We have all heard stories that make us smile, the stories that pass on simple practical messages. Remember the royal wisdom from the stories of Birbal, the deeper meaning beyond the comic relief of Tenali Raman, the quiet contemplation provided by the stories of Bikram and Bethal, or the sagacious simplicity of Mullah Nasruddin's outrageous stories. It is always the simple stories that speak to us, that stay with us in our hearts etching it with its little message. I heard one such story this weekend set in the familiar surrounds of my own town, Hyderabad.
We were talking about personalities making it on to the cover of the Time magazine. And my friend says " Did you know that the Nizam of Hyderabad was on the cover of the Time Magazine in the early twentieth century? He was probably the richest man in the world at that time." Really?!! I googled a few hours later and found out that the Nizam did appear on the cover of the edition published on Feb 22nd, 1937. And my friend goes on to relate a story about one of the Nizam's sons or nephews who had a reputation of being extremely miserly. He would shun his royal gowns outside of his courtier duties and dress up as a common man. There is no way he would stand out as a royal prince. At some point, he became a victim of ridicule by the other courtiers for his very simple living. The story spread and it is not only the courtiers but also the sepoys and guards who heard this story. One day, a palace guard spotted the prince walking out in plain clothes jingling some coins in his pockets. As he walked by a small gold coin fell out of his pocket. The prince stopped to pick it up and put it back in his pocket. At this point, the palace guard who was used to seeing grandeur and pomp, laughed at him and said, " O Prince, you stoop down to pick up a small coin. What is that coin worth for you, one who has millions?" To this the prince replied, " I will show you the value of this small coin". He spotted a bullock cart going by filled with groundnuts. He asked the cart man if he would sell him the groundnuts in exchange for that one coin. The poor cart man gladly agreed, amazed at his stroke of luck. The prince then told the guard, divide the groundnuts into fifty separate packs and send it out to all the rich folks in the neighborhood with a note of thanks. The guard did as he was told. Very soon, in return for the prince's gift, the rich patrons send back loads of gold and riches. The prince showed that huge tranche of riches and said to the guard " Here is what that one small coin of gold is worth!!"
This is truly a story of abundance. There are some simple lessons in what is otherwise a funny story. Lesson one : Respect what you have however small that might seem to be. And I am not talking about a little gold coin. The little gold coin is but a metaphor for your talents. Respect it, nurture it and one day it will give back in abundance. Lesson two : Share what you have, and it will come back to you in abundance. Again, I am not talking about money, I am talking about anything you want in abundance in your life. If you want a lot of kindness in your life, be a little kind first. If you want a lot of love, be the love you want in return. If you want lot of peace, share a little peace with your loved ones. This is the wisdom from the little Hyderabadi story. This is the cosmic conspiracy behind abundance. Practice it wisely, enjoy it wisely.