Monday, August 27, 2012


A Teaching Story

an apocryphal story

A certain man made an appointment to see a renowned psychological counsellor.

He duly arrived at the psychotherapist’s office and said to him, Sir, please help me. I always feel depressed. No matter what I do I still feel depressed and dejected. I just don’t know what to do.

The counsellor looked at the depressed man and said to him, Come with me to the window.

The patient followed the therapist to the window. 

The counsellor pointed outside and said, Do you see that huge tent over there in the distance?

Yes, I can see that tent, the depressed man answered.

Well, that is a circus tent. There is this circus in town and it is really good. There are lots of acts to watch, especially the clown acts. And there is one clown in particular who is extremely funny. He wears all sorts of costumes and masks and performs hilarious antics. His masquerade acts are really fantastic. He will make you rock with side-splitting laughter over and over again. Go to the circus and see that clown perform and I guarantee you that your depression will disappear,” the psychotherapist advised the depressed man.

The depressed man turned to the counsellor with sad eyes and said, Sir, I am that Clown...!

What is the moral of this story?

Well, I can see two morals in this story.

Moral of the Story No. 1

The Inside and the Outside may be vastly different and deep inside things may not be as they seem from the outside. 

Especially in the case of judging  human beings one must not rely too much on external appearance alone. 

On the surface a person may look cheerful, calm and composed but deep inside he may be suffering from inner turmoil. 

Many persons who outwardly always joke and laugh may actually be quite unhappy and depressed deep inside and their outward cheerfulness may be a way to mask their inner unhappiness.

Moral of the Story No. 2

Don’t wear a mask” - yes, never hide your true emotions under a mask of happiness

The masquerade of Image Management may adversely affect your health in the long run.

Tell me, Dear Reader, do you agree?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like reading this story?
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my recently published book of short stories COCKTAIL
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Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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Aishwarya said...

Sometimes, don't you feel it's better to put on a mask of happiness instead of constantly bothering others with your foul/depressed mood? Also, it has been noticed many times that forcing yourself to feel happy could actually induce genuine happiness.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Aishwarya,
You have a point - forcing yourself to be happy does make you happy - I have experienced this too.
The point the story is trying to make is that one must not go by external appearances and try to fake emotions. There is a difference between trying to be genuinely happy and faking it.
Thanks for your views.
BE HAPPY ALWAYS - "genuinely happy"