How To Tell a Story

Here is an interesting illustration on how to tell a story.(This is something I heard on a Telugu TV channel):
A sage visits a king on invitation and was all set to start his narration of the great epic Mahabharata. Following is the conversation between the Sage & the king.
Sage: Listen to the following story of Mahabharata
King: How long will it take?
Sage: 18 years
King: why?
Sage:Because it has one lac five thousand slokas;
The king pleads with the sage and says: Have pity on me. I am a king with a lot of responsibilities. Can you make it shorter?
Sage: ok; then listen to only one ‘parva’ – aranya parva?
King: Good – how long will that take?
Sage: 10 years
King protests again and says: Pray, tell me – can you shorten it further since I have a busy schedule
Sage: Alright – Listen to just one ‘Upaparva’, which will still take 5 years
As the king protests again, the sage says: okay; I will explain just half a ‘sloka’.
The King is overjoyed.
The sage, translating the first half of the sloka says: There are two supremely ignorant fools(AJNANIS)in the world.
King: By any chance, are you referring to the two of us because one is trying to tell a story to an unwilling listener and the other is refusing to listen to a great epic.
Sage: There are two greater fools than us- one is Ravana and the other is Duryodhana.
Having thus completed half the ‘sloka’, the sage gets up to take leave.
King: Is that all?
Sage: Yes- that is all. That completes my half a sloka
King: No Sir; please go on and complete the story- I’m curious to know more about these two great fools.
The sage now takes the opportunity and narrates both the epics in detail.

Thus the king who resists listening to one ‘purana’, ends up listening to two, thanks to the sage’s clever ploy to arouse the former’s curiosity and interest about the ignorant fools.

Come to think of it, isn’t it true that the stories of negative characters are always more interesting than those of people endowed with all virtues? In fact it is because of the existence of such fools and wicked characters that the virtues of noble men stand out.
J Krishnamoorthy gives a somewhat similar message when he says – Understand and become aware of disorder & negativity in your mind, you will get insights into Order instantly. Similarly, Search for peace starts with understanding violence.

Published in: on March 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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