SHORT STORY: THREE REFUGEES … lessons of life
Once upon a time during the partition of India there were three refugees who landed up in Calcutta. They had walked for many miles over the days and were tired and hungry. They were looking for alms as they had no money to buy food.
As tired souls they looked around the streets, markets and even nearby colonies but no one provided them with either money nor food. Tired, they filled their stomach with some tap water, after which, they walked across the road, and entered a park, to rest under a tree.
They had not even, adequately, befriended themselves, even when, they were together for the last couple of days, because their focus was on rest and food as they were tired, hungry and even sick. For them crossing the border, organizing food, water, shelter and survival was the immediate priority during the days that they had traveled together, and not so much befriending themselves.
Their hunger was now reaching a burst point. When a group of people from a charitable organisation came up to their rescue, having realised they were refugees. They gave them a dozen bananas each. Upon receiving the bananas they were thrilled, and they started jumping in joy as if they had recovered a lost fortune.
Soon, the first refugee who appeared the most hungry had all the bananas in a go and burped loudly, and then decided to rest.
The second refugee had six out of them and kept the balance six bananas close to his chest and decided to take some rest.
The third refugee, after having six bananas got up and told the remaining two, that he is going up, to the nearby market and will return soon.
Now see what happens:
The first refugee who had finished all the bananas was rather puzzled at the banana-behaviour of the balance two refugees. As hitherto, they were cribbing, they were extremely hungry and could even finish a man, but when they got bananas to eat, they didn’t finish it. By now about half-an-hour had passed when he saw the third refugee walking back without bananas in his hand. Upon seeing the third refugee without bananas, number one’s inquisition started tickling him. He couldn’t resist anymore, so without waiting for third refugee, he suddenly asked the second one.
‘Arrey yaar, you were so hungry but you didn’t finish all the bananas. Why are you keeping these six bananas with you?’
The second refugee replied, ‘I have kept it for the evening. For who knows in this unknown city you might not get any charity again, so as a precaution I have kept it for my dinner.’
‘And, what about you? You had gone out with six bananas but now you have none with you.’ The first refugee asked the third refugee.
‘Well … well I ate six and sold six and now I have money for two more meals.’ Replied the third person.
The story conveys a smart worldly message. The first refugee ate all the bananas thinking some other Good Samaritan or God perhaps will not let him go hungry. The second refugee showed a streak of saving and cautiousness for the rainy day so he ate six and kept six for dinner but the third refugee had that entrepreneurial drive so he ate six and sold six.
Introspect, what would you have done under the circumstances?
Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi
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