Stories based on two Tamil Proverbs (Post No.4730)

Date:11 FEBRUARY 2018


Time uploaded in London- 15-47


WRITTEN by London swaminathan


Post No. 4730







In a town in South India there was a wealthy Brahmin lady who was living alone. In those days, robbers enter the town and loot the houses. But they followed certain rules. They will only rob rich people, that too only after informing them!


One day this Brahmin lady also received a note saying on such and such day the house will be robbed. This lady was a clever lady. She knew that she can’t prevent them and any attempt to stop them will result in bloodshed. So she prepared the best food on the day for the robbers. The flavour of the food items travelled far away in the air in the streets. Since the town people knew about the robbers’ visit all of them shut the doors and switched off the lights.


This lonely lady left the door slightly open. The robbers came beating big drums and entered the house. This lady welcomed them with a smile and asked them to eat first and then continue their work. They couldn’t say no because of the excellent smell of the food. They ate to their full stomach. Before they finished eating this clever lady spread a silk saree on the floor and placed all her jewels and silk sarees on it signalling to them to take them. The juniors in the group were waiting for the orders from the chief of the robbers. When he kept quiet the junior robbers asked him whether they can lay their hands on them.


No, he said firmly.

There are proverbs in Tamil that you should never harm a house where you ate. They say that you should ever think about the people who gave you salt ( food). Never ever steal in the house wo gave you food. So don’t touch anything; let us go.


He not only left the house intact, later he gave his plundered property to that family. This is a true story, but the author who wrote it in 1916 in a bout about Bhartruhari’s Niti Sataka, did not give the place and the name of the person.


Black Bag floating in the River!

River Godavari in South India was in floods. Two friends Ramappan and Thimmappan went to see the floods. They were enjoying watching lot of furniture, house hold utensils and trees and animals that were washed away and floating. Suddelny Ramappan noticed a big black bag floating in the middle of the river. He pointed it out to Thinnappan and said,

“Thinnappa, go and get that black bag. It is big. It must contain something valuable; Let us share it”.


Thinnappan jumped into the floods without hesitating and swam towards the black bag. He grabbed it and pulled it towards him. But the bag was not a bag; it was a bear washed away by the flood. That was struggling to get a grip and so it caught hold of him. Thinnappan tried to get out but couldn’t.


Ramappan still thought that the floating bag was a treasure and his friend was trying hard. But at one stage he shouted to Thinnappan,

“Please come back if you can’t get hold of the bag. Come back safe”


Thinnappan said: No Ramappan; it is not a bag; it is a bear.

He shouted back: Leave it and come back.

I am ready to come back. But it wouldn’t allow me. I have left the bear; but the bear is not ready to leave me”.

Both of them went along the floods; Ramappan was helpless.


Desire is like the bear; once you catch hold of it, even if you want to get out, it wouldn’t leave you. So strong is the grip of desire!

There are lot of proverbs in Indian languages about desire.