Post No.7909

Date uploaded in London – 1 May  2020   

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I am translating one folk tale from 1911 Tamil story book.

A  merchant lived in a town in South India. He had a good friend who is stone deaf. Suddenly the merchant fell sick. His friend wanted to visit him .

Deaf man thought , ‘Oh my god I am stone deaf. So I must draw a plan for my conversation now’ .

Since the merchant is very sick, he is going to murmur when I inquire about his health. But I must shout; then only he can hear me.

He framed three questions in his mind;

I will go and sit very near him

1.First I would ask him,

How is your health? Hoe are you feeling now?

He would definitely say,

No, I am not feeling alright. But better than before.

Then I would say,

Oh, I am very glad to hear that.

2.Then I would ask him ‘what is your diet like ?’

Every sick person takes only gruel made up of broken rice. He would certainly say ,

Just a little bit of rice gruel.

Then I will say, please follow it; you would be cured quickly.

3.Finally , I will ask him who is your doctor now. He would give some name.

I must say,

By god’s grace you are with the right person. He will take care of you.

Then I would return home quickly and  happily.


The deaf man went to his friend’s house as planned. He welcomed him with a smile and offered him a chair. The deaf friend went towards him and sat at the edge of his bed.

1.First question

How is your health? How are you feeling now?

Sick man replied in a very low voice,

Why do you ask me? The temperature has gone up. I am shivering with fever.

Deaf man imagined his answer and said,

‘Oh I am very happy to hear that. By god’s grace it must continue like this’.

Sick friend was taken aback.

2.Second question

Then the deaf man fired his second question-

what is your diet like ?’

Sick man said in anger,

What diet? It is just dust I am having.

It is a phrase in Tamil to say nothing but rubbish.

Immediately the deaf person imagined his reply to be what he expected and said,

‘Please follow it; you would be cured quickly.’

Now the sick man became angrier. He wanted to punch on the face of his friend.

3.Third question

The deaf man rose from the edge of the bed as a sign of leaving in the next minute or so and asked his final question,

Who is your doctor now?

The sick man was dead angry now and so said sarcastically,

Who the doctor is ! who else it can be other than Yama (god of death in Hindu mythology)?

Deaf man carefully remembered  what to say then and said,

‘By god’s grace you are with the right person. He will take care of you’.

The sick man rose from his bed red faced ; but deaf person thought probably he is having some temperature now; I must leave immediately and went out before he got a kick from his friend.

Moral of the story

When you go to an interview for a job or radio or TV channel, if you don’t hear anything properly, please ask the person to repeat. Nothing wrong in it. If it happens more than two or three times, then tell the person to speak loud and clear.

Don’t guess anything; don’t imagine anything.


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