By N.K.A. Ballal, Retd. Sr. Vice-President, ITDC
My friend Sarasa sent me this story which I thought of sharing with ‘SOM’ readers as it fits in with the current times: Once a man got lost in a desert. The water in his flask had run out two days ago and he was on his last leg. He knew that if he did not get some water soon, he would surely die. The man saw a small hut ahead of him. First he thought it might me a mirage or he was hallucinating but having no other option, he moved forward towards the hut. As he got closer, he realised that it was real. So he dragged his tired body to the door with the last of his strength.
The hut was not occupied and seemed like it had been abandoned for quite some time. The man entered into it hoping against hope that he might find some water inside, his heart skipped a beat when he saw what was in the hut — a water hand pump — it had a pipe going down through the floor, perhaps tapping a source of water deep underground.
He began working the hand pump, but no water came out. He kept at it and still nothing happened. Finally he gave up from exhaustion and frustration. He threw up his hand in despair. It looked as if he was going to die after all.
Then the man noticed a bottle in one corner of the hut. It was filled with water and corked up to prevent evaporation. He un-corked the bottle and was about to gulp down the sweet life-giving water, when he noticed a piece of paper attached to it. The handwriting on the paper read “Use this water to start the pump. Do not forget to fill the bottle when you are done.”
He had a dilemma. He could follow the instruction and pour the water into the pump or he could just ignore it and drink the water. What to do? He was worried if he let the water in to the pump and the pump did not work? What if the pipe had a leak? What if the underground reservoir had long dried up? So many thoughts flashed in his mind.
But then, maybe the instructions were correct. Should he risk it? If it turned out to be false, he would be throwing away the last water he would ever see.
Hands trembling, he poured the water into the pump. Then he closed his eyes, said a prayer and started to work on the pump. He heard a gurgling sound and then water came gushing out, more than he could possibly use; he luxuriated in the cool and refreshing water. He was going to live after all!
After drinking his fill and feeling much better, he looked around the hut. He found a pencil and map of the region. The map showed that he was still far away from civilisation, but at least now he knew where he was and which direction to go. He filled his flask for the journey ahead. He also filled the bottle and put the cork back in. Before leaving the hut, he added in his own writing below the instruction, “Believe me, it works.”
What is the moral of this small story? It is the importance of “faith” in our lives. The man did not know if his action would be rewarded but he proceeded regardless, without expecting anything. He made a leap of faith.
I am reminded of the acrobats in the circus. How they leap from one bar to another without any hesitation, if the other man or woman is split second late, they have to fall. But it rarely happens. Such is the power of faith.
Now coming back to our present times of COVID-19, is it not time we the citizens put faith in the “Social Distancing“ being talked about as the only cure for the pandemic till, of course, a cure is found in the medical world? How that is in spite of so much advises from experts, so many of us are still loitering around as if we are immune from anything? Have faith in our system. We can overcome this pandemic too BUT it requires some self-discipline too.
To conclude, let us all have faith that this “Social Distancing” will carry us through this troubled times and take us to safety.
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