Thursday, August 23, 2012

Learn people

I grew up hearing stories from my father. He is a great story teller. Most of his stories revolved around honesty, obedience and success. But there is a unique story which he had years before. But the layers of truth embedded unravels each day. It is an open secret that men can't understand men.

You are saved if you possess the skill to learn people. Otherwise you are doomed.

Sadly, I have never been good at it. Sometimes, I trust the wrong person and mistrust the right person. In both case, it hurts. Because of it, chances to land in trouble are several. Frustration ensues, you lose  trust in yourself.  But this story always rescued me from falling into large traps.

He told me this story several years back. Unfortunately, I took many years to grasp its essence. But that is life.

The story goes like this....

Before India gained independence, there was not a well coordinated country as India. There were only princely states which were ruled by various kings. Those princely states were again divided into small principalities which had its own rulers.

The story happened in Thrissur which is in Kerala that lies in the southern tip of Indian peninsula.

Once a King summoned all his rulers to his court . The rulers got apprehensive as they were called on short notice. They thought it could be a sign of a portending war. But when they reached the palace of the king, everything was calm. Nothing brewed in the court of the king. The King and the courtiers looked pleasant. With a smile, the king took all his rulers to a plantain farm and gave everyone a gleaming sword.

Without uttering a single word, he asked them to cut it. Everyone were taken aback. They were expecting something grave. But the King was asking them to cut a plantain and that too with a sharp sword. (You don't need a sharp sword to cut a plantain).

Tharakan, who was our ruler's chief minister thought if the rulers were given such a sharp sword, there should be something substantial the King wanted to test. Hence Tharakan asked his ruler to cut the plantain as if there was a copper hidden in the plantain. The ruler who was quite confident of his minister's advice gave a sharp and heavy blow. To their surprise, a thin copper piece was hidden inside the plantain.

The King became happy and awarded the ruler and his minister for their thoughtful action.

So how is the story and learning a person is connected?

The persons we come across in our daily lives are like a soft and smooth plantain. We are often lured away by its fragility. You have to delve deeply to fathom its real roughness. By the time you realize it, it must have already sown its seed. Never underestimate or overestimate a person.

You should approach people with the keen eye as of Tharakan. Such far sightedness can come handy to prevent the unwanted.