In a small village far from the hustle and bustle of the city, there lived a rice farmer, Barbary Rao. He was a simple man and had a small rice paddy, which he would tend to diligently and which rewarded him with ample harvest to support his family. Now Barbary loved to farm. He was born to farm.
He loved to hoe the land, build irrigation canals, study the weather patterns, research fertilizers, and most of all he loved his rice…. yes eating it also. He knew all about farming rice. From end to end he was an expert farmer. Barbary had also developed new systems to improve the quality and quantity of his dear crop and other farmers would often visit him and his farm to learn from him new techniques in de-husking, storage, aging, packaging etc etc. One such visitor was Coolun Das.
Coolun Das was from a neighboring village and he was a very strong man. His body was strong, his will was strong and most of all his ambition was strong. Coolun was eager for success and worked very hard to make his farm productive and profitable. He knew that Barbary was his main competition in the region and so worked very hard to learn his systems.
One season, there was great excitement among the villages, that Barbary had developed a formula for new hybrid rice seeds that would double the yield of the harvest. Upon hearing this news, Coolun was very disturbed. What if Barbary refused to share the formula? What if he decided that this was too good to give away, as he had done with his other discoveries, and using it made himself the richest and most powerful of the region? Coolun began to have nightmares. So one night he snuck into Barbary’s farm and stole the formula and seedlings. Barbary was unable to reproduce the stolen formula and eventually moved on to other work.
Coolun utilized the formula and had a bumper crop that year and in the common market, where all the farmers would bring their crop and samples, he sought out Barbary to gloat. Much to his surprise and irritation Barbary was quite undisturbed by his success. Barbary congratulated him on having such a good year and began discussing with him new techniques in polishing that he was working on. Coolun wondered how come he was not as contented as Barbary. He decided it was probably due to the fame Barbary had in the region, so Coolun made up his mind to achieve greater fame than Barbary and thus greater gratification.
Coolun knew Barbary worked very hard so he decided to discipline himself to work even harder. He started sleeping in the barn so that the dawn calls of the cocks would awaken him. He trained himself to eat only one time a day, so he would be even more time efficient. He learned to concentrate and work through pain, discomfort and fatigue becoming a non-stop farming machine. All that hard work brought him great success and in a few short years he became the richest and most famous farmer in the region. But alas, every year that he met Barbary in the market, he would be reminded that he was not the happier of the two.
Coolun tried everything, he had a huge estate built, purchased large farm lands, grew in political power, gave away rice to the hungry, all the time using great self-discipline to achieve these successes, but even when old and gray whenever he met Barbary, he know there was something he had missed. Eventually, they both grew very old and as luck would have it they passed away on the same day. In the line outside the pearly gates, Coolun and Barbary met again. As usual, Barbary greeted him happily and began discussing the latest research on creating vitamin enriched rice. Finally their turn arrived to meet the Big Boss.
Once inside the Big Boss turned to Barbary and said, "Well done my boy, here come take a seat you need the rest." He then turned to Coolun and asked, "Any questions?" "Yes," Coolun replied, "How come you have asked him to rest and not me? I have worked just as hard, if not harder than him, throughout my life. Also, how come Barbary was always happier than me, even though I achieved so much more success, so much more wealth, power and fame?"
"Well that answer is really very simple," replied Big Boss. "You, Dearest Coolun, were meant to be a wrestler not a rice farmer. So your work is yet to be done. Off you go..." and with that Coolun was sent back down for another go.