Thursday, November 20, 2014


What is Your Self-Worth?Musings


DONKEY FOR SALE – A Mulla Nasrudin Teaching Story 

Mulla Nasrudin had a good-for-nothing useless donkey. 

The donkey was wild, unruly, lazy, and obstinate and would not obey Mulla Nasrudin.

All efforts to teach and train the donkey failed.

Soon the donkey became such a nuisance that Nasrudin and his wife were fed up of the donkey and wanted to get rid of it.

So they decided to sell off their useless donkey and purchase a good new donkey.

One day Mulla Nasrudin took his good-for-nothing useless donkey to the weekly fair where animals were bought and sold by auction.

“I want to sell this good-for-nothing, lazy, useless, disobedient donkey,” Mulla Nasrudin shouted.

A man offered five hundred rupees.

Mulla Nasrudin was delighted to get this unexpected high price for his useless donkey.

Then, a happy Mulla Nasrudin roamed around the fair searching for a good donkey which he could purchase.

Suddenly he saw a huge crowd around an auctioneer.

The auctioneer was auctioning a handsomely decked-up donkey wearing a crown.

The auctioneer boasted about the bedecked donkey and he praised the donkey’s strong muscles: “Look how strong and supple this donkey is – it is so hardy that it can work tirelessly for hours carrying heavy loads. An excellent beast of burden.”

Someone bid one thousand rupees.

“What? Only a thousand rupees for such a magnificent and intelligent donkey? You can train him to anything you want and he will learn in a minute. This is a most gentle donkey. Just look at his eyes. You know he is a wonderful donkey. You can let him carry your children home with full knowledge of the fact that this kind animal will protect them from any harm. For he is a strong loyal friend…” the auctioneer said.

Someone bid three thousand rupees.

The auctioneer continued talking about the donkey’s value  telling everyone how excellent this donkey was.

And as he laid it thick and praised the donkey’s superlative qualities, the bids started going higher and higher.

The auctioneer went on and on extolling the donkey’s virtues  “This is truly a Champion Donkey .

Mulla Nasrudin was so impressed by the donkey’s high worth that he suddenly bid Ten Thousand Rupees.

Nasrudin won the auction bid  he paid Rs. 10,000 and bought the donkey.

He triumphantly led his prize donkey home.

He told his wife that he had sold off their good-for-nothing useless donkey for Rs. 500 and bought this wonderful new donkey for Rs. 10,000.

Nasrudin’s wife had a close look at the newly purchased champion donkey.

The donkey looked familiar.

She realized that the decked-up donkey Nasrudin had bought at the fair was their own lazy good-for-nothing useless donkey.

She was furious with Mulla Nasrudin, and she shouted at him, “Are you crazy Nasrudin? This is our own useless donkey – you sold it for Rs. 500 and bought it back for Rs. 10,000.”

A stunned, bewildered and baffled Mulla Nasrudin looked closely at the donkey for some time.

Then, Nasrudin recovered his wits, and he said, “Maybe I did not appreciate the true worth of my donkey until the auctioneer explained how worthy this donkey was and told us about the donkey’s magnificent qualities…” 


It is true, isn’t it?

Sometimes we don’t realize the value of what we have or understand our own worth, till someone else appreciates it. 

In fact, sometimes we do not even value our own qualities and talents.

There is a saying in Hindi: “Ghar Ki Murgi Dal Barabar…”

It is high time to introspect and realize our own worth (and the worth of our near and dear loved ones and friends) and value the things that we already possess. 

The metaphor of the Donkey may refer to your own internal self worth and your own qualities which you tend to depreciate. 

So it is high time you realized the true worth of the  “donkeys” hiding inside within you, whose real worth you have not appreciated till today.

That is why I feel that the true moral of the story is that whereas we mostly realize the worth of everyone else and external things, most importantly, we must realize our own Self-Worth.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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