Monday, March 16, 2015

Do ‘Objects” have value?


There was a small tea stall at the corner of Shalimar and Pahaadi Mohalla in Jammu, India. Once, I was waiting for a city bus along with some friends right next to that shop. There was no customer at the shop so the owner was making some paper bags by ripping off the pages from an old book. There was a pile of old books and newspapers lying on the floor next to him. I was just looking out of curiosity when suddenly title of one book caught my attention. It was Ghalib's Diwaan, collection of Mirza Ghalib's poetry in Urdu.   

I asked him how much that book was worth for him.
He checked the number of pages. After calculating how many paper bags could be made from the book, he said "about one Rupee or seventy five Paisay ". I offered him five rupees and bought that book. Needless to say, we both were happy.

For that illiterate man, though the paper did have a little value but what was written on that paper had no value at all.
For me however, the paper or its quality did not matter at all but what was printed on it, was of great importance.  

Similarly, for the
 kind of mind possessed by a moth, the reality of paper is infinitely different from the reality of literature. For the moth, which eats that paper, literature is absolutely non-existent.  The paper is its food; means of survival, the very source of its life.

Yet for a curious man, literature has a greater value than the paper itself. 

So it’s not the 'things' that have value. It’s the users that give them value according to their needs and desires.

                                       ‘Rajan Sachdeva’




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