Nov 6, 2011

A Cathartic Puzzle

So, here I am, again as promised, in order to give your thoughts some tidbits, to provoke your brain function more dynamically. Yes, you guessed it right! Today, I am going to ask you a riddle. You might be wondering why I am today here with a puzzle when the internet offers so many googols of them for those who have that continuous itching of brain. There lies the matter. This is not a common riddle which depends on word play or mathematical calculations. This is also not one to trick you using the intermingling of facts and fiction. The apt adjective to denote this puzzle would be, ‘emotionally disturbing’, and that’s why I used the term ‘cathartic’ in the title to describe the nature of the puzzle. I do not know if anybody of you has already familiar with this one. However, before asking the riddle straightaway, I think I need to give you the background of how I came to face such a puzzle which had stopped my heartbeats for some seconds, talking without exaggeration.

Yes, the time was the beginning of my Trivandrum days. I was a little more grown-up one than a teenager, though the frailty, fragility and the juvenile characteristics have not completely departed from my mannerisms. I was in a hostel like place where I met with some new guys. Despite of my initial impression as a simpleton, people began to consider me for their discussions and chats a little later, when they slowly realized that I was like everyone there in terms of thoughts and behaviors.

After noon time, I usually was free, and so, that was the time we utilized to crack jokes, or to involve in heated arguments. Sometimes we used to ask puzzles to test the other one’s brain or to show off in front of the gang with our superior intellect. When a civil service aspirant joined our gang, he became the talking machine. During one of our puzzle session, when we were completely running out of puzzles, the civil service aspirant suddenly said,

“I have a different puzzle. This question was asked during a top interview for a heavily paid post. But if I ask you this question, you would either curse me or beat me up.” 

We became curious and demanded him to ask that one. He said,

“The question was asked to everyone who showed up for that interview. Of the whole lot, only one was able to give a reasonable answer, and he got the appointment. But pals, I won’t ask you this question. Because, it is an emotionally disturbing one. You might think of me as a pervert or you might stop talking to me if I ask you this question”.

That was enough to raise our degree of curiosity. We pleaded again. So he agreed to ask the question. He reminded us that the question had no definite answer. It was just to test the ability to give apt response in certain times.

He said giving sufficient pauses between words ensuring that the question was properly communicated, “So folks, here is the question; what will you do if you ever come to know that your mother is a prostitute?”
Pin drop silence. I felt as if someone hit me on my head using a hammer. My roommate, who was a very innocent one, was about to break into tears. 

We all replied that we didn’t have any answer to this question. But the civil service aspirant prompted us to come with an answer. Someone answered that he would cut the relationship with his mother. When asked, my roommate replied that he would go to that extend of suicide. The next turn was mine. Scratching my head, I replied,

“Err…well...I think I would quit my native place.” There were some more answers from others as well.

The civil service aspirant shook his head to every answer labeling each as, impractical, hilarious, pathetic, etc. We finally asked him to give us the answer suggested by the winner of that interview.

I hope that you all have formulated an answer to this question by this time. Your answer needs not be the exact one put forwarded by the winner. If you have a good reasonable answer, that is just because you are very much intelligent. If you don’t have a reasonable answer – then also you are highly intelligent, because that’s why you are here on my page to read Vanity Moments!

Exerting a dramatic pause, the civil service aspirant said, “the winner answered like this; if I ever come to know that my mother is a prostitute, first I will make sure that my father is her only customer!”

Whatever be the counter arguments against this answer, we all agreed that the winner rightly answered to the puzzle, and since he was quick in answering such tricky questions, he well deserved the position.

By the way, any of you had invented any better or similar answer to this puzzle?
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