Wednesday, July 27, 2016

HOW TO OUTSMART THE MONKEYS







Pic.: Kushboo Gulrajani

Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

This story is widely used in today’s Management Schools… Yes, just to convey the lesson:
You cannot solve your new problems using old techniques.



HOW TO OUTSMART 
THE MONKEYS


PAST:

Once, a cap-seller was passing through a forest. He was carrying a basketful of colorful caps. As he was very tired, he decided to take a short nap in the shade of a tree. While the cap-seller was fast asleep, a group of monkeys got down from the tree and took away a cap each. They climbed back the tree, and sat there, each one of them wearing a cap. When the cap-seller woke up, he was shocked to see his empty basket. Soon, his eyes fell on the monkeys and he began to scream at them… Monkeys, being great imitators, screamed back at the cap-seller. The cap-seller threw stones at the monkeys… The monkeys threw back the fruits they had in their hands. The cap-seller was angry and frustrated. Then, an idea flashed through his mind. He had observed how the monkeys were imitating each of his actions. So, he took off the cap he was wearing and threw it down on the ground. Immediately, all the caps fell off from the tree!

The cap-seller coolly gathered all the caps, tucked them in his basket and off he went… feeling proud of his victory. At night,  he delightfully narrated the entire story to his little grandson

Many years later, the cap-seller’s grandson, who had now become a cap-seller, happened to take rest under the same tree and the same episode repeated. Monkeys took his caps and they were sitting there on the tree pretty, each wearing a cap. But, the moment the grandson cap-seller realized what had happened, he remembered how his grandfather had outwitted the monkeys years ago. So, he did not waste time screaming abuses and throwing stones at the monkeys. He simply took off the cap from his head and threw it on the ground… convinced that caps would fall from the tree. But, they did not!

As the grandson cap-seller wondered why his grandfather’s trick hadn’t worked this time, one of the monkeys declared with loads of pride:
“Fool, don’t think that only you people have grandfathers… We have them, too!”

PRESENT:

(Once,) a cap-seller is passing through a forest. He is carrying a basketful of colorful caps. As he is very tired, he decides to take a short nap in the shade of a tree. While the cap-seller is fast asleep, a troop of monkeys get down from the tree and take away a cap each. They climb back the tree, and sit there, each one of them wearing a cap. When the cap-seller wakes up, he is shocked to see his empty basket. Soon, his eyes fall on the monkeys and he begins to scream at them… Monkeys, being great imitators, scream back at the cap-seller. The cap-seller throws stones at the monkeys… The monkeys throw back the fruits they had in their hands. The cap-seller is angry and frustrated. Then, an idea flashes through his mind. He has observed how the monkeys are imitating each of his actions. So, he takes off the cap he is wearing and throws it down on the ground. Immediately, all the caps fall off from the tree!

The cap-seller coolly gathers all the caps, tucks them in his basket and off he goes… feeling proud of his victory. At night, he delightfully narrates the entire story to his little grandson

Many years later, the cap-seller’s grandson, who has now become a cap-seller, happens to take rest under the same tree and the same episode repeats. Monkeys take his caps and they are sitting there on the tree pretty, each wearing a cap. But, the moment the grandson cap-seller realizes what has happened, he remembers how his grandfather has outsmarted the monkeys years ago. So, he does not waste time screaming abuses and throwing stones at the monkeys. He simply takes off the cap from his head and throws on the ground… convinced that caps would fall from the tree. But, they do not!

As the grandson cap-seller wonders why his grandfather’s trick hasn’t worked this time, one of the monkeys declares with loads of pride:
“Fool, don’t think that only you people have grandfathers… We have them, too!”


GERALD D’CUNHA

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