Priya was the cynosure of everyone’s eyes. Her parents favourite and her grandmothers special. Everyone loved Priya, her relatives, her teachers, the shopkeepers, the maid servant, everyone.
Because Priya was a very humble girl who gave love and respect to all whom she mingled with. She had no bias for dark and fair, rich and poor. She loved them all and she spoke with them all. Spoke to everyone – that, was the only cause of uneasiness her parents shared about Priya. She could talk to just about anyone at length, she would talk about the sun and the moon, the stars and the sky. She could talk for hours unending.
Priya would treat everyone equal, she had created no stereotypes. But this also proved to be a disadvantage as she could not distinguish between good and bad, the drunk and the sober, the evil and the good hearted. Many a times she would get fooled because of her kind heartedness. Either she would end up giving a few more rupees to the market vendor or be robbed by an urban beggar.
Priya’s loss with money and belonging were on the rise. Once every week she would come home crying and wailing about being a victim, giving away Rs. 100 for an item not worth more than Rs. 10. Once when her mother told her to give a few sweets and clothes to hers aunts house a few kilometres way, she came back home empty handed. She had given it all to a stranger she had met who told her that he had not eaten any sweets for months and his children had not been gifted any new clothes since a long time.
But Priya’s mother was furious of the encounter. She had lost her patience with the girl who spoke too much to anyone and lost her belongings. Outraged she raised her hand on Priya but only Grandma’s interference stopped her short.
Broken from within, Priya stepped into her grandmother’s room. Why is mama so annoyed with me, she asked. I do not mean to hurt her, yet she is so cross with me. Grandma brought out 3 dolls and gave it to Priya. She asked her to pass a thread through the ears of the dolls.
Priya actioned it right away. To her surprise the thread passed through and through the ears of the first doll. This is the type of person who listens from one ear and lets it pass from the other. Now try the next one said grandma. The thread went through the ear and curled outside the mouth. This is the type of person that speaks whatever he heard. Priya was anxious to know what happened to the last doll. Curiosity bounced back in her face because the thread just did not come out from the doll. This is the type of person that only listens and seldom speaks.
Then what kind of person is the best human being asked perplexed Priya? Grandma brought out a fourth doll. Priya forced in the thread though the ear, it popped out from the other. Try again said grandma. Priya inserted the thread through the ear again, it came out form the mouth. Once more said grandma, so Priya shipped the thread through the ear and it did not come out at all.
This is the best kind of a person said grandma. One who knows when to hear, when to talk and when to keep silent. Grandma starred at Priya and there was a moment of silence. Priya’s eyes twinkled as she got the message her grandmother was trying to tell her.
From that day on Priya spoke only when required, kept strangers at bay and lost nothing to anyone anymore.
Moral : one must know when to speak, when not to. What to hear and what not to.