Saturday, August 6, 2016

THE BLIND-MAN AND HIS LANTERN






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 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 was there in our school text-book. Over the years, I have come across various versions of this story… and, each version makes it only more meaningful…



THE BLIND-MAN
AND HIS LANTERN


PAST:

Once, a blind-man had been to another town to visit his friend. Late that evening, when the blind-man was ready to leave, his friend lit a lantern and handed it over to the blind-man, saying, “My friend, soon it will be dark outside; please carry this lantern along.”

The blind-man was amused. “I am a blind-man, my dear friend,” he laughed at the suggestion of his friend, “for me, a night and a day are both same.”

“This lamp is not for you,” the friend explained, “this is for others to see a blind-man walking in the darkness.”

“That makes a lot of sense,” the blind-man agreed, “I will carry the lamp with me to wade safely through the darkness.”

Thus, that night, the blind-man, holding in his hand the lantern given by his friend, was on his way home. Along the way, a passerby saw the blind-man with lantern in his hand and asked curiously, “Tell me O stranger, what good can that lantern serve you in this darkness?”

The blind-man had a ready logic packed and parceled by his friend while leaving. So, he quickly replied, “This lantern is for you so see a blind-man walking in the darkness.”

“But, my dear stranger,” the passerby pointed, “the light is long out of your lantern!”


PRESENT:

Once, a blind-man has been to another town to visit his friend. Late that evening, when the blind-man is ready to leave, his friend lights a lantern and hands it over to the blind-man, saying, “My friend, soon it will be dark outside; please carry this lantern along.”

The blind-man is amused. “I am a blind-man, my dear friend,” he laughs at the suggestion of his friend, “for me, a night and a day are both same.”

“This lamp is not for you,” the friend explains, “this is for others to see a blind-man walking in the darkness.”

“That makes a lot of sense,” the blind-man agrees, “I will carry the lamp with me to wade safely through the darkness.”

Thus, that night, the blind-man, holding in his hand the lantern given by his friend, is on his way home. Along the way, a passerby sees the blind-man with lantern in his hand and asks curiously, “Tell me O stranger, what good can that lantern serve you in this darkness?”

The blind-man has a ready logic packed and parceled by his friend while leaving. So, he quickly replies, “This lantern is for you so see a blind-man walking in the darkness.”

“But, my dear stranger,” the passerby points, “the light is long out of your lantern!”


GERALD D’CUNHA

No comments: