Thursday, 23 May 2013

Old habits die hard!

In the village of Ramnagara, there lived two women who used to travel together to the market at the same time every day.Tara was the woman who sold flowers and Maya sold fish in the market. After they finished selling their goods the two women walked back home discussing the day’s happenings with each other. They would then take a nap under the tree and then walk back home.

Tara often took pity on Maya because even the 15 minute nap everyday would be a trouble for her with the stink of the fish lingering from the fish basket. She would ask Maya to replace the basket while she slept but Maya would dismiss it with a smile.
But this thought made Tara uncomfortable and she decided that she had to help her friend. She knew her friend would not listen to her and therefore decided to help her without her knowledge.

Every night she started exchanging her fish basket with a new basket. Before dawn she would replace the fish basket again. This went on for some time and Tara was very happy with herself. But ironically Maya’s condition did not become better. She started looking very tired and pale. Dark circles became apparent under her eyes and often her eyes were swollen.

Tara wondered what was wrong with Maya and one day asked what the matter was. Tara did not know what to say. She just told her friend that she could not sleep well and that was affecting her. Tara was curious to know more. She asked her if there was any problem. Maya told her that she felt a bit strange and her sleep was getting disturbed too often and that she herself did not know what the problem was.

As fresh thoughts about her friend’s condition started plaguing her mind, Tara forgot to replace the baskets for a few a days. In the meantime Maya started sleeping well and the few days that the baskets were not exchanged, Maya was herself once again and she thanked Tara for patiently listening to her. Tara now understood the reason for Maya’s sleeplessness and felt very guilty. She instantly understood that people grow used to their situations and derive a sense of security when they are in their comfort zone.

She felt stupid because though she had thought of helping her friend, she had actually caused her trouble. Tara learnt two important lessons that day. Accepting people as they are without trying to change them is the essence of friendship! Trying to help people based on your judgement of their situation can be counterproductive!