Wednesday, April 10, 2013


                          A king had three daughters. He wanted to test their love for him. He called them and asked them, "Tell me how much do you love me."
                          The eldest daughter said, "Father, I love you like jewellery." The king was very pleased with her as he was very fond of gold and jewels and had a large collection of exquisite jewellery in his palace. The second daughter said, "Father, I love you like the best wine!" The king was happy to hear this as he was addicted to wines and other alcoholic drinks.
                          Then the youngest daughter replied, "Dear Father, I love you like salt." The king became furious on hearing this reply. Angrily, he shouted, "What do you mean, you mean creature? Salt is a useless, cheap and ordinary object which you can find even in the poor slums of my kingdom. I know you don't love me. I don't want to see you again. Go away."
                          But the youngest daughter met the palace chef and requested him to avoid salt in all the dishes to be served during the royal feast on the next day. The old chef had a special affection to the youngest princess as she was simple, humble and innocent. He agreed to do as she wished.
                          During the feast, the king tasted his favourite dishes and cried aloud, "What is this? It has no taste at all!" He summoned the chef and questioned him. The wise chef answered, "Oh, Sir, I was afraid to include salt in the royal dishes because yesterday you declared in the court that salt was a useless and ordinary article. I avoided it ."
                          The king learned a lesson. He realized the importance of salt and asked the youngest daughter to forgive him for his harsh remarks and rash behaviour. He understood the extent of  her love towards him and embraced her.
                          Salt is important and indispensable for mankind in many different ways:
1. Salt enhances the taste and flavour of food and makes it pleasant and palatable. Without salt, many foods become insipid. Its deficiency in food is felt easily.
2.Salt preserves food and prevents putrefaction.
3.Salt dissolves in water and mixes fully with food. It apparently disappears by dissolution or disintegration. Lumps of salt in food may cause objectionable taste.
4. It remains as an invisible presence in the dishes. Other spices like chilly and turmeric give conspicuous colour which makes their presence visible.
                          Jesus Christ advised his followers to be the 'salt of the earth'. By this he wished  that they should mingle freely with others and add flavour to the life of every one to promote peace, fellowship, joy and harmony in society by their silent and sincere service. By their humble and unpretentious actions they have a major role in preserving the integrity, values and moral principles of society. They should be deeply concerned with the well-being of all and serve as the 'salt of society'.

© By Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally, Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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