A very rich business tycoon had a whole lot of people working in his industry. He had a small township where all his employees used to live. The businessman was a very upright man with a high moral character. He was usually very respectful towards all, especially women.
Once night he got drunk. He started walking on the streets of the township in that inebriated condition. He passed some lewd comments on a young girl who was walking on the street. No one dared to say anything to him.
When he started abusing and using offensive language to all who came his way, the old family cook happened to notice him. He caught hold of him and physically dragged him home.
In the morning, everyone was sure that the cook, who was an old man, would surely lose his job. The businessman had a faint recollection of the night’s happenings. He asked his secretary to explain to him, what had happened last night. The Secretary narrated all, but added some spice to the narrative. Perhaps he had a score to settle with the old cook.
The boss remained silent for a while. He then called the cook and said, “Thank you for saving me from further embarrassment. I don’t remember exactly what happened last night. But had it not been for you, perhaps I would have indulged in something I would have to be ashamed of today.
There is an old couplet by Saint Kabir:
“Nindak niyare rakhiye, Aangan kuti chavaye.
Bin paani sabun bina, Nirmal kare suhaye.”
(Keep a critic in your house; he will cleanse your temperament without soap or water!)
As a child I remember reading a story of a little girl named Patty, who was in the habit of telling lies. Her father often told her that lying was a sin, but the habit was deep rooted and hence difficult to break.
One day Patty was playing with her baby brother. The infant fell down and grazed his knees. Father asked her if she had pushed him. She said, “No Papa, I didn’t.” Father did not believe her. While tending to the toddlers wounds, he rebuked her.
Patty was infuriated that she had been unfairly reprimanded. When father was engrossed in reading the newspaper, she deliberately pushed the baby. He fell and cried bitterly. Father yelled, “Patty, did you push him over?” “No Papa,” she said rebelliously. Father asked in a stern voice, “Telling lies?” “No Papa,” she said defiantly.
That evening Papa took Patty aside and asked her to show him her tongue. As she stuck her tongue out, he swiftly gave her a little cut downwards on the tongue with a knife. She yelped in pain. Then he said, “Patty, this is a little punishment to you for all the lies you have been telling. Now, every time you speak, this is going to hurt you. Let the hurt be a reminder to you of what is going to happen if you lie again. If you give me another chance, I shall use my scissors to snip off a bit off your tongue!”
In today’s times of so much being talked about children’s rights etc. this may amount to child abuse. I read this story in my childhood (more than 40 years back), when the good old maxim of ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’, was the golden rule of disciplining children. In this case perhaps the father was a little too harsh …
But, the story still has a very strong message. Parents have to discipline their children while they are small. Sometimes I think that it is lack of discipline in the home that has led to our society being what it is today.