Treasure Island

S.zaynub Kamoonpuri


My favorite anecdote from Urdu


This was a story in my mother tongue urdu which I translated and tried my best to turn it into a poem in english.*happy*

Luqman who was a merchant wiseman and his son
bought themselves a fine donkey once.
The two then set off together
walking besides it, holding its tether.
Then they came upon a group of gossipers
Roadside chatterboxes they were
And how they began to talk and mock
staring at the two from the sidewalk.
They jeered saying how silly the two were
to own a donkey and not ride it
and walk foolishly beside it!
Hearing that, Luqman quickly seated his teen son upon the dönkey's back
They set off thus, Luqman walking besides the donkey, his son riding it.

Then they came upon another group of people squatting on the roadside

Watching the trio, the onlookers instantly began passing comments so snide.
They rebuked the son for having no respect and consideration
for his aged father, for letting him walk while he rode himself, like a spoilt generation'.
Hearing that the son got down the donkey and asked his father to ride and be seated.
Luqman then got on the donkey and began riding before the argument got heated.
Thus they set off once more
the son trailing on foot behind his riding father.

But soon they came upon another group of bystanders
who immediately stopped minding their own businesses
like some nosy witnesses
and began passing comments
They said how very cruel and unkind
was the father to let his lil' son trudge behind
while he himself rode on a donkey fine! '
So once again to stop their pooh poohing Luqman the asked his son
to get on the donkey with him as well.
So now they both were seated on the donkey's back
and they continued their journey that way.

But they had hardly gone a mile or two
when they came upon another set of idle ramblers who would boo.
Immediately they started eyeing the trio quite critically,
exclaiming that the two were behaving quite brutally!
That with the poor animal riding with both of their weights upon it
was too a heavy a load for it!
Luqman's son's eyes then popped out to hear that
and he looked at his father, mouth agape.
His father shot him a wry look and sigh grin
'Everyone's pleasure son you can't win'.

You just cannot please each and everybody
So you better heed nobody
but God for He is only one
and He changes not for moon or sun
The one God is far easier to please
Fellow humans are too many to appease!

Submitted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Edited: Thursday, December 12, 2013

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Comments about this poem (My favorite anecdote from Urdu by S.zaynub Kamoonpuri )

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  • Noreen Carden (1/19/2014 10:21:00 AM)

    Great story.The ones handed down from one generation to another are always full of wisdom (Report) Reply

  • Muhammad Ali (12/23/2013 1:36:00 AM)

    yes it is a famous story. while during working on this poem, i think if you carry a child's emotions, because of remembering your sweet mother. good work. best wishes. (Report) Reply

  • Lasoaphia Quxazs (12/17/2013 10:57:00 AM)

    I love this story, I keep telling it to my friends over and over, because many people listens what others say and they never follow their own feeling.
    To find this truth that listen to God means the person found the right self confidence. However, first we have to find kindness and not just any following the anger and hatred and then our life will be well forever. (Report) Reply

  • Buyi Newton Philip (12/17/2013 5:59:00 AM)

    It has got the rhythm that makes it a fine piece of work, otherwise thanks for the effort put in as it is deserving. (Report) Reply

  • Jay Alexander (12/16/2013 6:01:00 AM)

    Hi S.zaynub (lovely name) . First of all thanks for the feedback to my poem Translucence . Thanks also for reminding me about the Urdu anecdote, it's a charming story. Have a good day. Jay (Report) Reply

  • Marie Shine (12/12/2013 11:40:00 AM)

    Hello S.zaynub and thank you for sharing this very thought provoking story. I have heard it many times before and your translation is excellent. You narrate the story exquisitely to your reader. The moral of the story is, that he who builds his house to the advice given by others, will indeed have a house which will topple and fall, metaphorically speaking. The only person that one should please is their self. NOBODY except the person involved knows what suits anybody, even with regard to giving advice. It is foolish to allow others to sit in the driving seat of YOUR life and dictate what you should so, where you should go. Kick them out and continue on YOUR journey, as YOU wish to! I have enjoyed reading your wonderful story, very much. S.zaynub. I wish you a very lovely evening, blessed and peaceful. (Thank you with Gratitude for kindly reading and commenting on my poem also!) . Blessings always... (Report) Reply

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