The Joy of Simplicity

Once upon a time, there lived a King named Leonar who loved eating delicious food. He would send messengers to different kingdoms in search of recipes and special ingredients.

When his messengers returned, King Leonar would give those recipes and special ingredients to his cook and ask him to make those dishes. If the dishes were good, he would reward his cook, but he would punish his cook if he didn’t enjoy the taste of the dishes.

“Make many dishes. I want to taste all of them! Don’t forget to add the exotic ingredients and lots of dry fruits and nuts to all desserts,” the king ordered.

“But Sir, some dishes will lose their unique flavour if we add all ingredients to them! Sometimes, simple recipes are tasty,” the cook replied.

King Leonar was displeased with such words and ordered a harsh punishment for the cook.

The cook could not leave the palace because King Leonar kept guards to keep an eye on him as he was the best cook in the whole country. The poor cook was tired.

One day, King Leonar went hunting and got lost. The soldiers tried to find him but failed.

For once, the cook was happy. He cooked lovely dishes with simple ingredients everyone in the palace enjoyed them.

Meanwhile, King Leonar, after walking for a while, reached a hut in which an old lady lived. He was hungry and tired.

He wanted a good meal and said, “Hello, I am King Leonar of the country. Make me a delicious meal and I will reward you.”

The old lady smiled and welcomed the king. She had a mango tree in her garden and luckily, it being summer, the tree had lots of fruits on it.

She arranged a cot under the tree for the king to rest and served him a glass of aam panna. King Leonar sipped it and exclaimed, “Wow! This is delicious! What is it made of?”

The old lady replied, “Raw mango, salt and pepper.”

King Leonar was surprised that such simple ingredients could bring out such a unique taste. And so thinking, he dozed off to sleep.

The old lady continued cooking. After a while, King Leonar woke up to delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. He was eager to taste the dishes.

The old lady served King Leonar hot rice, a ladle of ghee, mango chutney, mango dal and mango rasam.

King Leonar relished each bite and kept asking her for the exotic ingredients that she had used.

But the old lady said, “Your majesty, I am poor and cannot afford exotic ingredients. I use the mangoes from my tree and cook whatever I can. I am glad you liked my simple dishes.”

King Leonar realised his mistakes. He had been collecting exotic ingredients, nuts, and fruits and trying to mix them all to create tasty dishes instead of enjoying each flavour’s uniqueness.

He realised that everything has its own speciality and it need not be mixed with something else to make it special.

Soon, King Leonar’s soldiers came to his rescue. The king thanked the old lady and rewarded her.

After reaching his palace, he hugged his cook and apologised. He asked the guards to step aside and gave the cook his freedom. The cook was happy and relieved. He chose to stay and cook for the king.

King Leonar asked him to cook as he wished.

From that day, the cook made simple dishes and King Leonar enjoyed each one of them.

The Wise King

There was once a king in ancient China. He was a very cruel king and would punish his subjects for the slightest of mistakes. The punishments were extraordinarily cruel and he would take great pleasure in delivering them. Many of his ministers tried advising him against such punishments, but he never listened.

One day, one of his ministers suggested that he should expand the size of his kingdom. This seemed like a good idea to the king and called for an army to be put together. Soon, the army was ready and all the soldiers were well built, strong men. The king marched his army straight into his neighbouring kingdom.

The sheer size of the army was enough for the neighbouring king to surrender.

In exchange for peace, the king also offered him his soldiers and a lot of wealth. It was the same story is many other kingdoms and the king grew even more powerful. One of the king who had surrendered suggested that the king conquer India.


India was a land of wealth and the king was very tempted to gain control. So, he marched his soldiers all the way across China. They stopped at what is now modern day Singapore. From the coast, the king’s troops set sail across the waters, in search of India.

News of the impending attack reached the ears of the Indian king. He had heard about the size of the Chinese army and knew that he wouldn’t stand a chance against them. Hence, he gathered all the scholars and economists in his kingdom and asked them to think of a plan.

The scholars and economists thought about and discussed their plans for several days until they had the perfect plan.

When the plan was narrated to the king, he was pleased and gave orders to carry out the plan. This, in a few days, a huge ship reached the coast of Singapore. As soon as it arrived, it was captured by the Chinese king’s troops.

When it was discovered that the vessel was from India, they crew were presented to the king.

The Chinese king demanded that the sailors tell him the route to India if they valued their lives. The sailors agreed to tell him the route and asked to be executed. They said that they’d never be able to see their homeland ever again and burst into tears.


When the king enquired further, the sailors revealed that when they had sail, they were all young men. They had been at sea for so long that they had grown old. Another sailor pulled out a few needles and said that when they had set sail, these needles were iron rods. The trip to Singapore was so treacherous that the salt water had corroded them and that all that was left were these needles.

A third pulled out a dried up piece of fruit and said that when they had set sail, he had planted a seed. He went on to explain that over the years, the seeds had grown up and borne fruit too, All they had left was a Nihil fruit from the second tree.


The king was shocked to learn that the journey to India was full of so much trouble and would take so long. He realised that by the time his troops landed on Indian shore, they’d no longer be fit for a fight.

The Chinese king immediately canceled his plans and ordered his troops to march back to China and also gave the sailors lots of money and restocked their ship so that they would be comfortable in their old age. Thus, a few intelligent people defeated an entire of army with just their brains.

A  lot can be achieved by not giving in to fear, and thinking with a cool mind and a little imagination.