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Church Bells

April 6, 2006

In an expanse of bare land, there stood a beautiful chapel. On entering it, one could feel that every pew and aisle was full of prayer. It was here that a kind priest served. His faith in God and in his fellow beings afforded him that rare kindness, a little of which he had for everyone.

One fine day, there came at his doorstep a little orphan boy, poor and hungry. The priest fed and watered him and told him that he could stay and work at the church if he liked. And so the boy did. He would ring the church bell after every mass and at every fourth hour. Many such happy years passed. The once little boy was now a young man who knew nothing else but to ring the church bell as he had done in days of yore.

The priest, now old and weary, retired from his services to the lord. His successor, on finding an uneducated young man in residence ordered him to leave the church at once. He had no place for people who couldn’t read and write. Giving the young man a small sum to live off, he bid him farewell.

Having been turned out of the only job he knew, he wandered in search of something to do. Soon, he felt pangs of hunger. Looking around, he saw miles and miles of dusty, brown land but not a place he could rest his tired self and have a spot of lunch. And so he walked until he came to a wayward village bakery. While eating, he mused that it was indeed a tiresome task for churchgoers to walk this enormous distance and back without refreshment.

It struck him that he might buy some stuff from the bakery and start shop at a reasonable distance from the church. This enterprise of his turned into a flourishing business. Soon he expanded his little shop and in time he was a prosperous restaurateur and owner of a chain of eateries. Being somewhat a noteworthy public figure, banks soon flocked to him in search of prospective patronage.

During one such rendezvous, a banker expressed his absolute shock at the fact that such a vastly successful man was uneducated. He said, “Sir! If you are this successful without any education, imagine what you would’ve be doing if you were learned!”

The man said nothing. At the sound of distant church bells ringing, he just smiled and said, “I would’ve been ringing church bells.”

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Paddyman permalink
    April 7, 2006 12:16 AM

    mm nice story..moral : the good guy is always the bad guy, trust him to be bad while the bad guy is sometimes the good guy and can never be trusted to be anything ? 😀 too much pirates of the carribean

  2. Anand permalink
    April 7, 2006 5:35 AM

    that’s a short story… by…. someone, don’t remember. you’re not claiming this as an original work are you? 🙂

  3. April 7, 2006 12:34 PM

    hey ive read this somewhere too!!

  4. Paddyman permalink
    April 7, 2006 10:34 PM

    Hmm that brings up an important question : For whom the bell tolls ?

  5. April 8, 2006 12:36 PM

    @koala;
    😀 me watched it a couple of days back too!!

    @anand:
    not at all!! my uncle told it to me…so decided to put it up here. 🙂

    @me:
    surely!! :))

  6. aninonymous permalink
    April 8, 2006 7:02 PM

    seems tooooo much like one story
    i read about one “tomato millionaire”

  7. Ajit permalink
    April 8, 2006 7:12 PM

    Hey.. This is a short story called The Verger.. We did an English course last semester. Read it there…!.. Yeah.. Nice story.. Jus that the original was a bit longer this and had a few more complications..:-)

  8. April 9, 2006 7:38 PM

    @anin:
    whoz the “tomato millionaire”?!?! 🙂

    @ajit:
    alrighty!!! wat complications??

  9. Ajit permalink
    April 9, 2006 11:05 PM

    therla.. dont remember.. As in.. The story was longer than that.. Kinda like a tamil mega serial type.. There was quite a lot of unimportant stuff… btw.. HOW WAS JEE?!?!?.. Will I be seeing u around here next year..??..:-)

  10. April 10, 2006 6:21 AM

    @ajit:
    phy was alrite, chem easy, math was royal rape…at least for me!! 😛

    dunno if u’ll be seeing me next yr….not much probability!! 🙂

  11. Ajit permalink
    April 10, 2006 1:39 PM

    Its okay.. Strange things happen here sometimes!!.. Have hope…:)

  12. April 10, 2006 3:45 PM

    @ajit:
    lol…do have hope….just a trace of it though!! 🙂

  13. Shashi Rajasekaran permalink
    April 15, 2006 6:03 AM

    there was this similar story of an american tomato merchant who was refused a sweepers job in microsoft because he did not have an email id..

    he went on to become a big businessman still without an emailid. His partner once exclaimed..imagine how big would have been ur business if only u used e mail for communication..

  14. April 15, 2006 2:18 PM

    @shashi:
    o yeah….think i’ve read it somewhere too!! some forward or something!!

  15. Hellbrandt Grimm permalink
    April 16, 2006 12:01 PM

    Aye, that’s a nice variation of The Verger by (if memory serves) Somerset Maugham. That story got into me the first time I read it, and it’s still kind of trying to find its way out.

    🙂

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