By Kamlesh Tripathi
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 some alms as they had no money to buy food.
As tired souls they looked around the streets, markets and nearby colonies but no one provided them with either money or food. Tired, they filled their stomach with tap water and walked across the road and entered a park to rest under the tree.
They were not known to each other even when they were together over the last few days. They were tired, hungry and even feeling sick; and so crossing the border, arranging for food, water, shelter and more appropriately survival, was the priority, over the days, they travelled together.
Their hunger was almost reaching a burst point, when a group of people from some charitable organisation came to them, having realised they were refugees, and gave a dozen bananas to each of the three. Seeing the bananas they were thrilled and started jumping in joy as if they had recovered a lost fortune.
And soon one out of them who appeared very hungry had all the bananas in one go and burped loudly, and decided to rest.
The second person had six bananas and decided to lie down, after keeping the balance six close to chest.
And the third person after having six bananas got up and told these two he is going up to the nearby market and will return soon.
The first person who had finished all the bananas was rather puzzled at banana-behaviour of these two; as hitherto they were cribbing, that were extremely hungry and when they got food to eat they didn’t finish. By now about half-an-hour had passed when he saw the third person walking back without bananas in his hand. Seeing the third person without bananas, number one’s inquisition started tickling him and he couldn’t resist when he asked the second person,
‘You were so hungry but you didn’t finish all the bananas, and why are you keeping these six?’
The person replied, ‘I have kept it for the evening. Who knows in this new city you might not get any food again so as a precaution I have kept it for dinner.’
‘And, what about you? You had gone out with six bananas but now you have none with you.’
‘Well I ate six and sold six and now I have money for two more meals.
The story conveys a worldly message. The first person ate all the bananas thinking some other Good Samaritan or God will not let him go hungry. The second person showed a streak of saving and cautiousness for the rainy day so he kept six for dinner and the third person had entrepreneurial drive so he ate six and sold six.
Introspect, what would you have done under such circumstances?