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A Hare And A Tortoise Story- Retold

I got this story through Whatsapp forward, re-written by someone with a changed paradigm . We all have heard this story in it’s original form. This is one of those early stories that every child hears from his parent or a grandparent. And then when he grows up and graduates from the very first stage of learning the alphabets to joining them in to making words and develops the skill of stringing the words together to form the sentences, he reads this story himself as it is among the stories in his First Story Book. It’s the story that settles down in his mind as one of the principle pillars on which he must build his career. It gets hammered in his head that life is a race and that if you lose the pace or if you lose the focus on your target, or you lie down to rest when you feel tired or when you feel complacent that your competitors are way behind you and cannot catch up with you- is the time, when you will lose the race to those slow pacers who will march on and on. So, for staying in the lead you must run and continue to run.

This story in its new form urges you to have a second look at your priorities, it compels you to think about what you are doing and what you should be doing. It presents to you a new perspective of life, about which you may not even have wasted a thought.

 

QUOTE-

I am sure all of us have heard and read the story of the Hare and the Tortoise…

Actually, everyone throughout kept giving the example of Tortoise…
Saying that slow and steady wins the race…. well No one bothered to ask the Hare his side of the story…
So let me tell you the story from a different point of view…

Yes, I am the hare who lost. No, I did not get lazy or complacent. Let me explain.

I was hopping over the meadows near the hills and looked back to realize that the tortoise was nowhere to be seen. Assured of my healthy lead, I decided to take a short nap under the large banyan tree near the pond.

The anticipation of the race had kept me up all night. For days, that old silly tortoise had boasted about his ability to plod for hundreds of miles without stopping. Life is a marathon, he said, not a sprint. I wanted to show him that I could run both far and fast.

The shade of the tree was like an umbrella. I found an almost oval rock, covered it with grass, and turned it into a makeshift pillow. I could hear the leaves rustling and the bees buzzing – it felt they were conspiring to put me to sleep. And it didn’t take them long to succeed.

I saw myself drifting on a log in a beautiful stream of water. As I came near the shore, I found an old man, with a flowing beard, sitting on a rock in a meditative pose. He opened his eyes, gave me an all-knowing smile, and asked:

“Who are you?”

“I am a hare. I am running a race.”

“Why?”

“To prove that I am the fastest.”

“Why do you want to prove that you are the fastest?”

“So that I get a medal which will give me status which will give me money which will get me food…”

“There is already so much food around.” He pointed to the forest in the distance. “Look at all those trees laden with fruits.”

“I also want respect. I want to be remembered as the fastest hare who ever lived.”

“Do you know the name of the fastest deer or the largest elephant or the strongest lion who lived a thousand years before you?”

“No.”

“Today you have been challenged by a tortoise. Tomorrow, it will be a snake. Then it will be a zebra. Will you keep racing all your life to prove that you are the fastest?”

“Hmm. I didn’t think about it. I don’t want to race all my life.”

“What do you want to do?”

“I want to sleep under a banyan tree on a makeshift pillow while the leaves rustle and the bees buzz. I want to hop over the meadows near the hills and swim in the pond.”

“You can do all these things this very moment. Forget the race. You are here today but you will be gone tomorrow.”

I woke up from my sleep. The ducks in the pond looked happy. I jumped into the pond, startling them for a moment. They looked at me quizzically.

“Weren’t you racing with the tortoise today?”

“It’s pointless. An exercise in futility. All I want is to be here. Hopefully, someday, someone will tell the world my story. That I lost the race but got back my life.
🌺🌟🌸💐 UNQUOTE

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Navneet Bakshi

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Charumati Ramdas
Charumati Ramdas
1 year ago

जीतते-जीतते, स्टेज पर परफॉर्म करते-करते भी इन्सान थक जाता है, चाहता है कि हॉल में बैठकर दर्शक की तरह प्रोग्राम देखे, एक बार हार कर कुछ देर के लिये इस रैट-रेस से अलग हो जाए….इसी उधेड़बुन में उम्र गुज़रती जाती है और जीतने की ना तो उसे, ना ही देखने वालों को कोई ख़ुशी होती है…जैसे – ये तो होना ही था…

Suresh Rao
Suresh Rao
1 year ago

Good story Navneet ji.

Charumati Ramdas
Charumati Ramdas
1 year ago

Wonderful, Usha! No one probably pondered over what was going on in the Hare’s mind….He had already become wise!

Ushasurya
Ushasurya
1 year ago

a beautiful off-beat story Navneet !
Especially in these times, when every mother wants her kid to be the “BEST “.
We miss enjoying a lot of things poinlessly in our eagerness to be the “FIRST” and compete in this world .
But, people will talk of ‘ motivation’ and throw a wet towel on ths nice vrsion !!. And they would say that lack of motivation is the one that leads one to the abyss instead of nadir of things.
Aw!! But I love this…and I wish to be like the revolutionary hare that met the old wise man !

Kaajal Sharma
Kaajal Sharma
1 year ago
Reply to  Ushasurya

Yes Ushaji, I will say all the parents must read the story. In today’s world all parents are pestering on their children to score high, so that they may top JEE or NEET and not only that they want the children to do well in the games too. This causes tremendous pressure on the children and some can’t bear it and they commit suicide, but the parents don’t learn. They don’t understand that all children can’t be the toppers. The game doesn’t end their. This madness continues even after the children get good jobs. Then it is the pressure of meeting the targets. This story is a very thought provoking story and I would suggest that the old hare and the tortoise story that is taught in the schools should now be replaced with this one.

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