Wednesday, May 8, 2013



A Teaching Story
Do you have a tendency to continue to cling on endlessly to suffocating inharmonious relationships?
Do you persist with an unrewarding career?
Do you find it difficult to get rid of harmful activities and unhealthy habits?
Do you cling on to all sorts of infructuous, incompatible, negative, deteriorating, dissipating and dead-end situations in life. 
Why don't you just let go of all these detrimental damaging things and move on in life?
Maybe the answers lies in this apocryphal story I heard long back, whose inner meaning has had a profound positive effect in formulating my philosophy of life:

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. 
Seeing his condition, a passerby remarked, “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 chilly.”
And the merchant continued eating the chillies. 
On his way back, the passerby noticed that the merchant’s condition had become miserable, his face red with agony and copious tears pouring out of his burning eyes.
But the merchant kept on eating the chillies, in his search for the ‘sweet one’. 
“Stop at once, or you will die,” the passerby shouted. “There are no sweet chillies... Haven’t you realized that...? Look at the basket – it is almost empty. And have you found even one sweet chilly yet...? ”
“I cannot stop until I eat all the chillies. I have to finish the whole basketful,” the merchant croaked in agony, “I have paid for the full basket and I will make sure I get my full money’s worth by eating all the chillies.

Dear Reader:
Read this story once more, reflect on it, and apply it to your life.
Do you cling on to unsatisfying things, uncongenial people and strained relationships even when your inner voice tells you to let go and move on in life? 
Sometimes, a relationship is so demoralized by distrust that it is better to terminate it and put an end to the relationship and break up rather than make futile attempts to patch up and continue searching in vain and suffering in pain for the elusive “sweet chilly”.
We know some things are not good for us and we should let go of these things.

But we continue to persist.

First, we hope to find ‘sweet chilly’ and keep on suffering pain.

Then, even when we discover that there is no ‘sweet chilly’, we still continue to shackle ourselves to painful people, strained relationships, harmful habits, negative careers and detrimental things when we should let go, move on, liberate ourselves and be happy. 

Remember there is no sweet chilly.

So is there any point to cling onto painful relationships and harmful things in vain hope of discovering a sweet chilly”?

Is it not better, instead of clinging on, to let go and move on in life?

Do you agree? Please comment and let us know your views.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
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Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013. 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 and blogger. 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 an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and 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  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines 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 and blogging. Vikram Karve 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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chaitanya said...

So true. Sometimes there really is no best part, and it's wiser to let go and start fresh, although it is the harder thing to do.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Chaitanya - Absolutely. You must let go and start afresh.

free bird said...

If only we could let go. we cling to thoughts (Bad more than good), acquaintances, things and live life only collecting and not letting go. biggest satisfaction ironically is when we let go. spring cleaning is so much more satisfying after the event but getting to make the first move is so difficult for so many of us...

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ free bird - apt expression for letting go - SPRING CLEANING :)

Deepak S Avasare said...

One thing that you need to be sure that the basket of fruit you have got is a basket of "Chillies" where there is no chance of getting a sweet one.

Otherwise you may be giving up at single bad "cucumber" too