Sunday, September 30, 2012

ETIQUETTE, SOCIAL GRACES AND TABLE MANNERS


ETIQUETTE, SOCIAL GRACES AND TABLE MANNERS
An Apocryphal Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

On every occasion when we invite guests to dine with us, before the guests arrive, my wife gives me a moral lecture on social graces and table manners.

She harps and harps on how I must talk less, let the guests eat first, take small helpings, etiquette social graces…blah…blah…blah…and then nags away emphasizing on how I should “look after” the guests and how I should let the guests eat first and control my appetite. 

As a result of all this pontification on social graces, I cannot enjoy my own meal and I almost end up starving myself and feeling miserable.

One evening, I turned the tables on her. 

When we sat for dinner, I told the esteemed guests and my fellow diners this delightful Mulla Nasrudin story.

And then I went ahead and enjoyed my meal to my heart’s content.

       
Once a renowned scholarly philosopher was traveling through the village where the wise Mulla Nasrudin lived.

The learned philosopher asked Mulla Nasrudin if he knew of any good place to eat.

Nasrudin suggested an eatery and the scholar, hungry for conversation, invited Mulla Nasrudin to join him for the meal.

Much obliged, Mulla Nasrudin accompanied the scholar to the restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the special dish of the day.

“Fish! Fresh Fried Fish!” replied the waiter.

“Bring us two,” Mulla Nasrudin ordered.

A few minutes later, the waiter brought out a large platter with two fried fish on it.

There was one large fried fish and one small fish.

The small fish was much smaller in size than the larger one.

Without hesitating, Mulla Nasrudin took the larger of the fish and put in on his own plate.

Taken aback by Nasrudin’s total lack of etiquette, the aghast scholar gave Nasrudin a look of intense disbelief. 

Then the scholar proceeded to berate Nasrudin and admonished him and told Nasrudin that what he had just done was not only blatantly selfish, but that it violated the  principles of almost every known moral, religious, and ethical system.

The scholar then started to deliver a moral lecture and pontificated on the importance of etiquette, table manners and social graces for a long time.

Mulla Nasrudin calmly listened to the philosopher’s long winded extempore moral lecture with utmost patience.

When the scholar had finally exhausted his speech, Nasrudin asked the visitor, “Well, Sir, please tell me, what would you have done?”
       
“I being a conscientious and cultured human being would have taken the smaller fish for myself,” pontificated the scholar taking a high moral ground.

“Good. Here you are,” Mulla Nasrudin said, and he deftly placed the smaller fish on the scholar’s plate.

Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Did you like this story?
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com 


© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 


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