Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Fruits Basket

Before you start looking up for apples and oranges let me clarify, fruits basket is an anime. For those unfamiliar with the term it refers to Japanese animation ( no it is not just a cartoon series).

The protagonist of this anime is a teenager named 'Tohru Honda' who one would say to be "too-good-to-be-true" character. Once one of her friend confesses that he is not as kind hearted person as what everyone considers him to be.He says, he is only kind because he wants people to like him. To which Tohru says
"My mom told me, people aren't born with kind hearts. When we are born, all we have are desires for food and material things. Selfish instincts, I guess. But she said that kindness is something that grows inside each person, but it's upto us to nurture that kindness in our hearts. That's why kindness is different for every person".

I wouldn't go into the details of this anime but instead would recount another incident from the same. Below is the story which one of the character 'Momiji Sohma' narrates.

This story is called 'The Most Foolish Traveler in the World' .

Once upon a time, there was a foolish traveler who had gone on a journey. Why was he foolish? Well, because he was fooled by everyone he met! Everywhere he went, people made up all kinds of sad stories to tell him. The traveler fell for every one of them.

Please, some money for medicine...? 

I have a sick younger sister...

I don't have money to buy seeds to plant in my fields.

Pretty soon,his money, his clothes, even his shoes had been cheated away from him.However, the foolish traveler was always glad to help. For everyone of them, he'll smile and say, "I wish you happiness". But by this point, the traveler was completely naked, and with nothing left to cover himself. He decided to leave the main road and travel through the dense forest, where no one could see him...

Soon, he was discovered by the goblins that lived in the woods. The goblins wanted to eat the traveler's body. So they begged and pleaded, and used kind words to try and trick him...of course, the traveler was fooled.First, he let the goblins eat one of his legs, then an arm, then more and more...

Before it was over, all that the traveler had left was his head. He had even given his eyes away to the last of the goblins...And as the last of the goblin was eating the traveler's eyes, he turned and said "thank you, traveler. In return, I leave you this present". 

What the goblin left was a slip of paper, with the word "Fool" written on it. 

The traveler couldn't see it. He didn't know what it was. Even so, tears began to flow down his face." thank you", he said. " This is the first present anyone ever gave me. I'm so happy. I'm so happy. Thank you".

Even without his eyes, he cried and cried great tears of joy. Then, the traveler died, with a smile on his face...and that's the end of the story.

Momiji Sohma continues... I close my eyes and think about him a little bit longer. I think about how he had given everything away...until all he had left was his head...and how at the end, he still cried for joy as he said thank you. And then..I realized I feel sorry for him. see? Loss, hardship, things like that? you can't focus on them. The traveler didn't...he never thought about his troubles at all. I imagine that it probably does sound really foolish to some people. But I don't think he's foolish at all. Even though other people think he was tricked, I don't think he was. I think he did exactly what he wanted to do. I think more than anything, he just wanted to make others happy. What do you think? Really? Is that foolish? When you close your eyes and think about it, is that what it is?

Now these characters, much like the story narrated are fictional. As I mentioned earlier "too-good-to-be-true" . If I think logically and from my own experience that may be so. But then why do I like them? I think it's because it gives me hope. And more importantly, it makes me want to evolve myself into a better person. I can never become someone like that, but I can try. Maybe one day I would be able to experience that joy and smile like our foolish traveler.

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