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

Tag: wife

A Tale From The Panchatantra – The Foolish Weaver

In one of the villages of southern India, there lived a weaver by name Mandharaka. Mandharaka was not very rich as he had no helpers and had to weave cloth by himself and with limited resources, he could not earn much money.

One day, while he was weaving a cloth, the weaving frame suddenly broke. The frame was made of wood and in those days, one had to make the frame himself. So Mandharaka set out to the forest which was near the seashore at the outskirts of the village. He surveyed the trees, taking time to choose a sturdy one. Finally he got a strong tree which was the best amongst all.

As he raised his axe to start cutting the tree, he heard a voice, “Halt!” Surprised, he looked up to see who had ordered him to halt. High up on one of the branches, he saw a Yaksha, a celestial being, sitting in a relaxed manner. The Yaksha smiled at Mandharaka and said, “Do not cut this tree, my friend.  I am a Yaksha and this is my place of dwelling. And I love this tree as it is facing the sea and I get a lot of cool breeze. Choose some other tree!”

Mandharaka was surprised, but he told the Yaksha, “I need this tree only for making my weaving frame as this is the sturdiest tree around here. If I do not make a frame, I cannot weave and my family will starve to death”. The Yaksha thought for a while and said, “Will you stop cutting the tree if I give you a boon?”  Mandharaka was confused and said, “I need some time. Can I consult my friends and wife and decide on the boon? I shall come back tomorrow”. “Okay, as you wish”, said the Yaksha. “You may come here tomorrow and I shall give you a boon”.

Mandharaka, started walking back home, in a totally confused state of mind as he did not know what boon to ask the Yaksha. He met his barber friend near the outskirts of the village and told him what had happened. “I am in a fix as to what boon to ask!” said Mandharaka. “What is the confusion about? “asked his friend, “Ask the Yaksha to make you a King and you can live your whole life in luxury. I shall be your Minister. Come, let’s go back and ask the Yaksha”

“Wait, wait,” said Mandharaka, “I shall have to consult my wife also.”

“Your wife??, Do not mistake me my friend, but women are not to be relied upon for taking such important  decisions. Women  know to choose good silks and jewellery, but not something like a boon, which is very very rare. Have you not heard the saying that a whole kingdom  can be destroyed by a woman ? So, I advise you not to consult your wife but take the decision yourself or listen to me”  said the friend.

Mandharaka was even more confused and said, “Friend, whatever you say, I shall have to ask my wife. I shall come tomorrow” So saying, he headed home.

He told his wife what had happened and also the boon suggested by  his friend. “ Throw his idea to the winds” said the wife. “What intelligence will a barber have? Do not be foolish to ask for a Kingdom. Do you not know how Rama suffered, or the Pandavas suffered in exile? Ruling a kingdom  means a lot of foes and enmity . Do you want to spend your life waging wars against brothers and cousins instead of leading a peaceful life huh??”

Poor Mandharaka felt that his head would split into a thousand pieces. “ Okay, at least tell me what I should ask and I shall do so” said he.

“ Ask the Yaksha to give you one more head and another pair of arms” said the wife. “With one head and two hands you can weave enough for our daily needs, and with the other head and pair of hands, you can weave extra cloth for earning extra money  for our luxuries”.

Without thinking any further, Mandharaka went back to the Yaksha, the next morning and asked him the boon suggested by the wife.

The Yaksha had no problem granting the boon and the next second, Mandharaka  had two heads and four arms. The moment he neared the village, he was spotted by some urchins who shouted, “Monster, Monster…..” and in a minute, he was surrounded by people with sticks and axes beating him and in a few minutes he lay dead.

This is what happens to a person who has no wits of his own, or does not listen to his clever friends and acts without prudence.

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.

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