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Thursday, December 17, 2009

A story from Panchtantra

Once upon a time in a village in India there lived a man and his son. They had a small home and a few donkeys which they used to haul goods for people who had goods to be hauled.

Once they had to travel together to a neighboring village to attend a marriage. They packed a few belongings in two bags and set out early next day with a donkey. The father and son were walking and donkey was following them tethered to a rope. After some time they met a few travelers coming towards them from the opposite side. As the two passed each other the father and son heard them saying to each other,” What idiocy.” “They have a donkey and they are still walking.”

The father and son realized that maybe the people who had just passed them by were right, so they both mounted the donkey and kept going. This was decidedly better than walking in the hot Sun. Soon they saw another group of people coming towards them. As they passed each other, one of them said,” Brother have a heart. The two of you together on a donkey will surely kill it.” The man thought that there was a valid argument there so he got down from the donkey and started to walk.

Some time passed and they met a few people who were resting under the shade of a tree. When they saw the son on the donkey and the father walking, one of them muttered, “ This world is sure unfair. The young son is riding the donkey while the old father is walking in this hot Sun.” The son overheard this and was a little ashamed. He dismounted and made his father ride the donkey. They traveled for a while in peace and then chanced upon a man who was coming towards them.

The man approaching them came near and said,” It isn’t fair that your son should walk while you ride the donkey.” So the man on the donkey thought that this was a valid objection and dismounted.

The two of them had tried everything and were still criticized. They therefore tied the donkey’s front feet together and did the same with its rear feet as well. Then they passes a stout bamboo through the fore and rear legs and carried the donkey slung upside down over their shoulders.

By this time they had reached the bank of a small river over which there was just a narrow wooden bridge. As they were crossing one of them stumbled and lost his foothold. The donkey who was already quite uncomfortable and scared wriggled to cut loose. This made both of them lose their grip over the bamboo pole and the donkey fell in the river and drowned.

Moral of the story. No matter what one does, one will always be criticized for his actions. It is pointless to be sensitive to what others think of you. Develop a thick skin, plan your work and work your plan. Also remember that when ever an elephant walks, the dogs always bark. The elephant does not respond. It keeps walking majestically.

Rajiv Sethi

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