Sour grapes

1 04 2019

Sour grapes

A hungry fox wanders through the forest for food with no avail. At last it finds a grape vine with a bunch of grapes hanging from the top. The fox gets excited and thrilled. However, the grapes are just out of reach for the fox and its repeated attempts to jump high to grab the bunch fail. After several attempts the fox gives up and moves away muttering to itself that those grapes are sour and he does not want them.

Moral of the story – What you can’t have, you find it undesirable.

Like many others, I have been hearing and reading this story since my childhood. But I guess I never really understood it until recently. It makes me think that wisdom cannot be imparted, it has be gained and realized. Often it takes decades to truly understand certain things.

The above story seems like a simple and straight-forward story and the “moral of the story” statement doesn’t usually leave much for interpretation. Intellectually, it is easy to grasp. Nevertheless, as I grew up my reactions to this fable ranged mostly from perplexity to miscomprehension. Confusion because I really didn’t understand why the fox hates the grapes when he realizes he cannot have them. Usually, I experience the reverse in similar situations. When something is denied or out of reach, it just makes me desire it more vehemently. Later at some point, I thought the fox is stupid when he moved on.  Then, that the fox is a failure for giving up too easily. You notice the progression here? These interpretations reflect in part my maturity (or lack thereof) and in part the beliefs (or misconceptions) that I held based on my circumstances and surroundings. Giving up on one’s dreams or desires is largely seen as a failure and perseverance as virtue. Only now, after 3 decades, do I finally understand how wise the fox really is and thereby the  significance of the story.

There is no point in hanging around for impossible things. Impossible, maybe not by definition, but rather within the boundaries of one’s circumstances and capabilities. And when you quit and move on, it’s neither a failure nor a reflection of your worth or capabilities. It’s success instead. You are no longer longing for it or feel dejected. You just move on and focus on other/different things. Now I’m confident without a doubt that the grapes must indeed be sour!

I Too Had A Love Story

7 12 2010

I liked this simple and cute love story by Ravinder Singh (an IT professional) just for a simple reason that it’s really simple and cute. The author narrated the story in a straight-forward and no nonsensical way. The best thing I liked about it is that he didn’t try to prove any point unlike “some bestsellers”. He just wanted to share a story and he did it well.

I always have misgivings about these so-called true stories. Can they all be true – the drama, the romance, the little embarrassing details…? Well, I guess I need to take them all with a pinch of salt.

PS: Just after finishing the book, my mind set off on an exciting and wild imagination spree: Will I ever write a book? If I do, what would it be about? How would it be like? It would definitely be a fiction. Will it be a drama or a love story or something else????

Come on now, don’t panic! Nothing might come out of this wishful thinking after all.  Relax. 😀

The Last Leaf

11 05 2009

I’ve always been a fan of short stories, though I haven’t read too many of them. I especially like O.Henry for his beautiful and heart touching stories. One story that stays forever in my memory is  ‘The Last Leaf’. 

In that story, a girl is stricken by fatal Pneumonia. Only her determination to live will increase her chances to recover. However, she resigns herself to the inevitable death and believes that she will die when the all the leaves of the ivy on the opposite wall outside the window fall (It’s Fall season). In three days, the number of leaves on the ivy reduces from a hundred to just five.  And at last there was only one leaf left on the ivy. But even after a long night of heavy wind and rain, she finds the leaf still clinging to the ivy in the morning. And she interprets this miracle as a signal to her that she has to let herself live. As soon as her spirits lift up, she starts feeling better and embarks on the journey to recovery. 

Curious to know how the leaf had managed to stay in its place? Read the story here to find out. It’s really very touching.