pachai maamalai pol mene

Friday, October 14, 2011

What a nice study in effective management of knowledge !

What a nice study in effective management of knowledge !

(A case study adapted from Panchatantram.)





Those were not the days of strict family planning. So a learned but poor Brahmin had four sons. The siblings were usually much devoted to one another. The first three of them were enterprising and managed to master all the lore, crafts and science of the day and has reasonably established themselves as scholars. The youngest of the lot, called Subuddhi, though quite adequate in practical wisdom, did not engage himself much in study of books.

The three brothers, after a review meeting, came to the conclusion that the place they were living in was not good enough to showcase their talents and erudition, and to earn money out of it. They were of the considered opinion that they should migrate eastwards. The two elder brothers had another point to make. " Our youngest sibling Subuddhi, though intelligent has not acquired any academic degrees. So if he clings on to us, it would be a serious liability. We would have to share our earnings with that fellow for nothing. So it would be better that we leave without his company".

The third brother was more kind. " All these years, we have lived together, played together and shared our joys and woes together. It would be heartless to ditch him." Though this opinion was that of the minority, it was accepted with much reluctance and the four brothers set out eastwards together. 

They had to negotiate a thick forest in the way. They saw the skeleton of a beast in their jungle path. The three brothers who were learned and prided themselves as experts in their subjects of study and training, huddled together and had a formal meeting , well-documented. "We pride ourselves as learned, We are in front of a skeleton in the open. The normal place for skeletons are in the cupboards or in laboratories. Anyway the lifestyle authors have opined that when you get a lemon, you should make a lemonade out of it. Now we have a skeleton. Why don't we make an animal out of it?" 

The discussion was recorded, minutes circulated and approved. So the first expert, after due survey decided that the bones belonged to a lion.. and meticulously he arranged the various parts as if solving a jigsaw puzzle, put rods and wires in the proper places and the frame of the lion was ready as a masterpiece of art and craft. 

The second one improvised upon it by providing flesh, marrow, blood and other vital requirements for the beast to be kept alive. 

The final flourish lay in the hands of the third one....giving the life to the lion. 

The youngest brother was watching the entire proceedings with interest. He though it proper to intervene at this stage and warn his elder brothers that if the lion gained it life all the four of them would become the first dinner for the Royal beast. The brothers were enraged.

" You fool and imbecile. We made a grave mistake in dragging you along with us on our journey to fame and riches. You are an idiot and a roadblock. You are jealous of our knowledge.. Keep quiet or you will be driven away." 

The youngster realized the futility of an argument by a layman with erudite academicians. But his sense of self-preservation worked right. He ran away and perched himself atop a tall tree and watched the proceedings. 

Indeed, through his exacted knowledge in theory and practice, the third brother infused life into the beast. Slowly and with definite sense of purpose the lion woke up, opened its eyes and surveyed the environments with keen interest. 

His three creators were in the seventh heaven of ecstasy on their achievement. 

However, the lion did not wait for long. He saw three sacks of flesh in human form ready for consumption. And he was lying dead and hungry for a long period. Now a nice dinner had manifested itself in the shape of three fat tufted Brahmin youths. He had no reasons to think twice. The dinner went off well. Nothing but a few bones and hair was spared.

The Subuddhi, perched atop the tree had a nice practical lesson in life, and with a heavy heart, retraced his steps to his father's house. 

What a nice study in effective management of knowledge !