Life Lesson from Grandmother’s Story
As a child I always used to wait for my grandmother to visit us since she would always tell me bedtime stories and I love that. There were always a hidden life lesson behind those stories. She would never directly point that out but would let me figure out by myself.
I grew up and overtime those visits became less frequent and those bedtimes stories became even less frequent. Even today I do have few specific memories of the stories, just a memory block which stores the time when she would tell me stories while lying on mattress under the open sky on our terrace.
I distinctly remember few stories and all those stories were pretty simple and interesting. Few of them were from Panchtantra ( I got to know that later when I read them myself) others were from collections of grandmother’s mother. The stories would include King and queen with prince and also sometimes a simple man which would teach me simple lessons of life. No special knowledge.
While growing, all those stories became memories and got stored in place which I don’t use in regular life. I forgot almost everything and got busy in living life, earning money and surviving my routine.
Until, last week!
Last week after a long time my grandmother again visited us and decided to stay. I was happy to have her around. Of course there was no bedtime story now but having her around makes me feel good.
Today, we were at the table for breakfast and I was having my hot oatmeal. I was in bit of hurry so I just filled my spoon with the oats from center of plate and gulped it. I burned my mouth, no surprise there. She was right in front of me and said Arre, what are you doing?
I said nothing I am okay.
She smiled and said you forgot the story I told you.
The story of King Bhoja
So she began.
Once King Bhoja was trying desperately to fight a strong enemy and trying to learn their method of war and failed many times. During one such time he ran out of the situation and entered in the forest to hide. He got lost in the forest and started.
Upon getting tired and he was about to give up when he saw a hut at a distance. He was relieved yet surprised on seeing a hut in middle of forest. He went there and inquired about who lived there.
There was a young lady living in the hut all by herself. He introduced himself to her as King Bhoja. She immediately recognized him and welcomed him inside. She gave him water and asked if he wanted to eat anything. He said yes since he was hungry.
She made arrangements for the food and served him with hot Khichdi (porridge). He being so hungry filled the spoon with porridge and gulped it from center and burned his mouth.
The woman started laughing and said you are too stupid to be a king!
The king got angry and said why she would say anything like that. The woman apologized for laughing and said if you will jump directly to center of a hot food you are obviously going to burn your mouth. You should always begin with the sides taking small bites.
The king patiently listened to her and got stunned by a simple yet the most important life lesson the woman just gave him.
He was approaching every problem in his life with wrong mind set. He finished his food and left after thanking the woman for everything and also gave invitation to come to his palace.
And then I realized how this story was connected with my Oatmeal and also with my life.
We, as a person, always jump in the middle of something and end up failing in it. Also we don’t believe in taking small bites in the beginning. We are in such hurry to solve a problem that we sometimes make it worse.
We have to give time to anything new that we are going to do. You don’t jump into the sea directly when you are learning to swim, you practice in shallow water and then gradually move in to deep water.
I went into introspection and began to think how many times I have done the same mistake. All those mistakes could have been avoided if I had just a little patience and also if I had remembered this simple story from my grandmother.
I sat there lost in my thoughts.
Grandmother calls out my name and says hope you understood the story. I smiled to her wondering whether she meant it as life lesson or was she just asking about my oatmeal and my burnt mouth.
Then she again said this only applies when oatmeal is hot. You can eat now it is cold already. We laughed and I started eating again.