By Shon Mehta
In a small town, there lived a man. He was a sculptor. Not a known one, but mere beginner in the field. Every day, he would try to carve a stone.
He kept carving and practicing. After few days, he noticed that he has carved a statue which looked beautiful.He felt proud of it, and displayed it in the front garden of his house. Many passers-by noticed the statue. A few liked it and praised the man for his creation. They told him that they would be looking forward to his next work. All this praise encouraged the man to work towards his next statue. He created his next statue, and then the next one. Soon, he had a handful of statues in his garden.
Many town folks paid visit to his garden exhibition and liked the statues. But there were a few who didn’t, especially the man’s neighbour. Not only did this neighbour hate the fact that the man could create such beautiful art, he also hated the attention the man was getting.
He went to the man’s house.
“I want to tell you something.” Said the neighbour in whispering voice.
“What is it?” Asked the man.
“I am telling you, because you are my friend! There are many people who talk behind your back. They say many hurtful things about you.”
“Oh, really? But why? I have never hurt anyone.” Said the man.
“You are getting it all wrong, my friend. They are not talking bad about you, but your statues. One person even said that they are the worst statues in the world.”
“Really? I thought many people rather liked my sculpture.” Said the man in a little, saddened voice
“No! They don’t like it.” Said the neighbour, rather softly.
The man felt depressed.
He stopped working on new statues. Many people asked him, when would be his new work be displayed. He told them, not soon.
Months passed by. One day, the man went to clean his studio. He saw his unfinished statues lying there. Suddenly, he realised how much he missed sculpting.
Man thought to himself “I didn’t start sculpting so that people would like my work. I started because it gave me joy. If somebody does not like my statues, so be it. I am going to do it for myself.”
And he started working on his next statue.
After few days he finished the statue and moved it to the garden. People admired the work. The man nodded politely and went back to his work.
When neighbour saw this new statue he felt furious. He realised that he is unable to stop the man this way.
“What should I do so that he would stop making new statues?” The neighbour thought to himself.
Suddenly, the neighbour got an idea. The neighbour was a rich man. He went to the art gallery and bought statue by a world-renowned artist. He displayed this statue in his front garden.
The neighbour then called the man “See this is what we call a beautiful art. Your statues are not even close to this.”
The man agreed. “Yes, it is very beautiful statue. But I am not competing with this or any other artist. I am creating statues because it gives me pleasure.”
Saying this, the man went back to his studio to work on his next statue.
After a few days, the man’s next statue was ready. He displayed it in the garden.
The neighbour was now burning in envy. He went to art gallery again, and bought one more work of the renowned artist.
He thought that if he displayed this world famous art works in his gardens, no one will go to the man’s garden. But that did not happen. People kept visiting the man’s garden.
The man kept creating statues, and his neighbour kept buying new statues from the gallery. Soon, the neighbour was running out of money. But that did not stop him from buying statues. He took huge loans and kept buying.
In a few months, the neighbour went bankrupt. He defaulted on his loans and all his statue collection was taken away from him. After this neighbour lost all control. He picked up a hammer went to sculptor’s garden and started breaking statues. people tried to stop him. But he didn’t listen. So they got hold of him and gave him to authorities. Authorities realised that neighbour has gone mad, and they sent him to the madhouse. For madness there is cure, but for envy there is none. The neighbour remained in the madhouse forever.
Today, if you pass through this town, people there will tell the story about the sculptor and his statues. They will even show his garden of statues. But if you ask them about the neighbour’s garden, they will tell you that they have never heard of any such place.