Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The lemon and green chilli

A young boy named Chatur came under the tutelage of a wise guru.

The boy’s parents had left him under the guidance of the guru for five years, as was the custom during those days.

The first week was quite tough on the young boy, but he quickly learned to manage his work. He befriended the senior students and started learning things.

After a month had passed, the guru called Chatur. He gave him a couple of chillies and lemons tied to a string and asked him to set out of the ashram.
“Come back when the lemons and chillies have been consumed,” said the guru, lovingly sending off his talented student.
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The senior boys were indignant with the guru for sending such a small boy alone, though they did not dare to contest the guru’s orders.

The boy set foot outside the ashram and carefully led himself along, memorizing the route as he walked along. A few days later, as the boy reached a river bed, he fell unconscious. A few villagers who happened to pass by saw the boy and quickly rushed to his aid.

They rummaged through his tiny bag which had a couple of clothes, the lemons and the chillies and a bowl.

While one of the villagers sprinkled water on the boy’s face, another filled the bowl with water. By now the boy had regained his consciousness and was sitting. The villagers quickly squeezed the lemons into the bowl of water and made the boy drink it. After he drank the lemon juice he felt energized and thanked the bystanders.

One of them asked the boy, what made him think of bringing the lemons and chillies along. The boy returned a blank look.

“My guru asked me to return to the ashram once the chillies and lemons were consumed,” he said.

Once he was fit enough, Chatur resumed his journey. A few days later he reached a place that was very cold and Chatur found it difficult to adjust to the change in the climatic condition. He sat on a porch outside a house, shivering in the cold.

An old man opened the door and Chatur stood up instantly. As he stood up, his tiny bag fell to the ground, revealing the contents.

The old man helped Chatur pick the strewn contents. As he saw the chillies and one remaining lemon, he was curious.

“Son, what makes you shiver when you could have consumed the green chilli along with your food to keep you warm?” asked the old man gently.

Chatur spent the night at the old man’s cottage. In the morning Chatur thanked the old man and began walking back towards the ashram!

Even today, when people travel, they always carry lemons and green chillies, though the reason for doing this is not known to many.

With modern living replacing the olden methods there are many other ways that have evolved to protect the travellers against the varying climatic conditions that could prevail in each of these destinations. 

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