Stop! O stick Stop.” The stick came to Subroto’ s hand and the rope unwound itself from Dipankar’s body and coiled itself into a neat bundle.

Dipankar felt thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour and asked for forgiveness from Subroto. He gave back Sonar Barsa and told Subroto to keep the other cow also. Subroto, now a happy man, went back to his home. Moitree was sitting at the doorstep and the moment she saw Subroto bringing another black cow, she took the broom and was about to hurl it at Subroto when “Pacchaack” Sonar Barsa dropped some dung. The moment it touched the ground, it turned into gold. Moitree was awe struck. She pinched herself to see if this was real. She ran to Subroto and asked for forgiveness for her actions .

Subroto, being a good hearted man forgave her and Sonar Barsa rained gold everyday and the couple lived happily in comfort and helped lot of poor people with their unending charity!!

This is the story of “Sonar Barsa”.

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