Treasure Island

chandra thiagarajan


A sage saw from his abode
Two men intently discussing
With one another in just sign mode
And one suddenly the other punching.

The first man raised one finger
The other raised two fingers
The first, in consequence, closed his fingers
In a fist cupping all his fingers.

The second man gave a blow
And hit at both his eyes
While the first was aghast at the show
Of his attack in a trice.

The sage though illuminated
Couldn’t understand their huffs
And asked the first man who was affected
To explain the reason for their fisticuffs.

He said “I indicated, that The Buddha is one
For which the other showed two fingers
Denoting that Buddha and his teachings are two –not one-
In the form of a fist I closed my fingers

To connote that Buddha and his teachings
Are all included in the world as the fingers closed
For which the other man gave this smashing—
I don’t know why he thus opposed”!

The sage asked the second man
As to why he smashed his eyes
To which he replied-“that man
Showed one finger, indicating I had one eye

For which I raised two fingers
To show he had two eyes
But he showed his fist with closed fingers
That he’d punch me with no compromise.

So I smashed him with a blow
And ruined both his eyes
For his daring mean act so low
To threaten me with despise”.

For one and the same act
With no perception of the underlying thought
How different people react
And misinterpret distraught! !

Submitted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Edited: Monday, August 19, 2013

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  • Om Chawla (8/30/2013 10:09:00 AM)

    Truly a lovely and meaningful story and well narrated. However there is another aspect to communication. Unless message to the recipient is in the language comprehensible to the recipient it is bound to lead to misunderstanding. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (8/25/2013 2:19:00 PM)

    Great insight, misunderstandings can provoke much antagonism, which could be avoided with a little thought. (Report) Reply

  • Unwritten Soul (8/21/2013 9:39:00 AM)

    Understanding will always make some confusion gone, because misinterpretation will call for argument and argument provoke the anger to fire the nicely written! _Soul (Report) Reply

  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (8/20/2013 12:28:00 AM)

    how we perceive the same event with our different attitude and knowledge is something unique and it is well accepted all over the world. though the story was heard earlier, it is quite interesting to read as a poem..just nice to ponder, CT (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (8/19/2013 10:47:00 AM)

    I had to read this twice to get the essence. At the end I had to laugh at the stupidity of those two men! Yes, how different can be our angle of viewing things. Because of lack of right perception, how we land in trouble! As Jesus taught his disciples through parables, you have a special knack for explaining salient truths through interesting stories, Chandra! Really enjoyed! ! (Report) Reply

  • Geetha Jayakumar (8/19/2013 6:00:00 AM)

    Wow..wonderful..couldn't control laughing...Beautiful way this is expressed....
    Misinterpretation can do wonders.....Loved reading it twice... (Report) Reply

  • Kavya . (8/19/2013 5:53:00 AM)

    hehehe so true......reacting without knowing the truth behind leads to a disaster! (Report) Reply

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