The Sparrow Knew – A Parable

Once in a village there was this farmer tilling his land from dawn to dusk.

His hard work was amply rewarded as the crops thrived and in time, laden with grains, ready for harvesting.

In the middle of the field a sparrow had built its nest. And by now with its brood of two little chicks.

One day when their mother was away, the little sparrows overheard the farmer telling his son: ‘We’ll begin the harvest from tomorrow early morning. I’ve called in our neighbours.’

When the mother returned in the evening, the alarmed chicks related the conversation and said they should move right away.

The mother becalmed the chicks: ‘Yes, we must move, but not yet, there’s time, I assure you.’

Next day morning,

Like the mother sparrow said the harvest did not begin.

During the day, once again, the little sparrows overheard the farmer telling his son: ‘Son, get ready, we’ll commence harvesting from tomorrow early morning. Our relatives have promised to help.’

In the evening when the mother heard from its chicks, she was unperturbed. ‘Not yet,’ she said.

The following morning,

There was no move to towards beginning the harvesting.

On this day, the farmer told his son: ‘Tomorrow, keep yourself free and ready. You and I – we’ll do it ourselves.’

In the evening, the mother and her chicks flew away to find a new home.


Source: moral stories and image from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Paws)

Two Crows On A Forage – A (Real) Story

Charcoal drawing from Etsy


Two kinds of people, in a day,

‘often come your way.  

Lo and behold, I saw them both today,

‘eyeing at where the eats lay.

Away and towards, slanting their heads,

‘rolling their dark suspicious eyes.

‘who here? friends or foes?

Thoughts racing in their minds…

Cookies crumbled for easy eat

‘proved far too much to resist.

Their escape could always be swift.

‘any time they saw a threat.

So they gingerly stepped up to it.

To human presence, ever alert.

The nervous one quickly stole one treat,

‘and made away without a regret.

The other took one and then one…

‘until there remained none,

‘not dropping his guard until done.

And, no looking back… was gone!

Two kinds of people, in a day,

‘often come your way.  

For always, right or wrong, who is to say

‘but this: while the sun shines, make hay?



An Old Story And New Insights

A story most from my generation must have heard as children sitting on the lap of their grandma (don’t know what is said to them these days). It goes generally like this:

In a village an old woman sitting under a tree prepared vada’s for sale.

A crow sitting on the tree waited for an opportunity.

When the woman was looking away, the crow swooped down and flew up and away, picking up a delicious vada in its beaks, all in a flash.

As it sat on a branch of a nearby tree, ready to savour its booty, a fox came along. .

Espying the crow atop with the vada in its beaks,the scheming fox spoke:

‘Oh my friend there, news got to me you’re blessed with a very sweet voice that has the koels go away in shame! I have come from a long distance only to hear your voice. Could you kindly sing a song for me? Won’t you? Please don’t disappoint me. ’

The crow was thrilled to hear these words. Not to disappoint its appreciative audience, the crow obliged.

As it opened its mouth going ‘kaa kaa’, the inevitable happened.

The fox grabbed the fallen vada with alacrity and quietly slipped away leaving the crow in a daze.

Usually the grandma, a simple soul, finished the story and made her demand like the child should now go to sleep or eat its food without further fuss…The moral of the story was not explicitly stated. And we simply understood it as: the crow was foolish and the fox wily.

Grandma’s, in the generations that followed, grew more articulate. They would point out how it was unwise of crow to foolishly embark on what it was not capable of, falling a victim to flattery.

Some crow lovers, not happy with the story, added a second round where the crow, learning from its experience, would hold the vadaunder its claws and belt it out raucously to the fox’s dismay.

A few die-hard purists steered the story back to its original course: In a third round, the fox would request the crow holding the vada in its claws to perform a dance. Yes, it meant the foolish crow…

In some versions, the smart crow, till the end, holds fast to the vada while obliging the fox with song and dance.

In all these versions the story is one of getting into deep waters and followed optionally by learning from one’s experience and getting out unscathed.

The one moral of the story, right before us in plain sight, yet strangely missed by most, was pointed out by Dr Sudha Seshayyan in one of her programs I watched today:

Ill-gotten gains are never enjoyed.

At one stroke this invalidates the versions that let the crow get away with the vada.  All said and done the crow was a thief stealing it from the old woman. Unintended consequences of tampering an old tale?


Source: image from YouTube

A Tale From A Mango Tree (100 Words)

owl-tree-pic-500x500 za

The Wise One chatted up: ‘A Guru has come into the village.’

‘I know,’ said the Mango Tree.

‘You know? How?’

‘They rested right here under on their way to the village.’

‘Oh…last evening, had gone to the hut where he is staying…a steady stream of people kept up going in.’

‘Hear any wise words from him?’

‘No, there was no pravachan. Just people fussing about…he seems to enjoy all their attention and adulation…just like us.’

‘Well, his way of staying connected with the world for what it is, I would think. And be reminded, yes, he’s just like us.’



A Tale From A Mango Tree (50 Words)

owl-tree-pic-500x500 za

Rushing past the Mango Tree, the Wind mocked: ‘Don’t you feel sorry you can’t move, go places, meet people…?’

‘No more than you do, my friend’ the Tree shrugged and smiled, ‘when you can’t stand for a moment and savor the beauty of those places and people on your way.’




A Tale From A Mango Tree (100 Words)

owl-tree-pic-500x500 za

‘Tomorrow it’s going to be a feast for us too, you know? Zamindar celebrating his son’s marriageeveryone invited followed by a sumptuous lunch.’

‘Telling me, silly bird? I know exactly what happens in the village and for miles around.’  

‘Oh, you do?’

‘How many eyes and ears you have?’

‘Why, a pair each.’

‘I’ve hundreds. Your feathered friends here – when they return at nightfall, I hear it all. And, these passers-by pausing under my shade for rest – they aren’t tongue-tied either.’

‘So you must know the town guys

‘What about them?’

‘Themplanning to clear up this area and about?’



Source: Image from

The Goal

This and That, There and Here

I will tell you one story. It happened in Tibet. A lama who, was working in a faraway valley wrote a letter to the chief monastery, to his master, to send one more lama: “We need him here.”

The chief of the monastery called all his disciples, read the letter, and then said, “I would like to send five of you.”

One lama asked, “But only one has been asked for. Why five? ”

The old chief said, “You will know later. I will send five and then, too, it is not certain that one will reach because the way is long, and distractions a thousand and one.”

They laughed. They said, “The old man ha s gone out of his mind. Why send five when one is needed?” But the old man was insistent, so five started on the journey.

5 Monks

The next morning when they were passing a village…

View original post 654 more words

Brahma Finds A Perfect Place To Hide

Statue of Indian god Brahma. Rishikesh. Uttaranchal. India.

I’ve heard many many stories, but not this one! The mythology here seems to be verily an inexhaustible source. Here is the story, with minimal editing:

An Old Hindu legend

There was once a time when all human beings were gods, but they so abused their divinity that Brahma, the four-headed creator, decided to take it away from them and hide it where it could never be found.

Where to hide their divinity was the question. So Brahma called a council of the gods to help him decide.

“Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said the gods.

But Brahma answered, “No, that will not do because humans will dig into the earth and find it.”

Then the gods said, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.”

Brahma said, “No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean and will find it.”

Then the gods said, “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.”

But once again Brahma replied, “No, that will not do either, because they will eventually climb every mountain and once again take up their divinity.”

Then the gods gave up and said, “We do not know where to hide it, because it seems that there is no place on earth or in the sea that human beings will not eventually reach.”

Brahma thought for a long time and came up with a thought:

“Here is what we will do. We will hide their divinity deep in the center offor humans will never think to look for it there.”

All the gods agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. And since that time humans have been going up and down the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring–searching for something already within themselves, deep in the center of their own being, .

Credits: and

The Lion And The Mouse – A Parable

This is a story written in the style of Panchatantra. Keeping in mind the genre all gore is scrupulously avoided.

And, if you imagine this story in some ways mirrors the current reality around you, it’s quite far-fetched, I assure you. Though, I concede it is fun finding the parallels.

Here it goes:
In the forests of Uttara Dandkaranya, there lived a lion named Mahodhara, the king of the forests. He had taken up residence in one of the many caves in the hills. In his unchanged daily routine, he woke up very late in the morning and went out to find his prey by noon. An afternoon siesta was followed by a short tour of his kingdom to find out the state of affairs.

Predating the arrival of Mahodhara, in the deep end of the same cave lived Mooshika and his large family of mice. The new tenant did not pose too much of a problem for Mooshika’s family since the lion was out of the cave for many hours during the day and was mostly asleep at other times. In fact, for the young, the lion was a source of amusement as they had immense fun scooting all over the sleeping animal’s body; especially the thick mane proved ideal for playing hide-and-seek and for swinging. While, they were careful to stay away from the deadly paws of the lion.


Of course, it was not fun for Mahodhara. His sleep was disturbed by the mice and he felt ticklish too. He did smite a mouse or two. But that didn’t keep them away. He had to find a more lasting solution. So he consulted his vizier, Puccha, the fox.

The fox gave the matter a serious thought. While he was pondering over the possibilities, he saw a cat, looking starved, dragging himself in search of elusive food. It was the ‘Ah’ moment. It was not difficult for him to persuade the cat. So a deal was struck.

‘Puccha, what have you brought here? You know I don’t pounce on near-dead animals. I like to chase them in the wild,’ roared Mahodhara.

‘Don’t I know, my lord?’ said the fox, ‘I have brought him here for a different reason.’

‘And ,what would that be?’


‘My lord, this is Marjaraah. He is verily gratified to be chosen for serving you. He would keep a strict watch over those vermin troubling you.’

Marjaraah nodded his head weakly in assent.

‘You say this guy here would watch over the mice? He looks as if they would eat him up.’

‘No, my lord. If you could throw some meat scraps his away when you’re finished with your lunch, he’ll recover in no time. Also, I’ve assured him he’ll be safe as long as he does his job.’

This time Marjaraah was a little more animated in nodding his head. ’

A circumspect Mahodhara agreed to the arrangement.

So it was – the cat sitting in front of the mouse-hole diligently day and night, living on the meat brought by Mahodhara, his bones disappearing slowly beneath layers of flesh.

With the cat sitting out there, the mice could not move out for several days until Mooshika decided to things in his hand and break this impasse else his folks would die of hunger.

‘Dear Sir.’

Marjaraah was startled to hear a voice.

‘Please look to your front. I’m Mooshika, the king of mice folks.’

‘I see you now.’

‘Sir, thanks to you, we’ve not been able to move out for days. Our stockpile of food is fast depleting. Unless we go out to forage for food, we’ll soon perish.’


‘I’ve a suggestion to make that would profit both of us.’

‘I’m listening.’

‘It must be really hard on you to be sitting like this forever outside our home. Even more so when it has little to do with your food since you get a much tastier meal from the lion.’

‘What’re you driving at?’

‘What I’m saying is this: How about you actually going out to stretch your limbs and enjoy fresh air when the lion is not in the cave? It would permit us too to go out and collect our food and be back in our hole before the lion returns. While we’re at it, we’ll not forget to bring some sweet berries for you too. And, no damage done.’

The cat was pensive for a few moments. He knew if he did not agree, the mice would anyways find their way out by tunneling an alternative route. Mightily bored with long hours of nil-action sitting in front of a hole, he also longed for those breaks away from the claustrophobic confines of the cave – had he known, he might not have taken up the job. And, those juicy berries.

He agreed.

So, for many days and months, the cat and the mice enjoyed their sneaky outings when the lion was not home.

Once the total clamp-down was lifted, gradually over the days the cat got a little careless and the mice more adventurous. It was like water at first leaking through a pin-hole quietly and progressively enlarging into a large breach creeping towards a complete break-down. The lion too began to notice: at first sighting a mouse scampering across the cave-floor and later there was even an occasional vermin daring to get into the thick of his mane. He observed the cat had grown fat, snoozing on duty, sluggish in his movements and letting a mouse easily slip past.

The growing bubble of discomfort burst one day when Mahodhara cut short his outing and returned early. To his horror, he found the entire colony of mice freely scooting and fearlessly jumping about in the cave and Marjaraah nowhere in sight. He had never seen so many of them before – with no check, they seem to have multiplied prolifically in a short time. He shivered at the prospect, however unlikely, of all of them pouncing and gnawing on him all at once. Barely containing his fury, with the cat still out, he summoned Puccha, apprised him of the alarming ineffectiveness of Marjaraah and declared the cat had to go very soon:

‘He would make a nice meal. Cat’s meat would be a good change for me – it has been a long time. ’

A worried Puccha was tasked with finding a replacement.

Mooshika overheard this exchange and decided to alert the cat of the impending danger. His wife questioned him about the wisdom of cautioning the cat:

‘Why are you doing it? Isn’t it good riddance? With the cat out of the way, it would be back to good old days. You’re making a mistake if you ask me.’

‘Have patience, my dear. It’ll be better riddance or rather the best riddance. Just watch.’

‘I hope you know what you’re doing.’

Sound advice from whichever source must be accepted, Marjaraah thought to himself. He thanked Mooshika profusely for the life-saving tip-off and promised to return the favor some day.

On the following day, the lion had a sumptuous meal and a restful sleep. He woke up mightily pleased with himself and the world at large. Sensing this Marjaraah seized the opportunity:

‘My lord, I’ve a request to make.’

Mahodhara looked up quizzically.

‘Though you’ve been very kind and generous, I’m must take your leave.’

‘Eh?’ the languorous lion was yet fully alert.

‘My lord, I should not be misusing your hospitality anymore. Of late, I’ve not been able to do full justice to my job. Rather suddenly my eyesight seems to be failing me. But not to worry, I’ve this dear friend of mine. He is younger and fitter. I’m sure he’ll not turn me down if I ask him to stand in my place. You must excuse me, my lord. It’s my misfortune that I’m unable to continue serving you.’

Marjaraah bowed out without any harm as the promise of a replacement had assuaged the lion in his expansive frame-of-mind.

Mahodhara and Picchu waited for the replacement to arrive – he never did.

When Picchu approached other cats for the job, it was turned down by one and all – Marjaraah had tipped them off about the boredom and the hazards of the job.

Fearing rebuke and much worse over not solving the problem, Picchu too took off never to be seen again.

In disgust and disbelief Mahodhara went in search of a new dwelling free of mice.

Mooshika threw a ‘Didn’t I tell you?’ glance at a surprised wife.

Credits: and

The Travellers And The Monk

One day a traveller was walking along a road on his journey from one village to another. As he walked he noticed a monk tending the ground in the fields beside the road.

The monk said “Good day” to the traveller.

The traveller nodded to the monk. and turning to him said “Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?”.

“Not at all,” replied the monk.

“I am travelling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it is like in the village in the valley?”

“Tell me,” said the monk, “What was your experience of the village in the mountains?”

“Dreadful,” replied the traveller, “to be honest I am glad to be away from there. I found the people most unwelcoming. When I first arrived I was greeted coldly. I was never made to feel part of the village no matter how hard I tried. The villagers keep very much to themselves, they don’t take kindly to strangers. So tell me, what can I expect in the village in the valley?”

“I am sorry to tell you,” said the monk, “but I think your experience will be much the same there”.

The traveller hung his head despondently and walked on.

A while later another traveller was journeying down the same road and he also came upon the monk.

“I’m going to the village in the valley,” said the second traveller, “Do you know what it is like?”

“I do,” replied the monk “But first tell me – where have you come from?”

“I’ve come from the village in the mountains.”

“And how was that?”

“It was a wonderful experience. I would have stayed if I could but I am committed to travelling on. I felt as though I was a member of the family in the village. The elders gave me much advice, the children laughed and joked with me and people were generally kind and generous. I am sad to have left there. It will always hold special memories for me. And what of the village in the valley?” he asked again.

“I think you will find it much the same” replied the monk, “Good day to you”.

“Good day and thank you,” the traveller smiled, and journeyed on.


. .
Credit: and