Things that happen around us

girl-with-sad-face

It looks as if my problems are never going to end. Just as one problem gets solved, another one soon follows. I am sick and tired of fighting and struggling all the time.” Neeta, a 19 year old college student, complained.

Neeta’s father, Suresh Kumar, runs a restaurant in the neighbourhood. He had just returned home after a long and tiring day. He listened patiently to his daughter and sensed urgency in her voice.

“Come with me.” Suresh Kumar told Neeta and took her to the kitchen.

Potato-Eggs-Coffee.jpgSuresh Kumar filled three pots with water and placed each on high flame. Once the pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in the first pot, eggs in the second and ground coffee beans in the third.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her he asked. “What do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee.” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft.

“Take an egg and break it.” He said.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

“Now have a sip of coffee.” He told.

The rich aroma of the coffee finally brought a smile to Neeta’s face.

“What does this mean papa?” she asked.

kitchen-pots

The potatoes, eggs and ground coffee beans each faced the same adversity – the boiling water.” He explained. “However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong and hard but in boiling water, they became soft and weak.

“The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

“However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

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Presence of mind – Only true friend in your darkest hour

darkest-hour

Life is all about taking chances. Sometimes the choices we make reap us fortunes more than we had ever imagined, but mostly the first thing we meet is failure. Probably lives way of telling us that we did not plan well and that it is time to go back to the drawing board before we make the next move, and with a little bit of caution and good planning we mostly succeed. But what if we encounter a series of failure? Even after being cautious and after meticulously planning each and every detail. The biggest question that haunts us then is, whether there is light at the end of the tunnel? Although what we should be worried about, whether we will be able to survive inside the tunnel?  Let us revisit the story called ‘The Monkey and the Crocodile’ from Panchtantra to find an answer to the question.

jamun_fruits

Jamun

Once upon a time, on the banks of river, there was a monkey, who lived on a Jamun (blackberry) tree. The tree bore sweet fruits and the monkey used to live a happy and content life on it.

One day, a crocodile came out of the river to take some rest under the Jamun tree. When the monkey saw him from the tree, he said, “Try these sweet Jamun.” and tossed a couple of fruits to the crocodile. After this incident, every day the crocodile would come to eat fruits, and soon they became great friends.

One day the crocodile told the monkey that he wanted to take some fruits for his wife, to let her know the sweetness of these fruits. The monkey happily plucked more fruits for the crocodile to take home.

After consuming the juicy fruits the crocodile’s wife said. “These fruits are sweet as nectar. Since the monkey eats these fruits daily, he would be even tastier. Please bring me that monkey’s heart.”

The crocodile said. “He is my friend. I cannot do such a thing.”

After a lot of effort, the crocodile’s wife convinced him.

The next day the crocodile invited the monkey to have supper at his house.

Without any hesitation the monkey accepted the proposal and jumped on the crocodile’s back, and off they went to the crocodile’s home.

monkey-rive

Once they had traveled some distance, the crocodile told the monkey. “After consuming the Jamun fruits, my wife now wants to eat your heart. Since you have been consuming Jamun for so long, my wife believes that your heart should taste better than the Jamun you have all the time.”

The monkey was shocked, but he did not panic. Instead he took a deep breath and said. “You should have told me this earlier. It would be an honor for me to serve your wife my heart.  But I keep my heart in the burrow of the Jamun tree, let us go back and bring my heart.”

The crocodile believed the monkey and brought him back to the Jamun tree. As soon as they reached the tree the monkey jumped off the crocodile’s back and climbed up the tree and sat on a high branch.

Out of reach the monkey yelled. “I have only one heart and it is beating inside me. Now go away and never return back.”

Ashamed of his actions, the crocodile went away.

The moral of the story is, intelligence and presence of mind helps us overcome the most difficult situations.

The wisest thing to do in life is to solve the immediate problem first, and solve one problem at a time. Never lose hope or hesitate to use the tools at your disposal to make things happen.