Tuesday, April 14, 2015



Story of the Sweet Chilli (also spelt Chili)
Musings of a Veteran
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.
The luscious green fruit looked so fresh and appetizing.
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.
The vendor was so overjoyed that he gave the merchant the full basket of chillies. 
The merchant sat down under a tree.
Then he started to munch on the chillies  eating the green chillies one by one.
Within a few seconds his tongue was on fire  his mouth was 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 chilli into his burning mouth. 
Seeing the merchant’s 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 chilli that is sweet,” the merchant answered, “I am waiting for the sweet chilli.
In this story, the “chilli” is a metaphor for anything that is harmful or detrimental to you.
In your life  a “chilli” can represent an unsatisfying career, a harmful habit, uncongenial people or a strained relationship.
Do you continue to pursue unrewarding things and toxic relationships hoping for some reward at the end?
Do you keep eating “chillies” – waiting for a sweet chilli”?
Remember  there is no sweet chilli.
So is there any point to cling onto painful relationships and harmful things in vain hope of discovering a sweet chilli”?

Is it not better, instead of clinging on, to let go all detrimental damaging things in your life and move on in life?

Is there any point in clinging on to suffocating inharmonious relationships?

Is there any point in persisting with an unrewarding career?

Is there any point holding on to dud stocks and worthless investments?

Is there any point in continuing harmful activities and unhealthy habits?

Is there any point in pursuing all sorts of infructuous, incompatible, negative, deteriorating, dissipating and dead-end situations in life?

Is it not better, instead of clinging on, to let go of all these detrimental damaging things in your life and move on in life?

Or do you believe in keeping on eating “hot chillies” hoping and endlessly waiting for the sweet chilli” when you very well know that a sweet chilli” does not exist?

Part 2 – PAISA VASOOL MINDSET (Getting Your Money’s Worth)

The merchant’s tongue was on fire  his mouth was burning  and tears streamed down his cheeks – but despite this suffering  the merchant continued eating the chillies. 
On his way back  the passerby noticed that the merchant’s condition had become miserable.
the merchant’s face was red with agony  and copious tears were pouring out of his burning eyes.
But the merchant kept on eating the chillies  in his search for the ‘sweet chilli’. 
Seeing the terrible condition of the merchant  the passerby shouted: “Stop at once  or you will die. There are no sweet chillies. Haven’t you realized this by now? Look at the basket – it is almost empty. And have you found even one sweet chilli as yet? ”
“I cannot stop until I eat all the chillies. I have to finish the whole basketful of chillies,” 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.”
And so  the merchant continued eating the chillies despite his suffering till he had finished eating all the chillies in the entire basket.
Of course  the merchant never found the sweet chilli he was hoping for.
Are you a “paisa vasool” type who will do something painful just because you have paid for it?
Let me give you example.
Sometimes you order a dish at a restaurant.
The dish tastes terrible – but you insist on eating the entire dish just because you have paid for it.
You join a course – say Engineering or Medicine.
Within a few days you realize that you are not enjoying studying Engineering/Medicine – but - just because you have paid fees for the course – you suffer the entire course and become an Engineer/Doctor – and then suffer your entire life because you are in the ‘wrong’ profession.
I have seen this “Mirchi” Syndrome and “Paisa Vasool” Mindset in the Military too.
A boy joins the National Defence Academy (NDA) as a cadet.
Within a few days he realizes that  for him  military life is like eating hot chillies – but – instead of quitting NDA and taking up a vocation that suits him – the cadet continues eating chillies” – in the vain hope of discovering a sweet chilli”.
Many years later (after eating hot chillies” year after year) – he realizes that there are no sweet chillies” in military life – but by now he is afflicted by the “Paisa Vasool” Mindset – and he continues suffering in the military till he completes his pensionable service (to get his “Paisa Vasool”) – little realizing that the he cannot get back the years of his life he has spent in an unhappy profession.
Would it not have been better for him to quit NDA the moment he realizes he is not suited for military life – and change over to a civilian profession that suits him better.
It is this “Mirchi” Syndrome and “Paisa Vasool” Mindset that makes cling on to unsatisfying careers, dud investments, harmful habits, uncongenial people and strained relationships even when your inner voice tells you to let go and move on in life?
Rather than hold on to dud stocks – is not better to “book your losses” and get out before your stocks become totally worthless and you go financially “kaput”?
Why cling on to an unrewarding job till you become bitter and useless?
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 waiting for the elusive “sweet chilli”.
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 the ‘sweet chilli’ – and in that hope  we keep eating chillies’   and we keep on suffering pain.

Then  even when we discover that there is no ‘sweet chilli’ – due to our ‘paisa vasool’ mindset – we still continue to shackle ourselves to painful people, strained relationships, harmful habits, negative careers, dud investments and detrimental things  when we should let go, move on, liberate ourselves and be happy. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This blog post is a spoof, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
This is an extract from my lecture notes written more than 20 years ago in the 1990s and posted online a number of times on my various blogs including at urls; http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2008/05/sweet-chilli.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/sweet-chilli-mirchi-story.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/08/wisdom-in-wit-and-humor-story-of-sweet.html  etc

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