Saturday, July 30, 2016

THE TIGER AND THE COW







Pic.: Mini Milind


Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

I like this little story immensely. It helps me remain aligned to some of the values I believe in. When everyone around keeps telling me, certain people cannot be trusted, when everyone around me keeps telling me to make a ‘fast kill’… I remember this story… My sweet first-standard teacher had dramatized it as a musical…

Incidentally, my teacher’s name was Mrs. Satyawati… The truthful one.



THE TIGER AND THE COW



PAST:


One late evening, a cow was returning to her home through a jungle. A hungry tiger came to attack her. She was the ideal dinner for the hungry tiger.

 “Master,” the cow cried before the hungry and fierce tiger, “I know you are hungry and need me for your dinner.” She continued, “But, please be little kind. I have my little child at home, who is hungry and waiting for me to come and feed. Please allow me to do it… I promise to you that I will come back and offer myself for your dinner.”

Obviously, the tiger did not believe the cow. It said, “You think I should believe you? Remember, I am not a fool.”

“Trust me Master, I will not go back on my word.” The cow pleaded. “Have mercy on my little child… I will return to you after I feed and send my child to sleep.”

“It is hard for me to trust,” the tiger announced. “I will not let you go.”

“Please my Master… for my little one’s sake,” the cow kept pleading, “Trust me, I will come back to you. I will not break my promise.”

“Alright then,” the angry tiger roared, “remember, if you break your promise, I shall have your child too along with you for my dinner. Understand?”

The cow thanked the tiger and headed towards her home.

After feeding its child and sending it to sleep, the cow proceeded back to the tiger. By now, the tiger had already concluded in his mind that the cow would not return. So, when he saw the cow back before him, he was shocked! “It is unbelievable,” he exclaimed in his mind, “What a rare species is this!”

“Master, I have come… I have kept my promise,” the cow said gently. “Please take your dinner.”

The tiger’s heart melted at this. “No, I cannot do that with you. You are too good, too honest to be harmed.”

“My Maser, it is late and you must be hungry,” the cow cried, “please take me for your dinner.”

“I am moved by your honesty, O the truthful one,” the tiger repeated, “Please go back to your little one.”

The cow, too, was touched by the tiger’s gesture. She thanked him profusely and returned to her home.


.
PRESENT:


One late evening, a cow is returning to her home through a jungle. A hungry tiger comes to attack her. She is the ideal dinner for the hungry tiger.

 “Master,” the cow cries before the hungry and fierce tiger, “I know you are hungry and need me for your dinner.” She continues, “But, please be little kind. I have my little child at home, who is hungry and waiting for me to come and feed. Please allow me to do it… I promise to you that I will come back and offer myself for your dinner.”

Obviously, the tiger does not believe the cow. It says, “You think I should believe you? Remember, I am not a fool.”

“Trust me Master, I will not go back on my word.” The cow pleads. “Have mercy on my little child… I will return to you after I feed and send my child to sleep.”

“It is hard for me to trust,” the tiger announces. “I will not let you go.”

“Please my Master… for my little one’s sake,” the cow keeps pleading, “Trust me, I will come back to you. I will not break my promise.”

“Alright then,” the angry tiger roars “remember, if you break your promise, I shall have your child too along with you for my dinner. Understand?”

The cow thanks the tiger and headed towards her home.

After feeding its child and sending it to sleep, the cow proceeds back to the tiger. By now, the tiger has already concluded in his mind that the cow will not return. So, when he sees the cow back before him, he is shocked! “It is unbelievable,” he exclaims in his mind, “What a rare species is this!”

“Master, I have come… I have kept my promise,” the cow says gently. “Please take your dinner.”

The tiger’s heart melts at this. “No, I cannot do that with you. You are too good, too honest to be harmed.”

“My Maser, it is late and you must be hungry,” the cow cries, “please take me for your dinner.”

“I am moved by your honesty, O the truthful one,” the tiger repeats, “Please go back to your little one.”

The cow, too, is touched by the tiger’s gesture. She thanks him profusely and returns to her home.



GERALD D'CUNHA


TENALI RAMA’S CAT









Pic.: Vincent D'Souza


Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

I, often, recount this Tenali tale to some of my students… to remind them, that, the cats, which are over-fed with milk, are least interested in catching the mice!



TENALI RAMA’S CAT


PAST:

Once, the King of Vijayanagara,  Krishnadeva Raya, began to receive many complaints from the poor farmers in his kingdom. The mice were destroying their crop and they wanted their King to do something about it.

After consulting his advisors, the King imported hundreds of cats from Persia to end the mice menace. He also arranged for plenty of cows. He handed to each of his farmers a cat and a cow and declared, “See that the cat is fed well with cow’s milk; every month there will be an inspection to check whether the cat is maintained hale and hearty or not. If not, punishment will be meted out!”

Not wanting to invite their King’s ire, the farmers began to feed their cats with ample milk. When King’s officers came to inspect, they were delighted to behold very, very happy and flabby cats in the entire kingdom.  However, there was one case that certainly deserved King’s punishment… and, it was Tenali Rama. His cat was all skin and bones!

Krishnadeva Raya was furious. He immediately summoned Tenali. “Why is your cat in such a sorry state? Why did you fail to feed it well?” the King thundered.

“How could I feed milk to my cat, Your Majesty,” Tenali said to his King meekly, “when she is unwilling to drink it?”

“Impossible,” reacted the King showing even more anger, “how the hell are we supposed to believe that a cat is not interested in milk?”

So, Tenali had to prove before his King and the court that he was not lying. A bowl of fresh milk of his cow was placed in front of everyone. Then, he brought his skinny cat and kept her near the bowl. As soon as the cat saw the milk bowl, it sped for her life!

The King and the courtiers were stunned!

The King was quick to comment, “I know what you have done, Tenali. You have served her hot milk and burnt her mouth; she is too scared of the milk now!”


“With all my due respect to Your Majesty,” Tenali said to his King, “don’t you think that the cats,  over-fed with milk, are least interested in catching mice?”



PRESENT:

(Once), the King of Vijayanagara,  Krishnadeva Raya, begins to receive many complaints from the poor farmers in his kingdom. The mice are destroying their crop and they want their King to do something about it.

After consulting his advisors, the King imports hundreds of cats from Persia to end the mice menace. He also arranges for plenty of cows. He hands to each of his farmers a cat and a cow and declares, “See that the cat is fed well with cow’s milk; every month there will be an inspection to check whether the cat is maintained hale and hearty or not. If not, punishment will be meted out!”

Not wanting to invite their King’s ire, the farmers begin to feed their cats with ample milk. When King’s officers come to inspect, they are delighted to behold very, very happy and flabby cats in the entire kingdom.  However, there is one case that certainly deserves King’s punishment… and, it is Tenali Rama. His cat is all skin and bones!

Krishnadeva Raya is furious. He immediately summons Tenali. “Why is your cat in such a sorry state? Why did you fail to feed it well?” the King thunders.

“How could I feed milk to my cat, Your Majesty,” Tenali says to his King meekly, “when she is unwilling to drink it?”

“Impossible,” reacts the King showing even more anger, “how the hell are we supposed to believe that a cat is not interested in milk?”

So, Tenali has to prove before his King and the court that he is not lying. A bowl of fresh milk of his cow is placed in front of everyone. Then, he brings his skinny cat and keeps her near the bowl. As soon as the cat sees the milk bowl, it speeds for her life!

The King and the courtiers are stunned!

The King is quick to comment, “I know what you have done, Tenali. You have served her hot milk and burnt her mouth; she is too scared of the milk now!”


“With all my due respect to Your Majesty,” Tenali said to his King, “don’t you think that the cats, over-fed with milk, are least interested in catching mice?”



GERALD D’CUNHA





Friday, July 29, 2016

THE CAMEL AND THE FOX









Pic..: Chetna Shetty


Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

Every time I see a ‘fox’ around me, I think of this story… and, yes, I console myself!



THE CAMEL AND THE FOX

 PAST:

A camel and a fox had become friends. There was a sugarcane field on the other side of the river and, often, the camel carried the fox on his back across for food.

One day, after crossing the river, the camel slowly started munching the sugarcane while the fox quickly gobbled a couple of chicken from the farm. Once his stomach was full, the fox began to howl loudly.

“What are you doing?” cried the shocked camel, “I have not yet finished eating and you are inviting trouble for us.”

“You know what, my friend,” justified the fox with a broad mischief on his face, “I have this great habit of singing happily after a sumptuous meal.”

“But, what about the danger?” Before the camel could complete his sentence, the farmer was already there with a large stick in hand…

The fox, being agile and cunning, escaped, but the camel, being large and slow, got the nasty stick!

Finally, the camel managed to get into the river and quickly the fox jumped on camel’s back prodding, “Let’s go… Let’s go… Hurry!”

They had reached the middle of the river… and, all of a sudden, the camel started rolling in the water….

“Hey, what are you doing?” the fox yelled in fear, “You know I can’t swim.”

“You know what, my friend,” justified the camel with a broad mischief on his face, “I have this great habit of rolling happily in the water after a sumptuous meal.”

“But, what about the danger?” cried the fox… as he went down!



PRESENT:


A camel and a fox have become friends. There is a sugarcane field on the other side of the river and, often, the camel carries the fox on his back across for food.

One day, after crossing the river, the camel slowly starts munching the sugarcane while the fox quickly gobbles a couple of chicken from the farm. Once his stomach is full, the fox begins to howl loudly.

“What are you doing?” cries the shocked camel, “I have not yet finished eating and you are inviting trouble for us… You know very well that I can’t run.”

“You know what, my friend,” justifies the fox with a broad mischief on his face, “I have this great habit of singing happily after a sumptuous meal.”

“But, what about the danger?” Before the camel can complete his sentence, the farmer is already there with a large stick in hand…

The fox, being agile and cunning, escapes, but the camel, being large and slow, gets the nasty stick!

Finally, the camel manages to get into the river and quickly the fox jumps on camel’s back prodding, “Let’s go… Let’s go… Hurry!”

They have reached the middle of the river… and, all of a sudden, the camel starts rolling in the water….

“Hey, what are you doing?” the fox yells in fear, “You know very well I can’t swim.”

“You know what, my friend,” justifies the camel with a broad mischief on his face, “I have this great habit of rolling happily in the water after a sumptuous meal.”

“But, what about the danger?” cries the fox… as he goes down!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Thursday, July 28, 2016

CENTRE OF THE EARTH












Pic.: Kushboo Gulrajani


Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

Here is one more Mulla Nasruddin story… I can never have enough of them.




CENTRE OF THE EARTH


PAST.:

One day, when Mulla Nasruddin was in a foul mood, a scholar approached him and asked, “Hey Mulla, do you know where  centre of the Earth is?”


“Oh yes,” Mulla replied without even blinking.


“Where? Can you show me?” the know-all scholar challenged.


“Right here,” Mulla pointed, caressing sweetly his beloved donkey, “right under this right foot of my sweet donkey.”


There is no record, whether the Scholar had ventured to lift the right foot of Mulla’s donkey!


But, the story goes… even without that obvious end!



PRESENT:


One day, when Mulla Nasruddin is in a foul mood, a scholar approaches him and asks, “Hey Mulla, do you know where centre of the Earth is?”


“Oh yes,” Mulla replies without even blinking.


“Where? Can you show me?” the know-all scholar challenges.


“Right here, Mulla points, caressing sweetly his beloved donkey, “right under this right foot of my sweet donkey.”


There is no record, whether the scholar has ventured to lift the right foot of Mulla’s donkey!


But, the story goes… even without that obvious end!



GERALD D’CUNHA



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

HOW TO OUTSMART THE MONKEYS







Pic.: Kushboo Gulrajani

Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

This story is widely used in today’s Management Schools… Yes, just to convey the lesson:
You cannot solve your new problems using old techniques.



HOW TO OUTSMART 
THE MONKEYS


PAST:

Once, a cap-seller was passing through a forest. He was carrying a basketful of colorful caps. As he was very tired, he decided to take a short nap in the shade of a tree. While the cap-seller was fast asleep, a group of monkeys got down from the tree and took away a cap each. They climbed back the tree, and sat there, each one of them wearing a cap. When the cap-seller woke up, he was shocked to see his empty basket. Soon, his eyes fell on the monkeys and he began to scream at them… Monkeys, being great imitators, screamed back at the cap-seller. The cap-seller threw stones at the monkeys… The monkeys threw back the fruits they had in their hands. The cap-seller was angry and frustrated. Then, an idea flashed through his mind. He had observed how the monkeys were imitating each of his actions. So, he took off the cap he was wearing and threw it down on the ground. Immediately, all the caps fell off from the tree!

The cap-seller coolly gathered all the caps, tucked them in his basket and off he went… feeling proud of his victory. At night,  he delightfully narrated the entire story to his little grandson

Many years later, the cap-seller’s grandson, who had now become a cap-seller, happened to take rest under the same tree and the same episode repeated. Monkeys took his caps and they were sitting there on the tree pretty, each wearing a cap. But, the moment the grandson cap-seller realized what had happened, he remembered how his grandfather had outwitted the monkeys years ago. So, he did not waste time screaming abuses and throwing stones at the monkeys. He simply took off the cap from his head and threw it on the ground… convinced that caps would fall from the tree. But, they did not!

As the grandson cap-seller wondered why his grandfather’s trick hadn’t worked this time, one of the monkeys declared with loads of pride:
“Fool, don’t think that only you people have grandfathers… We have them, too!”

PRESENT:

(Once,) a cap-seller is passing through a forest. He is carrying a basketful of colorful caps. As he is very tired, he decides to take a short nap in the shade of a tree. While the cap-seller is fast asleep, a troop of monkeys get down from the tree and take away a cap each. They climb back the tree, and sit there, each one of them wearing a cap. When the cap-seller wakes up, he is shocked to see his empty basket. Soon, his eyes fall on the monkeys and he begins to scream at them… Monkeys, being great imitators, scream back at the cap-seller. The cap-seller throws stones at the monkeys… The monkeys throw back the fruits they had in their hands. The cap-seller is angry and frustrated. Then, an idea flashes through his mind. He has observed how the monkeys are imitating each of his actions. So, he takes off the cap he is wearing and throws it down on the ground. Immediately, all the caps fall off from the tree!

The cap-seller coolly gathers all the caps, tucks them in his basket and off he goes… feeling proud of his victory. At night, he delightfully narrates the entire story to his little grandson

Many years later, the cap-seller’s grandson, who has now become a cap-seller, happens to take rest under the same tree and the same episode repeats. Monkeys take his caps and they are sitting there on the tree pretty, each wearing a cap. But, the moment the grandson cap-seller realizes what has happened, he remembers how his grandfather has outsmarted the monkeys years ago. So, he does not waste time screaming abuses and throwing stones at the monkeys. He simply takes off the cap from his head and throws on the ground… convinced that caps would fall from the tree. But, they do not!

As the grandson cap-seller wonders why his grandfather’s trick hasn’t worked this time, one of the monkeys declares with loads of pride:
“Fool, don’t think that only you people have grandfathers… We have them, too!”


GERALD D’CUNHA

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

THE LION AND THE BULLS







Pic.: Mini Milind

Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found very effective – was telling a nice story in two tenses… the Present and the Past. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people, who were earnest about improving their English, with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and, then, tell it to someone…

United we stand, divided we fall There are many stories teaching us this simple truth… This is one of them… Timeless!



THE LION AND THE BULLS


PAST:

There lived in a jungle four wild bulls. They were close friends and always gazed together, rested together… It was so wonderful just to watch them being together. 

A lion lived in the same jungle. He wanted to kill the bulls for his meal. But, as they always moved together, he was afraid to attack them. For days on, the lion kept a vigil on the four bulls… He wanted them to break their unity… be alone. He was waiting for that moment… He wanted the bulls to fight among themselves and break their unity.

And, soon, that day came. A small disagreement among the bulls flared up into a huge conflict. The conflict brought about the split, which their enemy, the lion, was looking for. The four bulls went in four different directions and decided to live alone.

The lion’s wait was over. He attacked and feasted on the bulls, one by one.

PRESENT:


There live in a jungle four wild bulls. They are close friends and always gaze together, rest together… It is so wonderful just to watch them being together. 

A lion lives in the same jungle. He wants to kill the bulls for his meal. But, as they always move together, he is afraid to attack them. For days on, the lion keeps a vigil on the four bulls… He wants them to break their unity… be alone. He is waiting for that moment… He wants the bulls to fight among themselves and break their unity.

And, soon, that day comes. A small disagreement among the bulls flares up into a huge conflict. The conflict brings about the split, which their enemy, the lion, is looking for. The four bulls go in four different directions and decide to live alone.

The lion’s wait is over. He attacks and feasts on the bulls, one by one.



GERALD D’CUNHA


Monday, July 25, 2016

MY BUCKET LIST AND THE SEVEN JARS OF GOLD







Pic.: Avinash Mantri



Many years ago, I had found this story in the book ‘Tales and Parables of Sri. Ramakrishna’ by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. I was a young man in my early twenties then, and I  had just started my teaching career…

Yesterday, I turned 58… My wife and I spent two amazing days in Pune with our son Kenrick and dear friend Dr. Deepak While having our quiet birthday dinner, Dr. Deepak asked me, “So, what is your Bucket List?”

Earlier during the day, I had received a pleasant phone call from Mario. Some thirty-six years ago, one afternoon, I had rung their door-bell when I was looking for a student or two to teach… I was dying to teach… I was full of enthusiasm and I was fearless and shameless about it… So, that day, Mario had opened the door and liked my zest… and got me one of my first students - his brother, Joe. “Gerry, my mom was very fond of you and saw you as one of her own sons,” yesterday Mario reminded me, “It is good to see you continue doing what you always wanted to…and remain simple in life.”

So, around the dinner table at night, when Dr. Deepak casually asked me about my Bucket List… Mario’s phone call reappeared before me… Decades ago, I wanted to fill my ‘bucket’ with only a couple of students to teach and be happy… and, as I kept doing that, there came along students in thousands!

Did my bucket ever get filled? Did I ever feel truly content and happy?

The parable of Paramahamsa - ‘THE SEVEN JARS OF GOLD’ brings a broad smile in my heart…

Hope, you will take this tale as my heart-felt thank-you for the warm birthday wishes you had sent me yesterday… and those who are still sending…




MY BUCKET LIST
AND THE SEVEN JARS OF GOLD


PAST:


There was this barber who served for his King faithfully for many, many years. He was very dedicated to the King, and an extremely honest soul, that the King always loved him. Though poor and had a family to run, this barber never complained about his life and never tried to earn wealth through any unethical means. So, he lived his simple life peacefully, with dignity. 


One late evening, this barber was returning home after his work. On his way, just when he was passing by a haunted tree, he heard this voice:

“Hey you, the poor soul, do you wish to have the seven jars of gold?”


Rattled by what he had just heard, the barber immediately started looking around. 


He saw no one around, except the tree. So, a lot frightened, he shouted, “Who is asking me this?”


“I am Yaksha, my poor friend. I want to know if you wish to have the seven jars of gold.”


“Oh yes, I do,” the poor barbed confessed.


“Then, speed up to your hut, your wish will be fulfilled,” the voice declared.


The barber took to his feet, and, by the time he reached his hut, he was completely out of breath. When he pushed open the door and threw himself in, his heart had already stopped. Behold! Seven huge jars of gold were there right in front of his eyes, and the room was aglow and his heart was pacing! He almost died with disbelief, and ecstasy… This poor soul, this simple barber!


The frenzied barber went close to the jars and started running his hands on each one of them just to feel… Yes, he touched and felt each jar, one by one. When he reached the seventh jar, the ecstasy had already run out of his body and he was in pain!


“Why is this jar only half-filled with gold?” was now the cause of his pain. “Why has Yaksha done this? Why is this jar not full?”


The barber’s face had now fallen, and heart was in distress. “How can I have this jar filled with gold?” he began to be tormented, “How can I be happy and fulfilled?”


He ran inside his hut and gathered whatever little ornaments his poor wife had and poured them in the jar. But, that was hardly enough. The night went in turmoil. “Why is the seventh jar not full? Why had Yaksha been so unkind?”


The next morning, he took whatever money he had at home to the market place. With that money, he bought whatever gold he could fetch… and came home to fill the seventh jar. But, that too was barely enough. 


The barber was a heart-broken soul! “Why is this jar not full? Why am I not blessed with this happiness?”


The barber borrowed money from his friends… bought gold and poured inside the seventh jar… yes, with the hope that the seventh jar would brim with gold and his heart would brim with joy. 


But, no way! The poor soul was a distressed man. “Why is this jar not full? Why am I not joyful?”


The frustration took the barber to the streets. He started begging for money… yes, with the same hope of seeing the seventh jar full of gold and his heart full of happiness. 


But, alas! The seventh jar refused to be full! The barber was desolate with ruin!


Finally, one morning, the barber gathered his courage and went to the King. He demanded for a pay-raise. Now, the King had no issue about that, as he was always happy with his servant’s loyalty and work. So, without any second thought, the King doubled the salary of his loyal barber. With the extra earnings, came extra gold to go in to the seventh jar. But, where would that jar obey?


There was no way left… The barber was a disaster to behold!


Then, one afternoon, while passing through his corridors, the King’s eyes fell on the miserable barber. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Shocked, the King asked his savant, “What have done to yourself, my loyal savant?” He continued, “You have been serving me for years with half of your present earnings; still, I have never witnessed this sort of condition. Tell me, what is wrong? Why are you so distressed?”


Then, something suddenly struck His Majesty He looked at his soul-wrenched servant and asked firmly, “Tell me. By any chance, did Yaksha offer you the seven jars of gold?”


The barber was so petrified on hearing this question from his Master, that he began to sob loudly and uncontrollably.


The King’s fear had come true. “Fool, many years ago, Yaksha had asked me the same question when I was passing by that haunted tree,” the King said to his barber, "But, I had replied saying that I would have them only if I could ENJOY them… I had left Yaksha alone!” 


After that, with all his mercy, the benevolent King lifted his barber’s fallen face and counseled, “My beloved soul, right away take those seven jars of gold back and throw them before the haunted tree.”

The barber did… The jar inside was full, all over again!


PRESENT:

There is this barber who serves for his King faithfully for many, many years. He is very dedicated to the King, and an extremely honest soul, that the King always loves him. Though poor and has a family to run, this barber never complains about his life and never tries to earn wealth through any unethical means. So, he lives his simple life peacefully, with dignity. 


One late evening, this barber is returning home after his work. On his way, just when he is passing by a haunted tree, he hears this voice:

“Hey you, the poor soul, do you wish to have the seven jars of gold?”


Rattled by what he has just heard, the barber immediately starts looking around. 


He sees no one around, except the tree. So, a lot frightened, he shouts, “Who is asking me this?”


“I am Yaksha, my poor friend. I want to know if you wish to have the seven jars of gold.”


“Oh yes, I do,” the poor barbed confesses.


“Then, speed up to your hut, your wish will be fulfilled,” the voice declares.


The barber takes to his feet, and, by the time he reaches his hut, he is completely out of breath. When he pushes open the door and throws himself in, his heart has already stopped. Behold! Seven huge jars of gold are there right in front of his eyes, and the room is aglow and his heart is pacing! He almost dies with disbelief, and ecstasy… This poor soul, this simple barber!


The frenzied barber goes close to the jars and starts running his hands on each one of them just to feel… Yes, he touches and feels each jar, one by one. When he reaches the seventh jar, the ecstasy has already run out of his body and he is in pain!


“Why is this jar only half-filled with gold?” is now the cause of his pain. “Why has Yaksha done this? Why is this jar not full?”


The barber’s face has now fallen, and heart is in distress. “How can I have this jar filled with gold?” he begins to be tormented, “How can I be happy and fulfilled?”


He runs inside his hut and gathers whatever little ornaments his poor wife has and pours them in the jar. But, that is hardly enough. The night goes in turmoil. “Why is the seventh jar not full? Why has Yaksha been so unkind?”


The next morning, he takes whatever money he has at home to the market place. With that money, he buys whatever gold he can fetch… and comes home to fill the seventh jar. But, that too is barely enough. 


The barber is a heart-broken soul! “Why is this jar not full? Why am I not blessed with this happiness?”


The barber borrows money from his friends… buys gold and pours inside the seventh jar… yes, with the hope that the seventh jar will brim with gold and his heart will brim with joy. 


But, no way! The poor soul is a distressed man. “Why is this jar not full? Why am I not joyful?”


The frustration takes the barber to the streets. He starts begging for money… yes, with the same hope of seeing the seventh jar full of gold and his heart full of happiness. 


But, alas! The seventh jar refuses to be full! The barber is desolate with ruin!


Finally, one morning, the barber gathers his courage and goes to the King. He demands for a pay-raise. Now, the King has no issue about that, as he is always happy with his servant’s loyalty and work. So, without any second thought, the King doubles the salary of his loyal barber. With the extra earnings, comes extra gold to go in to the seventh jar. But, where will that jar obey?


There is no way left… The barber is a disaster to behold!


Then, one afternoon, while passing through his corridors, the King’s eyes fall on the miserable barber. He cannot believe his eyes. Shocked, the King asks his savant, “What have done to yourself, my loyal savant?” He continues, “You have been serving me for years with half of your present earnings; still, I have never witnessed this sort of condition. Tell me, what is wrong? Why are you so distressed?”


Then, something suddenly strikes His Majesty He looks at his soul-wrenched servant and asks firmly, “Tell me. By any chance, did Yaksha offer you the seven jars of gold?”


The barber is so petrified on hearing this question from his Master, that he begins to sob loudly and uncontrollably.


The King’s fear has come true. “Fool, many years ago, Yaksha had asked me the same question when I was passing by that haunted tree,” the King says to his barber, "But, I had replied saying that I would have them only if I could ENJOY them… I had left Yaksha alone!” 


After that, with all his mercy, the benevolent King lifts his barber’s fallen face and counsels, “My beloved soul, right away take those seven jars of gold back and throw them before the haunted tree.”

The barber does… The jar inside is full, all over again!



GERALD D’CUNHA