When in crisis, always remember to stay calm. Try to understand the situation instead of reacting. Make things happen with what you have.
Once there lived an old woman. Her husband had died when she was young. She didn’t marry again. She had neither children nor relatives. She was wealthy, however, and lived in a nice two-storeyed house and had lots of valuable items.
One night when the old woman was deep asleep in her room on the upper floor, four thieves broke into her house. They saw extremely valuable items and grabbed everything they could possibly take. This turned into a noisy affair that woke the old woman. Instead of reacting, however, she carefully paid attention to what was going on downstairs. She correctly observed that there were four thieves and all were young men.
This made her think. It surely wasn’t a good idea for a single old lady to go after four young thieves. One, they could hurt her. Two, even if they ran, they could come back later knowing it was only an old lady. Three, they could divide into multiple groups, where one could come back and steal while she was after another.
But hardships in life had strengthened the old woman. She was tough and wise. She didn’t panic. Instead, she calmly thought of a solution. A few minutes later, she got it!
She had multiple items in her house: Maana, Pathi, Supaa, Daala, Bancharo, etc. (all Nepali utility items.) What she did was modify their names and pretended she was calling her sons aloud –
‘Maanyau, Paathyau, Supaau, Daalau, Bancharau, wake up quick! Four thieves have broken into our house. Hurry up! Bring your weapons.’
She then created a lot of noise on that floor: She rapidly opened and shut the doors. She dropped and smashed things.
The thieves heard all this. They immediately paused and tried to look at each other in the darkness of night. While they couldn’t see each other, they all understood the severity of the situation. They understood that they couldn’t afford to wait even for a minute. Each dropped whatever he was taking, including his bag, and ran empty-handed from the house as fast he possibly could. All were gone in a jiffy.
The old woman went downstairs and saw that the thieves had managed to collect almost every valuable item. The old woman checked their bags: There were valuable items stolen from others as well.
Instead of panicking in the time of crisis, the old woman had shown great resolve and presence of mind. She made use of whatever was at her disposal.
(Translated from NEPALI LOKKATHA, TULASI DIWAS)
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