Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Jankiamma was in high spirits. No she hasn't consumed alcohol. But her  cup of happiness is brimming. Her son,daughter-in-law and her only grandchild are going to spend the next ten days with her in the rural countryside. She has made all preparations to welcome the trio from Mumbai.

The D-Day dawned and Jankiamma was like a six year girl who was given  a multi-coloured balloon for the first time. She had the energy of a small child and the smile on her face refused to leave  her as if it is stuck with glue.

Rahul, her grandson, after his dinner sat on her bed and insisted her on telling him a story. Jankiamma narrated the story of the hare and tortoise engaged in the race. She told the story of the hare and tortoise with great drama and voice modulations.She concluded the story with ,'slow and steady wins the race', written on a slate with a white chalk. She looked at Rahul who was totally lost and had drawn a blank expression on his face.

"What is it  putta?(young one). Didn't you like the story" asked Jankiamma with a concern in her voice. her

"Aajji(grandma) , you told this story last year too. Its the same. Why don't you make some changes?" said the young grandchild.

She explained to him at length that these stories from Panchatantra and Jataka tales served  moral values to generation after generation  and that they did not change with time. But Rahul's appetite for curiosity had not whetted and this answer did not satisfy his curious little mind. But Jankiamma not to be defeated and taking sportsman spirit in her stride, asked Rahul if he had a better version of the story. Rahul nodded his head and blinked his eyes in child-like innocence. Jankiamma asked him to present his version of the story.

Rahul asked his grandmom  if the hare had not slept on its way, would the tortoise have won? The grandmom was flummoxed. She explained to Rahul that these stories were 'tailor-made' to drive home a certain point. But she encouraged Rahul to present his modified version of the tale that he deemed fit for the modern world.

Rahul began with the commencing of the race in the forest with great fanfare. The hare and the tortoise's extended families were more enthusiastic about the outcome of the race and were cheering heartily. The hare had a habit of napping every now and then. So the hare's family hit upon an idea. They provided the hare with an alarm clock to wake him up. Not to be outdone the tortoise's family members , on seeing the slow and steady march of the tortoise passed a skateboard . The tortoise mounted on the skateboard and the race continued. Meanwhile the hare had his share of forty winks. The alarm bell went off and the hare dashed off to the closing line. Both made their journey and reached the finishing line. And both were declared joint-winners.

Jankiamma was amazed and speechless at her grandchild's story. She gathered herself and asked him the moral of the story. Rahul said , 'Improve and improvise or perish'. Taking the slate and chalk in his hand he wrote and showed the slate to his grandmom who read it as :

Slow and steady wins the race.
But everywhere its not the same case.

Jankiamma smiled.


P.S.  :  This post is not intended to make fun of the old fable that has been handed down from our ancestors but a hilarious point of view from the modern young minds. Readers ,  tell me how did you find Rahul's modified version of the story?