Sunday, September 9, 2012


A Story
“What is the meaning of the word Masochism?” someone once asked me.
I told him this apocryphal story - Waiting for the Sweet Chilli (also spelt as Chili or Chilly)
On his first visit to India, a rich merchant saw a man selling a small green fruit which he had never seen before.
The merchant was hungry and the luscious green fruit looked so fresh and appetizing and the merchant was tempted and curious, so he asked the vendor, “What is this...?”
Hirvee Mirchi. Chillies, fresh green chillies,” said the hawker.
The merchant held out a gold coin and the vendor was so overjoyed that he gave the merchant the full basket of chillies. 
The merchant sat down under a tree and stared to munch the chillies.
Within a few seconds his tongue was on fire, his mouth burning and tears streamed down his cheeks.
But despite this discomfort, the merchant went on eating the chillies, chewing them one by one, scrutinizing each chilli carefully before he put the piquant hot green chilly into his burning mouth. 
A passerby noticed that the merchant’s terrible pain and miserable condition - his face red with agony and copious tears were pouring out of his burning eyes. Despite suffering painful agony, the merchant kept on eating the chillies.
Seeing that the merchant continued to eat chillies despite the fact that the chillies were causing him immense pain and suffering, the passerby said to the merchant, “What’s wrong with you...? Why don’t you stop eating those spicy hot chillies... ? ” 
“Maybe out of all these chillies there is one that is sweet,” the merchant answered, “I am waiting for the sweet chilli.”
And the merchant kept on eating the hot chillies, waiting for the ‘sweet one’. 
That is what masochists do, isnt it - they like to suffer pain hoping that there will be pleasure at the end of the pain. 
Do you agree? Please comment and let us know your views.

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.

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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, IIT (BHU) 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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ExTrEmEcYcLe said...

Live life as if there is no tomorrow, you today will be always the best day of your life.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ ExTr = Nicely said - that's what I try to do - it works.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree more. The traditional masochist (as according to Sacher-Masoch's works) would have envisioned the chillies long before he ever saw them in reality, created an ideal around them and then designed an interaction, guided by some kind of contract with the vendor that would prolong his consumption of the chillies. He would eat them, not aching for a sweet one, but in the hopes that that the he could eat and eat and never find it.

Would love to chat with you more about this if you're interested.