An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Four guys, a Manager and the Pie

There were four guys living in a house in four different rooms: A, B, C, and D. There was one manager of the house, called X. He was basically responsible for keeping everything in order and had the mandate of managing the activities of the house.

These five guys – A, B, C, D, and the Manager X – were peculiar in their diet – they could only eat Apple Pies.. nothing else!! After all, they lived in Pie-pura – where everyone could only eat Pie!
However, the situation was such that of the four only C had gotten the training and the skill to make an Apple pie. So he would make the Apple Pie while B and A would help him out in mixing the ingredients and depending on their amount of work he would share the Pie with them.

The Manager X used to get a fixed portion of Pie, no matter what!

Now D had a problem. Due to his rather non-eventful childhood he had not been trained much in making food, he was trained in how to store water but that was purely dependent on when it would rain. If it rained and he would store enough water for the rest in the house, his share would increase, otherwise he would have to do with pittance! A lot of water he stored would evaporate and also he could not accumulate ALL or most of the water that fell on the house roof. That further restricted his Pie-intake.

All the them required water, but A, B, C, and the Manager would go to the other houses on the street and get water in exchange for a share of their Pie.

Manager was concerned about the ongoing consumption pattern and plight of D! So he decided that since he managed the house he might as well decide how the Pie would be shared!

So the Manager decreed one day that the Pie will be shared equally no matter how big the Pie! It worked for one week and then C thought, “Heck!!! I make the Pie and if not for me, this Pie would never be made here! And, I have to give up most of it!!”. So he decided he will reduce the size of the “main” Pie and secretly, make another one. B and A were also pissed off like C, so he enrolled them into his plan saying that he will share a bit of that “secret” Pie with them! A and B jumped to the offer. So now two Pies were created.. one Official and another unofficial (the “secret” one!).

It worked great for two weeks until one day the Manager found it out while C was away! So when C came back, Manager pulled him aside and said that he will throw C out of the house because of his “Illegal” activities! C was not prepared with another accommodation as yet, so he put his hand around the Manager’s shoulders and proposed that if the Manager kept this a secret from D, he can give him more than his share of the “Unofficial” pie! Manager got angry at first but when C offered a substantial proportion, Manager meekly agreed!

There was now however, one problem! Most of the second Pie was going to A, B and Manager to keep their mouth shut! So that didn’t help matters for C!! So C decided that he will get inferior ingredients for the two Pies and create a third Pie with the top-of-the-line material just for himself! So C started reducing the quality of the two Pies about which A, B and the Manager knew and had a superior Pie just to himself!

Four months on, D would still sleep hungry, A and B would eat inferior Pies two times and Manager would eat the Inferior Pie three times – while C would eat Superior Pie whenever he wanted and a little Inferior Pie just to show to the rest of the folks that he was with them!

In any society or group where the concentration is on the “distribution” of the pie as opposed to increasing the “size” of the pie and improving the skills (education) of every member of the house such that he/she can independently make a pie themselves, the D’s always suffer most, A and B live a middle class wretched existence, the C’s can bribe any one and the Managers get a piece from everyone! Meanwhile the unofficial pies are bigger and of better quality than the official ones!

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