Tag Archives: moral

Hello World! – part 6, the last part

Suddenly some changes were noticed by few people who always smell foul in everything around them. Kalu was seen in good clothes, from his face it was realized that he was well fed and his hair looked well combed and beard was trimmed. His brothers who lived in the same large house built by their father had started living in separate quarters after their parents’ death. They had their separate kitchens and separate electric meters and they were not in good terms among themselves. While further probing it was realized that there was competition among his brothers to become closer to Kalu and each and every of his brothers suddenly started talking to him, their wives started feeding him good food, and his nephews and nieces also joined their parents. While probing further it was realized that each brother was trying to get Kalu’s share of the ancestral property in his name, and they were in a race about who could get it first. People in the neighborhood realized that if any of his brother could ever become successful in acquiring Kalu’s share of the property then Kalu would not have any place to sleep at night and the villagers would not only have to provide him food but also to find a room for him to sleep at night. Few of them went to the local police station and informed the officer-in-charge about their suspicion. The very next day the officer visited Kalu’s house, he also called those people who visited the police station the day before and in their presence threatened his brothers about the serious consequences they would face if they ever tried to deprive their brother of his due share. It was a terrible shame for Kalu’s brothers. As it was expected, immediately after receiving the threat from the police his brothers and their families did not see Kalu’s face again. However, how much that mattered to Kalu was unknown.

Everyone started taunting his brothers, their wives and even their children were not spared. His brothers realized that complaining to the police would not help as their evil intention was already exposed and they suddenly realized that since their father did not make any will before his death, their only sister who was married should also receive equal share of the property. When everybody in the neighborhood went against them it became impossible for them to stay any longer in the house and they left the house one after another leaving Kalu alone. Since nobody was there to pay the electricity bills, the power was cut. Soon the large house started looking like a haunted house where Kalu used to sleep alone at night.

Immediately after hearing the suicide attempt by Kalu, Shravanti’s family moved out of the village. People had no complaint against that family as they realized that Kalu had no income and there was no hope that he could do anything in life. But her parents never wanted their daughter to hear about Kalu from anyone in the neighborhood when she would come to visit her mother.

Gradually people forgot how handsome Kalu looked, how pleasant his voice was when he used to sing. Of course they did not know that he was also a poet as he used to write poetry only for one person, the woman he loved.

It was this Kalu whom my friend Tapan greeted with his first ‘hello’.

But in spite of this bizarre first attempt, Tapan still greets others by ‘hello’ every day. Whenever I call him the first word he utters is ‘hello’.
As for me, I do not know whom I first greeted with the word probably it was while talking to somebody on the phone.

Kalu died few years after I graduated. He died from some liver disease, he was even taken to a doctor and some minimal care was also provided but that probably was not enough.

Shravanti’s best friend got married a year after Shravanti’s marriage and she started living in a faraway place with her husband and nobody received any further information about Shravanti or her family.
Shravanti found the love of her life in her husband and immediately after marriage she resumed her education.
Nobody knows if she still hates Phillip Ray, the miller’s only son and if she has forgiven Annie Lee.

************* THE STORY ENDS HERE **************

A kind gesture

“Why did you stop?” the hunter was shocked when he heard the deer speaking.

The hunter had laid a trap in a forest while it was still dark and started watching it from a tree top. As soon as he heard the scream of a deer he started running toward the trap from where the deer was struggling to set herself free. “It is my lucky day, I did not have to wait very long” the hunter thought. He reached the spot with his hunting dog. The deer started bellowing from the top of her voice. Probably the barking of the dog made her more nervous.

Without wasting any time the hunter removed his knife from its cover and grabbed the deer’s neck with his other hand. Suddenly his eyes fell on few deer cubs who were watching their mother whose throat he was about to cut open. The cubs kept staring at their mother. They looked confused. They were too afraid to come near their mother because of the dog which was barking from the top of its voice and they were not ready to run away probably because their mother was not with them and they did not know in which direction to run.

The hunter was about to cut the throat of the deer when he suddenly realized that the deer was not making any more effort to escape from his grip but her gaze was fixed at her cubs. He looked at her cubs once again, dropped the knife and set the deer free from the trap.

He sat on the ground with his head down. He realized his dog has stopped barking, probably had never seen its master so confused before. He wanted to make huge money by selling large part of the venison in the market and he also wanted to keep a small portion for his family. The skin of the spotted deer could have made him rich. The hunter started cursing himself for his sudden, unprecedented weakness.

As soon as he came out of his bewilderment after hearing the deer talking he realized that the animal did not run away.

“Go away before I change my mind”, the hunter cautioned.

“Why have you dropped your knife and set me free”, the deer asked again.

“I do not know. I think I got confused when I saw your cubs.” The hunter replied.

“What will you do now; do you have anything to eat at home?” The deer asked.

“After seeing you in my trap I was dreaming of becoming rich. But it looks my family has to starve today. I have no strength left in my body to hunt anything today” the hunter replied.

“Come with me and I will show you some food, which you can eat and also sell”. The hunter with his dog started following the deer at her request. The deer cubs started walking with their mother.

The hunter followed the deer for a while deep inside the forest.

“Look at this large corn field; it has enough corn to feed your family for many months. They grow on their own. Take as much as you need. Sell them if you wish.” The hunter looked so happy to see so much of food in one place.

“I will show you more food, please follow me”, the deer said.

They walked into another part of the forest where the deer showed him a spot where squirrels had buried nuts under the ground.

“Do not take all, leave some for the squirrels too”, the deer suggested.

“Now I will show you where you can get honey”, the deer asked the hunter to follow him again.

Soon they reached a part of the forest where there were many large trees and from almost every branch one large bee hive was hanging.

“Smoke before you collect honey and also keep an eye on approaching bears”, the deer suggested.

“I think you are going to be rich again”, the deer said before she walked away with her cubs.

Still Ready to Help

After completing my post-graduation in Biochemistry I decided to bring some radical change in my life. I had a long desire to learn some musical instrument. But I had to wait till I could earn some money to realize my dream. I could find only one musical instrument teacher, a retired professional violinist, in his seventies, at a walking distance from my home.

When I asked he agreed to become my instructor. He used to play violin in theaters. He had three daughters, who were all married and a son who was also married and had a small boy, only few years old.

I used to practice violin seriously, morning and evening, every day and he used to appreciate a lot for my effort. I had never felt so happy in my life before. One day, probably after a month since I had started learning he introduced me to a ‘Raga’ called ‘Yaman Kalyan’. It was like a dream come true for me. I realized that if anything I wanted to be in my life it was a musician and not a biochemist.

I used to take lessons from him on Sundays. It was a Sunday evening, almost three months after I had started taking lessons from him.

When I visited I saw he had some guests in his house. He introduced me to his son-in-law, his daughter and his daughter’s son and asked the grandson to be with me till he could make himself free.

His grandson who was few years younger asked me to play whatever I was learning. I played the Raga ‘Yaman Kalyan’ which I had played few times before my instructor and heard him saying I was playing well.

After listening to my play for a while he started playing the same Raga using my violin. I was surprised to hear how nice he was playing. On being asked he mentioned that he had learnt violin from his mother who had learnt the same from her father.
Then he asked me to play all the seven notes (like ‘Sa’, ‘Re’ &c.). After hearing me play for a while he started playing the same using my violin and I realized that the notes played by him sounded different and that should not happen because they were produced by the same musical instrument. I realized that from the very beginning I was playing everything incorrectly but was never corrected. The young man sensed my thought and told me that almost seven to eight years before his grandfather lost his hearing, to a great extent, because of a bomb explosion which had exploded few meters away from him. The explosion did not cause him any physical injury though. People at home always talked to him standing close and he could make out what the speaker said partly from the sound he could perceive and partly from the lip movement of the speaker.

I never went back to him and never played violin again. It was lying idle in our home for few years. One fine day I gave it to another young man who wanted to learn the instrument.

Once upon a time

I heard this story from my mother when I was small. I think this was a popular story in East Bengal, currently Bangladesh.
Once upon a time there lived a devotee in some village in the foothill of the Himalayas. The devotee used to sing the name of God every morning and evening. Before taking bath, before every meal even before drinking a glass of water he uttered the name of God. He was respected by every villager and was considered to be the greatest devotee of God by everyone in the village.
The devotee became too keen to know if God Himself considered him to be His greatest devotee. He started thinking about it day and night, praying to God to let him know what God thinks about him.
One night while he was in deep sleep he saw God appeared before him. His bedroom was filled with some divine light. He could clearly see God smiling at him. He felt as if God asked him if he had any question for Him. Therefore without much hesitation he asked God who was His greatest devotee.
“My greatest devotee is the blacksmith who works in the shop near the village market”, God replied promptly.
“But Lord does the blacksmith utter your name day and night like I do?” The devotee asked.
“He utters my name once in the morning as soon as he gets up and once at night just before going to bed” God replied.
“Only two times a day. But Lord I utter your holy name all day long. Even while lying in my bed at night till I fall asleep I utter only your name. But the blacksmith only utter it only once in the night” the devotee said.
“But as soon as his cheek touches his bed he falls asleep. How could he repeat my name?” God replied promptly.
God could sense that the devotee looked unhappy.
“Can you do a work for me” God asked the devotee.
“Lord anything you say I will do it uttering your holy name” the devotee replied immediately.
“Tomorrow morning you fill a copper bowl with oil and take it to the blacksmith in his shop. But remember the bowl should be filled with oil up to the brim and not a drop of oil should spill while you carry it to the blacksmith.” God said and disappeared.
As soon as the devotee woke up from sleep he remembered the instruction he had received from the God. Without wasting any time he filled a copper bowl with oil and started carrying it to the blacksmith. He was very careful not to spill even a drop of oil on the street. He was holding the bowl with his both hands and his vision was glued on the oil filled copper bowl. He almost stopped breathing while he was walking. His entire body started sweating profusely. Everyone who saw him in that condition was surprised and asked him why he was sweating and what he was carrying in his both hands. He could not utter a single word. He could not even look at the faces of the persons who asked him questions.
But he successfully handed over the bowl of oil to the blacksmith without spilling a drop and returned home. He also realized that he felt some kind of jealously toward the blacksmith and was not able to make eye contact with him.
He remained restless throughout the day waiting for God to reappear at night during his sleep. He was sure that God will pronounce that it was he and not the blacksmith who was His greatest devotee.
In the middle of the night God appeared again during his sleep. God thanked him for giving a bowl of oil to the blacksmith who did not have enough money to buy oil on that day.
“Have I passed your test Lord? Have I spilled a drop of oil?” The devotee asked.
“No you did not spill even a drop of oil. You were very careful.” God replied.
“So do you still think it is not me but the blacksmith who should be your greatest devotee?”
“We will see that. But let me ask you a question.” God replied.
“What is your question my Lord?” The devotee asked.
“And how many times did you utter my name while you were carrying the bowl of oil?” He asked and disappeared.