Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This is a GOLDen Girl

Most of the news items nowadays relate to Film Stars, Politicians or Sports persons.  Achievements of anyone with a humble background is lost in the maze of the Paparazzi and media blitz.

There is a very old story which everyone has heard.   Some credit it to Akbar and Birbal.  Some to Krishnadevaraya and Tenali Rama.  Some others to another King and his Minister.   It does not really matter.  There is no harm in recollecting the story before I actually dwell on today's subject.

A King and his Minister were touring in the villages of their state, in disguise to find out the state of affairs and how their subjects were perceiving the administration.   They stumbled upon a very old man carrying water in a pot from a distant well to saplings in freshly planted pits.   King and the Minister watched him for some time from a distance.  The old man  was weak and tired but continued to bring water from the well and water the saplings.   The King felt like teasing the old man.  He moved his horse closer to the old man and the Minister followed him.  Sitting on his horse, the King spoke to the old man.

"You have planted these saplings just now.   You are bringing water from the far away well to water them.  You are already very old.  Do you really believe that you will live to eat fruits from these trees?"

The old man looked up and smiled.  "I am old but not a fool.  I know very well that I will never be alive till these saplings grow and yield fruits.   Look at the big trees laden with fruits there.  My ancestors planted them and I enjoyed the fruits from those trees.  I have planted these saplings.  Someone in future, may be grandson or great grandson will enjoy those fruits.   My work is for posterity and not for me".

The king was pleased by the wise words of the old man.  He looked at the Minister.  The Minister always carried small bags of gold coins.  He understood the King's mind and extended a bag of gold coins.   The King handed over the bag of coins to the old man.   The old man took the bag, saw the contents and looked up at the King with a mischievous smile.

"I am a very lucky old man.  These saplings have yielded fruits as soon as I have planted them!  And that too not ordinary fruits, but golden fruits!!", he said.

The King was mightily pleased and again looked at the Minister.  One more gold coin bag was passed on to the old man through the King.

"Oh my Lord, look at my good fortune.   All these saplings will yield fruits only once a year.  But these saplings have yielded golden fruits twice already!", the old man said.

The King looked at the Minister again, even more pleased with the old man.  The minister handed over a third bag of coins which the King passed on to the old man.  Before the old man could speak again, the Minister said:  "This man is not just old; he is also very wise.  He is witty and will exhaust all our coin bags if we stay here for some more time.  He has been amply rewarded.  It is better we are on our way".

The King smiled, patted the old man on his back and moved ahead with the Minister behind him.

This was just one of the hundreds of stories I have heard and told over the years.   But its real import was brought home by a news item today.  Zeeba Bhuktiyar is the daughter of Basheer Ahamed, an agricultural labourer and marginal farmer from the small village of Gullanpet near Charmadi Ghat in Chickmagalur District, Karnataka.  She studied at a High School in the small town of Aldur and secured 88% marks in SSLC (10th Standard).  She went to Alva's college in Moodubidare for her Pre-University course and secured 70% marks.  Motivated by the hard work of her father in the agricultural fields, she took up Horticulture as her subject for further study.   She went to the Moodubidare Agricultural College for the Degree course.   The rest, as they say, is history.

Horticulture University, Bagalkot was established by a Special Ordinance of Government of Karnataka in November 2008.  The first batch of degree holders received the degrees on 26th December 2011 in the first ever Convocation of the University.  Zeeba had secured 89.60% in her degree examinations and passed with distinction.  28 Gold Medals were awarded at the convocation.  Zeeba got 15 Gold Medals and only the remaining 13 were left for the other students.  Her photograph with 15 Gold Medals around her neck is one of the finest photographs I have ever seen. 

The wise old man's saplings yielded repeated gold coin bags.   Zeeba has reaped a big bunch of Gold Medals as a reward for her and her family's hard work.


  1. beautiful....true it is sad how these special acheivments get pushed into the supplements or back pages and then we wonder if this country will get anywhere???talk about irony....Sunada

  2. Without Love and dedication,no accomplishment is possible,so also the perseverance,patience and hard work. Here is a BIg CHEER for Zeeba