Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MISSING THE WOOD FOR THE TREES

MISSING THE WOOD FOR THE TREES
A Mulla Nasrudin Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE
  
Here is one of my favourite Mulla Nasrudin stories:

Mulla Nasrudin was leading a donkey loaded with bundles of straw on its back. 

He reached the border post and was walking across the border into the neighbouring country.

An experienced customs inspector newly posted on that border check-post spotted Nasrudin and his donkey crossing the border.

“Halt,” the customs inspector said, “Who are you? What is your business here?”

“I am an honest smuggler!” Nasrudin said jokingly.

“Oh, really?” said the customs inspector, “Well, let me search those straw bundles. If I find something in them, then you will have to pay customs duty.”

“Do as you wish, “Nasrudin replied, “but you will not find anything in those bundles.”

The inspector intensively searched and took apart the bundles, but he could not find a single thing in them. 

He had no choice but to say embarrassingly to Nasrudin, “You may pass the border.” 

Nasrudin crossed the border with his donkey while the curious and annoyed customs inspector looked on.

The very next day, Nasrudin once again came to the border with a straw-carrying donkey.

The inspector saw Nasrudin coming and thought, “I’ll catch him for sure this time.” 

The customs officer thoroughly checked the bundles of straw again. 

Then he searched through Nasrudin’s clothing. 

Then the customs officer even went through the donkey’s harness. 

But once again he came up empty handed and had to let Nasrudin pass. 

This same pattern continued every day for several years.

And day by day Nasrudin wore more and more extravagant clothing and jewellery that indicated he was getting wealthier and wealthier.

Eventually, the customs inspector retired from his job after several years of service.

But even in retirement he still wondered about the man with the straw-carrying donkey. 

“I should have checked that donkey’s mouth more extensively,” he thought to himself, “Or maybe he hid something in the donkey’s rectum.”

Then one day he spotted Nasrudin’s face in a crowd. 

“Hey,” the retired customs inspector said, “I know you! You are that man who came to my border check-post everyday for all those years with a straw-carrying donkey. Please, sir, I must talk to you.”

Nasrudin came towards the man and smiled.

The retired customs inspector continued talking: “My friend, I always wondered what you were smuggling past my border every day. Just between you and me, you must tell me. I am retired now. But I must know just to satisfy my curiosity. Please tell me what were you smuggling for all those years under my very nose?”

Donkeys,” Nasrudin said triumphantly, “I was smuggling donkeys!”

Moral of the Story:

Sometimes you miss the wood for the trees! 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

NB:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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