Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Story of a Toppled Van in the US

The story of a toppled van in the US
by Remigius de Souza

Once in the staff room of an architectural college a senior professor was narrating a story about how American people are scientific minded. He had been a visiting professor here in India and in the US for a number of years. He taught building services. The story happened in the late the eighties in an American town while he was staying there.

One morning the citizens found, to there surprise, that a milk van was lying toppled in front of a building – the only skyscraper in that town. There was no sign of any violence.
“Instead of speculating that it may be the work of a ghost, they started investigating scientifically. They spent some months and thousands of dollars to investigate the reasons of the accident till they found –" The junior colleague interrupted, “I think I know the reason. Was the van returning after the delivery?”
“Yes!” he said “Why? Do you know the story?”
“No. I have never heard or read about it. Neither did I come across similar incidence. The van must have toppled because of wind pressure and the draft that was returning after hitting the skyscraper”
“Yes. This was the reason. How do you know?” he asked. It was a typical question: to know ‘know-how’.
“This is a matter of common sense. I am sure there must be millions of Americans who would have known the answer. Perhaps I could tell you ‘why’ I know. One of the reasons is I am used to walking. The other perhaps I do not believe in wasting energy after irrelevant matters and try to live up to it.”

This is not a parable or a ‘Koan’ in a Zen sense. It is only matter of perceptions – sense perception. Perception develops by senses. Intuition is enhanced perception.
Yet the moral, perhaps, be:

“Switch off the computers before our faculties – senses – are lost.”
“Why not manufacture water by extracting H2O from air-a-plenty in Sahara?”
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment