The power of chalk

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

In memory of our fallen heroes: those who threw themselves under the chalklines because someone else was making up the rules of play in the insane asylum.

The power of chalk

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

Once, Mullah Nasruddin was chalking a political slogan on the wall of a building in Konya when the corrupt local constable caught him and dragged him into jail. His queer appearance and illogical behavior led to his being certified insane, and so he was transferred to the regional mental asylum.
The asylum, of course, was filled with every sort of depraved and perverted lunatic. As soon as the Mullah entered the courtyard, the inmates crowded around him as if he were carrion and they were buzzards circling, ready to land. He could smell their soiled clothes and rancid breath as they came closer.
Finally, Nasruddin held up his hands to repel the sociopaths and shouted, “Stop, you fiends!” He pulled from his pocket his offensive piece of chalk. “Stand back, or else!” he hissed, brandishing the chalk as if it were a knife. The crazies halted in their spots.
Moving quickly, Nasruddin drew a line across the courtyard dividing the inmates evenly into two groups. Returning to the center he announced, “Pay attention, people! Here are the new rules. Now, does everyone clearly see the chalkline on the ground‽”
The men nodded and grunted their mutual assent.
“Good. So, the first and only rule of the game is this: on my call, all of you must jump under that line. The first man who makes it under, wins this chalk, and gets to make up the next game.” He walked to the periphery of the two teams, saying, “I will say when to begin. Ready, set, go.”
The casualties were severe as both teams went berserk and threw themselves repeatedly at the line and at each other.
Nasruddin was released. Nobody was quite sure whether it was because they could not allow further injuries of the inmates, or because his resourcefulness proved his sanity.

Excerpted from

XNS frcoverLamfinalsealExtraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

Middle of the mat

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

Middle of the mat

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day, Mullah Nasruddin was traveling with two fellows. The two men were friends and said to the Mullah, “We want to buy a mat and a blanket.”

Mullah said to them, “I’ll buy the mat and share it with you, but you must agree that I will only sleep in the middle of the mat. Also, I will not buy the blanket with you.” And he paid the other two for his share of the mat.

They could not obtain the mat without the Mullah’s contribution, so they agreed, thinking they would not share the blanket with Nasruddin. So the three men bought the mat and the other two bought the blanket.

Nasruddin laid himself in the middle of the mat and went to sleep. Now, if the other two wanted to sleep on it, they would have to lie down on either side of him. Then they realized that they could not tear the blanket so that each man could have his own. Thus Nasruddin got to enjoy the blanket without paying for it.

 

Excerpted from the forthcoming Lethe Press book by Ron J. Suresha,

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, by Ron J. Suresha

 

Lucky Pierre, always in the middle.


Free haircut

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

Free haircut

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day, Nasruddin entered a barbershop, followed by a young boy. Nasruddin told the barber that he was in a hurry and wanted to get his haircut first. The barber readily agreed and proceeded to give Nasruddin a fine haircut and beard trim. Nasruddin checked his hair, replaced his turban, told the barber he would be back soon, and left.

The boy hopped into the barber chair, and the barber cut the boy’s hair. After he was done, the boy got out of the chair and started to leave. The barber stopped him and said, “But where is your father? He said he’d be right back, and now he’s late.”

“Father?” said the boy. “That man’s not my father. He’s just some guy I met on the street outside who told me to come in with him for a free haircut!”

 

Excerpted from the forthcoming
Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, by Ron J. Suresha

 

You know what they say about assumptions.

Since most stories depict the Mullah as bald, this story must have taken place before it all fell out. He was a rascal, even then.

Exactly what I would have done

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

Exactly what I would have done

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

When Nasruddin was newly married, just on the third night, Nasruddin dreamt that he was swimming deep in a vast ocean. It was a happy dream until he woke up to realize that he’d wet the bed.

Of course, he was embarrassed but was unsure quite how to tell his wife, Fatima, snoring fast asleep next to him. So Nasruddin arranged his blanket partly over the damp spot and then lay back down, pretending to be asleep.

After a minute, he bolted upright with a shout, “Arghhh! Dear Allah, save me!”

Fatima awoke and turned her head to look at her husband. “What’s the matter, Nasruddin?”

The trembling and visibly shaken Mullah replied, “Fatima! Wife, you have no idea what sort of horrifying nightmare I’ve just had!”

She asked, “What did you dream?”

“I saw three tall minarets, one set right above the next, and atop the third minaret was an egg, and on that egg was a needle, and on that needle balanced a covered table, and at that table I had to eat my dinner!”

Fatima gasped, “God! How terrifying! What a predicament! My poor husband!”

Nasruddin replied calmly, “You can’t imagine how shocked I was!”

Fatima sympathized, “I can only imagine, dear husband. You must have been frightened beyond belief. Out of sheer fear, I would have soiled the bed, or worse!”

“Indeed,” Nasruddin readily agreed, “that is exactly what I would’ve done myself!”

Excerpted from the forthcoming Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, by Ron J. Suresha

 

It’s terrifying to imagine the heights to which some people will go will to cover their infantile behavior.

A stupid beard

A Mullah Nasruddin story

A Stupid Beard

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day the imam told Nasruddin, “Anyone who wears a beard longer than his fist is stupid.”

When the Mullah returned home, he checked himself in the mirror and realized that his beard was quite a bit longer than his fist. He took a lit candle and was intending to burn off only an inch or so of the offending hairs — just the part that was hanging below his fist.

Whoosh! In a flash, the beard went up in flames and he could not put it out before he singed his entire face. Now Nasruddin’s face looked like the underside of a plucked and roasted chicken.

The next day, Nasruddin went to see the imam and said, “What you told me yesterday was completely correct. A man with a long beard possesses short wisdom.”

“Idiot! I meant you should use a pair of scissors or a razor. Why in Allah’s name did you burn off your beard?”

“Well, I didn’t have either of those things, but I had some fire on hand. I admit that I lost my beard and burned my chin from ear to ear, but at least now I am free of being stupid.”

Excerpted from the forthcoming Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, by Ron J. Suresha

 

If beards could think, they probably would decide not to set themselves on fire.

Only two sides of the river

A Mullah Nasruddin story

Only two sides of the river

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One sunny afternoon Mullah Nasruddin was sitting quietly on a riverbank near Lake Aksehir when someone approached the river from the opposite side. After looking around a bit, the fellow noticed Nasreddin and shouted out, “Hey there! Excuse me — please tell me, how do I get across?”

Without getting up, Nasruddin shouted back, “You are across!”

 

Excerpted from the forthcoming Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, by Ron J. Suresha

 

Most times, you’re already right where you need to be, but just don’t recognize it.

 

Later than You Think

by rjs
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Published on: August 4, 2013

Later than You Think

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinDeciding for once to fast all thirty days of the month of Ramadan, Nasruddin devised a method to keep track of the days. Every day he put a pebble in a pot, figuring that when the time was up, he’d just count the pebbles.

Unknown to Nasruddin, his little daughter, Hafiza, noticed his daily habit of putting a pebble in the pot. To be helpful, she went around the garden and collected lots and lots of rocks, and added one or many to the collection whenever she liked.

Two weeks later, the Mullah’s friends Sedat and Ismail stopped by and asked him how many days remained in the fasting month. Nasruddin emptied his pot and counted the stones, then hesitantly returned with the information: “It seems that forty-nine days have passed.”

“How can that be? There are only thirty days in a month!” said Sedat.

“I’m not exaggerating in the least,” Nasruddin asserted. “In fact, I was being conservative in stating that number. It is actually much later than you think. Truth is, today is the one hundred and forty-ninth day of Ramadan!”

Excerpted from The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero.

Your Daily Nasruddin

Another popular Nasrudding story. The premise is that the young girl accidentally – but playfully – tries to help her Papa by adding more pebbles to the pot, without her father being any wiser for the matter. Note that Nasruddin actually admits to lying the first time he recounted the pebble count.

Predicting a Contrarian

by rjs
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Published on: August 2, 2013

Predicting a Contrarian

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinOnce Nasruddin was talking with some friends when his son, Ahmet, came running and told him that his mother-in-law Hayat had fallen in the river. Nasruddin sighed and turned to go upriver.

His friends stopped him, saying, “Nasruddin, if your mother-in-law fell in the water in that direction, shouldn’t you head downstream to rescue her?”

Nasruddin replied, “Listen, I know my wife’s mother, and Hayat is undoubtedly the most contrary person on the face of this earth. If the usual place to look for most people is downstream, then the best place to look for her is upstream.”

Excerpted from The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero

Your Daily Nasruddin

Nasruddin’s contrary nature guides him in understanding his mother-in-law’s behavior. In some versions of the story, Nasruddin is called on to rescue his wife (for which the mother-in-law serves as surrogate).

As Strong as He Ever Was

by rjs
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Published on: February 18, 2013

As Strong as He Ever Was

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinThere is no difference between my youth and old age!” declared Nasruddin at the teahouse one day. “I’m just as strong as I was twenty years ago.”

“Is that so‽” Hamza replied, always willing to challenge the Mullah on his boasting. “This is a boulder in the city garden that most men couldn’t even budge. If you are indeed as fit as a man of half your age, let’s see you pick it up.”

Hamza led Nasruddin, with the rest of the men trailing behind, to the rock. The Mullah glanced at it casually and said, “That is nothing. I could lift it now just as easily as I could when I was a young man.”

Hamza said, “Have at it, Nasruddin. Let’s see you move it so much as an inch.”

“Fine,” said Nasruddin. He spat on his hands and braced himself to raise the rock.

He heaved, and he huffed, and he hacked, but the rock showed no signs of locating to a new address. After some minutes of this embarrassed exertion, Nasruddin staggered back, sweating and panting, his face flushed.

“Nasruddin, you said you could have hoisted up the rock with the sheer strength of your youth, which has not diminished with the years,” Hamza commented. “Apparently those were empty words!”

“You cannot accuse me of deceptive boasting. Truth is,” Nasruddin admitted, “twenty years ago I couldn’t have lifted that huge rock, either.”

Excerpted from The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

The vigor and stamina of our youth soon enough fades, but the memory of what strength we actually possessed disappears even faster.

 

God’s Way, or Mortal’s Way?

by rjs
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Published on: January 30, 2013

God’s Way, or Mortal’s Way?

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin

. . . continued from previous entry. . .

Süleyman, the walnut seller, was furious at first when he arrived at his vendor stall, but when the kids described Nasruddin’s fall, Süleyman laughed along, and everyone helped Nasruddin collect the nuts and put the stand in order. Nasruddin even bought a bag of walnuts to placate Süleyman, for the kids to share.

“Children, I will give you all the walnuts in this bag. But tell me first — how do you want me to divide them: God’s way, or mortal’s way?”

“God’s way,” the four boys chimed together as one.

Mullah opened the bag and gave two handfuls of walnuts to the first boy, one handful to the next boy, just two walnuts to the third boy, and none at all to the last!

All the children were baffled, but the fourth boy pouted and complained, “What sort of distribution is this?”

“This is God’s way of distributing gifts among his children. Some will get lots, some will get a fair amount, and nothing at all to others. Now, had you asked me to divide the nuts by the usual mortal’s way, I would have handed out an equal amount to everybody.”

. . . to be continued . . .

Excerpted from The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

One of the most popular Nasreddin jokes around, one that my Guru relishes telling, and another fine example of how Nasruddin makes the illogical seem obvious.

The Mullah here shifts from being a fool riding backward who fell on his ass to being the teacher.

Contrary to our boundless expectations, you’d think God would be fairer. Not so much, actually.

God is randomness and chaos just as much as harmony and balance.

And I know for sure that the Mullah ended up giving the boys more nuts.

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