Monday, June 04, 2007

I became an 'Ajji KoLi' (ಅಜ್ಜಿ ಕೋಳಿ)

In our child-hood we are taught a lot of fables... Most of them are forgotten by us as quickly as we learn them. But life has its own way of reminding us of them every now and then. One such story....

[Those who know the story, skip to the last paragraph...]
Once up on a time, in a small village there lived an old lady (the ajji ಅಜ್ಜಿ , in Kannada). She had a hen (koLi ಕೋಳಿ, in Kannada) (or a rooster). Both of them had only each others for friends. Every day, the hen would wake up early and let out a loud crow just before dawn. The old lady also would get up early and make fire. Every body in the village would get up a little late after sunrise and borrow the day's fire form the old lady. This was a normal routine.

Gradually, the old lady and the hen both felt that the whole village was dependent on them and they could boss around any body. The hen thought that unless it woke up early and called for it, the sun would never rise. The old lady thought no food would be cooked in any body's house unless she started the fire (and everybody else borrowed from her).

One day, she got into a fight with a young lad who talked dis-respectfully about her ability to start fire. Irked by such lack of respect, she was determined to show the village what it is to live without fire for a day... and to show them what would happen if the sun did not rise for a day. That night, stealthily she took her rooster and a days supply of food and headed out of the village. She planned to spent a day in the forest away from the villagers.

The next day, the rooster crowed - the sun rose and the old lady made fire. She thought it would still be night at the village since the rooster was with her... In the afternoon, when she was eating what she cooked, she was imagining that everybody at the village would be frantically searching her to borrow the fire... everybody, especially the young lad, would be sorry that he spoke so harshly to her... She thought this day would be a lesson for all of the villagers.

After sunset, she returned back to the village. To her dismay - everything is normal there. Kids are happily playing, the shops are all glowing in the light of wicks lit up, there is smoke on top of every chimney. How did everybody get the fire? Nobody is talking about the missing sun. It did not even seem as though any body missed the old lady and her rooster.

At this moment, it dawned on her that all her pride in starting fire for the entire village was self made. The importance that she gave to her own rooster for the sun rising was all a mere hype. From that day, she continued to make fire for everybody - but never bossed over anybody.

Moral of the story
: No body is indispensable. We should help others, but never bind them to obligations.

Ha ha... at this point you must be wondering how did I come to learn this so late in life? Well, It happens. I am a pretty out-spoken person. I almost speak to everybody at my office. I consider all of them were my friends (albeit of varying degrees). Last week, I went on a 5 day vacation... I was surprised to see that not one of varying degree of friends did remember me. There was no reason to (glad about that). But, isn't friendship all about calling a friend without a reason... just to keep in touch... make someone happy... just to find out 'whats up?' and so on. This also reflects on how I have been treating people... After all, all relationships in life (barring a few divine ones) are of quid-pro-quo nature. Aren't they?


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with u on friendship....about phone calls...

but .......

aishu_here said...

Calling someone without reason - just to keep in touch, is a rarity hardly found in people.If you have atleast one such friend, you must be damn lucky!

Well, From your post it looks like.. you are not yet that lucky, just like the rest of us :-)

BTW, if no one among your zone of friends have ever done that to you., that surely does not mean that they stopped caring about you when you are away.Out of sight is not alwas out of mind !