Thursday, August 4, 2016

THE CRACKED POT









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.

This endearing Oriental story brings a lot of comfort in my heart…

We never know how good we are, despite our cracks… until some wise-soul, comes our way to show us the amazing beauty we have been able to leave behind…
Yes, despite our ‘cracks’, I say!




THE CRACKED POT

PAST:


Long time ago, there lived an old woman in a Chinese village. Every day, she carried water from the village stream to her house. Two pots, hung on each side of a pole, she carried them on her shoulders.


Now, one of the pots had a crack on it; so, by the time the woman reached home, half of the water spilled out of the pot… while the other pot was perfect and carried full water in it, every day.


And, this went on and on…


The perfect pot was obviously proud of its achievement, its perfection… while the cracked pot felt ashamed, apologetic and guilty.


After almost two years, unable to suffer it any longer, one evening, the cracked pot collected enough courage and said to the woman: “Ma’am, for two long years, you have been carrying me on your shoulders, despite my defect… despite knowing that I spilled half of the water along your way and served you only half good as compared to the other pot who has been always perfect… Why did you tolerate me? Have I not let you down? I feel ashamed and guilty!”


“Come, I will show you why,” said the woman consolingly to the heart-broken pot, “I will tell you why you should not feel ashamed or guilty about your defect.”


Saying so, the woman pointed to the beautiful flowers on the wayside. “Dear, can you believe that these plants bear such beautiful flowers only because of you?”


The pot was left puzzled!


“I knew your flaw, and hence, I planted these flower seeds on your side of the path,” the woman explained gently, “For two years, you have been nurturing them without your knowledge… and, look, how glorious they look!”


The cracked pot was unable to believe it!


“My dear friend, every day, I would take these flowers home and decorate my table,” the woman continued with all her warmth. She asked, “Is it not because you had that crack in you?”



PRESENT:


(Long time ago), there lives an old woman in a Chinese village. Every day, she carries water from the village stream to her house. Two pots, hung on each side of a pole, she carries them on her shoulders.


Now, one of the pots has a crack on it; so, by the time the woman reaches home, half of the water spills out of the pot… while the other pot is perfect and carries full water in it, every day.


And, this goes on and on…


The perfect pot is obviously proud of its achievement, its perfection… while the cracked pot feels ashamed, apologetic and guilty.


After almost two years, unable to suffer it any longer, one evening, the cracked pot collects enough courage and says to the woman: “Ma’am, for two long years, you have been carrying me on your shoulders, despite my defect… despite knowing that I spilled half of the water along your way and served you only half good as compared to the other pot who has been always perfect… Why did you tolerate me? Have I not let you down? I feel ashamed and guilty!”


“Come, I will show you why,” says the woman consolingly to the heart-broken pot, “I will tell you why you should not feel ashamed or guilty about your defect.”


Saying so, the woman points to the beautiful flowers on the wayside. “Dear, can you believe that these plants bear such beautiful flowers only because of you?”


The pot is left puzzled!


“I knew your flaw, and hence, I planted these flower seeds on your side of the path,” the woman explains gently, “For two years, you have been nurturing them without your knowledge… and, look, how glorious they look!”


The cracked pot is unable to believe it!


“My dear friend, every day, I would take these flowers home and decorate my table,” the woman continues with all her warmth. She asks, “Is it not because you had that crack in you?”


GERALD D’CUNHA

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