STORIES WITH A PORPOISE
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More About This Title STORIES WITH A PORPOISE

English

Here is a look at life without rose-tinted glasses. There are 120 stories, which serve a purpose. What point one wants to draw is in the stories themselves. Those who draw moral out of them merely waste their time.
Title: Stories With A Porpoise
Genre: philosophy, literary fiction
Age group: general,10 years onwards.
Total Word Count:35636
A few samples are given below.


Preface



A Fool Is A Wiseman (Who just missed the bus)

‘Mad’ Max was designated as the biggest fool who ever lived in a town with a curious name Pie-In-The-Sky. As soon as he learned to assemble a refrigerator he knew he wanted to sell one. So he took off to the North Pole. But the Inuit didn’t buy a single one and he died a very poor man. All that he left behind was some ice boxes and a technical manual.
On the other hand Dr. Faustus had an IQ that designated him with superior mind. Having made a pact with the devil he became the most celebrated scholar. He knew everything that went under the sun, which passed for knowledge. How the crowned heads and scholars alike feted him! Then came the computers that made him redundant. He died in grief. He said that a machine beat him.
The world went a-changing! Global warming, it was called. The polar caps vanished as an icicle in a furnace. The people in Nunavut thought they were finished. But someone found the papers of ‘Mad’ Max and it was a discovery that electrified the whole region. They learned to make fridges themselves and control their houses to the right temperature. Who contributed to the welfare of the world more? A fool or a scholar?

44



In the Royal Prison

Young Joseph was put in a prison where he was the only commoner. He was accused of offending Potiphar’s wife who had him put there. He already knew how to interpret dreams somewhat but a fellow prisoner by name Seth the servant of Thoth befriended him and assured him he could profit from him. One morning he said: “The sacred Ibis flew last night to my pillow while I took a peek as the dreams-book was opened (I mean REM phase); and what curious symbols I saw there!”
“ Can you interpret them?” Joseph asked eagerly.
“ Thoth was a bit peeved that I perused the book unasked.” He explained how the sacred bird relented since he loved all those who loved wisdom. “I asked for meaning and Thoth says, ‘ What? Didn’t you take it when I explained while you were asleep?"
“But I asked Thoth, ‘Have mercy, how am I to remember what was given in my sleep?’ ”
The older man explained to the Israelite, “ As soon as I am awake I can only think of eating something bellyful. The prison fare is unpalatable, wish I had a plate of cucumber salad.”
Days later young Joseph asked what was he there for. He replied that Potiphar’s wife commanded him to lay with her.” How could I have refused her? Playing hard to get at with women of such power and fickle mind always ends in tragedy. I submitted to her rather than make a fuss about it.”
Yes, Joseph could understand it. He persisted in his queries. “ How come then you are here?”
“ Not by Potiphar’s wife! But Potiphar! He caught us in a very compromising situation!”
He moped his forehead, “ She talked her way out of it. I’m not his wife. So I was left take the rap!”

107



The Source Of Happiness

Aesop went with the solemn crowd into the House of Mourning. A great many of the family of the dead were gathered there. The dead was a youth of tender age, the only son to a devout couple. This made the occasion very poignant. Nobody spoke but watched the last rites for the dead with sorrow. At last the crowd made their way from the dead and one old man broke the silence saying: “I only wish my son were dead. It would have brought an end to my misery." So sudden was his outburst that the crowd was stunned.
"He is a never-do-well and a wastrel", the old man continued. "Drink, drink is all he cares... my fortune, he has already wasted away. And now I have the misfortune, of tasting the sharpness of his knuckles, woe is me!"
The old man began to sob. Aesop could see how much oppressed the old man was. He mused thus: “On one hand I see the sorrow of parents for the loss of their son; on the other the misery of a father for a son who is alive."
Another man confided: “My son was not bad at all. The only fault was that he was a strapping young fellow. So he was drafted by the army and is now away on a foreign soil.... desolate I am. Each day I dread I might next see him brought home, feet first."
Each man connected in some fashion with the sorrow of the parents: each one was sad for something or the other. One was sad for not winning the Olympic games that had just came to a close. Another for winning a lottery that made him a prey to his friends' envy and spite.
Aesop mused upon all that he had heard that day. Before he blew out the candle for the night he said to himself: "Neither children, nor material wealth can guarantee happiness. Neither failure nor success in an enterprise does in itself hold key to happiness. Had my deformed foot held the key to my happiness I would have said gods are fools. No god has allowed a deformity to make me unhappy but to find happiness in spite of it.”


109



Art And Nature

One evening Xeno called out Aesop who was walking along the jagged rocks, which the sea had over the years sharpened to a keen edge. Aesop stopped on his tracks. Xeno approached him. He had his lyre with him. He apologized about his behavior in the House of Glaucus. "I was drunk, I suppose." Xeno admitted.
Aesop asked him why he still insisted on carrying the lyre.
"You are a philosopher and not a musician." Aesop said.
"Yes, I am a philosopher. Well Heracles, the philosopher always carries a wedge of rock with him to speak of mysteries of nature? I think I could speak with this lyre of the discord that man in his pursuit of power causes."
For emphasis Xeno struck the lyre wildly and the discordant notes set the nerves of Aesop on edge.
"No one who hears you will catch the point you are trying to state. They will only close their ears to shut out that jarring music." Aesop said.
"How is that Heracles could succeed with a stone, whereas I cannot, though we both are using an object to illustrate our arguments?"
Aesop thought about it for a while. He said: “One can learn lessons from nature, however lowly a thing it may be; whereas what you deal with is art. No amount of words shall come to help you if your art is bad."

110



Abstractions of Matter

One evening Confucius called on a scholar friend who had entertained a noble prince and had seen him off. “If you will climb this terrace over here you may perhaps catch a glimpse of him.” Said the host still giddy at the honor of receiving a prince.
Confucius smiled and said that his curiosity was not as strong as was used to; besides climbing a flight of steps to see a friend disappearing into an abstraction was not very comforting. While sitting in his friend’s library the philosopher looked over the album in which his guest had earlier that day had written. “These few lines, written by your visitor, in a sparse style, how typical of him! I can recognize him any place from his style.”
The scholar remarked that it was strange that the visit of a prince was nothing of a matter once he was out of sight. “All that now remained of him is a symbol, an autograph.”
Lie after Life we can vouch to the extent of events set off by life forms. Doesn’t the nameless inventor of wheel still live on? His relevance was made all the more defined by Henry Ford and others in the modern times.

111


Be True To Yourself
There was an old Hermit from Hushan in China who called on Yen Cho at his home. But the scholar was not in. He was out walking around the countryside. Later in the day the old hermit caught up with him in the middle of a game. The hermit faulted the young man for wasting his time with people from a lower class. “You are a scholar, aren’t you?” asked the elder.
“Yes,” admitted Cho,” But what good is it if I were to treat these peasants as beneath my notice? What good is my scholarship where scholars must bow and scrape before piddling authority?” He had so many reasons to play backgammon with people he explained. He ended saying,
” Who knows I may find myself lucky.”
The hermit observed the game in progress. Yen Cho had lost. The hermit asked, “You call that luck?” Yen Cho got up from the game and said,” My luck may be that I found you instead!”
The man from Hushan said he had heard so much about him and stopped over with the purpose of meeting him. The hermit and the young scholar got on well. The elder over supper admitted that he was cross with him at first. “ Wandering so early, --does not that show a fickle nature to act contrary to the rest? When all remain in bed must you gad about the country?”
Later the hermit then explained that he had found a way to conserve his life- force and he could teach him how. Yen Cho politely refused his offer saying that his life- force ought to be expended by what he was and not by another.
Beware of your gurus and god-men. Don't offer your precious self on a platter. Remember before whom you are casting pearls.

112


See No Evil, Speak No Evil &

One day I saw a man about to make a hole in a river right across my front yard. I closed my eyes and said, “ I see no evil.”
Later in the day I heard an altercation going on across the lane; two fellows argued about their gods till a mob came there in support of one. They were there to let a river of blood flow, so they threatened; while another mob equally hell bent for mayhem headed to the spot. I could have called the police. The phone was right in front. But I said, “ I speak no evil.”
I did nothing.
Then came the scream and fire. Rows of houses in the neighborhood went up in flames. So much of noise they made. I saw the mob on a rampage and they were heading towards me.
“ Oh save me!” I ran in circles and begged some who were in the neighborhood. They replied, “We hear no evil.”

113



Zeus And Hippopotamus

At the Creation Time, hippos wanted to be as sleek as horses. The Chief God made them as elegant creatures as mustangs. Hippos were content for a time. Watching some elephants performing tricks they went to Zeus asking a favor. Hippos got a tremendous boost in girth but they became too stupid I guess in the process. Naturally they complained. Zeus had such a hard time trying to adjust their speed (which they had acquired being horse-like), and with their newly acquired ponderous gait. In the end the Chief God gave up. He said in exasperation,” You are impossible on land. Go jump into some lake!”
Since then hippos became adept in water.
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