Continued from Of Apples and Applesauce (I)
“Okayyyy Adarsh! Before I begin asking you the questions, I should give you a word of warning. Please be very accurate in your answers. Reply only to the question being asked with as much brevity as possible. Your brevity and accuracy are very, very important. Ready? Here goes: what was on the plate?”
“Apples”, replied Adarsh.
“What color were they?”
“No some had traces of green and some had bits of yellow.”
“Did they look fresh to you?”
“Four of them were fresh.”
“In your opinion, were those apples juicy?”
“Can you name the variety?”
“I’m sorry, no.”
“Oh, okay. Never mind. What color was the plate?”
“White with a blue rim.”
“Was there a pattern on it?”
“You are mistaken. There was a pattern but since the apples were covering the plate, perhaps the pattern wasn’t visible to you. Could you have eaten all those apples in one sitting?”
“Yes I am sure I could have. I love apples.”
“Please be accurate and brief. You weren’t asked if you loved apples or not.”
“Sorry… I… forgot.”
“I know. How many apples were there?”
“Wrong. There were five apples.”
“No. I counted them. There were six.”
“I counted them too Adarsh and there were five.”
“No, there were six”, Adarsh reiterated doggedly.
“Are you calling me a liar Adarsh?!” It was obvious that Raman was miffed.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. I’m not calling you a liar. But I saw six apples.”
“No. there were five. I kept them there myself. It is not likely that I could be mistaken.”
“Maybe someone added another one later Raman. I saw six apples.”
“For the last time Adarsh, there were five apples. And that’s all there is to it.”
“No Raman. I counted six.” Adarsh stuck doggedly to his opinion even though Raman’s increasing vexation was making him anxious.
“How rude you are Adarsh!” Raman was now visibly displeased.
“I am not being rude! You told me my replies have to be accurate! I am only saying what I saw!”
“Alright Adarsh, since you cannot believe me, let us ask the audience, shall we?”
“Yes let us do that.”
“Okay, ladies and gentlemen! How many apples were there on the plate?”
“FIVE!” came the resounding reply.
“There now, Adarsh! Are you satisfied? Everyone is saying there were five apples, same as I did. Will you now agree that there weren’t six apples as you are claiming?”
“But how is that possible! I know I saw six apples! Can I take a look at the plate again?”
“What would be the point? You are the only one who is saying there were six apples. The rest of us only saw five. Why don’t you just accept what we say instead of debating over something so unimportant?”
“Please, let me look at the plate again once more.”
“Alright Adarsh! Since you request me so insistently, let me bring the plate over.”
Raman brings over the covered plate and dramatically flicks off its cover. He looks triumphantly at Adarsh and says, “See? I told you there were only five apples!”
“No! How can you say that? There ARE six apples as I said before.”
“What’s wrong with you? Can’t you count? There are five apples not six!!”
“No Raman, there are six apples. Ask everybody!”
“Alright, ladies and gentlemen! Indulge us once more. How many apples do YOU see?”
In one voice, the seminar hall shouted, “FIVE!”
Adarsh appealed to everyone. He asked his wife to come up on the podium and count the apples. She came over and counted them.
“There are just five apples Adarsh”, she said to him gently.
By now, Adarsh had gone from exasperation to chagrin. With varying degrees of reasonableness and persuasion, they tried to show him that he was mistaken. His chagrin turned into agitation. They counted the apples with him again and again. Each time they counted five while always counted six. As the debate continued, Adarsh found himself completely isolated. He was the only one who saw six apples. He quickly went from agitation to a full blown temper storm.
He became argumentative and rude. It looked like he would shortly come to blows; he was nearly beside himself. But no matter how much he argued, not a single person in the room could agree with him. The more opposition he received, the more he stuck to his guns. He wouldn’t budge from six apples while they were equally adamant on five.
Everybody in the seminar hall, including Raman, began feeling very uncomfortable. The situation was just a step away from becoming explosively ugly. They tried to lighten his mood by making light of the whole thing. Far from diffusing his temper, their attempts only made him angrier. His response was totally out of proportion. He looked deranged. His wife entreated him to stop sticking to his wrong verdict. She made an tender, impassioned appeal which pushed him completely over the edge.
They got into a biter, terrible argument.
To be continued…
- Of Apples and Applesauce (I) (serenelyrapt.wordpress.com)
- Of Apples And Applesauce (Concluding Part) (serenelyrapt.wordpress.com)
- Of Apples And Applesaas (III- B, Final Part) (http://annucool15.blogspot.in/): This is Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli’s version of the final part. She blogs at As I Look At Life. I’d like to thank her profusely once again for volunteering to write a parallel story branching from part of the series. Trust me, her version is absolutely delightful. She has blown me away. Please read it and let her know what you thought of her version. Way to go Anuradha!)