A Story of Five Brothers

A Story of Five Brothers

It was a tiffin break in the school. Saroj, Rajan, Hina, Jayanti and Hiralal were talking to each other. Saroj said that he was bored after reading for a long time. Rajan proposed to play for a while. Hina cracked some jokes that made everyone laugh. Jayanti decided to go to the library. Hiralal proposed to tell a story but there was no time for that. It was almost time for the bell to ring. Finally, they decided that they would have a story told by their teacher. All of them agreed that they would request their teacher of the last period to tell a story. The bell rang and everybody went to the classroom. 

The teacher came to the class in the last period. As per their decision, Hiralal requested him to tell a story. The teacher accepted the student's request. As a  result, all the students became happy. The teacher put a condition that he will ask some questions after telling the story and students are supposed to answer them. All of the students agreed to answer the questions. The  teacher started as: 

Long-long years ago, there lived a father named palm (Hatkelo) and his five sons as five fingers. All the time, fathers used to complain about the poor performance of their sons. All five sons were very worried about their father's complaint. They also admitted that they were weak. One day, they decided to ask about the reason behind their father's complaint. First of all, the thumb (buddhi) finger asked for the reason why he was not good.  Father answered, "you are old, you can't do anything".The thumb finger was convinced that he was really old.  

After that, the second (chor) finger asked for the reason why he was not good.  Father answered "your name is 'chor' thief. How can you be good?"  Next comes the turn of the third (major) finger, he also requested his father to tell him the reason for not being good. Father replied, "You are too tall. It is not good to be too tall. You look so ugly because of your height". After his father's answer, he remained quiet. 

After a while, the fourth (Swahili) finger got his turn to ask the question. He also asked for the reason for not being as good as his elder brothers. "You are called Anamika, anamika means having no names. How can you be good when you don't have your name?", answered the father. He was convinced by his father's answer. Finally, it is the turn of the fifth (kanchi) finger. He was expecting that he would get more love from his father as he was the youngest one. He asked in a pampered voice: "Father, I am not as bad as my elder brothers, am I? Father replied: "You are small and short. How can you  be good?" You don't know your own ground. So, all five fingers remained quiet after their father showed their weaknesses. 

One day, suddenly a golden bird (a bird made up of gold) came and sat on the palm. After seeing the golden bird, palm became greedy and ordered all his five sons to bend themselves and make a fist to hold the golden bird.  All five fingers trapped the bird. The bird was very strong so it was very difficult for the fingers to retain it there. The eldest finger said, "I am old, I  can't keep doing this." But the palm said "no! no! you are not old, keep on holding it. The second (chor) finger said I am a chor (thief). A thief can't do this type of work. Again the palm said" no ! no! you are not a thief, please continue. The bird may fly away". 

Why did you call me tall and ugly? I can't do this", said the third finger."No,  you are not tall and ugly. Sometimes it is good to be tall as well. Please keep on trapping the bird", responded the palm immediately. So did the fourth finger "There is not any role of mine as I don't even have a name. Let the bird go away, I am not going to continue this". Father pleaded- Please don't say so. It will be too bad if the bird flies away. I will never say so again. You are the son with a name". Finally, the youngest finger said: "I am small and short and I am groundless, how can I do all this? I will remain isolated".  Hearing the youngest son, father horridly replied."Don't say so, my dear son! If you remain isolated the bird will fly away from that corner of the 

fist. How can we get such birds back again?" As per the request of the palm all the fingers tightly kept the bird trapped with them. Father could sell the bird for good money because of their support. 

From that day on, the palm and all fingers started living together in harmony. If anything had to be trapped on the palm, all five fingers used to come together to make a fist. They were successful in working in mutual cooperation. They learnt lessons from each other. After this, they could maintain an intimate relationship among themselves. The palm started to love the fingers and the fingers also respected the palm. 

After telling the story, the teacher asked his students if they liked the story.  All the students replied that the story was very good. The teacher asked them to tell the moral that they learnt from the story turn by turn. The students  responded as: 

Saroj: Like our different body organs that work collectively and make a  body perfectly functional, if all the members of the community work collectively, we get success. One should not only point out the weaknesses of others but his/her strengths also should be identified. And that strength should be properly utilized to get the work done. 

Rajan: Varieties of people live in a society. They should not be discriminated against on the grounds of appearance, colour, size and others.  Even if people are different, there lies strength in unity. We must take this fact into consideration while carrying out some tasks. 

Heena: Although the five fingers are compared with five sons in the story it teaches us that even daughters have to do any task collectively.  It does not say that only male has to work collectively in society and that females should not make a group. We can get inspiration from the story and even we girls can work collectively and get success in our work. 

Jayanti: I think there should be equal roles and leadership in a family,  group, and society. The story is beautiful and it has given us deep thought. One who is taking leadership should not take the entire credit by himself/herself. In a collective work, credits and blames have to be faced collectively.  

Hiralal: The fingers of our hand are different in size but they have equal value. Similarly, in a society, there may be different types of people but they are equally responsible for collective success. We can get success if we work in a group and have collective leadership. This is the moral of this story. 

Teacher: You all are right. This story teaches us that collective feelings and behaviour are the secrets of success. 


Collective voice and effort are more powerful than that of an individual. If we work in a group with a feeling of collective welfare, we get success.  In group work, there never comes a situation where one has to bear the consequences of the work. The collective effort helps us in our personality development. This is a need at present.

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