Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dreams & Discouragement - Part 1

I am not sure how old I was when my Mom first told this short story to me. But then, I must say that the moment i heard it, it did leave me changed. It was a story that inspired me for obvious reasons. It was a story that gave me a strange sense of strength every time I read it or reminded myself of it.

The story went on something like this.


Long long ago, in the deepest of jungles, a group of frogs were traveling together. They were on their way to a city. It was going to be a long and tiring journey. And one day as they were traveling their path, two of the frogs unfortunately fell into a deep pit.

The pit was very very deep. And as soon as the two frogs fell into it, the other frogs gathered around. They saw how deep the pit was.

A few minutes of silence later though, with the other frogs watching on, the two frogs began to jump around in the pit trying to get out of it.

Seeing the efforts made by them, the frogs that were outside felt sympathy for the fate of those two frogs. The pit was really really deep and there was no way those two frogs were going to get out of it. Yet those frogs were silent and knew not what to express. They could neither leave the place nor do anything. They were merely staring at the efforts of those two frogs endlessly.

Meanwhile, the two frogs in the pit were still jumping and jumping, trying to get out it. The repeated attempts though yielded nothing but failure.

Seeing those repeated attempts fail too, a few frogs now got hopeless and left. The others too were beginning to loose hope. Yet they watched on for that extra second.

The failure to get out still continued. And with more and more attempts of the two frogs failing, the rest of the frogs outside were now totally dejected. And now neither able to leave heartlessly nor able to hope hopelessly, out of sympathy, they began asking the two frogs to give up and spend the last few moments in calm and peace.

But those kind words of sympathy did not have any effect on the two frogs. They kept trying and failing.

The repeated failures inspite of the “give up and get safe” advice now converted the sympathy of the frogs outside into frustration. They began to shout at those two frogs to give up.

And with each failing attempt, the shouting only grew louder. Such were the number of failures now that abuses were now being hurled at those two frogs.

Finally, with hundreds and hundreds of attempts failing, with only little strength left and with 100’s of ‘sympathetic’ frogs asking to give up, one of the two frogs gave up. And within moments of giving up, the frog died of heartstroke.

Inspite of this, the other frog hadn’t given up as yet. It did not even notice for a moment that the other frog had given up and died. It just kept jumping, jumping and jumping. Seeing that this frog was adamant, the frustrated frogs outside started showering louder abuses and asked it to give up too. They said that if the frog doesn’t give up, it will die of a heart stroke too in a few moments. But with each of the abuse thrown at it, the other frog only seemed to gain more energy and tried even more vigorously.

More and more attempts failed. All the frogs were now yelling together at this frog to give up. A few of them even showered mud on it out of anger cursing it to die. And yet the frog inside the pit kept jumping, jumping and jumping.

And after hundreds of attempts, eventually, as if by a miracle, against the greatest of odds, against everyone’s expectations, the other frog had jumped out of the pit. The onlooking frogs were astounded. It was by pure luck that this frog’s leg got stuck to something half way through the pit and from there it jumped again. The chance of such a thing happening was one in a million and yet it had happened. It was absolutely impossible but yet it happened.

Having witnessed the miracle, all the frogs were asking this frog as to what kept it going. They asked the frog as to what inspired it to try in spite of the 100’s of failures and everyone shouting against it.

But to everyone’s surprise, the frog was not answering anyone on the question.

It said “Thank you friends for inspiring me to keep jumping no matter what ! Thank you for the hope you all had shown in me inspite of my friend having died half the way. And thank you so very much for trying to throw mud into the pit sometimes so that I can get out with the level raising. Thank you for every bit of inspiration you all have provided me. I see that you all are wanting to ask me something now. But unfortunately dears, I am deaf by birth and I cannot hear ! So, please excuse me if I am not answering your question properly

The deaf frog had thought of the abuses too as encouragement and kept trying to jump out. That was the inspiration behind its trials.


Now, its been atleast a decade since the above story was told to me by my Mom ! And whether for good or for bad, it had changed me. It had changed my attitude. It had changed the world I saw around me. How did it, Why did it and Where did it ? That’s coming up soon :)

- To be continued -