The Pot Of Rice
The Pot Of Rice4 mins 551 4 mins 551
The people of Patalpuram village were distressed. There had been severe drought and famine in the area for the past few weeks. Somebody had suggested that they pray to the Gods and leave everything into the hands of the Almighty. For a few days, the entire population of the village spent most of their time in the temple, praying and pleading God to give them rain, or at least a little food and water. But after nothing improved, the people lost hope and faith in God. They became indifferent, not caring whether they lived or died.
12-year-old Ravi lived in Patalpuram with his mother and three sisters. He felt that it was futile praying to God. If the people wanted water or food, why not spend their time thinking of ways to get it? He could no longer bear to see his family suffer this way. He himself had been thirsty for the last two days. No, he had to do something about it.
Meanwhile, far, far away from the tiny village, a meeting of gods was taking place in heaven. All gods were present except for one- Lord Indira, the god of rain. Lord Brahma began, “We all know about the crisis in Patalpuram. People, as well as animals and birds, are dying of hunger and thirst. But we have a bigger issue. I will show you”. Brahma waved his hands and a room full of dangling light bulbs appeared before the gods. Only one bulb was glowing, the rest were not. Brahma explained “These light bulbs represent the people of Patalpuram. When the bulbs stop glowing, it means that the people have lost hope. They have just given up.” A collective gasp rose from the other gods. “But, as you can see”, continued Brahma, “there is still someone who has not lost hope. He, or she, is the only one who can solve this problem.” Brahma went near the glowing bulb and read the name written on it – Ravi.
Ravi was on his way to the city, which was almost 20 miles away from Patalpuram. His mother’s brother, his uncle Rajesh lived in the city with his wife and children. Surely, he would have some food to spare. Ravi’s legs were aching terribly, blisters had formed on his bare feet. Still, the thought of his mother and sisters kept him going. If only he could get some food and water, the entire journey would be worth it. He had almost reached; he could not stop right now. Finally, he reached his uncle’s house and knocked on the door. When his uncle opened it, he found his nephew collapsed on the floor.
Ravi was once again on the road. Now he had his arms full with a large pot of rice that he was taking home for his family. Once he entered his village, he decided not to use the main village road, because if anyone saw him, they would certainly want the rice that he had. Suddenly, the air started blowing violently around him and it carried Ravi away.
Ravi could not believe what he was seeing. All the gods that people talked about were in front of him. He stood there, open-mouthed, unable to say anything. Brahma stepped forward and spoke to him, “Let me begin by telling you something. You, my boy, are very special.”
Ravi was back in his village, astounded by what he had just heard and seen in heaven. Brahma had shown him the light bulbs and Ravi had been deeply impacted by them. Before sending him back, Brahma had made Ravi promise him that somehow, he will get all the bulbs glowing. Ravi now had no idea how to do that.
Ravi tried convincing the villagers that these times would soon be over and they all could live happily once again. But nobody listened to him. Ravi had no choice left.
Later in the evening, a bell toll sounded in the village. The villagers made their way to the temple where they were greeted by something that brought smiles on their faces. There was a pot of rice kept near the deity! Somebody cried, “Looks like God has answered our prayers after all!” The joyful people leaped upon the rice, savoring every bite. What they did not notice was Ravi, who was standing in a corner, with a content look on his face, and realizing that it had been totally worth sacrificing his rice for the villagers.
In heaven, Brahma smiled as the bulbs flickered on one by one.