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Thiruvalluvar was a prominent Tamil saint-poet who lived nearly two thousand years ago. His principles are chronicled in the book ‘Thirukkural. He was known for his calm attitude and respectful speech. He never got angry. One day a young man decided to prove this claim wrong and anger Thiruvalluvar.
Price of this Piece?
Thiruvalluvar was a textile weaver. He wove beautiful fabrics and saris and sold them in the market. One day a rich young man wanted to have some fun and decided to anger Thiruvalluvar. He went to the shop, picked a fabric and asked the saint its price. The saint quoted 8 coins and the man tore the piece and asked again. Thiruvalluvar, calmly said that it would cost 4 coins. The youth was taken aback.
In an attempt to anger him, the youth once again tore it and asked. The answer was 2 coins. Now it was the young man who was irritated and restless. He repeatedly ripped the fragments in half. Thiruvalluvar quietly proceeded to halve the price each time. The fabric was at last reduced to rags. Finally, the saint said that the fabric was worthless. The young man, proud of his riches offered to pay eight coins to the saint. Thiruvalluvar smiled but refused to take the money.
Made with Care
Thiruvalluvar explained to the youth that the cloth was not made in a day, it took great time and effort to grow and craft it. Many people toiled to make it. Had someone worn it, their hard work would have been rewarded but since he tore it, he obliterated all the passion and effort that had gone into its creation. Money could not bring it back.
He also said that life is also like the fabric, it will be destroyed if ripped apart hastily and without thought, and then he will not be able to retrieve it. The young man was moved by the softly said remarks. He was utterly ashamed of himself. The young man’s eyes were opened by Thiruvalluvar’s words. He made the decision right then and there to give up his idleness and immoral ways.
The young man wasted his time and the saint’s time by engaging in a foolish endeavour to agitate him. Rather than wasting both their time, he could have done something useful, helped someone. Regardless of how rich one is, money can not buy manners or time.