There lived a philosopher. Hokkaido. Wise. Saintly. Well-travelled. Men. Women. Far-far land. Came for advice. Counsel. Serious. Trivial.
One day. Four brothers. From Honshu. Approached the Saint. Seeking counsel.


‘Hail Wise Man. We have a problem. Ma serves. An herbal drink. Everyday. Before we go to bed. Bitter. Pungent.
Huko loves the drink. Drinks happily.

Muko hates the drink. Drinks furiously.

Suko is unperturbed. Drinks. Without emotion.

Kuko despises the routine. Drinks sadly.
Should we, oh Wise man, continue to drink? Or should Muko and Kuko revolt? And refuse?’


The wise man closed his eyes. And sat. Silent. Solemn. Somber. For hours.
At last he opened his eyes. And said. ‘ Rise ye Four brothers. Come near. For an embrace. That you drink. Despite your difference in taste and acceptance. Is something that I want to celebrate. If Ma has served. It is beyond challenge. Beyond any refusal. Ma has served. So, accept.’
Huko. Muko. Suko. Kuko. Bowed. Low. Deep. And turned.


The Philosopher. Called them back. ‘ When you brothers have some time. Travel. To far land India. Sanchi Stupa. On the southern gate. You shall see. A sculpture. Four men. Lifting a burden. Life. Depicted as a stone. The four men. Four expressions. Happy. Angry. Sad. Nonchalant.


Life is as it is. You must live. Choice is thine. Happy. Sad. Angry. Nonchalant.
Go brothers. See the sculpture. And come back. ‘


The brothers bowed deep. Deeper. And turned. On their way to Sanchi.


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