(Aesop is here discussing with his friend about their past and Xeno the Cynic presses the story- teller closely about the discussion they had the day before.-b)
It was evident Xeno had given much thought to the last discussion he had with Aesop. “But you did not get equal chance. Neither did I.” Xeno explained in so many words about his past. He was the second son who merely replaced the one who died before. He said, “I knew I was not loved for what I am.” Controlling himself he added, “By the time my younger brothers came my parents were cured of their folly and they got their share, alright.” Suddenly Xeno fell silent.
“Yes, my friend,” Aesop explained, “there is so much ignorance and cruelty. Those who ought to have loved and cherished us merely failed in their duty. We came into this world naked and dispossessed already. It is the law of deprivation at work. We had no choice in the matter. Did we?” Xeno shook his head.
“It is random and an accident. Why make it worse by feeling sorry? The law of deprivation entitles us to another law.”
Xeno shot up his eyebrows.
“Yes. Law of Compensation.” Aesop said, “Whatever good comes your way you have earned it. How I came into the household of Iadmon was not how I went out.”
“You are still cash strapped,” Xeno asked, “Aren’t you?” “Yes,” Aesop said, “Making riches was not how I wished to be compensated.” Aesop realized life compensated him only in directions he sought to remedy his wants.
He told him a story to llustrate it. An Argive went in search of gold after hearing of a gold rush in the neighborhood. He came to the right spot all right. But he was too late. So many had before him panned gold from the rocks and so quickly too, and had exhausted the deposit. So he went on in dismay not knowing where. He stumbled upon a field strewn with bodies of men and horses. A bloody carnage the battlefield had witnessed and he was the only living person there. The Persian army lay dead in their rich apparel and armor before him. He picked as much gold plated helmets and body armor, not to mention swords with handles studded with precious jewels. He brought home a fortune! There was gold much more than he would have ever picked from panning. Was he wrong if he treated his find as compensation for his trouble? (Selected-The Life of Aesop-Ch:8. 9 )
note: Law of Deprivation and Law of Negation denote the same.
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Posted in Aesop, fables, history, Aesop and the Ass, modern fable, tagged Aesop, author, Benny Thomas, Classical Greece, i- book, law of compensation, law of deprivation, Law of Negation, moral philosophy, The Life of Aesop, www.lulu.com on October 8, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
(Aesop is here discussing with his friend about their past and Xeno the Cynic presses the story- teller closely about the discussion they had the day before.-b)
Posted in books,, tagged author, Benny Thomas, comic strips, folk hero, Mulla Nasruddin stories, sufism, the pleasantaries of Mulla Nasruddin, wise fool, www.lulu.com on December 1, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
My book The Mulla Nasruddin Stories is published through Lulu.com. The pocketbook has plenty of illustrations and has 158 pages. There are 160 plus stories. Here is a write-up about my central character:
Mulla Nasruddin is a common folk hero in the Near East, Middle East and Turkey. He is a Seljuk satirical Sufi figure, sometimes believed to have lived around 13th century. His inspired tomfoolery is tempered with wisdom and in the present work his anecdotes serve the same purpose as the fables of the Greek slave. The Greek storyteller adopted fables as a mode to teach lessons in prudence and moral values. Mulla Nasruddin served his life, as a living proof that a life stripped of superfluities can be both inspiring and lively.
This book is meant as a companion piece to the Life of Aesop written by the same author.
This book is priced at 9.50 Euros
You may check it out at http://www.lulu.com/content/12216087
Happy Reading folks,
The Red In My Wish List©
Hilda was eleven and she felt most disappointed with the family vacation. He mother had promised a red skirt the kind she had seen in a catalog. But the family vacation had begun and she was still in her old jeans. It was not red or mauve but blue. Her mother said it was best suited for travel. Blue Jeans was not what was in her wish list. It was red. It made her feel hurt.
All the way through the car ride she sat sulking.She did not like the picturesque scenery as the family drove down from Hagesund. She thought her siblings were left to her care just to annoy her.
On the way wherever her parents stopped over for refreshment and rest she could only think of the red skirt that had the most elegant cut she could ever imagine. The buttons and the pleated front were just made for wear. She had often seen herself in it. Now in all her clothes her mother had packed there was nothing red. It was very annoying. Two days and nights the family rode through and in the end they were in a villa by the sea.
The house was fully furnished. It belonged to a friend of his father.
The family of five soon settled in. All but Hilda. She was sore for the red skirt, pleated in front and with buttons and a belt all in red.
On the first day her father and mother shooed them to to the front garden and said,’Hilda, take good care of your little brothers.’
‘Without my red skirt, I shall not’ she said under her breath highly annoyed at the suggestion. At night after supper the family laid out board games. ‘Let us entertain ourselves,’ her mother said. Hilda scowled to see her brothers of eight and six giddily spread out to entertain themselves. ‘Without my red skirt I shall not be entertained’ she said making a face at her siblings.
Her mother coaxed her to join the group. ‘I shall read some book upstairs.’Hilda knew it would fool them. ‘I remember there are some nice books in the library.’
‘But be careful’ her father cautioned her while watching the evening news.
Her mother was sure she ought to look up some Danish authors. ‘In the fitness of things, Andersen’s tales you can read once again.’
‘In the fitness of things I should have had my red skirt,’ she muttered under her breath.
She had set her heart on the red skirt but how long it shall shut out everything else? Hilda had no answer because she was distracted by a cupboard that stood in the hall right next to the landing. It was done in mahogany and as high as her father. The door leaves were beautifully divided into three squares with designs in satin wood. Pilasters at both ends were lined with boxwood in-lay work. Age gave its character. Two doors were still in place and she tried to open. It effortlessly turned on its socket.
All she remember was that the cupboard smelt of sea and mysteries. She felt roar of the sea and smell of salt coming from far.
There were a couple of old knicknacks. Two cats with ribbon around their necks stood in one of the top compartments. She tiptoed and caught them. She said,’Is n’t time you went out into the night?’
But one cat slightly split at the seams and with one eye missing said,’ I shall let you go out quietly instead.’
She was most bewildered.’Why should I?’
The old cat was sure she was sure to come in and get into trouble. It said,’There are gypsies about. They shall surely carry you away.’
‘Of course not!’ she was certain. ‘Come and see yourself.’ the other cat purred. Hilda pulled up a stool and climbed on it to have a good look. Yes there was a picture of gypsies gadding about on the grass and some children by the stream spearing a few fishes. ‘It is true then, these children are the lost children.’ From the corner of eye she saw a fire lit up in one of the vans. Gradually the whole scene was taking on livelier colors and her eyes widened to see the van beginning to move.
‘Oho! Stop! She commanded running up to the horse drawn house. A man peeped out from within.’Children ought not be here.’ He said.
She went in front of the horses and said,’I am here. What are you going to do about it?’By then three boys of indeterminate age came with a basket of fresh catch.
She hailed one and asked,’Where are you from?’
‘Far down south’ one whimpered. Another took courage to step out from behind the first speaker,’We are the lost children.’ the second piped in.
Meanwhile the gypsy king accompanied by his wife and a brood of children came to her asking for the safe passage.
She scolded him roundly for trying to run away with all the lost children. She stamped her foot and said,’I shall not move an inch without freeing all these poor children.’Having said it without a shiver she felt good.’I can speak movingly when I am called to.’
She clapped her hands and said,’Begone you horse thieves!
If any child is ever lost I shall come hunting you down’ she harangued worthy of Joan of Arc. The gypsy king and the queen bowed in abject fear and ran for their lives leaving their caravan. She would have given a chase but she heard a fanfare and a train of riders all dressed in blue with golden lilies in their tunic. They stopped in front of her. One wight with long beard and cap trimmed with velvet took out a roll of paper. He read as an orator with proper gesticulations asking her to be the queen of the realm. ‘Whom am I speaking to?’
‘Master Gervais the first minister’
‘The people demand so.’ was his reply. She was mightily pleased that the people knew a real heroine when they saw one.
‘As a queen what do I do?’ she whispered into the ear of Gervais.
‘Lead us in wars against the Cummerbunds.’
She wanted to know who these people were. ‘Cummerbunds insist those who do not wear cummerbunds are less than human beings.’ Old Gervais said in welloiled tones she was a heroine to have defeated the Gypsies single handedly. She did not remember that war but in that wheedling tones of the First Minister she could take it was true. Just to be sure she needed proof. ‘Didn’t we take trophies? Spoils of the war?’ Hilda asked imperiously. The old Counselor nodded. She snapped her once and the old man blanched.
‘Bring the proof!’ she said somewhat annoyed.
Master Gervais came back with a bundle and laid it at her feet.
The bundle was unknotted in a trice and there lay the bandanas all red! ‘Like the red in my wish list!’
Master Gervaise smiled and he rubbed his bony hands in glee and said ‘Oh that as your finest hour, your Majesty. Gypsies all routed and their clothes dipped in their blood.’
‘The color of the clothes was something else?’
Master Gervaise took out one piece and it was still dripping and his brows darkened and he said, ‘These blood does not wash off easily.’
‘That is your concern! Do not trouble me with life of the downstairs.’ He just melted right in front of her hauteur. Hilda turned to say, ‘It’s time to attend to the lost children.’It was then she slipped and she cried,’ Ahhh!’
She looked all around in consternation if she was noticed.
And she saw her parents peering at her curiously. Her mother said she was expected to read the Andersen Stories that was by the bedside. ‘In the fitness of things, in Middlefart we read Hans Christain Andersen together’ her mother said.
Hilda made a grimace and muttered, ‘In the fitness of things, I should have had my red skirt with pleated front.’
Posted in Aesop, fables, history, Aesop and the Ass, modern fable, tagged Aesop, author, Benny Thomas, e.book, fictional biography, golden age, Old Greece, prudence, the fabulist on July 13, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Aesop needs no introduction and his fables are part of world heritage. I have written a full length fictional biography in a series of episodes tracing his life from his childhood to his exile and death.
Perhaps you might ask if the life of Aesop in particular is relevant to the modern world. He lived as we are, at a time when two world empires were on collision course. I have showed how Aesop with all his prudence and high moral principles was a victim like every other of the larger forces at work. From his life the reader may draw his or her own conclusions as to the manner history is made and principles that take man to rise or fall.
This book has no mindless violence, gratuitous sex or swearing etc but fun and all that adds grace to life in the young or old.
This book published in 2006 is now available as e.book. I am pasting the link here below and you may check it out.
The ISBN number is 978-1-4475-7597-9
Gampa Guru Writes His Master piece
It is customary, though not necessarily the rule, for a master of great learning to found a school of thought. But modesty forbids some, ventures of such vast scope. They are instead quite content with leaving a book or two for posterity. Thus it was with Gampa Guru.
His disciples rallied around him from the moment he casually expressed his idea. They grasped its significance and from that moment not a day passed without their anxiously prodding the master to be out with it. How long can a master put such zeal with a laconic answer,’I am thinking?’
Pedda put it succinctly on the seventieth day after Gamp Guru tried to palm off with the stock answer,’ What is there to think?’
Yes since he took to define a school of thought that was quite his own, thinking was like a bull peeing non stop! It took a while during which his modest mind showed signs of wilting. But his five disciples were right behind him, urging him to set it all down for all time.
Milecha saw the name of the master spreading all about. He could even smell of incense burning. He fought the urge to wrap it about him as his due, No his master was worthy of homage and they were merely his disciples. Others were also affected by it.
‘Like a wild fire sending ideas helter- skelter’Maddaya sensed the ruckus his master caused in him.
‘No it is like a weighty stone sinking into the pool of serene thought’ Mooda added.
The master must be pregnant with ideas, that is for sure!’Maddi threw in his opinion,’May it be quintuplets.’
Pedda pooh-poohed these to say the master’s book should be like a glorious cloud in the intellectual firmament as he could visualize it. Sure enough a sudden rain made the four disciples accept Pedda’s similie the closest to the master’s yet-unwritten magnum opus.
Under the rack of scholarly solicitude and plain nagging Gampa Guru finally called for his stylus and palm leaves that soon materialized before him. Gampa Guru let out a deep sigh and looked at the disciples whose combined bated breath sounded in his ears ominous: like a hard wind from five disciples about to be broken on his neck. He curtly asked them to make themselves scarce.
Instantly he was alone under the peepul tree.
He took his pen and said,’Ahem!’
After a fortnight the work was complete. The first leaf carried invocation to elephant-god and a superscription: The Truth about Nothing.’
The disciple in taking hold of the work felt they were like Truth seekers who were given a taste of Truth in its infinite simplicity. Each took it by turns and reverentially pressed it to his eyes.
‘Blessed are our eyes to see Truth in her inward beauty’.
They gathered around Milecha who could read somewhat but they need not have worried. The remaining leaves were blank.
There fell painful silence.
Pedda exclaimed,’Truth about Nothing!
Mooda said somewhat bravely,’ Our master is so brilliant he has taken Truth inside out!
Maddaya,’He breaks new ground in Thought.’
‘Nothing!’ they all exclaimed in unison.
They walked in circles while their master felt cramp down in his legs.
‘The title itself encapsulated the wisdom of our sages.’ they beamed towards their master in admiration.
They were of one accord that no amount of dissertations or theses would do justice as a simple comment from the author. So they beamed and asked,’Master, what you had in mind when you wrote it all down?’
‘What does it say?’
‘Nothing.’ blurted out Pedda
The other five in a shock leaned on him and he said guiltily,’I meant the title. But what of the rest?’
The incomparable master shook himself up and his painful legs had somewhat swollen. He walked unsteadily and said cryptically,’ Why don’t you read it yourself?’
‘Ah!’ they exclaimed as if all their doubts had vanished with the gentle nudge of the Master once and for all into the abyss.
They said,’It is about Nothing! The great Cosmic Void>!’
(note: excerpt taken from my first full length work. I wrote this humorous tale in the early 80s. b.)
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