Nasruddin Hodja

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Nasruddin Hodja or Nasreddin Hodja was a Turkish folk philosopher whose memory has become a legend. Nasr-ed-Din means "Victory of Faith", Hodja means the "Master" or "Teacher".


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Some Tales of Hodja

Hodja's word or donkey's bray
One day a neighbor called on Hodja.
- Hodja, I want to borrow your donkey.
- I'm sorry, Hodja said, but I've already lent it out.
As soon as he had spoken, the sound of a donkey braying came from Hodja's stable.
- But Hodja, I can hear your donkey in there.
- Shame on you! Hodja said indignantly, whom do you believe, me or a stupid donkey?

Forty year old vinegar
His neighbour asked Hodja,
- Do you have some forty-year old vinegar?
- I have, answered Hodja.
- Would you give me some? I need it to prepare a medication said the man.
- No, I won't, replied Hodja If I had given some to everybody who asked for it, would I have it for forty years!

They are playing music
Hodja was returning home one night with one of his students when he saw a gang of thieves standing in front of a house, trying to break the lock. Hodja perceived that he would probably get hurt if he spoke up, so he decided to stay quite and pass by quickly. But his student however, did not understand what was happening so he asked:
- What are all those men standing there doing?
- Shhh! replied Hodja. They're playing music!
- But I can't hear anything!
- Well we shall hear the noise tomorrow! Hodja said.

The burden of guilt
Nasreddin Hodja and his wife came home one day to find the house burgled. Everything portable had been taken away.
- It's all your fault, said his wife, for you should have made sure that the house was locked before we left.
The Neighbor took up the chant:
- You did not lock the windows, said one.
- Why did you not expect this? said another.
- The locks were faulty and you did not replace them, said a third.
- Just a moment, said Hodja, surley I am not the only one to blame?
- And who should we blame? they shouted.
- What about the thieves? said Hodja. Are they totally innocent?

Wearing the turban
The wit and wisdom of Nasreddin Hodja never leaves him tongue-tied. One day an illiterate man came to Hodja with a letter he had received.
- Hodja, please read this letter to me. Hodja looked at the letter, but could not make out a single word. So he told the man.
- I am sorry, but I cannot read this. The man cried:
- For shame, Hodja! You must be ashamed before the turban you wear (i.e. the sign of education)
Hodja removed the turban from his own head and placed it on the head of the illiterate man, said:
- There, now you wear the turban. If it gives some knowledge, read the letter yourself.

Don't be silly
One day Hodja lost his ring down in the basement of his house, where it was very dark. There being no chance of his finding it in that darkness, he went out on the street and started looking for it there. Somebody passing by stopped and enquired:
- What are you looking for, Hodja Effendi? Have you lost something?
- Yes, I've lost my ring down in the basement.
- But Hodja Effendi, why don't you look for it down in the basement where you have lost it? asked the man in surprise.
- Don't be silly, man! How dou you expect me to find anything in that darkness!

Eat my fur coat, eat
One day Nasreddin Hodja went to a banquet. As he was dressed rather shabbily, no one let him in. So he ran home, put on his best robe and fur coat and returned. Immediately, the host came over, greeted him and ushered him to the head of an elaborate banquet table. When the food was served, Hodja took some soup with spoon and pushed it to the his fur coat and said,
- Eat my fur coat, eat! It's obvious that you're the real guest of honor today, not me!

Let us die a little
Hodja is invited for dinner one summer night. Dinner is ready and they serve the iced compote first. To tease the guests, the host begins to eat the compote with a big scoop and each time he scoops up the iced compote, he says
- Oh! I could die.
Hodja and other guests try to eat compote with small spoons they are given and can't even test it. When others keep slient, Hodja can not restrain himself and looks at the host:
-Sir, Would you give us your scoop and let us die a little too?

Kazan died
On one occasion, Hodja borrows a kazan (large cauldron) from his neighbour. When Hodja returns the kazan, the neighbour sees that there is a small cooking pot in the bottom. He asks
- Hodja, What is this? Hodja replies:
- Apparently the kazan had been pregnant and it has given birth to this small pot.
The neighbour unquestioningly accepts the kazan and the pot. Some weeks later, Hodja wishes to borrow the same kazan. The neighbour is only too happy to oblige. This time, a month passes. The neighbour calls on Hodja to inquire about his kazan. Hodja, with a concerned look, announces:
- I am sorry, but your kazan died.
The neighbor is puzzled. Then becoming angry, he demands:
- How could it die?
- You believed that it gave birth, why do you not believe that it died?

Beggar on the roof
One day Hodja repaired tiles on the roof of his house. While Hodja was working on the roof, a stranger knocked the door.
- What do you want? Hodja shouted out.
- Come down, replied stranger So I can tell it.
Hodja unwilling and slowly climbed down the ladder.
- Well! replied Hodja, what was the important thing?
- Could you give little money to this poor old man? begged stranger.
Tired Hodja started to climb up the ladder and said,
- Follow me up to the roof.
When both Hodja and beggar were upside, on the roof, Hodja said,
- The answer is no!

Mirror or picture
Nasreddin Hodja was walking down the street one day when he noticed something shining in the dirt. He walked over and picked it up. It was a small mirror. He looked in it, saw himself, and then threw it away, saying to his neighbor who was watching him,
- It is not surprising, my friend, that someone threw that thing away. Who would keep such an ugly picture?"

Face at the window
Nasreddin Hodja called at a large house to collect for charity. The servant said:
- My master is out.
Hodja replied,
- Tell your master that next time he goes out, he should not leave his face at the window. Someone might steal it.

The soup of the soup of the hare
A neighbour came to the Hodja's house from hunting, bringing a hare as a gift. Delighted, Hodja had the hare yahni (meat stew with onions) cooked and shared it with his guest.
Presently, however, one countryman after another started to call, each one was the relative of the man who brought him the hare. No further presents were forthcoming. Hodja cooked some soup from old hare yahni and shared it with his guests
At length Hodja was exasperated. One day yet another stranger appeared.
-I am the relative of the relative who brought you the hare.
He sat down, like all the rest, expecting a meal. Hodja handed him a bowl of hot water mixed with little salt and spices.
- What kind of soup is this? asked the stranger.
- You are the relative of the relative of my neighbour, aren't you? Hodja replied. And that is certainly the soup of the soup of the hare which was brought by him.

Smell of the dream
Dead tired Hodja came home and thought:
~ Suppose that I have delighted soup here, now... And say that I add a little bit red peppery fresh butter to the surface of the soup... And say that I eat spoonfuls out of the soup dish...
While Hodja was thinking the soup, the door was knocked. Hodja opened the door and a neighbour son appeared with an empty bowl.
- What is that, Child? asked Hodja
- Please Hodja, my mother is very ill. Could you give us some soup?
Hodja was confused and terrified. When he send the boy back he thought again:
~ Neigbours!, They are smelling even your dreams.
.
More stories & details are available at u.cs.biu.ac.il, pitt.edu, readliterature.com .
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6 Response to Nasruddin Hodja

June 30, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Hi Parishi, what a co-incidence. I just picked up this title from an old book shop a couple of days back.

I don't know why the current Tinkle management have not come up with a Hodja Special yet.... the character was one of the best renditions in Comics format for sure.

Thanks for sharing.

Parishi
June 30, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Rafiq Raja:Thanks.I like this character a lot.

Parishi

Ajnaabi
July 2, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Another Gem from lil' parishi,,, it seems... :)

Thanks & xoxo

July 10, 2009 at 1:25 AM

Thank you so much, Parishi! I remember reading some of these stories as a Kid.

Keep up the good work

Thanks,
Comicos

July 12, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Ajnaabi :Thanks

Parishi

July 12, 2009 at 8:45 AM

comicos :Thanks a lot. U will enjoy most of the comics i will post on my blog.

Parishi

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