The Rose Bud

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A young boy wanted to learn music. He had a good voice and he wanted to train to become an Indian classical singer. He visited a renowned music teacher and expressed his desire to him. The teacher conducted a preliminary test on him to gouge his talent and decided to give him a try. The boy asked, “Guruji, how much time would I need to train under your guidance, how soon can I become a singer?”

The teacher said, “Well, that depends upon how much work you are able to put into it. But one thing you can be sure of, its not going to be a short time, because singing is about learning more and more each day, even as long as you live.” The boy, smiled inwardly and thought, “I’ll soon learn everything there is to learn. I am determined.” A few months later, the boy asked the same question, “Guruji, how much time….?”

The teacher said, “Do you see that rose bud on the bush outside. The number of days it takes to unfold its petals to become a full grown flower, that’s the number of years you’ll take to learn.”

That evening, the boy went and squatted near the bush. Slowly and carefully he tried to open up the petals of the rose bud to make it look like a flower. However, hard he tried, some of the petals got torn and mutilated; others fell off. The inner most that were just beginning to form; got crushed into the stamen. The next morning the teacher saw the plight of the rose bud and understood what had happened. He called the boy and said, “Look son, this bud, it seems, was in a hurry to bloom from a bud into a flower overnight. It seems to have outdone its potential to grow. Just look at the state of its petals; it shall never become a perfect rose flower now. Hurry has now become a cause for worry. Had the bud grown naturally it would have been beautiful at each stage of its life. It would have spread fragrance all around and its beauty would have lent splendour to our garden. But, perhaps the bud was in too much of a hurry… ”

By now, the boy was in tears. He wept, “Guruji, it’s not the buds fault. I pried it open. I am the cause of its present state. I have made a mistake. I cannot give back its babyhood to the bud, but I promise to let you shape me as you wish. Please unfold me petal by petal at your own pace and will.”

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