Thursday, March 12, 2009

Return to Mullah Naseeruddin.....

In this blog, I return to Mullah Naseeruddin.........once again! To read more stories involving this sardonic sage, please visit my earlier blogs: "The inimitable Mullah Naseeruddin.," "The Tales of Mullah Naseeruddin continues.....this time a score!" and "As you sow, so you reap."

Here are a few more stories of the endearing and inimitable Mullah Naseeruddin. Read on...........

1) A tasty dish: Naseeruddin's wife was a great cook. One day she had prepared a very tasty sweet dish - 'kheer' (rice pudding). The Mullah attacked the dish with such gusto that soon there was a sizeable dent in the pudding. His wife was worried that nothing would be left for her, if the Mullah continued in the same vein. So, she asked him to save some kheer for the following day. The Mullah reluctantly agreed. In the middle of night the Mullah woke his wife up.

Mullah: Hey, I have a great idea!

Wife: Can't you wait till tomorrow morning?

Mullah : No, is very important.

Wife: Okay, tell me.

Mullah: Okay. Let's talk about it tomorrow.

Wife: No, you have woken me now. So better tell me now.

Mullah: ......uhmmm.......okay, get me the sweet dish and I'll tell you.

Wife: What? Well, okay!

The Mullah polished off the dish and patted his stomach with great satisfaction.

Wife: Now tell me about your idea, Mullah!

Mullah: My idea? Oh Yeah! What I wanted to tell you was that it would be better to finish off the delicious kheer you made during the night itself - as it may be spoilt by morning. Now go back to sleep!

2) Selling the Donkey: The Mullah and his wife were sick of their lazy donkey and wanted to get rid of it. They decided to sell it and the Mullah took the donkey to the fair. When he returned from the fair........

Wife (eagerly): How much did you get for the donkey?

Mullah: The auctioneer was too good. He praised the donkey so much that soon people flocked around the donkey, wanting to buy it.

Wife: So, how much did you sell the donkey for?

Mullah : One guy offered 5 gold coins.

Wife: What? You sold it for 5 gold coins. Great!

Mullah: No, the auctioneer praised the donkey so much that another guy offered 10 gold coins.

Wife: 10 gold coins?!

Mullah: Another offered 20 gold coins.

Wife: What? You received 20 gold coins for our donkey?!

Mullah: Yet another guy offered 30 gold coins.

Wife (giddy with delight): Stop, or I am going to faint........

The donkey brays in the background......

Wife: What was that? Sounds like our donkey, isn't it?

Mullah: The auctioneer praised our donkey so much that I myself bought the donkey for 35 gold coins (sheepishly turning around to gaze at the donkey munching on hay)

Thud! (his wife faints and falls down)

Hope you liked this story. Naseeruddin sometimes is clever and at other times acts plain foolish. This is one story where he gets carried away and buys his own donkey.

3) Nasruddin opened a booth with a sign above it: 'Two Questions On Any Subject Answered For Only 100 Silver Coins.'

A man who had two very urgent questions to ask, handed over the money, saying, "A hundred silver coins is rather expensive for two questions, isn’t it?"

- "Yes," said Nasruddin, "and the next question, please?"

4) The Mullah while carrying some wood on his back mounted his donkey. The children in his neighbourhood asked, "Why don't you put the wood on the donkey's back?"

The Mullah said, "It would displease God if the donkey were to carry both myself and the wood."

5) One hot summer day, Nasruddin was resting in the shade of a walnut tree. After a while, he started eyeing speculatively, the huge pumpkins growing on weak vines and the small walnuts growing on a majestic tree.

- "Sometimes I just can't understand the ways of God!" he mused. "Just fancy.....letting tiny walnuts grow on so majestic a tree and huge pumpkins on the delicate vines!"

Just then, a walnut snapped off the branch of the tree and fell smack on Nasruddin's bald head.

He got up at once and lifting his hands and face towards the heavens - in supplication, said, "Oh God! Forgive my questioning your ways! You are all-wise. Where would I have been now, if pumpkins grew on trees?!"

6) One day, Nasruddin went to the market and bought a fine piece of meat. On the way home he met a friend who gave him a special recipe for the meat. Nasruddin was very happy. But all of a sudden, before he reached home, a large crow snatched the meat from Nasruddin's hands and flew off with it.

- "You thief!" an angry Nasruddin called after the departing crow. "You have stolen my meat! But you won't enjoy it; I have got the recipe!"

7) Once a renowned philosopher and moralist was traveling through Nasruddin's village when he asked him (Nasruddin) - where he could find a good eating place/eatery. Nasruddin suggested a place and the scholar, eager for some company/conversation, invited Mullah Nasruddin to join him. Much obliged, Nasruddin accompanied the scholar to a nearby restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the 'special dish of the day.'

- "Fish! Fresh Fish!" replied the waiter.

- "Bring us two," they answered.

A few minutes later, the waiter reappeared with a large platter - with two cooked fish on it, one of which was quite a bit smaller than the other.

Without hesitating, Mullah Nasruddin helped himself to the larger fish. The scholar, giving Nasruddin a look of intense disbelief, proceeded to tell him - that what he (Nasruddin) did was not only blatantly selfish, but also violated the principles of almost every known moral, religious and ethical systems. Nasruddin calmly listened to the philosopher's extempore lecture patiently, and once the scholar was done, the Mullah said, "Well, Sir, what would you have done?"

- "I, being a conscientious person, would have taken the smaller fish for myself," replied the scholar.

- "And here you are," Nasruddin said, and placed the smaller piece of fish on the gentleman's plate.

8) One day two small boys decided to play a trick on Mullah Nasruddin. With a tiny bird cupped in their hands they asked him whether it was alive or dead. If Nasruddin said it was alive they would crush it - to show him that he was wrong. If he said it was dead they would let it fly away and still fool him. When they found the wise old man they asked, "Mullah Nasruddin, tell us whether the object we are holding, is alive or dead?"

Mullah Nasruddin thought for a moment and replied, "Ah, my young friends, that is in your hands! Isn't it?"

- "Mullah Nasruddin, why do you always answer a question with another question?" they asked.

- "Do I?" replied the Mullah.

9) On one frigid and snowy winter day, Nasruddin was having a chat with some of his friends at the local coffee house. The Mullah boasted that cold weather did not bother him, in fact, he could stay if necessary, all night without any heat.

- "We'll take you up on that, Mullah Nasruddin," said his friends. "If you stand all night at the village square without warming yourself by any external means, each of us will treat you to a sumptuous meal. But if you fail to do so, you will treat us all to dinner."

- "All right, it's a bet then," Mullah Nasruddin said.

That very night, the Mullah stood at the village square till morning despite the bitter cold. In the morning, he ran triumphantly to his friends and told them that they should be ready to fulfill their promise.

- "But as a matter of fact you lost the bet, Nasruddin," said one of them. "At about midnight, just before I went to sleep, I saw a candle burning - behind a window - about three hundred yards away from where you were standing. That certainly indicates that you warmed yourself by it."

- "That's ridiculous," Nasruddin argued. "How can a candle placed behind a window warm a person three hundred yards away?"

All his protestations were to no avail, and it was decided that Nasruddin had lost the bet. The Mullah accepted this decision and invited all of them to a dinner that night at his home. They all arrived on time, laughing and joking, anticipating the delicious meal that Nasruddin was going to serve them. But dinner was not ready yet. Nasruddin told them that it would be ready in a short time, and left the room to prepare the meal.

A long time passed, and still no dinner was served. Finally, getting impatient and very hungry, they went into the kitchen to see if there was any food being cooked at all. They could not believe their eyes once they went into the kitchen - the sight awaiting them was unbelievable! Nasruddin was standing by a huge cauldron, suspended from the ceiling and there was a lit candle below the cauldron.

- "Be patient my friends," Nasruddin told them. "Dinner will be ready soon. You can see that it is getting cooked."

- "Are you out of your mind, Mullah Nasruddin?" his friends shouted in anger. How can you cook food with such a tiny flame beneath such a large pot suspended from the ceiling?"

- "Your ignorance of such matters amuses me," Nasruddin retorted. "If the flame of a candle behind a window three hundred yards away can warm a person, surely the same flame will cook the food inside this pot - which is only three inches away."

10) Nasruddin and his wife returned home one day to discover that their house had been burgled. Everything portable had been taken away.

- "It's all your fault," said his wife, "for you should have made sure that the house was locked before we left."

Some neighbours had gathered around by then, and they too voiced their opinion:

- "You did not lock the windows," said one.

- "Why did you not expect this?" said another.

- "The locks were faulty and you did not replace them," said a third.

- "Just a moment," said Nasruddin, "surely, I am not the only one to blame?"

- "And who should we blame then?" they shouted.

- "What about the thieves?" said Nasruddin. "Are they totally innocent?"

11) Nasruddin was awakened in the middle of the night by the cries of two quarreling men in front of his house. He waited for a while, but the men continued to dispute with each other. Nasruddin couldn't sleep, so wrapping his quilt tightly around his shoulders, he rushed outside to separate the men who had by now almost come to blows. But when he tried to reason with them, one of them snatched the quilt off his shoulders, and then, both the men ran away. Nasruddin, very weary and perplexed, returned to his house.

- "What was the quarrel about?" wondered his wife, when Nasruddin came in.

- "It must be our quilt," replied Nasruddin. "The quilt is gone, the dispute has ended."

12) "Brothers and sisters," the Mullah began, "believers in God and His Prophets, the Almighty has endowed us with a mind and the ability to choose and today’s sermon will address precisely this issue. As you all know, our community has fallen on hard times, the poor are getting poorer with every passing day and need a helping hand more than ever before, just to get on with their daily lives. Why, even this very Mosque where you come for your daily prayers has become so dilapidated that it urgently needs repairs, repairs for which we do not have the financial means. Consequently, we, the community of believers, are in dire need of the charity of those among us whom God has graced with His favours and endowed with wealth - as a test of their faith......and as you know, everything in life is a test! Therefore, before I begin, I will give you the choice. Before me, I have three sermons prepared, one which will last five minutes and is worth $100, the other which will last 15 minutes and is worth $50, and finally the one which will last over an hour and is worth $10. So now, I will ask my assistants to pass this box around - where you can place your much-needed donations and we will determine - exactly which sermon is most suited for your needs and which you will henceforth like me to deliver!"

13) One evening, the Mullah was frantically searching for something - in the front room of his hut. A peasant, who was passing by, became curious.

- "Naseeruddin, what are you looking for?" the peasant asked.

- "Oh! I am looking for my ring," the Mullah replied.

- "Where did you lose it?" the peasant inquired.

- "I lost it in my backyard, while I was clearing the shrubs in the morning," the Mullah replied, continuing his search.

- "Why aren’t you looking for it in your backyard, then?"

- "Because the backyard is dark and full of undergrowth. I know I will never be able to find the ring there. It is easier to search for it in my room which has light, and that is what I am doing," the Mullah explained.

14) Once, Mulla Nasiruddin was walking along the road, all by himself. Everytime a truck passed by he got scared - shivering and anxious. On being questioned about his strange behaviour, he said, "I felt like a free bird since my wife left with a truck driver. Now, everytime I saw a truck pass by, I thought that the driver was coming back to return my wife. Hence I got scared."

15) The invitation: One day, Nasiruddin's friends surrounded him and demanded that he take them to his house, at least once. He had made many excuses in the past, but this was his D-day and he had no choice but to take them. Nasiruddin was very worried. He knew that his wife would be very upset; for what did he have, to feed them with? When they were near his house, Nasiruddin told them to wait at a distance while he went ahead and explained to his wife.......

- "No friends of yours are coming inside this house!" thundered his wife.

At this, Nasiruddin promptly replied "OK then," and ran upstairs - to the attic.

His friends grew impatient and finally knocked on the door.

- "Let us in Nasiruddin," they demanded.

- "He's not at home," his wife protested.

- "We saw him enter through this door," exclaimed his friends.

- "May be, he escaped through the side windows!" yelled Nasiruddin from the attic window.

16) Nasiruddin's cat: One day, Nasiruddin came home very excited and cheerful.

- "We'll have kebabs tonight, here's the shopping," he said to his wife and then went to take a quick nap.

His wife ended up having all the kebabs herself, she could not resist them.

When Nasiruddin woke up, he was told, "the cat ate it all."

- "The cat ate all 6 kilos?!" exclaimed Nasiruddin.

- "Yes, all of it," replied his wife.

Nasiruddin weighed the cat and it weighed exactly 6 kilos.

- "If this is the cat then where's the meat, and if this is the meat then where's the cat?" asked Nasiruddin.

17) Bad luck: Off to hunt deer, the first person that the 'Aziz' (wealthy local) spotted was Nasiruddin. He exclaimed, "The man's bad luck. I won't catch anything today! Whip him."

Aziz's ruling was carried out. However the hunt was spectacular - 26 deer.

The 'Aziz' got his men to get Nasiruddin before him.

- "My apologies, Sir. I thought you were bad luck, but you're obviously not," admitted the 'Aziz.'

Nasiruddin quietly replied, "You thought I'm bad luck and hunted 26 deer, whereas I received 20 whiplashes after seeing your face. Isn't it clear who's bad luck?"

18) Sheikh scribe: An unlettered farmer came up to Nasiruddin and requested that he take a dictation, i.e., write a letter for him.

- "I can't, my feet is wounded," replied Nasiruddin.

- "So what, Sheikh?" exclaimed the farmer. "How does your feet affect your ability to write?"

- "No one can read my handwriting. Therefore, I must go with the letter. How can I travel with the letter with wounded feet, please explain?" said Nasiruddin.

19) Mullah Naseeruddin went to a 'Hakeem' (a desi doctor) who also doubled up as a psychiatrist in the village and confided in him that he was developing an inferiority complex.

On being questioned as to what made him feel so, the Mullah said - he felt his contemporaries and colleagues were trying to be his equal!

20) Mullah (Priest) Nasiruddin being the most educated and learned man in his village often led the prayers in the village, settled disputes and dispensed justice, when asked for. One day, a man came to meet Nasiruddin; soon after a woodcutter followed as well. The man had a complaint against the woodcutter and wanted justice. Mullah Nasiruddin said, "All right, tell me what your complaint against the woodcutter is?"

The man narrated the following story:

- "Mullah Saheb! This man (pointing to the woodcutter) was walking with a bundle of wood on his head. While he was walking, he tripped over a stone and the bundle fell from his head. The woodcutter, unable to put the bundle back on his head by himself, saw me passing by, and requested me to lift the bundle and put it on his head. I agreed to help him and asked, "I will help you, but what will you give me in return?" The woodcutter said, "Nothing." Thereafter, I lifted the bundle of wood and put it on his head. Then I said, "Now, please give me 'Nothing'." But this man refuses to give me 'Nothing'."

- "The Mulla said, "Oh I see! So you want 'Nothing'?"

- "Yes, I do not want anything else," replied the man.

- "All right, do not worry. I will see to it that you get 'Nothing' right now," said Nasiruddin.

Saying this, the Mullah pointed to an empty earthen pot (kept in a corner of the room), and asked the man to bring it to him. The man brought the empty earthen pot before Nasiruddin.

The Mullah asked him, "What is this?"

The surprised man replied, "Sir, this is a pot."

The Mullah said, "That is correct. Now look inside the pot very carefully."

When the man did so the Mullah asked, "My friend, what do you see inside the pot?"

- "Nothing," replied the man.

The Mulla said, "All right then, take it. Take your 'Nothing' and be gone. You have now got what you wanted."

The man realising that his trick had failed, felt humiliated and immediately left the place. The woodcutter was very happy with the justice meted out!

21) Nasruddin loved his donkey. One day the townspeople came running to him,

- "Effendi, Effendi! Your little donkey is lost!"

Nasruddin replied, "Praised be Allah! Why, if I was astride him, I would have been lost too!"

22) One day, Nasruddin had invited a visiting scholar to his house, for a meal. Upon the self-important scholar's arrival at Nasruddin's house, he was not at home. The scholar knocked and knocked but there was no response, he looked through the windows and found that there was no one inside. Thereafter, the scholar waited, and as he waited, he became more and more angry.

- "Why, doesn't Nasruddin know who I am?"........"I am so and so and who does he think he is to keep me waiting," the scholar thundered as he stomped around Nasruddin's courtyard.

Finally, he became so furious that he grabbed a pencil and scribbled the following word on the doorway - "IDIOT!"

Around 2 o'clock, Nasruddin returned home, saw the word that was scribbled on the door and suddenly remembered! He immediately ran back to the marketplace shouting for the scholar. Once he spotted the scholar, he said, "Oh, I am so sorry, please forgive me, I remembered our appointment when I saw your name written on my door."

23) Mullah Nasrudin and his wife went to a church that had over its Portal the following inscription: "This is the house of God -- This is the gate of Heaven."

Nasrudin glanced at these words, then tried to open the door but found it locked. Then, turning to his wife he said, "In other words - Go to Hell!"

24) "My wife talks to herself," a friend told Mullah Nasrudin.

- "So does mine," said the Mullah, "But she doesn't realise it. She thinks I am listening."

25) Once, the Mullah was travelling to London from Cairo in a four engine plane. After a few hours of flying, the Captain announced that one of the engines of the plane was not working - hence the arrival at London may get delayed by 15 minutes. Naseeruddin was reading a book and did not pay much attention to the announcement. After a few minutes the Captain announced again - that another engine had stopped working, hence the delay will be around half an hour. The Mullah kept on reading the book. After sometime, the Captain announced that the third engine was also not working, hence the delay may increase to an hour or so.

This time, the Mullah called an air hostess and told her, "Ask the Captain to keep a watch over the fourth engine, otherwise we may have to stay up in the sky all night long!"

26) The Leading Cause of Death: While taking a break from his busy schedule, Nasrudin decided to watch some programmes on American television. At first, he just played with the remote control - surfing channels and glancing through all the different programmes on air. Then, something caught his attention on a news programme - they were reporting on the latest statistics about disease and which disease was claiming the most lives and what progress had been made in curing these diseases, so far.

After the programme ended, Nasrudin ran out of his room to speak with one of his students - who was busy fixing dinner for the Mullah.

- "I don’t believe it!" said Mullah Nasrudin.

- "What is the matter, Sir?" the student replied.

- "Here, you live in such an advanced country and no research at all is being conducted on the most widespread of all causes that leads to death! They don’t even mention it!" replied the Mullah dramatically.

The student stopped whatever he was doing and turned to Nasrudin saying, "No research at all? What cause are you talking about, Sir?"

Mulla Nasrudin looked at the student and said, "Birth! What else?"

27) One day, Naseeruddin was sitting on a chair in a crossway and enjoying his meal - an egg. A Man who was passing through the crossway saw the Mullah - sitting on a chair and enjoying his meal. He found it to be funny and went up to the Mullah and said, "O Mullah! Are you sitting on a chair and eating egg?"

Naseeruddin looked at him and replied, "Why? Should I sit on the egg and eat the chair, instead?"

28) A young man had just passed the examination for a private pilot's license. He wanted to show off his flying skills and persuaded Mulla Nasrudin to fly with him.

When they landed, the Mulla said, "Thanks for the two rides."

- "What do you mean by two rides, Uncle?" asked the young man. "You only had one."

- "Oh no," said Nasrudin. "Two. My first and last rides."

29) Nasrudin climbed into someone's kitchen garden and started filling a sack with everything he could lay his hands on. A gardener saw him and came running.

- "What are you doing here?" demanded the gardener.

- "I was blown here by a high wind," replied Nasrudin.

- "And who uprooted the vegetables?" asked the angry gardener.

- "I caught hold of them to stop myself from being swept along," said Nasrudin.

- "And how is it that there are vegetables in that sack?"

- "That is just what I was wondering about when you interrupted me," replied Nasrudin calmly.

30) On hearing that a man wanted to learn the Kurdish language, Nasrudin offered to teach him. Nasrudin's own knowledge of Kurdish was limited to a few words.

- "We shall start with the word for 'Hot Soup' today," said Nasrudin. "In Kurdish, this is called 'Aash'."

- "I don't quite understand, Nasrudin. How would you say 'Cold Soup,' then?" asked the man.

- "You never say 'Cold Soup.' The Kurds like their soup hot," replied Nasrudin.

31) Nasrudin had saved up - for a new shirt. He went to a tailor's shop, full of excitement. The tailor took his measurements and said, "Come back in a week's time, and if God wills, your shirt will be ready."

Nasrudin managed to contain his excitement for a week and then went back to the shop.

- "There has been a delay. But if God wills, your shirt will be ready tomorrow," said the tailor.

Nasrudin returned, the following day.............

- "I am sorry," said the tailor, "but it not quite finished yet. Try tomorrow, and if God wills, it will be ready."

- "How long will it take," asked the exasperated Nasrudin, "if you leave God out of this?"

32) A police officer attempts to stop a car for overspeeding (Nasrudin is driving the car). Nasrudin gradually increases the speed until he's topping 100 mph. He eventually realizes that he can't escape and finally pulls over. The cop approaches the car and says, "It's been a long day and my duty is almost over, so if you can give me a good excuse for your behaviour, I'll let you go."

Nasrudin thinks for a few seconds and responds, "My wife ran away with a cop about a week ago. I thought you might be that officer - now trying to give her back!"

33) Mullah Nasruddin was reading a newspaper.........when suddenly he called out to his wife, "I have caught four flies, two are male and two are female."

His wife said, "My God, how did you manage to know their gender?"

The Mullah replied, "Easy! Two were reading the newspaper with me for hours. And the other two were sitting on the mirror, completely glued."

34) Once, Nasruddin had applied for a post - on a ship. He was called for an interview. The Captain and other high officials of the ship were sitting in the room. The Mulla entered.......

The Captain asked, "If the seas are in a turmoil, winds are strong, waves are huge and mountainous, what are you going to do to save the ship? It is being tossed from here to there......"

Nasruddin said, "It is not much of a problem. I will just drop a huge anchor to keep the ship stable against the winds, against the waves. It is not much of a problem."

The Captain again asked, "Suppose another mountainous wave hits, and the ship is going down; what are you going to do?"

Nasruddin said, "Nothing - another huge anchor."

The Captain looked at him and asked for a third time, "Suppose there is a great typhoon and it is impossible to save the ship. What are you going to do?"

Nasruddin replied, "Nothing, the same - a huge anchor."

The Captain then asked, "From where are you getting these huge anchors?"

Nasruddin responded, "From the same place - from where are you getting these great, mountainous waves, strong winds, etc., - from the same place. You go on getting them, I will go on getting bigger and bigger anchors."

35) Once a friend of Mullah Nasruddin was talking to him. They had met after many years. Both were bitter rivals; both were poets. Both started to boast about the progress they had made in their careers.

- "You have no idea Nasruddin, how many people read my poetry now," bragged the friend, "My readers have doubled."

- ''My God, My God!" cried Nasruddin. "I had no idea you got married!"

36) One day Mullah Nasruddin's wife was running after him with a stick. To save himself he slipped under the bed. His wife being an overweight lady, could not get there.

The Mulla said, "Now you know who is the 'Master' of the house?!"

Exactly at that moment, there was a knock on the door; some neighbours had come to meet the Mullah.

His wife asked him to come out, "We can finish our quarrel later on. Now the neighbours are here."

Nasruddin said, "Let them come! Let everybody know once and for all who is the 'Master' of this house! I am the 'Master,' and wherever I want to sit, I will sit!"

37) Mullah's remedy: One day, Mullah Naseeruddin met an acquaintance on the street. The man looked worried and the Mullah asked him about it.

- "I have this terrible dream," said the man. "Every night I dream - that there is a monster hiding under the bed. When I get up and look beneath the bed, there is no one there, but I can't sleep afterwards. I am on my way to the doctor's chamber, the doctor says he can cure me for a hundred Dinars."

- "A hundred Dinars!" exclaimed the Mullah. "I can rid you of your problem for five!"

The man immediately took out 5 Dinars and handed them to the Mullah.

- "Now tell me what to do," said the man eagerly.

- "The remedy is simple," said Naseeruddin, pocketing the money. "Saw off the legs of the bed."

(More later)

Photograph: An illustration of Mullah Naseeruddin astride his donkey.

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