Sunday, December 11, 2011

Story of Soma Sharma's FATHER

There are many instances of sons or daughters earning far higher distinctions in life than their father or mother.  There are also instances of children suffering under the burden of great achievements of the parents.  This gives rise to someone being called "Some one's Son or Daughter" or "Some one's father or mother".  Parents may be highly pleased to be known as "Father or Mother of so and so", if the son or daughter becomes famous, not notorious.

Every Cricket enthusiast knows about Sir Don Bradman.  Of course, every Australian knows about him.  Ten years ago, when the Don was alive, the then Australian Prime Minister John Howard called Bradman as the "greatest living Australian".   Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years and it is said that his first question to an Australian visitor was "Is Don Bradman still alive?".   His batting average of  99.94 is in no danger of being broken however much other pursuers of records may try, and is well known world over.   What is not that well known was the fact that John Bradman, son of Jessie and Donald Bradman, weighed down by his father's fame changed his name to "John Bradsen" by a deed of poll 1n 1972.  Of course, his relation with his father improved after his mother's death and he changed back his name to Bradman during his father's last years.

But there is only one claimant to the fame of being the "Father of an unborn Son".   That is Soma Sharma's father.   This is the story of Soma Sharma's father.  His name is never known.  But the name of his unborn son is Soma Sharma and Soma Sharma's name is well known!

Many many years ago, there was a young man in a small place.  He did not have any family and he did not know where from he came and what were his antecedents.   He was making his living on his own.   He lived in a dilapidated and abandoned ruins of a building.  He did not have any possessions of his own except a set of clothes, that too given to him by an old kind couple.  He would get up in the morning and take bath in the river flowing nearby.  He had a small pot for collecting alms.  He would then go from house to house  and announce his arrival at their doors by calling "Bhavati, Bhikshaan dehi", meaning something like "Mother, give me alms".  Some kind women would give him rice floor or wheat floor which he collected in his pot.  On some lucky days, like festivals or some other special occasions, someone in the village would invite him to come in and have a regular meal.  Otherwise he would be happy with the flour collected in the pot.  He would later make some rotis (bread) out of that floor and eat.  The river gave him water and and the old building was like his own.  He would do some errands for the village folk and anything given by them in return was accepted with gratitude.   This pretty much summed up his life.  Since he had no savings he did not worry about saving his savings and earning further from it.

Then came that wonderful day which changed his life.  It was one of the days following the harvest and overjoyed by the bountiful harvest almost every woman in the village gave him flour on that day.   Even those who never gave him on any other day gave him some flour.  Those who were giving regularly gave him some additional quantity and he collected nearly three times his daily requirement!   When his pot overflowed with flour given by the villagers, he went to the village potter for one more pot to store the extra flour and to his good luck, that was also granted  in the form of a big pot capable of holding many days surplus flour.   He now had an extra pot as his possession and stored the saved flour in the newer and bigger pot.   His worries started with that for he had to protect it from cats and dogs.   He procured a long rope and tied one end of the rope to the ceiling of the building and secured the pot by tying it to the other end.   He could not resist the urge to see his treasure frequently and hence kept the pot at low level so that he can check the flour level whenever he wanted.   That way he could get up in the middle of he sleep, just sit to check the pot and its contents and again go back to sleep.  He was thrilled with his own idea and went to sleep after satisfying himself that the pot and its contents were safe.

He could not see sleep soundly on that day due to his savings.  He was thinking of what to do with the flour when this new pot also overflowed after a few days.  He decided to sell the extra flour in the village fair and convert it to some coins.   This he will do for a few days and one day he would have enough coins to purchase a cow.   The cow would give a lot of milk which he would sell and make further earnings.  The cow would deliver calf also and after some days he would be the owner of many cows.  He would then keep some servants to take care of the big herd of cows and also buy a horse.  He would naturally need his own house and a big cow shed to keep the cows and servants.  And once he has his own house he would marry a beautiful girl and start his own family.   After one or two years his wife would give birth to a son and he will name the son as Soma Sharma.

By this time his affairs would have grown so much that he would not be able to mange without moving around a lot.  To facilitate easy and quick movement from one place to another, he would buy a black horse.  the logical chain of thoughts had taken him to a dreamy state and he was now in the middle of a very sweet dream.  His son Soma Sharma was now nearly two years old and one day when he was about to climb on the horse, the child came near the horse and was about to be crushed under the horse's feet.   He deftly maneuvers the horse to save the child but is very angry with the wife for letting the child out of the house and the servant not to keep an eye on movement of child.   Enraged and full of anger, he would kick the servant for his carelessness.

The very thought of danger to his unborn son made him to actually shake his legs vigorously in his sleep.  There was no servant and what he thought as the servant was actually the pot of flour.   The pot broke due to the impact of his legs and all the flour fell on his body.  He got up from his sleep and was now sitting with his body fully white, due to the white flour allover his body.

The story is summed up by this verse:

अनागतावतीं चिन्तां असंभाव्यं करोति यः | स एव पाण्डुरः शेते सोम शर्म पिता यथा ||    
Anaagatavateem chintam asambhavyam karoti yaha, sa eva pandurah shete soma Sharma pita yatha.
( He who thinks of unrealistic things and builds castles in the air will be lying white like Soma Sharma's father.)

There are similar stories in many other languages.  But Soma Sharma's father has the distinction of being a "Famous and nameless father of an unborn son with a well known name".


  1. A beautiful rhetorical story! Succint and interesting!

  2. Most effective story, the moral of which is so close to our life. "Haasige iddastu kaalu chaachu", the kannada proverb is apt here.

  3. Oh! what a speed and flow! You have become a full time blogger. Good going Sir! Wish you all the best!