A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
Pundit at last became a cow-boy. He was the only son of his father. He had entered the ‘pathshala’ with Atanu who was the son of a headmaster. Atanu was intelligent and he cleared the class examinations with distinction. But Pundit was very dull. He could somehow reach class three. His father was obliged to withdraw Pundit from school when he failed to reach the next class even after two attempts. In consequence Atanu went ahead and they parted company.
Pundit was at the opposite pole of his name. People in general knew him to be a fool and idiot, although Pundit thought of himself to be intelligent and wise.
Pundit and Atanu were neighbours. One day Atanu was going to his maternal uncle by train. The train stopped at a mid-station junction and Atanu got down getting a newspaper. His attention was drawn to a spot on the platform where many people crowded. He felt curious to know the matter. He, however, was taken aback as he saw their Pundit standing with a rope tied round his waist with several others. It was a magistrate checking. He learnt that Pundit was to be remanded unless he paid rupees twenty as fine. Luckily Atanu had the money. He released Pundit and sent him back home.
What Pundit narrated was this: His father beat him last night for negligence of work. He fled home and boarded the train for going to his mother’s sister at Nirmalli. He had traveled by that train previously to Nirmalli with his uncle. Naturally he had confidently taken his seat and was sure that it shall take him to his destination as on other days. But he did not know that it was a coupled rake and only the latter portion of it goes to Nirmalli. On the contrary he was too foolishly confident that what he knew or understood was the best. As there was much rush in the latter part of the train, he confidently entered into the front part of the train. The train took him to Madhubani, instead of Nirmalli. Pundit was so cocksure of his judgement that he did not even bother to ask anybody when he saw that the interim stations were different. The checking party found him without ticket for the route and he was rounded up.
Such persons with half-knowledge or half-truths generally suffer from a foolishly high regard for their intelligence. Naturally they are very apt to fall into traps. Our Sanskrit texts tell a story where an idiot servant was asked to stand guard on his master. He was given a fat stick and was advised that whoever disturbs his master when the latter sleeps, should be severely hit with the stick. We know how he hurt his sleeping master while hitting a fly that would always sit on the chest of his sleeping master.
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