The Disabled Fox.

A fable of the Arab mystic Sa`di:

A man walking through the forest saw a fox that had lost its legs and wondered how it lived. Then he saw a tiger come with game in its mouth. The tiger had his fill and left the rest for the fox.

The next day God fed the fox by means of the same tiger. The man began to wonder at God’s greatness and said to himself, “I too shall just rest in a corner with full trust in the Lord and He will provide me with all I need.”

He did this for many days, but nothing happened, and he was almost at death’s door when he heard a voice say, ” O you who are in the path of error, open your eyes to the truth! Follow the example of the tiger and stop imitating the disabled fox.”

On the street I saw a naked child, hungry and shivering in the cold. I became angry and said to God,” Why do you permit this? Why don’t you do something?”

For a while, God said nothing. That night he replied, quite suddenly, I certainly did something. I MADE YOU.”
(“The Disabled Fox” from the Book “The Song of the Bird” By Father Anthony De Mello)
In the early hours of morning around 7.30 am, I was driving towards South Mumbai. I stopped at the traffic signal at Mahim Durgah on the Cadel Road. The Mahim Dargah was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah of Gujarat in 1431 at the burial site of Makhtum Fakir Ali Paru, a Sufi saint who was the Qazi of Mahim. Also known as Makhdoom Ali Mahimi, he was born in an Arab family which settled in Mahim. The Sufi saint and his shrine is revered by both Hindus and Muslims.

I saw that a beggar like person with dirty torn baniyan, half grown shabby beard, a blue stripped lungi that was folded at the knee length sat on the edge of the road with his similar looking friend and chatting. He had a dry roti and cutting chai in his hand. While they were chatting, he very casually tore the dry roti into two halves and gave one portion to his friend.

A goat was coming towards them sniffing the edge of the foot path. He may have seen the goat from the periphery of his vision, as he reflectively tore the half of the half roti he had in his hand and gave it to the goat, while eating the remaining quarter piece in his hand.

I remembered the quote of Cheryl Strayed when she said, “Be about ten times more magnanimous than you believe yourself capable of. Your life will be a hundred times better for it.”

There were tears in my eyes.

  • घास पर खेलता है इक बच्चा
    पास माँ बैठी मुस्कुराती है,
    मुझ को हैरत है जाने क्यूँ दुनिया
    काबा ओ सोमनाथ को जाती है       –  निदा फ़ाज़ली
  • ghaas par khelta hai ek bachcha
    paas maa baithi muskurati hai;
    mujh ko hairat hai jaane kyun duniya
    Kaaba aur Somnath ko jaati hai? – Nida Fazli

    A child is playing on the grass
    seeing that the mother is smiling
    I wonder the need why these people
    have to visit Kaaba and Somnath

1 thought on “The Disabled Fox.”

  1. A needy person knows well what the others go through as he himself is in the same boat. Such person would care and our Gujarati / Sanskrit has a nice word” sah anubhuti” સાહનુભુતિ” “ feeling the same”. They always share what a little thing they have. They are not worried about even getting it back, that care about the feelings of that moment. It is not even a favour. Sharing is caring.

    We start our new year with this motto of “ Sharing is caring”. Yes Rajiv bhai carves out time from his busy schedule even in this holiday season and shares his valuable thoughts.

    Wish all May have a Healthy and Happy 2022💐🌟✨💫🎉🎈🎊

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