The Scholar and The Boatman

Once a flippant scholar was going to a place by boat. It was the beginning of the summer season. The boatman set sail and the boat was advancing smoothly. The scholar said to the boatman, “Did you read history?” The boatman said, “No”. The scholar told him that without any knowledge of history one-fourth of his life was spoilt. He looked at the beautiful scenery and asked again whether he had read geography. The reply of the boatman was as usual in the negative. This time the scholar said that one half of the boatman’s life was spoilt. Then they were silent for some time.

It was afternoon. The scholar broke the silence and said to the boatman, “Do you know anything about science?” “No, I know nothing of science”, was the answer of the boatman. The scholar told him that his life was of no use. Three-fourths of his life was spoilt. Hearing this, the boatman remained silent. All on a sudden, the sky became covered with dark clouds. The ‘kalboishakhi’ began to blow in the form of a storm. The scholar was very much frightened. This time the boatman said to him, “Sir, do you know how to swim?” The scholar replied in the negative in a pitiful voice. The boatman said, “The boat is going to sink. Now I see, the whole of your life is going to be spoiled. Your bookish knowledge is now of no use.”