Monday, July 27, 2020

Emotional Thinking

Musings of a Veteran

There is a saying:

“When emotion comes in at the door – truth flies out of the window…”

Emotions affect our thinking process.

Politicians are adept at swaying our emotions to obscure the truth.

Once your emotions are aroused – you may not be able to think in a logical and impartial manner.

Politicians appeal to your emotions to manipulate your thought process – and to influence you to their point of view – indeed – to prejudice you to their ideology.

Skillful politicians may succeed in arousing and swaying your emotions to such an extent – that you may totally lose your ability to think in a clear, logical and dispassionate manner – and tend to become biased and prejudiced – even to the extent of bigotry. 

In extremis – if you are emotionally vulnerable – politicians may emotionally inflame you and incite you to indulge in actions and deeds as per their wishes – which may harm you in the long run.

Hence – you must be careful and remain emotionally balanced – and not allow others to emotionally manipulate you – and destroy your ability to think and act in a coherent and rational manner.

Dear Reader – let’s come back to the saying:

“When emotion comes in at the door – truth flies out of the window…”

Dear Reader:

Imagine that your brain is like a room – with a door and a window.

The moment “Emotion” comes into the “room” (your brain) from the door – “Truth” flies out of the window of the “room” – and your brain is filled with the turmoil of emotion – and you unable to think clearly in a logical and dispassionate manner.

“Truth” and “Facts” are the first casualties when emotions rule the roost.

Sometimes – you may get emotional yourself due to events and circumstances.

But sometimes – others may emotionally manipulate you – – and destroy your ability to think and act in a coherent and rational manner – and to “brainwash” you think in a prejudiced and biased manner – which they want – with the ultimate aim to “indoctrinate” you into their way of thinking and ideology.

You see this phenomenon on the social media too.

Manipulators try to arouse your emotions to prevent you from thinking in a dispassionate manner so that you are unable to deduce a logical and impartial conclusion – and influence you into reaching the biased conclusions – as per their ideology – which they want you to reach.

Over time – if you get into the habit of thinking “emotionally” rather than dispassionately – your entire way of thinking may become coloured (subjective, biased and prejudiced) rather than transparent (objective, logical and unbiased).

Whereas “Rational Thinking” creates an “Intellectual Society” which welcomes all shades of opinion and the discourse is based on logical arguments – “Emotional Thinking” may result in creation of a “Polarized Society” with “Black and White” opinions – where anyone with a contrarian view is treated as an “adversary” – a “for” versus “against” type of atmosphere – where bigotry rules the roost.

Dear Reader:

Don’t you see this on the TV Debates every evening – and on the Social Media – especially on Twitter…?  

You must always be on your guard not to fall prey to “emotional thinking” so that you retain your cognitive ability to think in a discerning manner – clearly, logically, coherently and rationally.



Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, 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 stories 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.
Copyright Notice:
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) 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

“Corona Phobia” – aka – “COVID Phobia”

Musings of a Veteran

Corona Virus has changed my life forever.

(Corona Virus is also known as COVID19 – aka – COVID – I will use the terms interchangeably)

The aim of the tremendous hype by government and media (since February 2020) on “Corona Virus” (COVID) may have been intended to create awareness – but – it also had the unintended effect of creating an acute fear of getting infected by the contagious virus and contracting the terrible disease for which there is no cure – a terrible fear of Corona Virus (COVID) – that I call “Corona Phobia”aka“COVID Phobia”.

This scary media hype highlighting how the dreadful Corona Virus was spreading all over the country – and – the frequent showing of “scoreboards” of COVID cases and deaths – all this sensational hype by media worsened the fear – the “Corona Phobia”.

Then they announced “Lockdown” and locked us inside our houses – while continuing to bombard us with news of the dreaded disease.

As if this was not enough – the way various media portrayed news of COVID victims – and an impression was created – that if you were unlucky to catch the dreaded Corona Virus – you would be treated like a “criminal” and locked up in desolate Quarantine Centres – or confined in isolation in miserable COVID wards/hospitals.  

From time to time – there were news items of COVID “Patients” escaping from COVID Wards or fleeing from Quarantine – which exacerbated your fears of COVID and worsened the “Corona Phobia”.

Of course – the continuous bombardment of information of how you could catch Corona Virus and Precautions to be taken – all this made you fearful of even stepping out of your house – or even touching anything.

Even going down to get milk, vegetables or essential items became an agonizing experience – lest there were people who were infected with Corona Virus – and – of course – there were many careless people who did not take precautions like maintaining social distance or wearing masks – who heightened the “COVID Phobia” in you.

Soon – you started suspected everyone of being infected by Corona Virus.
There were constant warnings that Senior Citizens were more vulnerable to COVID – so – they should avoid stepping out of the house – but – sadly – we are two senior citizens in our 60’s and one 87 year old super senior citizen cooped up in the house – so – I had no option but to step out of the house to buy essentials required for survival.

We have been “locked down” in our homes for over 4 months now – and – this isolated life – living in constant fear of COVID – in a state of “Corona Phobia” – this has taken a toll on our mental and physical health.

Prolonged Lockdown and “COVID Phobia” have changed my lifestyle forever.

I have not been able to do the things I like the most.

No Long Walks – No Eating Out – No Meeting Friends – No Socializing – No Shopping – No Movies – No Going Out at all – it is like “House Imprisonment”.

Due to “Corona Phobia” – I am scared to visit my dentist – and my broken tooth remains untreated.

One doesn’t know the facts but someone said that it was best to avoid dental treatment during the COVID Pandemic since “aerosols” carried the Corona Virus – and aerosols were generated during dental treatment.

I am scared to visit doctor’s clinics/hospitals for overdue medical check-ups and for treatment of Non-COVID ailments after hearing reports of some people catching “Corona Virus” during their visits to hospitals.

So – “COVID Phobia” makes me suffer in silence – rather than risk catching the dreaded Corona Virus if I visit the dental clinic or hospital OPD.

Our house-help (maid) stopped coming to work more than 4 months ago when the first few Corona Virus cases were discovered in Pune (imported from foreign countries) – and all of them went back to their villages where they felt safer because rural areas were Corona-Free at the point of time.

Now – due to “COVID Phobia” we may never hire a maid or domestic house-help again.

(Of course – one positive aspect of the Lockdown is that we have become “atma nirbhar” and we do all our housework ourselves)

Every day – we hear news of how the COVID Pandemic is rapidly spreading and going out of control.

We see the dreaded COVID coming closer and closer – and we hear of Corona Virus cases in our vicinity.

After their initial bravado and “josh” – and their publicity stunts and “gimmicks” like “Thali Banging”, “Lamp Lighting”, “Petal Showering” etc. – politicians seem to have given up hope – and left the citizens to fend for themselves.

Seemingly clueless about how to handle the COVID Pandemic – politicians appear to have stopped focusing on Corona Virus – and started diverting their attention to playing politics – hoping that COVID will go away on its own – and media too has started highlighting other issues.

But – the common citizen is worried about Corona Virus – which seems all encompassing – and is surrounding you day by day.

Yes – “Corona Phobia” is all pervasive – it has affected me – and – I am sure “COVID Phobia” has affected everyone (though some persons may remain in denial).

As I explained earlier – due to “Corona Phobia” and Lockdown – I am not able to do most of the things which were normal routine for me – since outdoor activities are restricted or prohibited.

Even if Lockdown is relaxed – “COVID Phobia” would deter me from doing those activities which were an essential part of my life before the Corona Virus entered the environment.

“Corona Phobia” (“COVID Phobia”) has caused a great deterioration in my quality of life.

“COVID Phobia” has transformed a gregarious extrovert like me into a social recluse – a “hikikomori”.

Yes – “Corona Phobia” has forced me to withdraw from society – all my outdoor activities and external relationships have been stopped – and I am forced to live a lonely life of confinement indoors – like a “hermit”.  

And – this “Corona Phobia” will remain till “Corona Virus” is eradicated – or till a vaccine is found – and we are vaccinated to protect us from the dreaded “Corona Virus”.

Till then – I will have to live a dismal lifestyle – thanks to “COVID Phobia”.

Due to “Corona Phobia” – life may never be the same again.


PS :

It may sound fatalistic and extreme despondency – but – a normally gregarious senior citizen – now cooped up in his house for months due to COVID Lockdown – and obviously overcome by “Corona Phobia” – he said: “It is better to die of COVID than live a miserable life like this in constant fear of “Corona Virus”…”

“Corona Phobia” – aka – “COVID Phobia” is a reality. 

“Corona Phobia” (“COVID Phobia”) is a PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) of the COVID Pandemic. 

Everyone is focusing on alleviation of the physical health effects of Corona Virus – and the effects of the COVID Pandemic on the Economy.

But – Corona Virus (and COVID Pandemic) is going to have psychological effects as well – which will have a bearing on mental health – and cause mental stress to persons of all age groups and belonging of various sections of society. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, 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 stories 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.
Copyright Notice:
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) 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Mindfulness – Part 1

Part 1

Spirituality, Meditation and Art of Living had become the “in thing”.

Courses on the Art of Living were proliferating all over and every one was rushing to attain instant happiness, inner peace, nirvana and bliss.

A wise old man, a teacher, living in the neighbourhood announced that he would teach instant Art of Living free of cost.

On the first day he drew a huge crowd.

“What do you all want to achieve…?” the teacher asked the audience.

“Inner peace, tranquility and true happiness…” everyone shouted in unison.

“For that you have to attain enlightenment…” the teacher said.

“How…?” the audience asked.

“By practicing the Art of Living…” the teacher said.

“How do you practice the Art of Living…? Please teach us…” the audience asked the teacher eagerly.

“It is simple – just eat and sleep…” the teacher said, “you can practice the art of living by eating and by sleeping.”

“What nonsense…!” the astounded audience exclaimed.

“Yes…” said the teacher nonchalantly, “When Hungry, Eat and When Tired, Sleep – that is the Art of Living”.

“Everybody does that…!” shouted the audience.

“No. Everybody does not Eat when they Eat. And – Everybody does not Sleep when they Sleep…” the teacher said calmly, “but – when I eat – I only eat – and – when I sleep – I only sleep. That is the Art of Living I practice – I live in the present moment fully focused on whatever I am doing with full awareness.”

This is the essence of “mindfulness” .

Never “Multitask”.

Do one thing at a time.

And – be fully focused on the thing you are doing – so that you do it with full awareness.

You can start practicing mindfulness with your daily activities – like eating.

When you eat – only eat – no distractions – no TV – no talking etc.

Put your food in your mouth – close your eyes – focus all your senses on the food on your tongue – savour the taste and roll the food on your tongue till the food melts and dissolves within you.

Do this for the complete meal – and you have learnt eating with mindfulness.

Extend mindfulness to other activities.

Suppose you are watching a TV Show/Movie – just watch the TV Show/Movie – no distractions.

Switch off your mobile phone and tell others not to disturb you.

You can hear Music mindfully too.

Close your eyes and focus on the Music – the melody – the lyrics – the rhythm – listen mindfully with full awareness – and the music will be absorbed into you.

Once you learn mindfulness – you can apply it to all activities – at work and in personal life too. 

In a nutshell – mindfulness means doing one thing at a time – and totally focusing on what you are doing. 

Never “Multitask”. 

“Multitasking” destroys mindfulness. 

Mindfulness is Easy – you have to just start practicing it. 


To Be Continued in Part 2...

In Part 2 – I shall tell you about my experiments with mindfulness – pros and cons – facilitators and barriers etc.

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
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This is a repost of my article posted earlier on my blogs a number of times including at url:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

My Favorite Short Stories Revisited : A Poignant Story : Grief

A Poignant Story by Anton Chekhov
Misery (To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief...?) 

My Favorite Short Stories Revisited

I love reading fiction short stories. The beauty of a short story is that it can be read in one setting and it imparts one message. I have learnt more about life and the art of living from short stories than by reading tomes on spirituality and philosophy and hearing moral lectures.

Here is a short story by one of my favorite authors, the master storyteller, Anton Chekhov - a poignant story titled MISERY.
There are times when you want to talk to someone. 

You want to unburden yourself of your sorrows, you want to cry on someone’s shoulder, you want to tell someone your sob story, you desperately want to talk to someone and you realize that there is no one willing to listen to you. 

Whenever I am overwhelmed by such moments, a beautiful short story by Anton Chekhov comes to my mind. 

The Story is called MISERY (To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief ?). 

The story depicts the overwhelming grief of a distraught father who has just lost his only son and his forlorn attempts to share his anguish with strangers.

The grief-stricken father, Iona, wants to tell someone about his son, describe every last detail of his son's illness to his death and funeral. He wants to tell someone all these things yet no one will listen. 

At the end of the day, the heartbroken man unburdens his sorrows by talking to his horse. He pours his heart out to his little white mare. 

Unlike the human beings he has fruitlessly tried to talk to, his faithful horse listens to his sorrow and commiserates, or so it seems to the old man. 

And having found a sympathetic listener, the despairing father tell his horse everything to lighten himself of his inner pain.

The story takes a powerful look at the lack of human involvement and compassion towards one man's grief. 

Iona tries unsuccessfully, three times, to find an outlet to his pain. 

Only resorting to the faithful ear of his horse, does Iona reach resignation from the death of his son. 

After having read "Misery" - and seen the harshness of human behaviour - one is forced to take an introspective look at one's own attitude in regarding the sensitivity of others. 

Anton Chekhov is a master at insightful studies of human behaviour. 

And even though his stories were written over a century ago, they are timeless classics, in that the moral value can still be carried on into our own present lives.

This famous story by Anton Chekhov is freely available for reading online on the internet. I have read translations of this story under many titles – Heartache, To Whom Shall I Tell My Sorrow and Misery. Given below is the link to Misery (To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief) by Anton Chekhov, and, for your convenience, I have posted the story from the internet below for you to read.


To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief
Anton Chekhov

The twilight of evening. Big flakes of wet snow are whirling lazily about the street lamps, which have just been lighted, and lying in a thin soft layer on roofs, horses' backs, shoulders, caps. Iona Potapov, the sledge-driver, is all white like a ghost. He sits on the box without stirring, bent as double as the living body can be bent. If a regular snowdrift fell on him it seems as though even then he would not think it necessary to shake it off. . . . His little mare is white and motionless too. Her stillness, the angularity of her lines, and the stick-like straightness of her legs make her look like a halfpenny gingerbread horse. She is probably lost in thought. Anyone who has been torn away from the plough, from the familiar gray landscapes, and cast into this slough, full of monstrous lights, of unceasing uproar and hurrying people, is bound to think.

It is a long time since Iona and his nag have budged. They came out of the yard before dinnertime and not a single fare yet. But now the shades of evening are falling on the town. The pale light of the street lamps changes to a vivid color, and the bustle of the street grows noisier.

"Sledge to Vyborgskaya!" Iona hears. "Sledge!"

Iona starts, and through his snow-plastered eyelashes sees an officer in a military overcoat with a hood over his head.

"To Vyborgskaya," repeats the officer. "Are you asleep? To Vyborgskaya!"

In token of assent Iona gives a tug at the reins which sends cakes of snow flying from the horse's back and shoulders. The officer gets into the sledge. The sledge-driver clicks to the horse, cranes his neck like a swan, rises in his seat, and more from habit than necessity brandishes his whip. The mare cranes her neck, too, crooks her stick-like legs, and hesitatingly sets of. . . .

"Where are you shoving, you devil?" Iona immediately hears shouts from the dark mass shifting to and fro before him. "Where the devil are you going? Keep to the r-right!"

"You don't know how to drive! Keep to the right," says the officer angrily.

A coachman driving a carriage swears at him; a pedestrian crossing the road and brushing the horse's nose with his shoulder looks at him angrily and shakes the snow off his sleeve. Iona fidgets on the box as though he were sitting on thorns, jerks his elbows, and turns his eyes about like one possessed as though he did not know where he was or why he was there.

"What rascals they all are!" says the officer jocosely. "They are simply doing their best to run up against you or fall under the horse's feet. They must be doing it on purpose."

Iona looks as his fare and moves his lips. . . . Apparently he means to say something, but nothing comes but a sniff.

"What...?" inquires the officer.

Iona gives a wry smile, and straining his throat, brings out huskily: "My son . . . er . . . my son died this week, sir."

"H'm! What did he die of...?"

Iona turns his whole body round to his fare, and says: "Who can tell! It must have been from fever. . . . He lay three days in the hospital and then he died. . . . God's will."

"Turn round, you devil!" comes out of the darkness. "Have you gone cracked, you old dog? Look where you are going!"

"Drive on! drive on! . . ." says the officer. "We shan't get there till to-morrow going on like this. Hurry up!"

The sledge-driver cranes his neck again, rises in his seat, and with heavy grace swings his whip. 

Several times he looks round at the officer, but the latter keeps his eyes shut and is apparently disinclined to listen. Putting his fare down at Vyborgskaya, Iona stops by a restaurant, and again sits huddled up on the box. . . . Again the wet snow paints him and his horse white. One hour passes, and then another. . . .

Three young men, two tall and thin, one short and hunchbacked, come up, railing at each other and loudly stamping on the pavement with their goloshes.

"Cabby, to the Police Bridge!" the hunchback cries in a cracked voice. "The three of us, . . . twenty kopecks!"

Iona tugs at the reins and clicks to his horse. Twenty kopecks is not a fair price, but he has no thoughts for that. Whether it is a rouble or whether it is five kopecks does not matter to him now so long as he has a fare. . . . The three young men, shoving each other and using bad language, go up to the sledge, and all three try to sit down at once. The question remains to be settled: Which are to sit down and which one is to stand? After a long altercation, ill-temper, and abuse, they come to the conclusion that the hunchback must stand because he is the shortest.

"Well, drive on," says the hunchback in his cracked voice, settling himself and breathing down Iona's neck. "Cut along! What a cap you've got, my friend! You wouldn't find a worse one in all Petersburg. . . ."

"He-he! . . . he-he! . . ." laughs Iona. "It's nothing to boast of!"

"Well, then, nothing to boast of, drive on! Are you going to drive like this all the way? Eh? Shall I give you one in the neck?"

"My head aches," says one of the tall ones. "At the Dukmasovs' yesterday Vaska and I drank four bottles of brandy between us."

"I can't make out why you talk such stuff," says the other tall one angrily. "You lie like a brute."

"Strike me dead, it's the truth! . . ."

"It's about as true as that a louse coughs."

"He-he!" grins Iona. "Me-er-ry gentlemen!"

"Tfoo! the devil take you!" cries the hunchback indignantly. "Will you get on, you old plague, or won't you? Is that the way to drive? Give her one with the whip. Hang it all, give it her well."

Iona feels behind his back the jolting person and quivering voice of the hunchback. He hears abuse addressed to him, he sees people, and the feeling of loneliness begins little by little to be less heavy on his heart. The hunchback swears at him, till he chokes over some elaborately whimsical string of epithets and is overpowered by his cough. His tall companions begin talking of a certain Nadyezhda Petrovna. Iona looks round at them. Waiting till there is a brief pause, he looks round once more and says: "This week . . . er. . . my. . . er. . . son died...!"

"We shall all die, . . ." says the hunchback with a sigh, wiping his lips after coughing. "Come, drive on! drive on! My friends, I simply cannot stand crawling like this! When will he get us there?"

"Well, you give him a little encouragement . . . one in the neck!"

"Do you hear, you old plague? I'll make you smart. If one stands on ceremony with fellows like you one may as well walk. Do you hear, you old dragon? Or don't you care a hang what we say? "

And Iona hears rather than feels a slap on the back of his neck.

"He-he! . . . " he laughs. "Merry gentlemen . . . . God give you health!"

"Cabman, are you married?" asks one of the tall ones.

"I...? He he! Me-er-ry gentlemen. The only wife for me now is the damp earth. . . . He-ho-ho!. . . .The grave that is! . . . Here my son's dead and I am alive. . . . It's a strange thing, death has come in at the wrong door. . . . Instead of coming for me it went for my son. . . ."

And Iona turns round to tell them how his son died, but at that point the hunchback gives a faint sigh and announces that, thank God...! they have arrived at last. After taking his twenty kopecks, Iona gazes for a long while after the revelers, who disappear into a dark entry. Again he is alone and again there is silence for him. . . . The misery which has been for a brief space eased comes back again and tears his heart more cruelly than ever. With a look of anxiety and suffering Iona's eyes stray restlessly among the crowds moving to and fro on both sides of the street: can he not find among those thousands someone who will listen to him? But the crowds flit by heedless of him and his misery. . . . His misery is immense, beyond all bounds. If Iona's heart were to burst and his misery to flow out, it would flood the whole world, it seems, but yet it is not seen. It has found a hiding-place in such an insignificant shell that one would not have found it with a candle by daylight. . . .

Iona sees a house-porter with a parcel and makes up his mind to address him.

"What time will it be, friend?" he asks.

"Going on for ten. . . . Why have you stopped here? Drive on!"

Iona drives a few paces away, bends himself double, and gives himself up to his misery. He feels it is no good to appeal to people. But before five minutes have passed he draws himself up, shakes his head as though he feels a sharp pain, and tugs at the reins. . . . He can bear it no longer.

"Back to the yard...!" he thinks. "To the yard...!"

And his little mare, as though she knew his thoughts, falls to trotting. An hour and a half later Iona is sitting by a big dirty stove. On the stove, on the floor, and on the benches are people snoring. The air is full of smells and stuffiness. Iona looks at the sleeping figures, scratches himself, and regrets that he has come home so early. . . .

"I have not earned enough to pay for the oats, even," he thinks. "That's why I am so miserable. A man who knows how to do his work, . . . who has had enough to eat, and whose horse has had enough to eat, is always at ease. . . ."

In one of the corners a young cabman gets up, clears his throat sleepily, and makes for the water-bucket.

"Want a drink...?" Iona asks him.

"Seems so."

"May it do you good. . . . But my son is dead, mate. . . . Do you hear? This week in the hospital. . . . It's a queer business. . . ."

Iona looks to see the effect produced by his words, but he sees nothing. The young man has covered his head over and is already asleep. The old man sighs and scratches himself. . . . Just as the young man had been thirsty for water, he thirsts for speech. His son will soon have been dead a week, and he has not really talked to anybody yet . . . . He wants to talk of it properly, with deliberation. . . . He wants to tell how his son was taken ill, how he suffered, what he said before he died, how he died. . . . He wants to describe the funeral, and how he went to the hospital to get his son's clothes. He still has his daughter Anisya in the country. . . . And he wants to talk about her too. . . . Yes, he has plenty to talk about now. His listener ought to sigh and exclaim and lament. . . . It would be even better to talk to women. Though they are silly creatures, they blubber at the first word.

"Let's go out and have a look at the mare," Iona thinks. "There is always time for sleep. . . . You'll have sleep enough, no fear. . . ."

He puts on his coat and goes into the stables where his mare is standing. He thinks about oats, about hay, about the weather. . . . He cannot think about his son when he is alone. . . . To talk about him with someone is possible, but to think of him and picture him is insufferable anguish...

"Are you munching?" Iona asks his mare, seeing her shining eyes. "There, munch away, munch away. . . . Since we have not earned enough for oats, we will eat hay. . . . Yes, . . . I have grown too old to drive. . . . My son ought to be driving, not I. . . . He was a real cabman. . . . He ought to have lived. . . ."

Iona is silent for a while, and then he goes on: "That's how it is, old girl. . . . My son Kuzma Ionitch is gone. . . . He said good-by to me. . . . He went and died for no reason. . . . Now, suppose you had a little colt, and you were own mother to that little colt. . . . And all at once that same little colt went and died. . . . You'd be sorry, wouldn't you? . . ."

The little mare munches, listens, and breathes on her master's hands. Iona is carried away and tells her all about it. 


Do reflect on this beautifully narrated yet profound commentary on human behavior.

Though this story was written more than a hundred years ago, it is a timeless classic, relevant even today especially in our hectic yet lonely present-day lives. 

In today's urban world, you are lonely in a crowd. 

Sometimes you want to say something, you want to get something off our chest, you want to unburden yourselves, but no one wants to listen to you. 

You want to talk to someone, but there is no one to talk to. 

What do you do in these circumstances? 

Probably this is the reason why, in advanced countries, you go to a therapist or counsellor and pay him just to listen to your woes.

Earlier - whenever I want to unburden myself and if no one wanted to listen to me, or there was no one I can talk to, I would talk to my pet dog Sherry. 

Sherry always listened to me, with understanding and empathy, and I could feel my pain ease, my distress dissolve away, and soon I would be in a good mood. 

Try sharing your sorrows with your pet. It works. You can take my word for it.

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a repost of my review posted earlier on my blog a number of times including at url:  etc