“Are you corrupted?” the monkey repeated the question when he saw that the man was not responding.
The man looked up “I am civilized” he replied.
“Beep! Wrong answer” cried the monkey who had his buzzer in its hand. “I will ask you again and this time give me a straight answer, Are you corrupted”
“Not really, but if you ask…” the man started fumbling.
The monkey became impatient and so it rephrased the question “Do you take bribe”
“No ” said the man defensively and it felt more like a standard answer programmed whenever the question is asked.
The monkey smiled and asked again “Do you give bribe”
The man answered again fumbling “Yes… but…”
Without waiting for the man to complete his answer the monkey declared waving its hand “So you are corrupted”
The Man became defensive “But that is a process, the way to get things done”
“Who said so? And what are you trying to get done?” enquired the monkey.
“For progress to happen, for reforms, for a better tomorrow, people have to work with the system.” The man paused and looked at the monkey and continued. “You do not realize, it is a tough world out there, lots of competition, if you don’t do it first someone else will do it. You have to be on your feet always or you will miss your opportunity to move ahead.”
The Monkey looked at the man and said “And this is the only way”
“Well..” Said the man “There is another way where you can choose not to do it and wait, the consequences are that you lose time, and moreover, what I do benefits the society tremendously, this is just a small aspect, a necessary evil of working with the system.” The man paused again and looked around realizing that he has still not asked the way out of that place.
“Also what I do is a very insignificant part of the corruption as you call it, there are people who are bigger contributors to corruption than me and they should be stopped first. I am just a small player; my stopping anything will not make a difference”
The monkey slowly descended from the tree and stood before the man. It took the man by his hand and said “Let us walk a bit.” They both walked forward separating the bushes and fallen branches as they walked.
“You might not remember, but long ago we were all one, not different much in looks or life style.” The monkey said. “We lived on the trees while you lived on land and caves. You knew somewhere in your mind that we were brothers in some distant time, and that we need to share this place and we were quite happy about it.” It looked at the man and smiled
“Then you decided to leave us, told us it was progress for you. We tried to stop you but you went on. It has been centuries now, but we still remember” The Monkey continued
“You built civilizations, conquered the wind, the skies and the oceans, you created weapons that killed each other, You covered yourself when you felt ashamed of your body and then the cover and not body became your identity.” The Monkey looked at the man and tightened his grip and now in a much slower tone “Many of the things you did we failed to understand, But we watched, as you called yourself civilized you also made cages and put us inside it. You even brought your kids to see us and poked fun at us and our nakedness”
The monkey looked into the man’s eyes “What you called civilized, we saw in a different way, we saw that you lost it all somewhere, you had lost all we had given you when you left. You had lost the love we packed in your hearts; you had lost the brotherhood we kissed on your foreheads. You even lost the smell of earth from your body. We saw that you had lost yourself to the progress you made”
The Monkey who was now sitting on a rock facing the man and with both its hands on the shoulder it leaned forward and kissed the man’s forehead “You are corrupted, you are, it is just you don’t know. It has been going on for long, we have seen that over the centuries many men tried to explain the same truth over and over to you, but you created sects and groups over their words and debated and refuted each other. You wrote volumes and volumes on how you could live a better life and you failed to read and understand what you wrote. You saw Corruption just from the point of money, which we still don’t understand. Corruption is much beyond what you think it is. It has colors and flavors that you see and taste and now feels quite normal and has become part of your every day life.”
The Monkey looked at the man and said, but we can help, come back to us, live with us sometime, we will teach you the secrets of life once again, the secret that you knew and forgot over time. We will teach you how simple things are.” The Monkey saw a tear fall from the man’s eyes and he wiped it with his finger and continued.
“Over time you have covered a simple life with many things and turned it to a complex entity and now after centuries you don’t remember simplicity, and you ponder over the complexities and try to uncover the truth and meaning. Come to us! We will tell you how to be at peace, we will also show you how to smile, be one of us and regain your own self before you are completely lost to the progress you make”
The monkey then pointed to one side and said” Go that way and you will reach the road, you will get some help there and you can reach home to your kids and family and remember, It is never late to change and be Good..”
The Man looked up as the monkey jumped onto a tree and vanished, he started walking in the direction the monkey pointed.