Thursday, July 16, 2015


Pic.: Internet

I was in tenth standard. In the vast corridors of our school, we had a huge glass fish-tank. It was really huge and housed verities of big and small fishes… beautiful ones. During our free time, spending time watching those fishes move inside the tank so gently… and, luring them to come and kiss our finger tips… was a great delight… But, then, many of us would spend a lot of time there for another reason… That glass tank, surprisingly, provided us with our own image… just as a mirror did. We would stand there, look at our own ‘lovely’ reflections… comb our hair, adjust our shirts… and, yes, kiss our own lips… and smile...

Fishes must have wondered, “What a strange creatures are these… yes, as each one of us peeped inside their home!

One day, during our English period, our teacher told us an interesting story. The story of someone called Narcissus.

Legend has it that Narcissus was born with a stunning beauty. His mother was Leiriope, a nymph and father was Cephissus, the river god.

One day, when Narcissus was still a young boy, his mother took him to the blind prophet Tiresias to have his fortune told. The blind prophet predicted:"If he but fails to recognize himself, a long life he may have, beneath the sun."

But, Narcissus, soon, grew up obsessed with his own beauty. He  turned  proud and snobbish and believed that no one else was fit to be his suitor… He rejected and ridiculed every young and beautiful lady who tried to come close to him.  His pride and self-obsession attracted the wrath of Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, who lured Narcissus to a poolside. When Narcissus saw his own reflection in the water, he immediately fell in love with him… so intense and so passionate was this love, that Narcissus refused to move from that place… neglecting to eat, drink and sleep… He became weak, his beauty faded and, one day, hoping to embrace and kiss his own reflection, drowned and killed himself…

Our English teacher, who had been watching our Narcissist behavior by the fish-tank, told the entire class why he was telling us the ancient story, that day…

That was the last time I had been near that goddamn fish-tank.  Even today, whenever I happen to be near a fish-tank or a pool… I remember my English teacher and wink at my own refection…

And, yes, every time I see a young boy or a girl – even an uncle or an aunty – holding high that goddamn thing called ‘phone’ for a ‘selfie’… I remember the prophecy of Tiresias, the blind prophet!


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