Thursday, July 14, 2016

THE FAIRY TALE OF SUCCESS






Pic.: Azriel D'Souza




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 have come across this story in its several avatars… In the first avatar, there was Henry Ford 1, the richest man on Earth of his times, having this kind of dialogue with a roadside florist…

The story helps me remain firmly planted on the ground every time I am tempted to ‘push’ myself to achieve that elusive something called ‘Success’. Yes, which is a romantic fairy-tale we all go to bed with…




THE FAIRY TALE OF SUCCESS


PAST:

One mid-morning, a famous business-tycoon saw a fisherman sorting his daily catch. Curious to know about the fisherman’s life, the tycoon asked:

“How much fish do you catch, every day?”

“Enough to run my family, sir,” the fisherman answered.

“How much time do you spend at sea?” the tycoon enquired.

“I leave early in the morning when it is still dark, and return much before it is noon,” the fisherman said.

“What do you do the rest of the day?”

“I rest for a while, eat with my family, play with my children and, at night, I take a few drinks with my friends, sing songs, dance and go to bed happily.”

“Man, now, you look at me; I am a wealthy tycoon... I work long and hard unlike you... And, because I work so, I make loads cash... I have been able to buy many mansions and luxuries for my family and friends... Accept my advice and  take some risk in life... buy a motor boat, go deep into the sea, work there long...”

“What after that, sir?’

“After that, you expand your business... borrow more money from the bank, buy many more boats, employ many more people... make more cash...”

“Then?”

“Then, you open a big plant, export, have a posh office at the heart of the city, buy your big houses and cars... become famous, rich...”

“Then, sir? “

“Then, my friend, one fine day, you can retire... settle by the beach, look at the lovely sunset, relax... eat and play with your family, drink, sing and dance with your friends... You know, you can be happy!”

“That’s what I do, sir… NOW!”



PRESENT:


One mid-morning, a famous business-tycoon sees a fisherman sorting his daily catch. Curious to know about the fisherman’s life, the tycoon asks:

“How much fish do you catch, every day?”

“Enough to run my family, sir,” the fisherman answers.

“How much time do you spend at sea?” the tycoon enquires.

“I leave early in the morning when it is still dark, and return much before it is noon,” the fisherman says.

“What do you do the rest of the day?”

“I rest for a while, eat with my family, play with my children and, at night, I take a few drinks with my friends, sing songs, dance and go to bed happily.”

“Man, now, you look at me; I am a wealthy tycoon... I work long and hard unlike you... And, because I work so, I make loads cash... I have been able to buy many mansions and luxuries for my family and friends... Accept my advice and take some risk in life... buy a motor boat, go deep into the sea, work there long...”

“What after that, sir?’

“After that, you expand your business... borrow more money from the bank, buy many more boats, employ many more people... make more cash...”

“Then?”

“Then, you open a big plant, export, have a posh office at the heart of the city, buy your big houses and cars... become famous, rich...”

“Then, sir? “

“Then, my friend, one fine day, you can retire... settle by the beach, look at the lovely sunset, relax... eat and play with your family, drink, sing and dance with your friends... You know, you can be happy!”

“That’s what I do, sir… NOW!”



GERALD D’CUNHA


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