Sunday, August 26, 2012

Knowing time without Clock

How much we 'so-called educated' depend on our clocks to know time!  But can you believe that there are persons who know the time without a clock?  They are illiterate, yet, they are literate enough to tell the time.  I knew two such persons.

Murali was a mentally underdeveloped boy in his teens and came from a poor brahmin family in the neighbouring locality.  Poverty had forced him to do odd jobs.  He had learnt to climb coconut trees.  We had 6 of them and he used to visit us every now and then to pluck nuts. He was quite good at removing and dropping them down carefully and patiently.  He also dropped the dry fronds carefully so that no damage was done to the electric lines, wall or house that was below 3 of the 80-year old trees. They were very tall trees.   We were sometimes afraid to ask him to climb the trees because he was given to epileptic attacks occasionally.  We were aware of the risks involved. The fact that he died from a fall from a tree in someone's house made us really sad. It was a tragic end to an innocent hard working boy.  It was a weak branch he was on had snapped and not epilepsy that killed the poor fellow.  With all his drawbacks, he was a very handy and helpful fellow in the entire neighbourhood.  He was satisfied with the money people gave for his jobs which helped him to contribute to his family's sustainability.  Murali died 20 years ago.

We remember Murali even now, also because he had an amazing ability of telling time.  We used to ask him "Murali, what time is it now?"  He could neither read the time on the dial nor was he educated at all. Yet, he used to tell the time, plus of minus ten minutes. Such was the accuracy of his sense which was Nature's gift. 

Another mentally underdeveloped young man is Manju.  He works at a swimming pool as a helper/cleaner. Manju is also uneducated, his eyesight, poor.  He too has a similar ability of telling the right time.  Like Murali, he also enjoys the 'recognition of a unique ability' when people ask time just for fun. 

Nature certainly gifts 'differently abled' persons with amazing abilities.