Thursday, July 21, 2016

HOW MULLA NASRUDDIN’S WIFE GOT RID OF HIS DONKEY







Pic.: Azriel D'Souza


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…

There are many Mulla Nasruddin stories that make my heart smile. This is one of my favorites…



HOW MULLA NASRUDDIN’S WIFE GOT RID OF HIS DONKEY


PAST:


Mulla Nasruddin's wife hated his donkey.


 "I don't want that good-for-nothing donkey in my house... Sell him in the market, or dump him in a pond... But, out he must be, before the Sun, tomorrow, goes down," one night, Mulla's wife gave the ultimatum to her husband. 


Mulla, somehow, had a great love for his donkey, though, he too knew that the lazy animal did nothing but, hogging and sleeping, all day long. He still loved his donkey... and, the thought of living without his donkey made him very uncomfortable. So much so, he was prepared to live without his wife, but not his donkey!


But then, Mulla had no courage to defy his wife's order. So, the next morning, he took his donkey and proceeded to the market place to sell the animal at the auction. In the evening, when Mulla returned home, his wife was quite relieved to see a very excited man. 


"So?" the lady asked Mulla.


"I am very happy, darling," beamed an elated Mulla.


"Tell me what happened - did you sell him or did you dump him?" the fed-up lady asked. 


"Of course, I sold him... and for an unbelievable price!" Mulla declared standing on Cloud Nine!


By now, Mulla's wife had calmed down. "Finally," she thought in her mind, "this useless character has done something worthwhile!"


"The auctioneer was fantastic," Mulla told his wife, "He kept praising our donkey... His looks, his health, his voice... Everyone was floored."


"That is all fine, but what happened, then? How much did your 'golden' donkey fetch?" Mulla's wife wanted it short.


"A man offered Five coins," said Mulla... But, another man quickly said "Ten."


"So, your heavenly donkey fetched Ten! Is that what you are trying to tell?" the wife wanted her husband to come to the point.


"Have patience, my darling; listen to me fully," Mulla went on, "Just before the countdown began, a man jumped and said 'Fifteen'… and, even before this man could close his mouth, another noble soul had Twenty to offer for our divine donkey."


"That means, you got Twenty in the end… Can I now conclude?" the lady's patience had reached the edge.


"Wait, wait... It is not over. Listen to what happened after that!" Mulla had more to narrate.


"Yes, what happened?" the Begum stood thrusting her both hands on her angry hips.


“Just then, a man came from nowhere and screamed, ‘Twenty-five’! And, I couldn’t believe that!" Mulla was now jumping in the air… “Honey, I couldn’t believe what a goldmine we possessed and how stupid we had been!”


“So, at Twenty-five, the hammer went down… Now, show me the money!” it was too much for the lady.


Mulla was still jumping and ecstatic… “No, I did not let go my prized possession for even that!”


The lady almost fainted! Before she could recover from the shock, she heard from their courtyard something familiar. She managed to run outside to check. 


Mulla’s beloved donkey was there singing, gloriously: “Ma’am, I am back!”


And, our Mulla was all smiles! With a pride that his Begum had never witnessed before, he gently caressed his supreme possession and let his nagging wife know what really had happened in the end:


“I did not let my fine possession go to any useless idiot… I put Thirty coins and bought it myself!”




PRESENT:


Mulla Nasruddin's wife hates his donkey.


 "I don't want that good-for-nothing Ass in my house... Sell him in the market, or dump him in a pond... But, out he must be, before the Sun, tomorrow, goes down," one night, Mulla's wife gives the ultimatum to her husband. 


Mulla, somehow, has a great love for his donkey, though, he too knows that the lazy animal does nothing but hogging and sleeping, all day long. He still loves his donkey... and, the thought of living without his donkey makes him very uncomfortable. So much so, he is prepared  to live without his wife, but not his donkey!


But then, Mulla has no courage to defy his wife's order. So, the next morning, he takes his donkey and proceeds to the market place to sell the animal at the auction. In the evening, when Mulla returns home, his wife is quite relieved to see a very excited man. 


"So?" the lady asks Mulla.


"I am very happy, darling," beams an elated Mulla.


"Tell me what happened - did you sell him or did you dump him?" the fed-up lady asks. 


"Of course, I sold him... and for an unbelievable price!" Mulla declares standing on Cloud Nine!


By now, Mulla's wife has calmed down. "Finally," she thinks in her mind, "this useless character has done something worthwhile!"


"The auctioneer was fantastic," Mulla tells his wife, "He kept praising our donkey... His looks, his health, his voice... Everyone was floored."


"That is all fine, but what happened, then? How much did your 'golden' donkey fetch?" Mulla's wife wants it short.


"A man offered Five coins," said Mulla... But, another man quickly said "Ten."


"So, your heavenly donkey fetched Ten! Is that what you are trying to tell?" the wife wants her husband to come to the point.


"Have patience, my darling; listen to me fully," Mulla goes on, "Just before the countdown began, a man jumped and said 'Fifteen'… and, even before this man could close his mouth, another noble soul had Twenty to offer for our divine donkey."


"That means, you got Twenty in the end… Can I now conclude?" the lady's patience has reached the edge.


"Wait, wait... It is not over. Listen to what happened after that!" Mulla has more to narrate.


"Yes, what happened?" the Begum stands thrusting her both hands on her angry hips.


“Just then, a man came from nowhere and screamed, ‘Twenty-five’! and, I couldn’t believe that!" Mulla is now jumping in the air… “Honey, I couldn’t believe what a goldmine we possessed and how stupid we had been!”


“So, at Twenty-five, the hammer went down… Now, show me the money!” it is too much for the lady.


Mulla is still jumping and ecstatic… “No, I did not let go my prized possession for even that!”


The lady almost faints! Before she can recover from the shock, she hears from their courtyard something familiar. She manages to run outside to check. 


Mulla’s beloved donkey is there singing, gloriously: “Ma’am, I am back!”


And, our Mulla is all smiles! With a pride that his Begum has never witnessed before, he gently caresses his supreme possession, and lets his nagging wife know what really has happened in the end:


“I did not let my fine possession go to any useless idiot… I put Thirty coins and bought it myself!”



GERALD D’CUNHA

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