Saturday, June 1, 2013

HUMOR AND LEARNING - DONKEY WISDOM from a Three in One Mulla Nasrudin Teaching Story


A 3 in 1 Mulla Nasrudin Teaching Story

Here are 3 Mulla Nasrudin Teaching Stories with the “moral” of the stories in blue below each story.


Once upon a time, long long ago Mulla Nasrudin went to a shipyard.

Seeing a fire, which he had not expected to be associated with the sea, he asked a workman what it was for.

“We make tar,” said the workman, “and cover the cracks in the underside of the boat. That smoothens the surface, reduces friction and makes the vessel go faster.”

Nasrudin went straight home and made a bonfire. 

Then he tied up his donkey and melted some tar in a pan and heated it till it was red hot. 

As soon as he began to apply the flaming red hot tar to the stomach of the donkey, the terrified donkey broke loose and ran like the wind.

“It works all right!” said Mulla Nasrudin to himself as he watched his donkey flee like a rocket and disappear across the horizon.


Don’t we see it happening all around? 

We try to apply the right solutions to the wrong problems and the wrong solutions to the right problems, don't we? 

And this mismatch sometimes ends in disaster.


Nasrudin’s  donkey did not return for many days. 

An anxious Nasrudin repeatedly kept on asking each and every villager, he asked every one he met, whether they had seen his donkey. 

Fed up with him, they told him to ask the ‘wise man’ who knew the answers to all the questions. 

“Nasrudin,” the wise man said, “your donkey has run off, turned into a man and has been appointed as the Magistrate in the district town.

Thanking the wise man for the information, Mulla Nasrudin trudged to the district town and entered the courtroom. 

There sat the District Magistrate, in all his glory, listening to an important case.

Nasrudin shook his fist at the Magistrate and shouted at him in a loud voice which resonated in the courtroom: “Come home at once, you foolish donkey!”

The Magistrate was furious: “Who are you and how dare you talk to me like that? I am the Magistrate. I’ll have you arrested and sent to jail for contempt of court.”

“Who am I? You dare to ask me who I am? Don't you recognize your Master, you donkey! I am the well-known Mulla Nasrudin from the neighbouring village and you are my donkey.”

“Who told you that I am your donkey?” the bewildered Magistrate asked Mulla Nasrudin.

“The ‘wise man’ in my village told me that my donkey has run off, turned into a man and has been appointed Magistrate in the district town. This is the district town and you are the Magistrate here, so you are my donkey,” Nasrudin said.

“That’s ridiculous. Are you mad? Do I look like a donkey?” the Magistrate said.

Nasrudin drew himself up to his full height and said emphatically: “I prefer to believe the statement of the wise man rather than that of my donkey.”


Sometimes “WHO” said something matters more than “WHAT” is said.


The Magistrate ordered the police to throw Mulla Nasrudin out of the town.

So Mulla Nasrudin returned to his village distraught. 

He was overcome with grief and broke down and started wailing and crying in the village square that he had lost his donkey.
“You may have lost your donkey, Mulla Nasrudin, but you don’t have to grieve over the animal more than you did over the loss of your first wife,” the villagers consoled him.

Mulla Nasrudin looked at the villagers and said: “Ah, but if you remember, when I lost my wife, all you villagers said Don't worry. We will find another wife for you - and you did find me another wife to replace the one I had lost. But, so far, nobody has offered to replace my donkey.”


Concrete action to mitigate a loss is more important than offering lip sympathy

Think, Laugh and Have a nice day

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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.

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 2013. All Rights Reserved

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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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1 comment:

Gari said...

Thanks Vikram. I really liked this article. The stories illustrate the morals very well. I don't think I could choose 1 over the other 2 - all 3 are good takeaways but I do think the "who" of where something comes from certainly matters more than what is said. It answers the question of "who do you listen to?".

Thanks again for a lovely post.