During my travel in the chair car of a train from Bangaloru to Chennai in India, I had a school-going boy on the adjacent seat. He was reading the legend of Raja Harishchandra in comics form.
After he finished reading it, I asked him whether he liked the story. The boy was very emotional in his reply. He was visibly indignant.
“I hate this Raja Harischandra. He was so adamant and obstinate. My father always tells me that I should not behave stubbornly like that. One should be flexible to the demands of the situations. And that king submitted himself to the pranks of the wicked sage. What kind of a sage he is to torture a gullible king like that.
And what right this man has got to sell his wife and children just to repay his imaginary debt to a sage. He should be ashamed of himself to sell his own son.Will my dad do such a thing? I wonder why people speak high of his conduct. This is a bad example.”
He ranted on in his convent English, with matching gesticulations.
I quizzed him as to what was the moral of the story according to him. His reply was an eye-opener!
“What this book teaches me is that if you are dogmatic and foolishly sticking on to some belief and be derelict of your duties as a king, husband and a parent, you will end up suffering like Harischandra in addition to causing ignominy and endless suffering to your family too.”
I can’t help agreeing with him in toto. There is nothing like an absolute truth in this world. The truth according to your perception may differ from mine!
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