Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Ant and the Grasshopper

One summer day a grasshopper was hopping, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An ant walked by, huffing and puffing as he struggled to carry plump corn."Where are you going with those heavy things?" asked the grasshopper. "To our ant hill" replied the ant. “Hey, why not come and sing with me," teased the grasshopper. “Naah…I am storing food for the winter and think you should do the same” said the ant. "C’mon, winter is a long way off. Besides it is a glorious day to play," sang the grasshopper while the ant went on its way.

The weather soon turned cold. The fields were covered in a thick white blanket of snow. Not a single grain around. Soon the grasshopper found itself famished. Staggering to the ants' hill he begged for food. The ant opened the door.

“What in the world were you doing all of last summer? Why haven't you stored anything for the winter?"Questioned the ant! "I was busy playing music that before I knew it, the summer was gone" groaned the grasshopper. Shaking its head in disgust, turning its back on the grasshopper the ant shut the door and went back to work.
Lesson from the story? Hard work and savings pays-off

Story continues: One grasshopper survived that winter and reproduced a mutant offspring. This offspring was a perfect breed of the 21st century. It could beat Ladonna with the symphony of its songs and was the king of good times.

As trait of its lineage, westernized demeanor; it did not believe an ounce in the concept of saving. Being excellent with networking skills it built acquaintances with the media moghuls like Parkha butth, Pajdeep Sardesai and Aannoy Roy. The grasshopper partied around the summers like there was no tomorrow. Contrastingly ant continued working hard day after day, saving and accumulating wealth.

Days passed on! Then came another chilly, bleakly winter. As the snow covered the garden like a huge dish of vanilla ice cream, the grasshopper was shivering and starving to death.

 Here comes the BIG twist in the story. Poverty made him a celebrity. Like flies around a fruit, the media personalities flocked around the ailing grasshopper. TV channels like Paj Tak, MDTV and DNN carried out sting operations on the ant. Even before the sun rose, news flashed - “The Ultimate Expose” showcasing the riches of the ant and the plight of the grasshopper. There was live footage of the ant dressed in a fine silk gown sitting in the balcony of its luxurious Spanish style villa with French interiors and aesthetics. On the other hand there were images of a trembling, shivering grasshopper freezing in the field. There was a photo of the ant sitting at the mighty dining table relishing Mexican appetizers, Chinese starters, Italian main course and Continental desserts. And…there was a photo of the dehydrated, malnourished grasshopper, barely breathing.

What followed was mayhem. Opinion polls through SMS, Talk shows, Social networking sites jammed with overwhelming responses -“Like” for Grasshopper and “Dislike” for the Ant. The social activists too sprang into action. Citing this incident as a mark of divide between rich and poor and calling for sharing of wealth amongst poor. The massive public reaction forced the finance minister Janab kakarjee to propose a bill to tackle the economic divide.
Amidst the commotions the ant spent sleepless nights. He was shattered by the deteriorating public image and in dilemma on the hardworking lifestyle. Very soon the ant wilted, withered and wound up in a hospital. But no public sympathies for Mr.Ant. They accused him of faking illness and protested in front of the hospital. Yielding to public pressure the ant agreed to share half of its wealth with the grasshopper. Grasshopper once again became cheerful and went on his merry way while the ant slowly made his way back to the ant hill, dejected.

Dear Friends! This is a sad reflection of our times. What kind of a moral does this story convey us? That neither hard work, nor savings but smart play and networking pay-off? That pulling the strings is the way to take advantage of your fellow being?

Forget the ant, forget the grasshopper, and think for a moment. Where do you stand?