The Story of Lumbo the Jumbo

Here is a story I started writing about 3 years ago on Ganesh Chaturthi. Hoped to publish it in a year, but couldn’t get it to. Give it a read and share your feedback.

Ganesh Chaturthi wishes to all 🙂


Putting an end to the darkness of the night, the sun rose in Eleyur. The rooster, upon the seeing the sun, stared crowing. “Cock-a-doodle-doo” it said repeatedly, waking young Lumbo from his sleep.

Lumbo, a 250-pound, strong baby elephant, woke up happily and said, “Good morning, world! Thank you for giving me yet another beautiful day”. Meanwhile, his mentor, Happy, woke up with a smile on his face and then he slowly walked out of their little house.

Outside, on the banks of a small stream, he found Shraddha and Nishta. “Good morning, my dear friends. Did you bathe already?” asked Happy.

“Yes. We woke up at 5:30 A.M., brushed our teeth, took a walk around Uncle Chandra’s garden and then bathed. We will go inside and study now,” said Nishta and smiled. “Have a nice day, Happy Uncle. We will see you in the kitchen later,” continued Shraddha and walked towards the house.

Inside, Udhas was sitting quietly on his bed, saying, “Another day! So boring! I have to go out in the sun, I have to work, I have listen to my teacher! Oh God!”

As Happy left the house, Lumbo jumped off his bed and ran outside the house. He went inside the forest with full speed, singing his favorite song, which he had himself composed.

They say I’m a baby elephant.
But I don’t agree with them.
I am big, I am strong,
I am brave, I fear no one.

I love my friends,
I love these trees.
I love the flowers,
I love the peace.

I like to run,
I like to roam.
I like to talk
And also sing.

As the song came to an end, he reached the Daada Daadi Ashram. He saw Balram, the most famous of elephants, dressed in a golden colored cloth and walking amidst three of his guards. Lumbo waited for them to pass and then he entered the Ashram and walked straight towards Daadaji.

Daadaji was sitting around huge crates containing sweets, rice, sugarcane, groundnuts and clothes. He had a smile on his face, as Lumbo walked in, his big eyes and mouth wide open. ‘Lumbo, you look surprised,’ said Dadaji as he pushed a big box of sweet across to Lumbo. ‘Come, eat this. It is called Mysore Pak. It is a sweet that goes with the tradition of Dasara.’

‘Dasara? What is that Dadaji?’

‘I’ll tell you. You taste the sweet first, child.’

Lumbo took a mouthful of the sweet and smiled with joy. ‘It is really nice, I love it!’ said and then added, ‘Now tell me about Dasara.’

‘Yes child, I will,’ said Dadaji joyfully. ‘Dasara is the festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. People celebrate Dasara everywhere with joy, but in Mysore, it is celebrated the grandest. There, the festivities last for 10 days and on the final day, Vijayadashami, the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari over a demon, Mahishasura, is celebrated with pomp and splendor.’

Dadaji and Lumbo spoke about Mysore Dasara for about half an hour and Lumbo was really excited. He wanted to go to Mysore one day and walk alongside Balaram and experience the grandeur of Mysore.

**

After having an elaborate discussion with Dadaji, Lumbo walked towards the river and was sitting alone and staring at the water. It looked like he was thinking about something. The sun shone bright on his head and he was sweating. He had walked all day and he was feeling very tired. So, he decided to get into the water and rest for a while.

As the tiny elephant, Lumbo, stood up, he saw Brolephant walking towards him, carrying a bundle of sugarcane. Lumbo’s eyes widened and sparkled with joy. Little Lumbo smiled and quickly ran towards his brother. ‘Slow Lumbo, slow. I won’t eat everything. I’ll give it to you too,’ Brolephant said and pushed over a portion of the canes.

Lumbo and his brother happily munched on a few of the canes and then they jumped inside the cold water. They splashed water on each other and they happily played for sometime. Then, little Lumbo got tired and so he stopped playing. He sat half sunk in the water and he asked his brother to sit down too.

‘Lumbo, why did you become quiet all of a sudden? What’s wrong? Did your teacher scold you?’

‘No. My teacher loves me. I finish all my homework on time and I always do well on my tests.’

‘Then what are you worried about?’ asked Brolephant.

‘Today morning, I went and meet Dadaji at the Ashram. There, I saw Mr. Balaram and his family giving a lot of food and money to everyone.’

‘Yes, Mr. Balaram is a very generous man. He is a very noble person.’

‘That’s what Dadaji said. He told me that being rich isn’t about just making money and keeping it. Dadaji said that the more money you donate to charity and people in need, the richer you become.’

‘Very nice. Dadaji is right.’

‘But brother, how can giving away something make you gain?’

‘Lumbo, how did you feel when I gave you those sugarcanes?’

‘I felt really good.’

‘And how did that make me feel?’

‘Also good?’

‘Yes, Lumbo. I felt extremely happy because it brought that huge smile on your face. You see, brother, sharing money is like eating – what do you like the most, Lumbo?’

‘Honey!’ l

‘ – Okay, honey. Sharing money is like eating honey. The more you give, the more you feel happy. Not just honey, anything for that matter.’

‘Even honey?’ asked Lumbo and smiled.

One day, when I grow up…like Balaram, I will walk in the royal Mysuru Dasara and share all the money I earn. But, who do I share it with? he thought, just as another ball of water hit in and brought him back to being a 5 year old again.

Exploration of an EntrepreneurSHIP

When I ask, “Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?” I have most commonly heard the following from many wantrepreneurs:

  • “I’d like to be my own boss
  • “I hate working late hours at the office and being told what to do, I wish I had a startup so I could follow my own rules
  • “I have this great idea, I am sure it will change the way people do <every startup idea ever>

(Among various others)

However, from my personal experience of being an entrepreneur for close to 5 years – a first-generation entrepreneur in particular – isn’t as fashionable as it sounds in the dream-dimension.

  • You aren’t ever a boss, you are always…everything – the Marketing-Sales-HR-FInance-Legal-Counseling-and-everything the startup wants you to be…Like what Gotham expects of the Batman.
  • You cannot hate working late hours. In fact, you have to ask “what does late even mean”? Forget late, forget the concept of time, you have to be ready to be active and on full-charge round the clock.
  • Having a great idea is never enough. In fact, there is no such thing as a great idea. Sure there is an idea, but there should also be a market, the time should be right and well, YOU have to make it great.

So, what does being an entrepreneur really mean?

The answer might differ from one entrepreneur to another, but to me, it means:

  • Having a ridiculous amount of BELIEF in one’s idea
  • Being RESTLESS in pursuit of the goal
  • Being comfortable with UNCERTAINTY
  • Being comfortable to WALK ALONE. no matter the adversity, the roadblocks or disappointments

To me, Entrepreneurs are much like the Explorers of the 14th century.

They all had a ridiculous idea of finding new lands, setting sail into unknown waters, knowing well that there are sharks and dangers unknown right below, knowing well that the ocean is never the same, never calm, never truly predictable, knowing that all those who set sail don’t make it all the way, but still, setting sail in pursuit of the goal. Relentless.

However, as to the “WHY” part – was the exploration of new lands (the goal) in pursuit of wealth and glory? Was the expedition to stop when “a” land was reached? Or was it going to continue? Always in want of more? I am not quite sure.

However, taking cues from the oft said one-word answer by Mr. Sudhanva Dhananjaya – “Curiosity” is the wind under the wings of any being, and hence most certainly of an entrepreneur too.

Thoughts?