We understand the spoken word if we know the language. We understand the silent gestures if we know the mind of the person making the gestures. In the days of yore, the art of communicating ideas through signs was considered a special science & some pundits even did MBA’s on this art form ;). It was called mudra shastra. However, after centuries of improper usage & mismanagement, it fell into disuse & was almost lost to the ages. But as with several other practices, this science witnessed a renaissance as the Legendary Hippie movement swept through the world. But the scale of its comeback was unprecedented. Now mudra shastra is practiced in over 192 countries & of these countries, over 140 attend the GMSE (The Global mudra Shastra expo) which is conducted over 2 months every year. This year’s fest is set in the birthplace of Mudra shastra – India.
This was the message inscribed in the millions of pamphlets that the eager volunteers of the 40th GSME distributed in the busy streets of the nation’s capital, Delhi. But all was not well in the tent of the Indian team. Their leader, the illustrious Badai Lama, had suddenly pulled out due to a heart condition!! This sent the entire Indian team into a full-blown panic attack! To make matters worse, he was supposed to go up against the world no.1 Kosuke, who was said to be so brilliant, it was rumoured that he could defeat his opponents with the mere shift of his gaze, in the final of the century!!
Everyone was worried & were perplexed as to what to do. At last, one rather astute pundit suggested “Try as we may, we can’t face Kosuke in debate & win. So let’s try to defeat him with strategy. We have to send a shrewd strategist from our team. Who knows, by his tactics, our man may even win the debate.” The contingent rallied behind the suggestion & soon began to search for their secret weapon. Soon a list of hopefuls was drawn up & strenuous interviews were conducted to weed out the amateurs or cheats.
After intense discussions, they finally chose their cook, Ahmed! The day of the final dawned & electricity filled the air. Furtive preparations were made to accommodate the over 60,000 spectators & set up the live stream in order to cater to the over 3.5 billion people tuning in to watch this most spectacular of contests.
Ahmed, clad in a flowing kurta-pyjama entered the arena to thunderous applause, while Kosuke wore his traditional kimono & was received by silent awe. The two pundits sat face-to-face & commenced with the discussion. The two contingents & the spectators eagerly looked on.
Kosuke raised his hand & showed one finger. Ahmed was a one-eyed man. He stared hard & slowly raised his hand & showed two fingers. There was an appreciative smile on Kosuke‘s face. He then raised his hand again & showed three fingers. Ahmed didn’t hesitate this time. He closed all his fingers & showed his fist.
Kosuke immediately rose & bowed to Ahmed in great respect. He then proceeded to loudly acclaim Ahmed’s wisdom & scholarship. The entire audience, let alone the judges were astounded. They couldn’t follow anything.
The judges rose & requested Kosuke to explain his words. Kosuke was still in ecstasy. He again extolled praises of the great wisdom of the Indian delegate & said “Ah, what a pundit! I have never seen such an expert in the science, nor such a philosopher.”
“First of all, I showed 1 finger to say that the mind is the seat of knowledge. Your pundit replied with 2 fingers indicating that the body & mind together can only use this knowledge. I then said with my 3 fingers that without the soul, the mind doesn’t have access to this knowledge, thus making the body useless. The wise pundit closed all his fingers & showed his fist, thus pointing that all three can’t survive without each other. Ah, great indeed, is his wisdom!”
The judges unanimously decided to award the victory to the Indian Team, who promptly burst into celebrations!!! The crowd also went wild as India had not won the competition in over 28 years! Soon after the revelry & festivities had died down, the Indian team gathered around Ahmed to hear his side of the story. Ahmed took a deep breath & began his explanation.
“My dear Sirs, Kosuke was very rude & insulting, but actually he was a coward. First, he raised 1 finger, mocking me for having only one eye. I crisply retorted with 2 fingers that my one eye was much better than his 2 eyes. But he didn’t stop at this. He again insulted me, showing three fingers to point out that together ours were 3 eyes. I really got angry at his rudeness & showed my fist, indicating that I would break his nose if he further insulted me. Then the coward was afraid & fell at my feet”.
The entire team split their sides with laughter over this. They realized their good fortune in getting such a person for their debate!
#Footnote: Above is a fictitious story, there was no GMSE 🙂