(An old folk tale)


A young couple lived on a small farm. With little income, they were forced to live a life in poverty.

One day, the husband said, “Love I want to go to a faraway land, get a decent job, work hard to earn a lot of wealth and give you the comfort of life. I do not know how long I will be away, but please wait for me and be faithful.”

His wife held his hand and said, “I will always wait for you.”


The young man left and wandered for many days till he found an old farmer who needed help. Observing the interest of the young man the farmer appointed him on condition he would be discharged with all his earnings when the young man decides to go back home. Till then the farmer would save his salary.

The young man worked for twenty years without taking a day off.

One day he said, “Sir I want to return home please pay all my salary.”

The old farmer responded, “I want to offer you something different. I will give you all your money or three pieces of advice. If you get the money you lose the pieces of advice. Think and say what you want.”


The man took two days to think and returned, “I want the three pieces of advice.”

The old farmer smiled and said, “Well, First never take shortcuts in life, shorter and unknown paths may take your life. Second, never be too curious, curiosity can be deadly. Thirdly, decisions taken in pain or anger are always wrong.”

Before saying goodbye the old farmer gave the young man three loaves of bread, two for the journey and the third to share with his wife when he gets home.


The young man was on his way home. After the first day of travel, he met a fat man who showed him a shortcut way to reach home.  The man took the trail till he remembered the first piece of advice. He returned to the longer path. Days later he learned that the shortcut led to a deception.


After a few more days of travel, he found an inn to rest. Late in the night a terrifying scream woke him up. He went to the door to check what happened. As he was cracking the door, he remembered the second advice. He returned back to bed and lay quietly.

The next morning he was shocked to discover an insane neighbor was screaming at night and shot all the guests that went out to check the screech.


After his long journey, one night he reached his village. From a distance, he could see his house and his wife in the window. But immediately his happiness was gone. His heart was filled with shock and hatred to see the silhouetted image of a man by her side. She softly caressed his hair. He wanted to kill them both, but he remembered the third piece of advice.

He stopped and slept in the midst of the bushes, determined to make a decision next day. Next morning, he thought, “I will not kill my wife and her lover. I would rather go back to the farmer after letting my wife know I loved and never betrayed her.”

He knocked on the door. A young man answered the door and asked what he wanted? By then his wife also arrived to check the door

She gazed at him and said, “Son that is your father!”

He could not hold the tears that came rolling out of his eyes.

That night at dinner he tore the bread to share with his family and was surprised to find the old farmer had put all his earnings inside the loaf of bread.

Effort, patience, and wisdom are priceless!

About Sanjoy Dutt

Sanjoy Dutt, an engineer, and a linguist is passionate about traveling and writing. He has lived and worked in various places in India and Nepal and now lives in America. While exposed to the struggles of life in early childhood he is a strong believer that challenges in life makes you stronger. He and his wife Lindsay enjoy exploring areas of the US and occasionally struggle with the pots and pans in the kitchen. Sometimes the experiments are delightful.​ Sanjoy has written travelogues and short stories for various journals in Bengali and English. As a child, Sanjoy loved drawing pictures. He has done all the illustrations for his book 'Calcutta in Shorts'.
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