Mullah Nasruddin – The Wise Jester

The stupid question

It was a pleasant winter morning and Mullah Nasruddin was sitting on a rocking chair and enjoying some half-boiled eggs that were liberally sprinkled with rock salt and pepper. A man happened to pass by and wondered why Mullah was sitting in a rocking chair out in the open and eating his meal.

Walking over, he inquired: “O Mullah, why are you sitting out in the open on a rocking chair and eating boiled eggs?”

Mullah looked him up and down scornfully and queried: “What would you rather have me doing? Sit on the boiled eggs and eat the rocking chair?”

Some people are in the habit of asking inane questions. Rather than replying such people, it is better to counter-query them to end the conversation abruptly.


The horse knows

The townspeople once noticed Mullah Nasruddin charging through the village on his steed. The horse was going at full gallop, its tail flying high and the mane flashing hither and thither. Mullah’s hair too was flying right back in the wind. Unknown to Mullah, the horse had actually taken fright on sighting a snake and bolted.

Thinking there could be something wrong, a neighbour inquired: “Mullah, where are you off to at such a furious gallop?”

Mullah Nasruddin looked back in genuine alarm: “I really don’t know! You’ll have to ask the horse!”

At times we don’t know where circumstances or our life lead us. We simply float with the tide, without trying to control or steer circumstances. But if we wish to achieve something worthwhile, we must control the reins of our life.


Turning with the tide

Qazi (judge) Nasruddin was busy working in his room one day when a neighbour ran in and inquired: “If one man’s cow kills another man’s cow, can the owner of the first cow be held responsible?”

“Oh, it depends!” Nasruddin hedged his reply.

“Well,” fumed the man, “your cow has killed mine.”

“Aha!” exclaimed Nasruddin, coming into his element. “As you know, everyone knows a cow cannot think like a human, so the cow is not responsible – and that means its owner is also not responsible!”

“I beg your pardon, Qazi,” said the cunning man. “I made a mistake. Actually, my cow killed yours!”

Qazi Nasruddin pondered the new revelation for a few seconds and then said: “On second thoughts, this case is not as simple and straightforward as I first thought…”

Turning to his clerk, Nasruddin then ordered: “Please fetch me that big black book from the shelf behind you…”

Sometimes, we should hedge our bets and words, so that we are in a position to quickly change course to tackle cunning people and unforeseen events. Nasruddin’s evasive replies cleverly illustrate this.


Discovering the speed of sound

One day Mullah climbed up a minaret and shouted at the top of his lungs. Then he immediately rushed down and began running as fast as his legs would carry him.

“What’s happening? Why are you running so hard, Mullah?” asked a passer-by.

“To see how far my voice carries!” Nasruddin replied, rushing off into the distance.

While it is good to carry out practical experiments and discover the truth about the world, these have to be pragmatic and practical, not impractical. Else our activities will be as fruitful as chasing our own shadow.


Prof Nasruddin’s logic

Professor Nasruddin gave a lecture in the university every Saturday. But this was a task he did not particularly relish and he always sought ways to avoid it. One Saturday he had a brainwave. In class that day, he asked the students: “Do you know when Sikander (Alexander the Great) came to power?”

The students were taken aback by this question out of the blue and many answered: “No, we don’t!”

Then Nasruddin responded: “Well, if most of you-all know nothing about such an important matter, it is a waste of time to talk about it!” So saying, Nasruddin walked away without giving his weekly lecture to the students.

Some students followed him, protesting that they knew the answer but he hadn’t bothered to ask them.

“Well,” reasoned Nasruddin, “if some of you know the answer, and some of you don’t, those who do know can tell those that don’t!” The students were left speechless and unable to refute Nasruddin’s queer logic.

If we wish to avoid some unpleasant task, we should think up some foolproof means of avoiding this, just like Nasruddin did!


Playing the blame game

One evening, Mullah Nasruddin and his begum returned from the market to find their house burgled. Almost everything had been taken away. “It’s all your fault!” ranted his wife. “Because you did not make sure that the house was securely locked before we left.”

The neighbours picked up the refrain: “You did not shut the windows,” said one.

“You should have locked the door properly,” blamed another.

“Why did you not anticipate this?” interjected a third.

“Your locks may have been faulty, you should have replaced them,” a fourth one claimed.

“Hey!” protested Nasruddin. “Am I the only one to blame?”

“And who else is to blame?” everyone chorused.

“What about the thieves?” an indignant Nasruddin asked. “Are they also not to blame?”

When we are seemingly cornered on all fronts and being unfairly attacked by everybody, the only way out is to resort to logic, howsoever skewed it may be. This will momentarily force our attackers on the back foot, giving us some respite to plan our next move.


The man who saw the future!

One sunny morning, Mullah Nasruddin was cutting off the branch of a tree in his garden. As can be expected, Nasruddin happened to be sitting on that very branch. While he was sawing, a man passing by in the street noticed him and said: “Bade mian (big brother), if you continue sawing the branch you are sitting on, you will fall down with it.”

Nasruddin mused to himself: “This foolish man has nothing better to do than go around telling other people what to do and what not to do.”

Seeing Nasruddin had ignored his warning, the man continued on his way. A few minutes later, Newton’s law of gravity came into play – the branch fell to earth and so did Mullah Nasruddin!

“My God!” Nasruddin cried. “That man can foretell the future!” Nasruddin ran after the man, seeking to know how long he would live. But the man had already gone out of sight and was nowhere to be found.

There is no one who can foretell the future and those who claim so are charlatans and frauds. It simply takes a dose of common sense to recognise the normal course of events.


source and more …

Leave a Reply