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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Silence is golden, especially when the alternative is to talk to cruel idiots

Silence is golden, especially when the alternative is to talk to cruel idiots

Another story from Panchatantram, a very famous one.




In a jungle, there lived a large group of monkeys, always self sure, opinionated and garrulous. The coldest climate arrived and the monkeys were shivering like leaves.. Even mutual hugs and embracing one another tight against their own wishes was of no avail. The cold was eating into their marrows and they were miserable. They had seen some men often sitting huddled together around a wooden fire and getting relief from cold . The monkeys knew that fire meant brightness. They had also seen that the men blew air through their mouths to light back a dwindling fire. So they decided that lighting a fire would bring an end to their sufferings. An enthusiastic and young monkey had seen glowworms moving aroud in the night with their bright abdomens. He decided that using such a glowworm, they could light a campfire. With a lot of difficulty the group gathered some timber pieces and the youth sat in front of the heap of timber with a glowworm in hand and stated blowing at it in the hope that a fire will be made soon. 


An old and wizened monkey was watching the foolery with amusement . He knew the glowworm had nothing to do with fire. But he kept quiet, because he was sure his advice would fall only on deaf ears. 

A tiny bird with needle shaped beak, soochiimukhi, was watching this fire-exercise. She fluttered around the young monkey making noises to warn him that the glowworm will not give any fire…

Please note, it was none of her business to give advice. First the monkey ignored her and went on with his meticulous blowing of the worm. But in time, the youngster got irritated. In rage, he caught the bird and threw her hard on a rough rock and killed her. 

The old monkey was muttering to himself.. "I knew it all the while, but I kept quiet. So I am alive. That brat of a bird wisecracked and was smashed to death.. 

Silence is golden, especially when the alternative is to talk to cruel idiots.

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