One hot day, a thirsty crow flew all over the fields looking for water. For a long time, she could not find any. She felt very weak, almost giving up hope.

Suddenly, she saw a water jug below her. She flew straight down to see if there was any water inside. Yes, she could see some water inside the jug!

The crow tried to push her head into the jug. Sadly, she found that the neck of the jug was too narrow. Then she tried to push the jug down for the water to flow out. She found that the jug was too heavy.

The crow thought hard for a while. Then looking around her, she saw some pebbles. She suddenly had a good idea. She started picking up the pebbles one by one, dropping each into the jug. As more and more pebbles filled the jug, the water level kept rising. Soon it was high enough for the crow to drink. Her plan had worked!

If you try hard enough, you may soon find an answer to your problem.

A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep. The Lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing; so, leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off her, and for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals.

Appearances are deceptive.

Change Yourself and not The World

Long ago, people lived happily under the rule of a king. The people of the kingdom were very happy as they led a very prosperous life with an abundance of wealth and no misfortunes.

Once, the king decided to go visiting places of historical importance and pilgrim centres at distant places. He decided to travel by foot to interact with his people. People of distant places were very happy to have a conversation with their king. They were proud that their king had a kind heart.

After several weeks of travel, the king returned to the palace. He was quite happy that he had visited many pilgrim centres and witnessed his people leading a prosperous life. However, he had one regret.

He had intolerable pain in his feet as it was his first trip by foot covering a long distance. He complained to his ministers that the roads weren’t comfortable and that they were very stony. He could not tolerate the pain. He said that he was very much worried about the people who had to walk along those roads as it would be painful for them too!

Considering all this, he ordered his servants to cover the roads in the whole country with leather so that the people of his kingdom can walk comfortably.

The king’s ministers were stunned to hear his order as it would mean that thousands of cows would have to be slaughtered in order to get sufficient quantity of leather. And it would cost a huge amount of money also.

Finally, a wise man from the ministry came to the king and said that he had another idea. The king asked what the alternative was. The minister said, “Instead of covering the roads with leather, why don’t you just have a piece of leather cut in appropriate shape to cover your feet?”

The king was very much surprised by his suggestion and applauded the wisdom of the minister. He ordered a pair of leather shoes for himself and requested all his countrymen also to wear shoes.

Moral: Instead of trying to change the world, we should try to change ourselves.

Rama’s family is very big. Rama is a hard worker and he is the sole bread winner of the family. He has three kids, two sons and a daughter. He lives along with father and mother. Rama used to work too hard to feed his family.

He works for more than 16 hours a day. The kids cannot see him as he will leave home early in the morning before they wake-up and reach home around midnight when kids would sleep every day. The entire family eagerly wait to spend quality time with him and the kids miss him so much.

The children were too curious about Sundays as his father would spend the entire day with them. Unfortunately, to meet the increasing household expenses and educational expenses, Rama took a weekend job to work even on Sundays. The kids were very shattered and even Rama’s wife and parents too!

The typical routine continued for several weeks and year passed. All the hard work of Rama earned a lot of benefits and he was offered promotion with attractive increment.

The family moved to a new house, got better clothes and ate healthy foods. However, as usual, Rama continues to earn more and more money. One day his wife asked him ‘why are you running for money? We can be happy with what we have now.’

Rama replied, ‘I want to give the best available in the world to all of you and want you to stay happy always.’

Two years passed and Rama hardly spent time with his family. The children yearned to have their father at home. Meanwhile, the sincere efforts of Rama reaped him a fortune. He was offered partnership and share in profits. He continued to earn more and more wealth.

Now, Rama’s family is one of the richest families in the city. They have all the facilities and luxuries. Still, Rama’s children strove to meet their father as he was hardly seen at home.

His children turned teens and they are no more kids. Now, Rama earned enough wealth to provide a luxurious life to his next five generations.

Rama’s family went to their beach house to spend their vacation. His daughter asked, ‘Dad will you please spend one day at home and stay with us here?’

Rama replied, ‘Yes darling, tomorrow for sure, I will join you for the lunch and be with you all for next few days. I’m tired of work and need refreshment!’

The entire family became very happy.

Unfortunately, the next day, none in Rama’s family were alive as they were washed out in Tsunami!

Rama was too busy even to hear the news about Tsunami. When he tried to reach his beach house, he saw sea and water everywhere and screamed for his family, He could not even find the dead bodies of his family.

He can never have them again, cannot even see them and even by paying millions he cannot get them back to life!

He remembered his wife’s words, ‘Why are you running for money? We can be happy with what we have now.’

Money can’t buy everything!

It was a sunny day, but the climate was enjoyable. Everyone in the railway station was waiting for the train to arrive. Among the crowd, there was a group of friends, youngsters who were on board for vacation.

It was a busy station with juice shop, mobile restaurants, coffee and tea stalls, newspaper shop, restaurants, etc. The announcement regarding the arrival of the train was made and everyone prepared to get into the train to their appropriate places.

The group of friends made loud noise to welcome the train as it entered the station. They ran to get their reserved seats before anyone could get into the train.

The empty seats were filled and the train whistled to move. An old man with a young boy aged around 15 years came running to catch the train. They entered the train and the train started to move. They had their seats just adjacent to the friends’ group.

The young boy was so surprised to see everything.

He acclaimed at his father, ‘Dad, the train is moving and the things are moving backwards.’

His father smiled and nodded his head.

As the train started moving fast, the young boy again screamed, ‘Dad the trees are green in colour and run backward very fast.’ His father said, ‘Yes dear’ and smiled.

Just like a kid, he was watching everything with great enthusiasm and happiness loaded with tons of surprises.

A fruit seller passed selling apples and oranges. The young boy asked his dad, ‘I want to eat apples.’ His father bought him apples. He said, ‘Oh apple looks so sweet than it tastes’ I love this colour.

The group was watching all the activities of this boy and asked the boy’s father ‘Is your son having any problem? Why is he behaving very differently?

A friend from the group made fun of him and shouted, ‘His son is mad I think.

The father of the young boy, with patience, replied to the friend-group.

‘My son was born blind. Only a few days before he was operated and got the vision. He is seeing various things in his life for the first time.

The young friends became very quiet and apologized to his father and son.

Think Before You Speak

A group of employees was working in a software company. It was a team of 30 employees. This was a young, energetic and dynamic team with keen enthusiasm and desire to learn and grow. The management decided to teach the employees about finding real solution to the problems.

The team was called to play a game in a banquet hall. The group was quite surprised as they were called for playing game. All reached the venue holding various thoughts. As they entered the hall, they found the hall decorated beautifully with colourful decorative papers and balloons all over the place. It was more like a kid’s play area, than a corporate meeting hall.

Everyone was surprised and gazed at each other. Also, there was a huge box of balloons placed at the centre of the hall.

The team leader asked everyone to pick a balloon from the box and asked them to blow it. Every one happily picked a balloon and blew it.

Then the team leader asked them to write their names on their balloon, carefully so that the balloons didn’t blow up. All tried to write their names on the balloons, but not everyone was successful. A few balloons blew up due to pressure and they were given another chance to use another balloon.

Those who failed to mark their names even after the second chance were ruled out of the game. After the second chance, 25 employees were qualified for the next level. All the balloons were collected and then put into a room.

The team leader announced the employees to go to the room and pick the same balloon that had his name on it. Also, he told them that no balloon should blow up and warned them to be very careful!

All 25 employees reached the room, where the balloons carrying their names were thrown here and there. They were searching for the respective balloons carrying their names. While they were in a rush to find the respective balloons, they tried not to burst the balloons. It was almost 15 minutes and no one was able to find the balloon carrying his own name.

The team was told that the second level of the game was over.

Now it is the third and final level. They asked the employees to pick any balloon in the room and give it to the person named on the balloon. Within a couple of minutes all balloons reached the hands of the respective employee and everyone reached the hall.

The team leader announced; this is called real solutions to the problems. Everyone is frantically hunting for solutions to the problems without understanding the ideal ways. Many times, sharing and helping others give you real solutions to all problems.

Help out each other to ease things.

Before several centuries, there was a very large, dense and dark forest. A group of monkeys arrived at the forest. It was winter season, and the monkeys struggled hard to survive the freezing cold nights. They were hunting for fire to get warm.

One night, they saw a firefly and considered it a dab of fire. All the monkeys in the group shouted ‘Fire, Fire, Fire, Yeah we got fire!’

A couple of monkeys tried to catch the firefly and it escaped. They were sad as they could not catch the fire. They were talking to themselves that they couldn’t live in the cold if they didn’t get the fire.

The next night, again they saw many fireflies. After several attempts, the monkeys caught a few fireflies. They put the fireflies in a hole dug in the land and tried to blow the flies.

They blew the flies very hard without knowing the fact that they were flies!

An owl was watching the activities of the monkeys. The owl reached the monkeys and told them, ‘Hey those are not fire! They are flies. You won’t be able to make fire from it!’

The monkeys laughed at the owl. One monkey replied the owl, ‘Hey old owl you don’t know anything about how to make fire. Don’t disturb us!’

The Owl warned the monkeys again and asked them to stop their foolish act. ‘Monkeys, you cannot make fire from the flies! Please hear my words.’

The monkeys tried to make fire from the flies.

The Owl told them again to stop their foolish act. ‘You are struggling so much, go take your shelter in a nearby cave. You can save yourself from the freezing cold! You won’t get fire!’

One monkey shouted at the owl and the owl left the place.

The monkeys were simply doing the foolish activity for several hours and it was almost midnight. They were very tired and realized that the words of the owl were correct and they were trying to blow a fly.

They sheltered themselves at the cave and escaped from the cold.

We may go wrong many times and should seek and accept the advice / suggestions provided by others.

Once upon a time, there were three brothers named Samuel, Timothy and Xander, who lived in a cottage by the woods. They were honest and hardworking. Every day, they would venture into the forest to fell wood. Later, they would sell it in the market where it would fetch a decent price. Thus, their life continued in this manner.

However, the brothers were always sad and morose. Even though they lived a good life, they were unhappy. Each one hankered for something or the other and would pine for it.

One day, while Samuel, Timothy and Xander were returning home from the woods carrying their bundle of logs, they saw an old haggard woman bent low with a sack on her back. As they were kind and compassionate, the brothers immediately approached the poor woman and offered to carry the sack all the way to her home. She smiled and expressed her gratefulness, while replying that the sack actually contained apples that she had collected in the forest. Samuel, Timothy and Xander took turns in carrying the sack, and at last, when they reached the woman’s home, they were very tired indeed.

Now, this old woman was no ordinary person and had magical powers. Pleased with the brothers’ kind and selfless nature, she asked them whether there was anything she could help them with, as a reward.

“We are not happy, and that has become our greatest cause of concern,” replied Samuel. The woman asked what would make them happy. Each brother spoke of a different thing that would please him.

“A splendid mansion with plenty of servants would make me happy. There is nothing more that I would want,” said Samuel.

“A big farm with lots of harvest would make me happy. Then I could be rich without having to worry,” said Timothy.

“A beautiful wife would make me happy. Every day, after returning home, her sweet little face would light me up and make me forget my sorrows,” said Xander.

“That is fine,” said the old woman, “If these things will give you happiness, you deserve them in every respect for helping a poor helpless person like me. Go home, and each of you shall find exactly what you have wished for.”

This took the brothers by surprise as they did not know about the woman’s powers. Nevertheless, they took leave and returned home. But lo behold, beside their cottage, there was a huge mansion with a doorman and other servants waiting outside! They greeted Samuel and ushered him in. At some distance, a yellow farmland showed itself. A ploughman came and announced that it belonged to Timothy. Timothy gasped. Just at that moment, a beautiful maiden approached Xander and coyly said that she was his wife. The brothers were beside themselves with joy at this new turn of events. They thanked their lucky stars and adapted to their new lifestyles.

The days passed and soon a year was over. The situation was however, now different for Samuel, Timothy and Xander. Samuel had grown tired of owning the mansion. He became lazy and did not supervise his servants into taking proper care of the mansion. Timothy, who had built a decent house next to his farmland, found it burdensome to plough the fields and sow seeds from time to time. Xander too, grew used to his beautiful wife and no longer found any joy in keeping her company. In short, all of them were unhappy again.

One day, the three of them met up and decided to visit the old woman at her home. “That woman has magical powers which turned our dreams into reality. However, since we are no longer happy, we must go and seek her help now. It is she who will be able to tell us the secret to attaining happiness,” said Samuel.

When they came to the old woman, she was cooking stew in a pot. Greeting her, each of the brothers recounted how he had turned unhappy again. “Please tell us how we can once more be happy,” said Timothy.

“Well,” replied the old woman. “It is all in your own hands. See, when each of you made his wish and it was granted, you were happy. However, happiness never lasts without a very important thing – content. Earlier, since you were happy but never really content or satisfied, boredom and misery overcame you and you became sad again. Only if you learn to be content, can you truly enjoy the bliss of happiness.”

Samuel, Timothy and Xander realized their mistake and went back home. They saw how lucky they were to have the gifts for which they had once craved. Samuel felt grateful for being the owner of a mansion and began taking good care of it. Timothy began to plough his land diligently so as to have a good harvest in time. Xander too learnt to appreciate his pretty wife’s chores in the house and her devotion towards him. Remembering that happiness and content went side by side, never again did the brothers take their blessings for granted. And thus, they lived happily ever after.

What The Drop Taketh

The anecdotes of Emperor Akbar and his trusted aide Birbal are entertaining as well as enlightening. Once, the Emperor received the gift of a rare perfume. As he opened the bottle, a drop of perfume fell to the floor. Akbar instinctively moved to retrieve it by wiping the floor with his finger. As he looked up he noticed a bemused look on Birbal’s face… his eyes seemed to mock the Emperor for being scrounging.

To change Birbal’s perception, Akbar summoned him the next morning to his bath. He asked his attendants to fill up the bathtub with the best of perfumes. Akbar sought to show Birbal that as Emperor he could afford to waste as much perfume, as he wanted. Birbal when asked to react said the immortal lines, “Boond se jati, woh haudh se nahi aati” (An entire tub full cannot retrieve what the drop took way!)

Birbal sought to tell the Emperor that his earlier instinctive action (that exhibited miserliness) could not be undone by an intentional action (aimed at big-heartedness). Our character is determined by our reactions, not by forced posturing. It is better to be transparent then wear favorable masks. In fact every little action and reaction, every spoken word and emerging thought reflects our true self!

The Well Dispute

Once there was a complaint at King Akbar’s court.

There were two neighbors who shared their garden. In that garden, there was a well that was possessed by Iqbal Khan. His neighbor, who was a farmer wanted to buy the well for irrigation purpose. Therefore they signed an agreement between them, after which the farmer owned the well.

Even after selling the well to the farmer, Iqbal continued to fetch water from the well. Angered by this, the farmer had come to get justice from King Akbar.

King Akbar asked Iqbal the reason for fetching water from the well even after selling it to the farmer.

Iqbal replied that he had sold only the well to the farmer but not the water inside it.

King Akbar wanted Birbal who was present in the court listening to the problem to solve the dispute.

Birbal came forward and gave a solution. He said ” Iqbal, You say that you have sold only the well to the farmer. And you claim that the water is yours. Then how come you can keep your water inside another person’s well without paying rent?”

Iqbal’s trickery was countered thus in a tricky way. The farmer got justice and Birbal was fairly rewarded.