Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The deaf donkey

 Once there lived a deaf donkey. He would bray so loudly that people around him used to get disturbed all the time and did not know how to quieten him down.

Though the villagers used to complain to each other about him, no one found a solution to the problem. 

One day as luck would have it, or would you say bad luck (for the donkey) would have it, the donkey fell into a dry well and could not climb out. He brayed and brayed with all his might (you can well imagine the noise that would have emanated from the well!). Slowly, the villagers gathered around the well and as is the usual human mob mentality, the crowd that gathered was polarised in their opinion of whether to help the donkey out of the well or not. Soon a section of people were debating on whether it was worth the effort and cost involved. One bespectacled ‘know-it-all’ opined that the whole operation would not be cost effective. After all, what is one donkey less to the world! Soon the voice of an animal activist boomed loud and clear. The donkeys are an endangered species and it was the duty of humanity to save the donkey. 

The poor donkey fell into a dry well...

As the argument continued a group of self-proclaimed intellects were seen with candles in their hands, taking a peaceful march. There was yet another group of fitness freaks, who had donned ‘Save the Donkey’ t-shirts and had organised a half-marathon.

While the drama outside was mounting, there were still some locals around the well who had now started writing the donkey off and jeered at him and threw fistfuls of sand into the well. If you are wondering where the shutter bugs were all this while, a monkey was trapped inside a house in the neighbouring village.

When word got around that the stakes were greater on the donkey, the paparazzi turned its light on the donkey. Flash bulbs, microphones and reporters who knew every single word available in the language that they were speaking and would not hesitate to show off their knowledge surrounded the well. 

The poor beast in the well did not know what was happening. He saw people throwing sand and mud and then lights, more people, more light and the confused beast sat in one corner not knowing what to do. Meanwhile the reporters had promised a live coverage of the whole drama and also promised to take an exclusive interview of the donkey which also would be relayed live.

The reporters had promised an exclusive interview of the donkey...

In a while the donkey stood up not knowing what to do with the microphones that had by now dropped into the well. He even chewed up the wire and parts of it and had to spit out the entire thing as it did not seem edible to him. He then pondered, and stepped on the bund of sand that had by now created a small step on one corner of the well. As people around started throwing more mud and sand he kept stepping on the sand. He was delighted to see the crowd above and thought,"How nice these people are! They are throwing mud and sand so that I can step on it and escape from the well." It helped that he could not hear their comments. He kept stepping up gleefully and eventually came out of the well.

In some time normalcy returned. The donkey went about his usual business of braying (now a wee bit louder, to show his gratitude to the people who had saved him). The villagers spoke about the whole episode for a few days until the burden of their everyday living took over the memory of the melodrama. To me, the positive attitude of the deaf donkey and the trust that he placed on the people around him were the real winners. When you trust people, even their negative actions can spell success! And of course turning a deaf ear to negative criticism makes you a winner all the way!