Anandaraja would collect clay on the first day of every week from the river bank. Anandaraja and his wife would mould the clay into beautiful and useful pots.
In the weekend, Anandaraja and his two sons took the vessels in their horse cart to the weekly village bazaar. There, they set up a stall in the shade of a large tree and sold their wares.
Anandaraja and his family were simple people. They did not make much money. The little money they made was barely enough to carry them through the rest of the week.
One day, Anandaraja woke up early in the morning for his daily routine. He was startled to see that his horse was missing. He roused his sons and together they searched all over the neighbourhood. But the horse was nowhere to be found. His horse had run away. Anandaraja was saddened. He would no longer be able to carry his pots to the bazaar. If he hired another cart it would be expensive and he would not be able to make a profit.
Dejected he sat down. His neighbour, a wily and jealous man called Kanwalal sneered at him. “Bad Luck”, he remarked. Anandaraja ignored him and went about his usual routine.
A couple of days later, late in the evening, Anandaraja was at his home after a hard day. He was surprised to see his horse standing in front of his home. Along with his horse were two other horses. For a moment, Anandaraja thought that he was dreaming. He went up to check. It was his very own horse. He looked at the horse. The horse seemed remorseful. It had apparently joined a herd of wild horses which were roaming the arid wastelands near the village. Unable to find food, it had returned to its master along with two of his newfound friends.
Kanwalal, his jealous neighbour looked at the horses and said, “Good luck, You have got three horses”. Anandaraja paid no heed to his remarks.
A couple of days passed, the eldest son of Anandaraja, Lokaraja had developed a fondness for one of the three horses. It was a horse with a sprightly mane and a bright white star on his forehead. It was quite young and energetic. Lokaraja wanted to ride the horse. Once, when his father was not at home, he tried to get on to the horse’s back. The horse which had never been mounted was startled and threw Lokaraja off.
The young boy could not get up. As the neighbours rushed to help they discovered that he had fractured his right leg. When Anandaraja returned, the neighbours informed him of what happened. Anandaraja was angry at his son for bring such a misfortune. They were already poor and would now have to pay for his treatment as well.
Kanwalal looked at them again and said, “Bad luck”. Anandaraja ignored his jibe as usual and went about his business.
With his eldest son unable to help, Anandaraja carried on with the help of his younger son and his wife. The job was difficult and more tiresome. Nevertheless, the family carried on.
A few days later, there was a commotion at the village square. All the village folk gathered to see what it was. It was the royal messenger. He had come with a message from the king. He beat his drum for a few minutes to gain the attention of those assembled. He then read out the royal decree. The decree went thus, ” All able bodied young men who have attained the age of 18 are forthwith asked to join the army for a period of five years. They are asked to report to the royal palace within 15 days”. There was great sadness in the on hearing the news. Fathers and mothers were sad that they would have to part with their sons.
Lokaraja, the son of Anandaraja was 19 years old. He would have to report but for his fractured leg. The king’s soldiers went about the village forcibly taking the young men away. When they came to Anandaraja’s house and saw his son. They let him and went away.
Kanwalal, the sly neighbour remarked, “Good Luck, your son has escaped”. Anandaraja, as usual, pretended not to hear him. He went about his business as before.
Children, this story teaches us that all things happen for a reason. There is no “good luck” or “bad luck” in life. Sometimes, things happen in life for which we have no explanation and which may be difficult to understand. But we can be sure that all things work out for our good. We need to stop analysing them and take things in our stride.