Remember, you sow, you reap
Sep 06 2013
Once upon a long time ago, there lived a fair and wise king in the foothills of the Himalayas. He decided he would need a successor to the throne and knowing his son was incapable of the job (being a spoilt brat), he advertised for all boys in the age group of 10-14 to come to the palace. Boys flocked from every corner, and the king told them he was looking for a “future King” from amongst them. To pass the test, he gave them a seed each and they had to bring back the lovely plant that grew a year from now. “Make me proud of you!” he said smiling at his citizens. The boys took home the seed. Some planted it and left it to their mothers to take care of. Some forgot about the seed and decided when the day came, they would buy a beautiful plant and pass it of as their own.
One little boy, Anil, took good care of his seed, watered it daily. Spoke to it, nurtured it, hoed the mud in the pot, but to no avail, it would not sprout. As days went by, he grew sad, and closer to D-day, his mother found him crying in his room. “Mother I will not go to the palace. This plant has not grown and everyone has such lovely plants. I have failed the king!” His mother encouraged Anil to tell the king the truth, that he had tried his best, but the seed did not sprout. Next day, the palace was filled with boys who held beautiful glowing plants in their pots and sat beaming in the dubar hall. The king inspected all the pots and was lost in thought, when he suddenlly heard muffled sobs. “Who is that?”, asked the king, to discover tiny Anil hiding in the corner with his empty pot. “It’s me, honourable king,” said Anil bravely. “I have to tell you the truth: I am a failure. I took such good care yet my plant did not grow! I came here to apologise for having failed in my duty.” The king smiled broadly and said: “I was in a quandry, but now my problems are solved! This boy is fit to be King!” Everyone was stunned. The king said, “I had given all of you boiled seeds, the kind that will not grow. I wanted to see who would have the courage to tell the truth. Because truth is a hard thing to stick by.”
In a world of crumbling values and forgotten ethics, we need to nurture capable youth. Those who will show the earth respect, who will be sensitive to each other, who will honour truth and justice.
(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)