For the preparation of a wedding ceremony, an elderly woman (Kamlaben) was instructing her daughter-in-law (Rupa) of things needing to be done. What goes where, and when, and so on. Kamlaben was very meticulous as she had years of experience having been someone to whom others looked for guidance.
Kamlaben was making sure that Rupa carried out the instructions to the “T” as indicated. After all, Rupa had to continue being in authority once she (Kamlaben) had gone. During this whole process, an annoying cat kept running here, there and everywhere. Annoyed, Kamlaben ordered Rupa to get hold of the cat and tie it to the hook posted next to the compound gate. Obediently, Rupa did just that. What no one realised is that unlike dogs, cats cannot be tied in a similar manner. There is a good possibility that they – the cats – will strangle themselves.
Years went past. Kamlaben passed away, Rupa had her own family and had aged to the situation whereupon people looked upon her as a natural successor to Kamlaben. The incident became just a distant memory, a blip in Rupa’s life. Rupa had assumed all of Kamlaben’s responsibilities. Now, her own daughter was about to get married and she had taken charge of instructing her daughter-in-law, (Shalini) the wife of her eldest son.
All was going well, like clockwork when suddenly Rupa shouted, “Stop!”
Everyone was suddenly drawn to Rupa’s attention. No one so much as twitched. That included Shalini who was busy following Rupa’s every instruction to the “T”.
“Go and find a cat!” Rupa ordered.
“A cat?” Shalini quizzed.
“Yes, a cat,” Rupa recalled, “my mother-in-law had asked me to tie a cat to that hook at this stage of the ceremony.” Said Rupa as she pointed to the hook that was still there by the compound gates even after so many years.
Suddenly a state of confusion roared through all the helpers. No one could figure out why but they followed the instructions and thus, ladies and gentlemen, a new system, a new ritual, was formed.
The cat, then, was an obstruction, sort of, in the way. Kamlaben wanted to ensure that the cat did not create some sort of an accident whilst everyone was running around. Purely because it would be costly, as well as time consuming, to replace or repair anything that was broken or damaged. Or, for that matter, someone getting injured etc. Just another precautionary measure which had absolutely nothing to do with the actual ceremony.
So, people, don’t mimic Rupa. You have a brain, please use it! Think Logic, Think Ahead.
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