Story on Creativity: Ananta and The City of Gold

February 4, 2009
7 min read

 

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom, which was called the Clay City.  It was called Clay City not only because its buildings and streets were made of clay but also because there were no monuments and the citizens were savages, who had no heart and killed, looted recklessly in the name of survival.  As a result everyone was miserable.  In that kingdom there was a prince called Ananta.  This prince was unique and was very creative.  From childhood he always had a new way of doing the same old that that was done in that way for many generations. He always asked, “Why we do a certain thing in a certain way and why not do it another way?” Then he would experiment new ways.  For example the king and his ministers always stood on a pedestral and the other courtiers on stood below.  He asked his father, “Why do you stand on the pedestral?” The father replied, “Because we cannot stand below.” Ananta then asked, “Why not?”  He then made the king stand on below and placed the courtiers on the pedestral.  It was quite a funny incident.  Ananta was 6 years old then. 

 

In Clay City, there was a savage demon that ate the other savage citizens.  He was arrogant, large, strong and no one ever dared to challenge him.  When Ananta was around 12, he decided to take a shot at Lagasur.  The king and his ministers said, “You cannot win him.” Ananta, replied, “Why not?”. They replied, “Because you are too young and weaker than him.”  He then said, “But I have a creative idea.” And then he went off to the jungle where Lagasur was said to be.  Lagasur in time came and angry that someone was challenging him, became angry and it attacked the prince.  Lagasur was charging like the combined momentum of 1000 bulls.  The prince did not attack nor did he run away.  So what did he do?  Knowing that the savage was very proud of his strength and realizing that the prince’s strength was only in agile movement, he decided to tease the savage, make him make the attacks, and the prince himself would keep escaping his blows.  Thus with this strategy he spent 11 days and 11 nights.  The arrogant savage had no clue of the prince’s strategy and played along, until he finally collapsed on the 12th day.  In this way the Clay City was freed from the savage Demon called Lagasur. 

 

As he grew up he got more and more opportunities to be creative.  Having played with his creativity in all aspects of his life, he decided to expand his field of creativity.  The next creation he had in mind, no one dared to even imagine.  It was to transform the Clay City into the City of Gold. 

 

His father, the king along with the ministers said, “It is impossible”.  The prince asked, “Why is it impossible?”.  The king along with the ministers, “What if our endeavor ends in failure: we will lose all our fortunes and our prestige.  Dear prince, please do not even imagine of such a gigantic task.”

 

But the prince had the courage and he began to imagine how the City of Gold would look like.  All the buildings will be plated in gold, as well as the streets.  There will be artistic monuments as tall as the sky with shapes at par with nature’s work..  The citizens will have hearts of gold and they will work hard, they will be ethical and wise. Everyone will be happy. 

 

Immediately he acted on his deliberation.  He gained the support in form of finance, politics, management and labor from the king and his ministers.  After 3 years the city started to take form: it was sparkling like gold.  But within 3 days, all the gold was looted and 1008 people died in the process.  Thus the prince failed. 

 

The king and his ministers blamed the savage citizens and Ananta.  The king decided never to support the prince.  The prince was now all alone.  The savage citizens unknowing of how they hurt themselves openly rejoiced over the failure of the prince. 

 

But the prince was unique and very creative.  Thus he did not despair.  Instead he found inspiration in nature: after night comes day, after winter comes spring, the deer eats the grass, the tiger eats the deer, the savages kill the tiger, ignorance destroys the savages, wisdom dispels ignorance.  In this way every thing has a purpose.  A mountain is perceived as high because the surrounding land is depressed.    Similarly success is such because of failure.  A river serves its purpose as long as it flows.  It might fall from high cliff only to make a beautiful cascade.  In this way must failure be seen.

 

Being thus inspired, the prince could now free his mind and think.  What caused his failure?  Was it just bad luck?  After much thinking he concluded he should have transformed the hearts of the people into gold first and then the city. 

 

Then a dark cloud surrounded the prince while he was thus thinking.  The cloud asked him, “Why do you want to continue? Why do you want to elevate the savages since they were the cause of your ruin?”  In this way the dark cloud questioned his motivation.  He replied to the cloud, “For my own self-satisfaction and because it is my destiny to build the City of Gold.” The dark cloud vanished. 

 

He won his doubt but in his minds eyes he only saw failure.  Then the sun high above spoke to him, “Shine.”  The prince could not understand at first, but may be it had something to do with his present predicament where he saw only failure.  Thus he placed the image of a sun in his mind and made it shine like the sun.  Suddenly he saw success: the City of Gold in its full glory.  In this way he kept visualizing success. 

 

The king and his ministers having been disappointed once did not want to support the prince.  The prince however was unique and very creative and he replied, “I am your prince, I am your future, if you do not support me, you will have no future and this kingdom is disintegrating anyways.  I place my life in your hands if I should fail again, but succeed I will this time.  What is there for you to lose more than you have already lost? I will recover all the gold from the savage citizens.  I will win their hearts and turn them into gold.  If I succeed I will place all the credit to you and you will be rewarded accordingly.  It is the nature of the river to flow, the banks are meant to support the river not to block its flow out of fear. You are the banks and I am the water that flows. So please support my creation. I know your expectation is success and success is what I will deliver.” 

 

Then things started to happen quite quickly. 

 

First success of the prince: the king and the ministers accepted.  Second success: the savage citizens gave back the gold.  Third success: the heart of the savage citizens turned to gold.  Fourth success: all citizens participated in building the City of Gold. Fifth success: All the citizens became hardworking, ethical and wise; there was no more looting and killing.  Sixth success: the king and the ministers in turn passed all the credit to the prince and he was rewarded for his creation accordingly.  Seventh success: time passed, mountains moved, oceans drifted and the City of Gold too was lost, but its story is still not lost and you are hearing the glory of the prince Ananta who was unique and very creative.