Tag Archives: villagers

SHORT STORY: BRIGHT IDEAS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Bright Ideas come from Intelligent people

    A long time ago there once lived a person named Raju in a tiny village located near a river. He was disabled and couldn’t walk normally therefore he was forced to lead a lonely life. He used to stay with his mother in a small hut by the riverside which was a little away from the village. Over a period of time, the villagers had more or less abandoned Raju. They thought he was a spent force as he never had much to talk about except for the same old routine stuff concerning his hut’s rustic vicinities, which didn’t interest the village folks, anymore.

    Once a learned person landed up on the banks of the river near Raju’s hut. The person had arrived on a boat. As he reached the riverbank he stopped for a moment and looked at Raju. Raju said, ‘Namaskar sahib.’

    The learned person asked, ‘What is your name and what do you do?’ Raju replied, ‘Sahib, my name is Raju. But I’m unable to do much in life because I can’t walk properly as I’m disabled and therefore I lead a lonely life here in the vicinities of this village.’

    ‘But why so?’ Asked the learned person.

    ‘Because I have no friends here and my fellow villagers don’t give me enough respect. They don’t talk to me either because they find me to be a stale piece because I stay put here only.’ Raju then narrated his agony to the learned person. He had no friends and no one talked to him. He was discarded by the villagers because he had nothing new to talk about since he had not visited new places in his life so his reservoir of knowledge was very limited and that’s why he was considered an antique piece in the village and thus shunned.

    The learned man looked at Raju and said, ‘that if you don’t get the opportunity to talk to human beings talk to birds.’

    ‘But how will that help sahib?’ Asked Raju. The learned person looked at him again and said, ‘well that the birds will only tell you.’ After which the learned person left for his destination.

    The next day Raju waited for the birds near his hut thinking he’ll talk to them but none came. The next few days too, the same thing happened. One day Raju saw a bird gyrating up and down near his hut in search of some food which gave him an idea. He sprinkled some paddy seeds there and waited for a while. After some time he saw a couple of birds landing there to eat them. Soon a small flock was seen there enjoying the seeds as their food. Later Raju also kept a pitcher full of water there and the place soon turned into a ‘bird’s canteen.’ He and his mother started enjoying the scene. Soon every morning and evening a number of birds started coming there and gradually they became familiar with Raju and his mother. Soon Raju realised what a priceless tip the learned man had given him. Now he could do without the villagers’ company.

    After some days a rich merchant landed up at the same spot where the learned person had earlier arrived. He asked Raju if he had seen a learned person passing that way. Raju confirmed that yes a learned person did pass that way some time ago and because of his advice only he was having a good time amid the chattering birds. By this time Raju had also learnt their language and had started communicating with the birds; some of them had even become his friends and had even started perching on his shoulders.

    The merchant asked, ‘in which direction did the learned man, go? Raju said, ‘Well, he went towards the east.’

    ‘What is your name young man?’ Asked the Merchant.

    ‘Sahib my name is Raju.’ He replied.

    ‘What do you do Raju?’ Asked the Merchant.

    ‘Sahib, I feed birds and I also communicate with them.’

    ‘What else can you do Raju?’ Asked the merchant.

    ‘Since I can’t walk properly I can’t go anywhere so I can’t do much.’ Replied Raju.

    ‘Then spend some time next to the river every day. The flowing river that has seen the world will teach you so many things.’ Said the Merchant after which he left.

    The next morning Raju went and sat on the riverbank. After a while, he saw a boat passing from there. It was heading towards the south. Raju loudly asked the boatman, ‘where are you going?’ The boatman replied, ‘towards the sea where all the rivers meet the sea.’

    The next day Raju saw another boat heading in the opposite direction. He asked the boatman, ‘where are you going?’ The boatman replied, ‘towards the north where all the mountains reside.’ Raju thought, so what if he can’t walk, he can at least see places by sailing in a boat as his hands were perfectly fine. Soon, he sold a piece of his land out of his small holding and bought a small boat and became a boatman. He started sailing towards the north and south the two directions of the river. He even started taking the villagers across the river and with that he once again became relevant in their lives and started drawing respect from them.

    After some time, one day, Raju saw the learned person and the merchant arriving at the riverbank together. They wanted to cross the river. They recognised Raju and asked what he was doing in that boat. Raju explained that he had now become a boatman. He thanked the learned man for his good advice because of which he learned to talk to the birds that made innumerable friends. He even thanked the Merchant for motivating him to sit near the river that gave him the idea of becoming a boatman as his hands were fit enough to row the boat, even when, he could not walk normally and because of this he could see innumerable places and once again become relevant in the lives of the villagers.

    The merchant said never leave the company of a learned man. I lost the learned man once yet I followed him and met you instead, Raju. You told me he has gone towards the east and I followed him there where I found him. So never leave the company of a Wiseman.

    ‘Yes, said Raju, bright ideas come only from intelligent people. The learned sahib only showed me the way. He asked me to befriend the chattering birds instead of human beings that taught me how to respectfully live without the villagers, and you, respected merchant, showed me how to go places, even without, proper legs. There isn’t a greater asset than an intelligent company. Great ideas come from intelligent people only. Now can I take you both across the river?’ Asked Raju. ‘Yes of course.’ Replied the two.

Written by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our Publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai; Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida; India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh and Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K; Herrick District Library, Holland and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, USA; Black Gold Cooperative Library Administration, Arroyo Grande, California).

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories, Book reviews and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: 1.Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; 2.Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; 3. Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; 4. Indica, 15.8.20; 5. The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; 6. Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. 7. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; 8. Happy Days, November 15, 2020; 9. The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15, 2020; 10. Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; 11. Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; 12. Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021; 13. Reformed Ruler, May 15, 2021; 14. A Lasting Name, May 31, 2021; 15. Are Animals Better Teachers?, June 16, 2021; 16. Book Review: The Gram Swaraj, 1.7.21; 17. Right Age for Achievements, 15.7.21; 18. Big Things Have Small Beginnings, 15.8.21; 19. Where is Gangaridai?, 15.9.21; 20. Confront the Donkey Within You 30.9.21; 21. Know Your Strengths 15.10.21; 22. Poverty 15.11.21; 23. Top View 30.11.21; 24. The Bansuriwala 15.1.22; 25. Sale of Alaska 15.2.22; 26. The Dimasa Kingdom 28.2.22; 27. Buried Treasure 15.4.22; 28. The Kingdom of Pragjyotisha 30.4.22; 29. Who is more useful? 15.5.22; 30. The White Swan from Lake Mansarovar 30.6.22;

(ALL THE ABOVE BOOK TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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SHORT STORY: THE VILLAGERS AND THE SNAKE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Thousands of years ago, a group of villagers approached a saintly man who was meditating inside a cave in a mountain. Years of meditation had given him the wisdom to solve any problem that came his way. Restless and scared the villagers approached him, when one out of them pleaded, ‘O Sadhu baba! Please help us. There is a large venomous snake that is terrorising the whole village.’ But the sage did not respond. As he was in deep meditation. The villagers looked at each other and then nudged their spokesman to speak again. ‘You can hear the hiss of the snake from miles. He cunningly bites anyone on his path, regardless of whether or not he is threatened. As a consequence of this, we are all fearful, to venture out in the fields all by ourselves, which has led to our crops dying for want of care. The snake’s venom is not the only thing that is killing us one by one. We are also dying because of starvation. So, we beg of you to help us.’

    The saint was compassionate, soft and a spiritual-minded person. After understanding the gravity of the situation. He got up from his straw mat and looked at the villagers. ‘Let’s find that snake,’ he said softly. The villagers cheered at this. They now saw hope, and thought, the Saint will solve their problem. So they trailed behind him in search of their hissing enemy.

    As they approached the deserted ghost land, which was once their home, the scary sound of the snake echoed from the other side of the village. It approached the group of villagers at great speed, paying no regard to their pitchforks nor their torches of fire. The villagers fled for their lives. But the saint stood there, undeterred by the hooded creature that came to attack him. The snake’s slithering and undulating green and black scales shimmered majestically in the sunlight. What beauty! The saint exclaimed.

    This confused the snake since the saint wasn’t fleeing like the rest of its prey. The snake stopped and stared at him. ‘Come ahead, you magnificent creature,’ yelled the saint. The snake, who had never been treated with such kindness before, was mesmerized by these fascinating words. The warmth of the saint’s words, replaced the heat of the blazing fire, it was used to. For a moment the snake lost all its ferocity, and glided towards the saint, and coiled up meekly by his feet in reverence. The villagers, some of them hiding in the trees, and some on the other side of the fields, couldn’t hear this conversation between the two. They looked on from a distance, astounded by what they were now seeing.

    ‘I am stunned by your beauty.’ Said the saint to the snake, as if they were old friends. ‘But why do you frighten these villagers? The snake responded by lowering its hood. ‘Leave your destructive ways and do not terrorise the poor villagers needlessly. Stop biting them—they are no match for you. There is plenty for you to eat in the forest.’ Rattled the saint. Upon hearing this the snake bowed at the saint, and resolved to leave the villagers alone. It had taken a new vow.

    Soon the snake began a new life of innocence, without attempting to harm anyone. From that day onwards the villagers had become elated. Their crop yield doubled, their cattle grazed without fear and even their children played games in the forest. The saint returned to his cave to continue his spiritual journey. A happy story? Not yet

    Some months later, the saint came down from the mountain to beg for food from the villagers, just enough to keep him alive. As he travelled to the village, he saw the same snake, coiled up near the root of a tree, lying mangled, practically dead, its scales had fallen off, it looked emaciated and injured, with sores all over his body.

    ‘My dear friend what happened to you? The saint enquired in deep concern.

    ‘This is the fruit of being good.’ The snake replied. Although, his venom had dried up, yet he spoke with bitterness. ‘I obeyed you. I gave up my tormenting ways. I left the villagers alone and stopped attacking them. But in the process see what has happened to me. Everyone pelts me with stones, beats me with sticks, and even children tease me and drag me mercilessly by my tail. I am now a laughing stock. However, I have kept my promise to you.’

    The saint smiled and said, ‘Dear snake you did what I had asked you to do. But you didn’t understand my discourse, in the right spirit. I had told you not to bite them, but I had said nothing, about stopping, your ferocious hiss, that could deter people for miles on end.’

    The snake uncoiled itself and finally understood what it had to do to survive. The villagers trembled once again as the hissing sound of the snake, returned to the area, like a bad dream. But now the snake exactly knew, where to draw the line, the laxman rekha. And thereafter both the villagers and the snake lived happily.

    Moral of the story: Humility or meekness does not mean you’re a weakling. Everyone was scared of the snake as long as he was wild and used to bite people. But when he adopted to a peaceful living the villagers started poking, fun at him. And when the saint re-appeared in his life, and advised him again, he was able to find the right balance to lead a happy life and so did the villagers.

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

Stone Soup

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

         Once upon a time a kind old stranger was walking through the forest when he came across a village. But as he entered the village he saw something very strange. The villagers were scared and started moving towards their homes, and even closing their doors and windows.

    The stranger could not understand this behavior of the villagers. So he smiled and asked, ‘friends how come you all are so frightened of me. I’m just a traveler looking for a safe place to stay and a warm heart for a meal.’

    But the villagers looked at him apprehensively and said, ‘there’s not a bite to eat. The whole province is under famine. As a result we have not eaten and have grown weak and even our children are starving. So you better keep moving on.’

     ‘Oh! You needn’t worry. I have everything I need.’ He said. ‘In fact I was planning to make some stone soup to share with you all.’ And with that he pulled out an iron cauldron from his luggage and filled it with water and began to build a fire under it.

    Then, in a ceremonial fashion he drew an ordinary looking stone from a silken bag and dropped it in the water.

    This spread a rumour about food. When, most villagers came out of their homes or started watching from their windows. As the stranger sniffed the “broth” and started licking his lips in anticipation. Is, when, hunger started overcoming fear in the village. 

    ‘Wow! What a soup!’ said the stranger, ‘I love this tasty stone soup.’ And of course, stone soup with cabbage—is hard to beat.’

    Soon a villager approached hesitantly. He was holding a small cabbage he’d retrieved from his place of hiding and dropped it in the pot.

    ‘Wonderful!’ cried the stranger. ‘You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of mutton and believe me the dish was only fit for a king.”

    The village butcher managed to find some mutton and dropped it in the pot. And so the stranger went on and on. When, the villagers one by one dropped potatoes, onions, carrots, mushroom and some other vegetables and lentils until there was a sumptuous meal for everyone in the village to share.

    The villager elder offered the stranger a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell it and decided to continue with his travel the next day.

    But as he left, the stranger came upon a group of village children standing near the road. He gave the silken bag containing the stone to the youngest child, while whispering to the group, “It was not the stone, but the villagers that had performed the magic.” 

Moral of the story:  There is no alternative to team work and team spirit.

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     The story is based on Marcia Brown’s 1947 children’s book, Stone Soup 1947

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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