The Key.


Square Peg has an interesting post on his blog. If you see my comment on that post, you will realise my nostalgia for Samsonite luggage, In the good old Socialist days of India Samsonite luggage was much sought after and anyone with a piece was much envied.

Things changed somewhat after VIP an Indian luggage maker came on the scene in the early 70s of the last century as they offered equivalent luggage and pent up demand ensured that they succeeded and are a hugely successful luggage maker even today.

But I am running away from the purpose of this post. Square Peg’s post reminded me of this beautiful Sufi story.


Some one saw Mulla Nasruddin searching for something on the ground. “What have you lost Mulla?” he asked. “My key,” said the Mulla. So they both went down on their knees and looked for it. after a time the other man asked, “Where exactly did you drop it?” “In my own house.” “Then why are you looking here?” “There is more light here than inside my house.”

This Sufi Parable could stand as a cautionary tale for anyone seeking for the keys, leave aside just one key, to locks of knowledge of cultures other than one’s own. I see this happen often in my own case where I try and find keys to problems using my own value system or cultural background, because, my light is there and not where the problem is. Considerable time can be lost if Mulla Nasruddin’s story does not come to mind in time to jolt me out of my comfort zone.

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29 Responses to The Key.

  1. tammy j says:

    oh rummy.
    what an excellent story to illustrate judging others by our own “light”.
    i love that. a mammoth complication solved by the simplicity of looking at it in a different “light!”
    often easy to say. hard to remember to do.
    tammy j recently posted..friends in great places

  2. Looney says:

    I always thought the key to understanding other cultures was only to be found in Hollywood.
    Looney recently posted..A Fishing Story

  3. I still have some Samsonite keys even though I gave the suitcases away. The keys bring back some wonderful memories.

  4. Nandu Pillai says:

    The very first Samsonite briefcase I owned ( very proudly ) was presented to me in London by my late sister in 1970 . I Though I stopped using it many years go ( lost the key !) I still keep it . Those days it was referred to by some as a “James Bond briefcase” ( Sean Connery genre ) since he had one in his films out of which a knife would spring out ! Mine of course had no such thing – if it did I would have stabbed myself several times !

    • I have been using a pure leather case for decades now. Not the same one, but leather it has to be. My late father when he moved in with me, brought his Samsonite briefcase with him which was also of the 70s vintage. That was one piece of luggage that I took some time on before deciding to give away after his death.

  5. shackman says:

    Ah but you can shed a new light on the issue byusing your unique perspectives – that is not a bad thing.

  6. Ursula says:

    Dear Alphonso, I do have a beautiful key. But no lock.

    Ursula recently posted..Wasteland

  7. wisewebwoman says:

    You always unlock the doors, my friend, to some fresh enlightenment.

    wisewebwoman recently posted..Energy and Positivity.

  8. Grannymar says:

    Yep, that key was under the bed with widow Twankey’s lost coin from Luke 15. Neither of them read The Alchemist, otherwise they would have known the answer was right on their own doorstep.

  9. And now having read your post, I find more value in the Sufi story. Thank you for linking to my post!
    Square Peg Guy recently posted..Key to the Past

  10. Cathy in NZ says:

    I’m looking for 2 pairs of folding scissors and 2 tapestry needles which were put somewhere safely about December last year – I would dearly like to find at least one pair of the scissors by this evening – can manage until they reappear but then I could tie them on the bag they need to be with for the future…

    I have a number of old suitcase of the “cardboard/glazed type” that now store things not needed today!
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Not much to see!

    • I hope that you found the folding scissors. Simplicy Cathy, simplify. If you have not found the folding scissors and the tapestry needles, let me know. I shall send them to you from here.

  11. Maxi says:

    You would love our small Samsonite piece of luggage, Rummy. Bought it 30yrs ago and use if for shaving stuff, shampoo, deodorant, etc. It has served us well.
    blessings ~ maxi
    Maxi recently posted..Gimme The Life of a Wild Turkey

  12. Val says:

    Think of how much less knowledge and metaphor we’d have had if there had been electricity in the days these parables were thought up…

    Talking of Samsonite luggage, I’ve just read one of the most boring novels (so boring, I’ve forgotten what it’s called) and a Samsonite suitcase featured in it.

  13. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    The Mullah story is a great lesson indeed. We need to step away from our own light to be able to understand things and others. Life is marvellous, my friend; I feel blessed for having the chance to be here on earth and learn all sorts of things. Although, I will be much happier when the cycle of re-birth ends lol :).

    Max Coutinho recently posted..Counter-Terrorism: Outdated International Law and Racial Profiling

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