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Being Cautious, Not Always Good
by Amit Parmessur

A baby boy was born. Giving him his name seemed the most difficult job. All kinds of archives were consulted. All kinds of opinions were taken. Yet, no name was found. In despair, the mother got her treasured school dictionary out and opened a random page. She fell upon the word ‘precaution’.

Another baby was born. His naming ceremony proved very dramatic. There was going to be a drawing of lots. Each family member’s suggestion was put in a large hat. The winning name came out as ‘Negligence’. There was a bit of panic in the room, but then, firecrackers followed and in excitement no one bothered who could have suggested that name.

Surely these two newborns were complete strangers. But as they say, opposites attract. Negligence and Precaution became somehow the greatest of friends. Even if you put them side by side and blow them with a dynamite, they wouldn’t get separated. Theywouldalwaysremainveryclose.

There was one fundamental difference; each would try to honour his name. So you could encounter Negligence making silly mistakes everywhere. And you could often encounter Precaution being the most careful person.

Everyone believed Precaution would succeed in life and that Negligence would definitely fail to alter the dictionary meaning of his name. So was it going to prove one day during a drinking party.

To honour his name Precaution had some Pepsi in the party. And to honour his, Negligence drank four bottles of wines. And with him drinking and partying so much it got so late that there was no bus home.

Once on the road, they lifted their thumb a million times, but no car stopped. “I’ve a genius idea,” shouted Negligence suddenly. Precaution knew the idea was nothing more than wine. “I’ll have none of it,” he said.

“Listen,” said Negligence, “I shall sleep in the middle of the road and we’ll get to stop a car.”

“You’re mad?” yelled Precaution.

“Listen to me. Come you too,” said Negligence, making his way to the middle.

“It’s suicide,” advised Precaution. “Come back!”

“It’s not,” said Negligence, lying down.

“Ok, you want to die,” said Precaution. “I’ll wave from the roadside itself!”

No car was coming. A couple of minutes elapsed. One came. It was arriving at full speed and seeing a body lying on the road it swerved. In the process, Precaution enthusiastically waving his thumb was swept aside.

The car ran away.

Negligence got up and jumped with a dive that Sylvester Stallone would have been proud of to collect Precaution on the other side of the wooden barrier. “I told you to come with me,” said Negligence, in tears. “You didn’t listen.”

Precaution collapsed.

You know, it’s after this very story that we say that one should take risks in life to succeed. It is not always right to be cautious. Certainly, the father of Negligence was a man who liked big risks. Else why would he be the one to suggest the name Negligence for his own son!