Many a times, I wonder: why didn’t I let go that strain, that weight , that argument, that grudge, that greed, that obsession, that blind pursuit… long before? Why did I have to go through such a grind? Such churning of soul? Endure such turmoil and pain?
Letting go of any pursuit… any thing, in fact, is tough.
The churning of our soul has to happen,
the heart has to bleed a little…
the mind has to see the futility.
We should become tired... Yes, tired of our blind pursuits!
I first read this lovely parable in Ramakrishna Paramahasa’s book. I have told this story to so many and each time, I tell it or read it, it invariably makes my heart smile. “Hey, this is me.”
One late afternoon, the fishermen had just returned after their daily catch and they were busy sorting out the fish in their boat. Suddenly, from nowhere, a Kite swooped down on the boat and picked a tiny fish by its beak, and it shot back into the sky. As soon as that happened, there appeared in the sky a hundred crows. They began to follow the Kite, screeching like mad. Whichever direction the Kite took, the crows followed it. It took left, the crows chased him there; the Kite took right, the crows followed him, too. The Kite shot up into heights, the crows did too… the Kite nose-dived into the sea, the crows plunged too. The chase went on and on… neither the Kite nor the crows willing to give up, let go.
Finally, the Kite felt tired. It decided to drop the fish down. So, it let the fish go off its beak. Immediately, the crows left the Kite alone and went after the falling fish… screeching and screaming with even more madness.
The Kite, left with no steam in its body, slowly settled on the branch of a nearby tree. Sitting there, relieved of the entire burden, it watched in delight the blind chase that was still on. “There goes with that wretched fish,” it reasoned, “all my woes.”
I like this parable so much. “Hey, this is me!” I keep telling myself every time I read or narrate it. Yes, this Kite is me. The ‘wretched’ fish is what I desperately try to hold on to – my blind pursuits. The hundred screeching crows are my miseries, my woes. The branch of the tree is where I am supposed to be!
So, every time I revisit this little fable, I find myself asking these questions, too:
“Why did the Kite pick the ‘wretched’ fish, in the first place?”
“Even if it did, why did it have to endure so long the struggle? Why didn’t it drop the fish the moment it sighted its tormentors?”
“Why in the world, the hundred crows had to go after this one little fish when there was a boat-full... More than their fill for each one of them?”
“Who were the crows after? The Kite or the fish?”
“Who was blind – the Kite or the crows?”
“Who was wise?”
“And yes, why didn’t the wisdom come before?”