Bala was a good boy; he loved his family, he liked farming and he was passionate about his studies. Remember he met and helped an elderly man by carrying his luggage. The man told him a very interesting story about his childhood and gave him banana when they got to his house.


So let’s continue from there:


When they got to the man’s hut, he dropped his luggage and made to leave. The elderly man stopped him and gave him a bunch of banana but Bala refused. The man was assertive and insisted Bala collects it as a sign of respect for his grey hair. Bala did! He thanked him and walked on.


Bala’s association and interaction with the man was a positive stimuli and Bala responded to it with determination to become a better person. After covering a distance of 500 metres, he saw a monkey on a tree. The monkey began to jump, twitter and giggle in delight. Bala was enthraled. He removed a banana and hurled to the monkey. It caught it with unparalleled dexterity. He smiled. He walked on.


Few minutes later he tripped and went crashing on a slippery footpath. Meanwhile a boy of about 16 who was beaten by his father for failing to go to the farm to harvest his vegetables saw Bala on the ground and decided to vent his anger on him. This is displacement, an ego defense mechanism in Psychology. “Lazy boy, get up and walk before I stamp my big foot on you,” the boy bellowed and later tittered.


Displacement is a word relevant to many disciplines but in this context it’s a Psychology jargon.


Bala got up seething but kept mute for fear of being beaten by an unknown bully. This was a negative stimulus and how did Bala respond to it? Bala walked on feeling agitated. Few minutes later he met a young boy code-named Spider for he was very skinny and walks daintily. Spider, though looks haggard, was very strong! “Hey friend, give me your banana and I’ll give you palm wine and kolanut,” said Spider. “It’s like, I’m only a boy and I don’t like palm wine let alone kolanut. So I’m not giving you,” replied Bala.


Again he walked on and met a young girl who simply said, “A beautiful girl is hungry. Hope you’ll give her some bananas to sustain her and prevent her pretty face from missing in this jolly world?”

“It’s like much as beauty is good I think this world needs beautiful hearts than faces. It’s like I’m reserving my banana for those beautiful hearts,” Bala had retorted smirking. He grimaced and paced on. Now he met a boy of his age or thereabout.


“Good friend, promise me that you will give me whatever I ask you?” the boy had stated. “It’s like no! I must know your request first,” Bala reasoned. “Okay, I like you and because I like you, I like your banana. I know you don’t hate me either. But if indeed you don’t hate me then give me your banana,” the boy breathed. “It’s like I won’t give you because you tried to blackmail me into giving you. It’s like I don’t like blackmailers and you are one,” Bala finalised.


Bala’s favourite fruits were mango, tangerine and orange. He had no predilection for banana. Again he walked on. He turned right to a lonely path. Bala was now walking and singing a song he composed by himself for himself. It’s like life is sweet; it’s like sweet is life …. He stopped suddenly!


He had seen two hefty boys with faces synonymous to danger. His brain being a journalist, instantly published the news story and sent to his heart and his heart worked rhythmically harder thereby heating up his whole body and also fueling and feeding his system with energy for fight or flight. “Where are you going, school boy?” one of them quizzed. “It’s like … it’s like …,” Bala stuttered in fear. The boys swooped on him, beat him and took his banana. He was made to remove the skin of his banana while they relish in delight. He served the boys till they finished everything.

Afterwards, they tied the banana peels together and used it as a whip on him. He screamed. He cried. But nobody was near and hence none heard his cries. His uniform was smeared, his eyes were cascading tears. At long last the boys released him. He felt so horrible and suffered self-pity.


He learnt his lesson the hard way!


Moral: learn to be good unconditionally to all and remember that you need to be careful with strangers as well.




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