The Cooking Pot

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Naseeruddin Hodja lived in Turkey sometime in the thirteenth century. He was born in village Hortu of Sivrihisar. Named Nasir-ud-Din meaning ‘victory of faith’ by his parents, he attained the title Hodja meaning Teacher or Master later in life.

Hodja was a witty man with a great sense of humor. He was brilliant, but often pretended to be foolish to make his point! Many of his stories are about how he dealt with men who were greedy or foolishly proud.

Once, Hodja invited his friends home, for a meal. He soon found he did not have a cooking pot large enough to make the pilav. His wife suggested that they could borrow it from the neighbor.
So Hodja went to borrow the pot. The neighbor was a little hesitant, but then he gave the pot to him. When the feast was over, Hodja placed a smaller pot inside the cooking pot and gave it to the neighbour.

“Why is there a smaller pot inside?” the neighbor asked.
“Oh!” said Naseeruddin Hodja casually. “Didn’t you know your pot was pregnant? It gave birth while it was at our house.”  The neighbor’s disbelief was overcome by his delight. He happily took both the pots.
About a month later, Hodja wanted to borrow the pot once again from his neighbor. The neighbor gave him the pot willingly. This time, however, the Hodja did not return the pot for a long time. Finally, after many days, the neighbor came asking for it. The Hodja pulled a long face and said: “I didn” know how to break the news to you, but your pot died about a week ago.”

“Died?” shouted the neighbor indignantly. “A cooking pot cannot die!” “Well, why not?” asked Naseeruddin Hodja unanswerably. ‘You believed that it could give birth, didn’t you? So, why can’t you believe it can also die?”

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