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The Angel Who Drew Pictures ©

Angel Gamaliel once flew in the direction of Cairo and saw the great throng that weaved through the busy market place. ‘There must be some matter of great import and requires my careful attention,’ thought the angel. So he zoomed straight into the north-west minaret of the Mosque of Blessed virtues and saw a mule driver tagging behind the crowd. Becoming curious he flew towards him and whispered into his ears, ‘What, are you also with the crowd?’
The fellow shrugged his shoulder and without looking up said, ‘My mule just would not go any where that I had a mind to but follow the crowd. So I just followed.’ Poor Angel! He thought he never heard more sorry excuse from the mouth of a man.
That night the angel visited the mule driver while he was asleep. Angel knew he slept like a log too tired to think even a sweet dream. The angel drew a series of pictures and knew the mule driver would be well for it.
Next morning the fellow was all astir with excitement. He told his wife excitedly what befell him during the night. She had brought him tea and she was excited and asked what was it all about.
‘Is it some buried treasure, oh light of my eyes?’ He shook his head and said his dream was much more than that. He said the dream showed him what was wrong with the city. He said as clear as a bell and in clear stream of words a utopian state . It was modeled as Cairo. He exhorted his neighbors who had heard something curious and come to check. He said, ‘Heed the warning: The city must be saved from damnation and people should work for their livelihood. Blessed state is when each citizen has enough to fill his belly with food.’
Naturally those who heard were excited. One fellow who knew how to read and write told him thus, ‘O prophet recite what you have seen. I shall write it down so the city of Cairo shall be the most blessed city in the whole world.’ Thus the prophet of Perfect Understanding gave the inhabitants of Cairo their Word and they were so taken up with it. Naturally since from that day on not a day’s work was done. They spent reciting the words and learning by heart the Word. At last the Khedive sent reports to the Sultan of the change taking place under his suzerainty. Naturally one morning the prophet was called to answer the charges that he had incited people not to work any more. Angel Gamaliel came to hear of this and instantly he came down and sat on a parapet in the Palace courtyard where the Khedive was hearing the case. The Mule- Driver deposed before the governor the dream that he had. ‘It was a revelation, O master. I could not have gone against it.’ He narrated the series of images that had impressed into his mind’s eye as he was asleep.
The angel snorted to hear the images and exclaimed, ‘Poppycock! And as the mule driver ended his speech he said, ‘Nothing of the sort. I painted the blessed state of a man to have his own opinions and freedom of action. ’
When the prophet was reciting what the mule driver had told him the Angel stood up wearily, ‘I draw pictures in vain in the minds of man. He cannot obviously see the difference between images and words.’ Angel Gamaliel flew off feeling put out by his waste of effort.
Prophets are merely putting certain images in words and they shall never hit it off correctly. Think of great books when adapted for films need to be treated differently. Several descriptive passages need to be said in a montage of images. Why the difference? The film is a different medium where images have to serve in place of words. The Prophets speak truth and those who cannot understand the difference between their vision and their words read between the lines, neither true nor 100% false. Only way one can prove his meaning is in his actions.
benny

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My perfect holiday is when I can sit back with a book on an easy chair and not answer for my idleness to anyone. I do not mind what book I read really. Books are meant to do something to me and it is all that I expect in a holiday as well.  After having fortified myself with some solid breakfast a book stays with me for the day till sleep claims me. I casually dip into the page where I stopped last only to make a free fall. I have no intention of finishing the book on hand but let an accidental word or passage to trigger certain responses to set me free. By such manner one might take me for a traveler who has circumnavigated the globe many times over. I am a traveler non pareil who never got wet even when I went after Moby Dick. I have been with Crusoe and not a speck of sand got into my shoes by that experience; even as I followed him around on that desolate isle I was as affected as he. He may not have had me much as a company but I had him and it was great. Holiday is where you get your pleasure without others exacting theirs out of you. Books on that score alone top the list of essential items that make up my holiday travels.

Looking back I can quite recall my first holiday with my father. The school was closed for summer and three months I could claim as my due for having mastered multiplication tables. My slate and pencils were thrown into a heap along with books as of no use. No more I would need rap on my knuckles with a ruler from my master but let to be myself. It was something. How often can a child of 8 be told to act his age? I could have wished to go to the zoo or for a movie. No my father had decided sea air would do some good. How thrilling that notion was! A child of seven or eight is wet behind the ears so he wishes to see an animal that is something of a rarity. He wants to see something else because he is bored. His world is so small. But the suggestion coming from my father had something of a new world. An adventure! Only when we walked along the magical sea shore I knew I had come to an important point in my life. The sea would take me faraway places. On that moment something seemed to open my understanding. It was a liberating moment. The sea and I. I watched in fascination the waves riding towards me.  Bedazzled as though the wave that surrounded my ankles cast a spell. It will take me on a journey, after all.  I must have shivered at the thrill of it.  My father intuitively took hold of my hand. Clutching my hands harder he said, ” You have learned multiplication tables. Division isn’t a big deal.” It would have been so if he had not set about teaching me division. Then and there. Since then I decided the idea of holiday travels will have an altogether new definition for me.

Of course I used to think seeing places made the holiday travel worth the while. No more I subscribe to the Philistine notion that seeing places is essential for a man’s education. You go to Washington D.C, London, New Delhi or Amsterdam. I speak from experience. If you think you soak up culture by such a visit, perish the thought. Without any exception all that you see will be the same: McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway and so on. Holiday travels, when all said and done, help you renew yourself. Allow me to do it my way.

benny

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“Books descending to the level of the least common denominator can only go up either in tastes of the reader or in the number of books left unsold”.

benny

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