We all know Vidur the intelligent Mahamantri of Kuru king Dhritrashtra. This short story is about him.
After the bloodshed at Kurukshetra post the holy war of Mahabharat a grieving King Dhritrashtra wonders, what the purpose of life is all about. Vidur, his prime minister, then tells him the story of a man in the jungle running away from wild beasts, who falls into a steep ditch. But by stroke of luck he falls on creepers growing there and that breaks his fall to the deep bottom of the ditch. So, he dangles there, when he sees a large serpent waiting for him at the bottom of the ditch, to bite him.
And, that is not all. On the ground the beasts are still on the prowl waiting for him to come out of the ditch. Further, the man notices black and white mice, nibbling the roots of the creepers that holds and supports the man. This is when some bees from the top, fly towards the ditch, obviously to sting him, and from their hive, drops of honey, fall on the leaves of the creepers, and almost without thinking, the man’s fingers reach out to taste the honey. The honey is incredibly sweet and tempting and, despite facing certain death in all directions, the man can only think of how the honey tastes and wants more.
Vidur’s interpretation of the story that he narrates to Dhritrashtra is very offbeat here. He says, the jungle is our danger-filled world, the serpent the time that patiently waits for us, and the white and black mice are the days and nights that eat into the creepers of our life’s journey. The honey is the pleasure that we get from this world, along with the intense desire to live on an on, that keeps us, dangling, despite the definite death that we all see and face ahead.
Indeed there is a lesson to learn in everything that we do in life, and every circumstance that we face in life. The story only tells us that.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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