2.2 The House-builder

This is a story of a mason, who worked for a building contractor. The mason always strove to do his work to perfection.

 As soon as a house had been designed by the architect and details finalized by the engineer, the contractor would send for the mason and leave the responsibility of building the house to him. The mason would then, without wasting any time start his work. He would take great interest in his work of building and do it with full dedication. He made sure that he used the best construction material, of high quality, the measurements of the walls, doorways, arches etc. were perfect and he gave an excellent and appealing finish to whatever he built. The owners of the new houses built, would be more than satisfied with the construction.

Because of the zeal, diligence, loyalty and persistence that he displayed in his work, the mason was in great demand and fetched good business to his contractor. Subsequently the contractor, recompensed the mason, handsomely, with a very good salary. He could meet the needs of his family sufficiently, without any scarcity.

 The mason thus continued working with great devotion for many years, till he became a grandfather. Then he decided that it was time to retire and spend time playing with his grandchildren. Being a firm[1]minded person, he informed his contractor of his decision to retire from house-building. The contractor was very disheartened to lose such an excellent workman and urged the mason to continue his job, but to no avail. The mason had made up his mind and refused to carry on.

Finally, the contractor convinced the mason to build one last house on a beautiful and convenient site, as a special favour. The mason agreed to do so with great reluctance, not too happily either.

The construction started. It was a most beautifully designed house to be built at a sought-after location. However, the mason could not put his mind and heart in his work. He did his work very roughly and carelessly, without interest or dedication. Even the building material used was of low quality; but he did not care. He simply wanted to complete the job in haste and finally retire.

 The house was ready earlier than expected – very roughly made structures, weak walls, poor finish and did not look as good at all, as designed. Yet the mason did not care. He informed the contractor that the house was ready and he was waiting to hand over its keys to him. The contractor arrived at the site. He had a file of legal documents in his hand. The mason handed over the new house’s keys to him.

 But the contractor did not step forward to enter the house, to see it. Instead, with a broad smile, he handed over the file along with the house-keys to the mason and said beaming happy tone, “These are the ownership documents of this new house in your name. The house is yours. I had planned it as a gift for you.”