Mulla Nasrudin’s Painful Return On Investment

I have multiple reasons for sharing this.  I enjoyed the book “Tales of the Dervishes” by Idries Shah.  I recently found another Idries Shah book at a local bookseller, “The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin,” which I found to have a very high laugh-per-dollar ratio.  There were a couple of Mulla Nasrudin stories in Tales of the Dervishes.

I liked this particular story, because I had just mentioned in the previous post that it might be a good thing to practice becoming less invested in judging.

Mulla Nasrudin, as everyone knows, comes from a country where fruit is fruit, and meat is meat, and curry is never eaten.

One day he was plodding along a dusty Indian road, having newly descended from the high mountains of Kafiristan, when a great thirst overtook him. “Soon”, he said to himself; I must come across somewhere that good fruit is to be had;

(Kafiristan is a historical name for the modern-day Nuristan Province of Afghanistan)

No sooner were the words formed in his brain than he rounded a corner and saw sitting in the shade of a tree a benevolent-looking man, with a basket in front of him.

Piled high in the basket were huge, shiny red fruits. This is what I need; said Nasrudin. Taking two tiny coppers from the knot at the end of his turban, he handed them to the fruit-seller.

Without a word the man handed him the whole basket, for this kind of fruit is cheap in India, and people usually buy it in smaller amounts.

Nasrudin sat down in the place vacated by the fruiterer, and started to munch the fruits. Within a few seconds, his mouth was burning. Tears streamed down his cheeks, fire was in his throat.

The Mulla went on eating.

An hour or two passed, and then an Afghan Hillman came past.

Nasrudin hailed him. “Brother! These infidel fruits must come from the very mouth of Sheitan!”

“Fool!” said the Hillman. “Hast thou never heard of the chilis of Hindustan? Stop eating them at once or death will surely claim a victim before the sun is down.”

“I cannot move from here,” gasped the Mulla, “until I have finished the whole basketful.”

“Madman! Those fruits belong in curry! Throw them away at once.”

“I am not eating fruit any more,” croaked Nasrudin, “I am eating my money.”


I’m open to the possibility that Nasrudin was “taking one for the team” for the purposes of our instruction.

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