Wednesday, July 13, 2016

THE ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE








Pic.: Mini Milind


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

I had first come across this story in our primary school text-book. Decades have rolled by and I still find myself doing what each of these six blind-men did… the elephant experience!



THE ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE



PAST:

There lived six blind men in a village. They hadn’t seen an elephant in their life. So, one day, when someone said there was an elephant in the village, the six blind men wanted to have an experience of it.

“Hey, the elephant is like a huge pillar,” said the first blind man. He had touched the leg of the elephant.


“No, it is like the branch of a tree,” said the second one. He had touched the trunk.


“No, No,” shouted the third blind man, “Elephant is like a big hand-fan.” Obviously, this blind man was on elephant’s large ear!


“You fools, listen to me, I am right,” yelled the fourth blind man, “Elephant is like a hard pipe.” Well, this man was feeling the tusk of the mighty animal.


“Here is the truth, my friends, you better agree,” declared the fifth ‘wise-man’, confidently holding the tail, “The elephant is exactly like a rope.”


“None of you is right… But, I am,” announced the last one, “The elephant is just like a hard wall.” He was merrily leaning against the big belly of our ‘Haathi’!


So, when the heated argument – who amongst the six blind men was right – was reaching its boiling point, there arrived a passerby, a wise soul. 


“What are you arguing about, my friends?” the wise-man asked, “Why are you so stressed out?”


Each of the six began to explain to the wise-man about his position.


“Friends, all of you are right… and all of you are wrong,” the wise man explains. He continued, “Right because, each one of you had touched only a part of the elephant and your experience was only part of the whole truth. To experience the whole truth, you have to experience the whole elephant… touch every part of it. You have to open your eyes, and fully!”



PRESENT:

There live six blind men in a village. They haven’t seen an elephant in their life. So, one day, when someone says there is an elephant in the village, the six blind men want to have an experience of it.

“Hey, the elephant is like a huge pillar,” says the first blind man. He has touched the leg of the elephant.


“No, it is like the branch of a tree,” says the second one. He has touched the trunk.


“No, No,” shouts the third blind man, “Elephant is like a big hand-fan.” Obviously, this blind man is on elephant’s large ear!


“You fools, listen to me, I am right,” yells the fourth blind man, “Elephant is like a hard pipe.” Well, this man is feeling the tusk of the mighty animal.


“Here is the truth, my friends, you better agree,” declares the fifth ‘wise-man’, confidently holding the tail, “The elephant is exactly like a rope.”

“None of you is right… But, I am,” announces the last one, “The elephant is just like a hard wall.” He is merrily leaning against the big belly of our ‘Haathi’!


So, when the heated argument – who amongst the six blind men is right – is reaching its boiling point, there arrives a passerby, a wise soul. 


“What are you arguing about, my friends?” the wise-man asks, “Why are you so stressed out?”


Each of the six begins to explain to the wise-man about his position.


“Friends, all of you are right… and all of you are wrong,” the wise-man explains. He continues, “Right because, each one of you has touched only a part of the elephant and your experience is only part of the whole truth. To experience the whole truth, you have to experience the whole elephant… touch every part of it. You have to open your eyes, and fully!”



GERALD D’CUNHA

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