Pic.: Rekha Prakash

It is widely known as ‘The Parable of the Talents’. It is, also, known as ‘The Parable of the Minas’ … and, sometimes, as ‘The Parable of the Pounds’. But, I love the first name – ‘The Parable of the Talents.’ To me, it is one of Jesus’ most profound Parables…

Once, a Master was to go on a long journey. Before leaving, he called three of his servants and handed each one of them some Talents (A Talent, then, was a substantial sum of money… call it ‘Minas’ or ‘Pound’ or even ‘Dollar!’) according to their abilities. To the first servant, the Master handed five Talents; to the second, he gave two; and to the third, he offered one. Then, he proceeded on his journey.

The first two servants immediately went on to work. They invested the Talents gifted by their Master wisely and responsibly. The third savant just dug a hole in the ground and hid his Talent there.

When the Master returned, he wanted to know what his three servants had done with the Talents gifted to them… The first one’s investment had doubled… He had ten Talents to show to his Master. The second one, too, had doubled his wealth… He showed four. The Master was pleased with these two servants. He said to them, “You are my faithful servants… hardworking, responsible and wise. I shall put you in charge of greater responsibilities and make you share in my wealth and joy.”

The last one, who had hidden his Talent in a hole, came out to show the only Talent handed to him. He tried to reason out with his Master as to why he had done so. “I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter seeds… So, I did not want to take any risk,” he said.

The Master was angry on the last servant. “You are evil and lazy,” he said, “You knew I harvested where I did not sow and gathered where I did not scatter seed. Then, you should have deposited the Talent in a bank and allowed it to grow with interest.” So saying, the Master took away the Talent from his third servant and placed it in the hands of his first servant. The undeserving servant was shown the door... to live with his misery!

They say, the English word ‘Talent’ has come from this Biblical story. Whether it is true or not, I do not know… But, I know this, for sure:

That, our Talents are our greatest wealth…

That, God, our Master, has placed in our hands Talents according to our abilities…

That, we should make the most of our gifts – the Talents…

That, we should deserve to share in our Master’s greater bounty!

A couple of hours ago, young Isha had come with her mother to join my class (Eleventh standard). She is a bright all-rounder. During the course of our discussion, I learnt that Isha enjoyed debating and writing. That, though she was inclined towards humanities and literature, she was taking Commerce with the hope that it gave her a broader platform as far as career was concerned. I told her what I felt very strong about… That, she had to align her career with her skills, talents and strengths… That, God had placed in her hands some gifts, and she had to discover her niche early in life… and go on to work, making the most of what had been gifted to her…

Isha’s mother showed me a poem her daughter had blogged two years ago, when she was in ninth standard. When I visited the blog, I was, really, impressed. But, then, that Post – the poem – was the only post Isha had on her blog to show us! “Beta, you write so well… Imagine, had you written a small piece every day over these two years, you would have had a bounty to show us!” I prodded her further, “Make a commitment, beta, to write a small piece every day, straight from the heart… Just imagine the compounding effect it would have after many, many years… It would be ‘sin’ if you wasted your talents!”

Incidentally, the poem Isha had posted on her blog, two years ago, bore the title: ‘A SIN’! Here it is:

Staring at the lingering souls so near,
Every word and action here only influenced by fear.
While my starved body silently affected my mind,
My cerise eyes by the truth were made blind.

Wondering why our forlorn hope was so formally snatched,
My weakening faith in humanity further on detached.
Anatomical pain by now was a significant part of me,
But the inconsolable mental trauma grew free.

I had stopped feeling at a young age,
As happiness in our lives was never an existent stage.
All of us had weakened in every way,
Looking for a little light that might in front of us lay.

We were like anchors dropped from the boat,
But neither did we have a bottom to reach nor could we float.
We were like zombies, only half-dead.
Everyday to inexpressible torture fed.

Living a nightmarish reality with many of my 'kind',
Fearing the brutal creatures who had against us aligned;
Until one day, we were pushed towards one of the mystery portals,
Chambers from where no one could return as mortals.

I think our relieved hearts together gave a sigh,
Finally we were nearing the end of our strife.
What great sins had we made them induce?
Or was it a sin in itself that we were born Jews?

“Hey Isha... it would, indeed, be a ‘sin’ if you would give up writing... What a marvelous piece of literature! It is a very potent mixture of literature and emotions… I am going to look forward to reading more of your blogs... It’s simply beautiful.” Isha, I happened to read this comment from your friend, Rahil. He wrote it, just a month ago, urging you to make the most of what God has placed in your hands…

What else you want me to say? Just go back to ‘The Parable of the Talents’…

With loads of good wishes…



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