Samad and Ali, two farmers, lived in a remote village in England in 1724.
They were neighbours. Their houses and fields were situated side by side. They both grew rice in their fields.
Though Samad’s field was half the size of Ali’s, it produced enough rice every year for him to have all the benefits that Ali enjoyed.
But Ali could not understand how. Things didn’t add up.
Steadily, Ali grew jealous of Samad.
One day, as Ali saw Samad’s ripening rice field in full glory, he could not stand it anymore.
He got up in the middle of the night and set Samad’s field ablaze.
When Samad saw his field in the morning, his heart broke. But he did not lose hope.
He purchased merchandise from the town and started to sell it on a cart in his and the surrounding villages.
Ali was happy to see Samad lose his crop, but his happiness was short-lived.
Samad made as much profit from selling the merchandise as he would have from the rice crop. His life was unaffected.
Seeing Samad prosper yet again made Ali even more upset. He felt frustrated and could not understand how Samad could stand on his feet yet again.
A few days later, he was walking by Samad’s field when he saw him going towards a small hut.
‘This is where the secret of his success must lie,’ Ali thought as he tiptoed behind Samad.
He pressed his ear to the mud wall of the hut to listen. He heard intermittent laughter and sobs.
“He definitely has people advising him,” Ali said to himself.
Not thinking much, Ali flung the door of the hut open and barged in.
But there was no one inside except Samad. He was sitting in darkness.
“Where is everyone?” Ali asked.
“There is no one here except me,” said Samad.
“I heard people laughing and crying.”
“That was just me.”
Ali couldn’t quite understand what Samad was saying. ‘Why would he cry and laugh with himself in a lonely hut?’
“I come here every evening to ponder over my good and bad deeds. I cry over my bad deeds and laugh over the good ones. This makes me a good human being as that is all that matters.
“When I am a good human being, I excel in everything. If I am not a good human being, the size of my field is not going to make my life better,” Samad said.
“You thought the reason for my prosperous life was my field, so you burnt it down. You were wrong.”
Ali was ashamed. He left the hut without saying a word, crossing his vast field on the way back.
For the first time, he did not look at his field and feel proud.
Tale By: Arifa Gani