If you were asked to think of a fruit, which is the first one that comes to your mind? Most likely the apple. Mankind’s fascination with apples is itself fascinating. From naming companies to writing phrases, it is indeed the ‘apple of our eyes’. Not for nothing did Henry David Thoreau say, “It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.”

A Costly Apple

Three apples changed the history of the earth- Adam’s apple, Newton’s apple and Steve Jobs’ apple. There are many who wish it was a pumpkin that fell on Newton instead. And what made Steve Jobs name his company after the fruit, only he knows. As for Adam, Chuck Palahniuk has the answer, or rather the question. “Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden maybe get so boring that eating the apple was justified?” Many other apples too have had their share of history and myth. In Norse mythology for instance, the goddess Iðunn, in the Prose Edda (written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson), provides apples to the gods that give them eternal youthfulness. A historical fruit, if ever there was one.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a typical apple serving weighs 242 grams and contains 126 calories with significant dietary fiber and vitamin C content. Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. So an apple a day might keep the doctor away. But apples can cause trouble. Atalanta, of Greek mythology, raced all her suitors in an attempt to avoid marriage. She outran all but Hippomenes (also known as Melanion, a name possibly derived from melon the Greek word for both “apple” and fruit in general). Hippomenes knew that he could not win in a fair race, so he used three golden apples (gifts of Aphrodite, the goddess of love) to distract Atalanta. It took all three apples and all of his speed, but Hippomenes was finally successful, winning the race and Atalanta’s hand.

Forbidden Fruit

Did you also know that apples had a hand in the war of Troy? The Greek goddess of discord, Eris, became disgruntled after she was excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. In retaliation, she tossed a golden apple inscribed Kalliste- ‘For the most beautiful one’), into the wedding party. Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Paris of Troy was appointed to select the recipient. After being bribed by both Hera and Athena, Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. He awarded the apple to Aphrodite, thus indirectly causing the Trojan War. And who can forget the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden? Though the Book of Genesis does not specifically name the fruit, popular Christian tradition has held that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her. A ‘bad apple’ indeed! On a less mythical note, the seeds of apples contain small amounts of amygdalin, a sugar and cyanide compound known as a cyanogenic glycoside. Ingesting small amounts of apple seeds will cause no ill effects, but in extremely large doses can cause adverse reactions. Nature’s own cyanide poison?

Fruit for Thought

The apple seems to be the favourite of both nature and humans. But there are indeed some individuals who prefer other fruits. Like Demetri Martin who says- “My favorite fruit is grapes. Because with grapes, you always get another chance. ‘Cause, you know, if you have a crappy apple or a peach, you’re stuck with that crappy piece of fruit. But if you have a crappy grape, no problem - just move on to the next. ‘Grapes: The Fruit of Hope.’” He may have a point there. And yet, it is always ‘A for Apple’- never ant, antelope or aeroplane. Nothing takes the apple’s place! Perhaps it is, as author Dan Brown says in his book the Da Vinci Code, the ‘sacred orb from heaven’.

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Have You Sinned? Take 2

Here comes our second post on tete-e-tete with Adam and Eve. For more Art of Start articles, tune in to our bimonthly magazine FURORE.

Me: So what happened out there Eve?

Eve: The Serpent Satan, convinced me so well to eat the fruit of knowledge, God forbid me though!

Me: If you were forbidden, what made you eat it? What did the Satan convince you with?

Eve: Three reasons, not one! Curiosity to experience something new, want of knowledge and the aspiration for ultimate power, God like. It was His idea of creation you see, put this within us, make it innate, for only after tasting the fruit I knew what was right and wrong, but the qualities were well within me before I bit it!

Me: A very smart God indeed, what did he do next?

Eve: He banished us from the Garden of Eden and laid upon each of us a curse, I would have to subject to Adam, crave for his attention and if I do give birth to a child, it would be very painful experience.

Me: You got lucky, Adam?

Adam: Nope! I bit the fruit by then! I have to toil, work hard labor in order to support my family, whereby I will be unable to give all the love and attention Eve deserves.

Me: The past has been done with! Have you read the papers on changing trends in electoral politics?
Adam: Here are people ready to lie, attract and convince a large mass of public. They are thirsty for Power, greedy for money. Just the way Serpent seduced Eve!

Eve: Oh Adam! Why would you remind me! I shudder to think back of that memory.

Adam: Where could we run with it? There was once a difference between Serpent and Eve, but today, no more it is. There are people always hungry for power, just like Eve, but within them also lies the serpent that is ready to use the silkiest of voice to get what they need. They want the Ultimate power.

Me: Hmm.. an interesting observation indeed Adam! But don’t you see the development that has been brought to this world since then?

Adam: Oh yes, Concrete Jungles-

Eve: I miss Garden of Eden. Animals, we named first and held as companions are no more friends. It is a different life for the animals and a different one for humans. Curiosity and want drew man to today’s development. Just what pulled me to the fruit.

Adam: You call development of what? Look at this house here, the man works hard all day, just as cursed, but then his earnings are to himself and his drinking. His wife gets little of anything apart from his beating, so does each of his offspring.

Eve: Perhaps the adjacent is better. Here is yet another Man and Woman. The Man did not beat the Woman; neither would he beat his Daughter. He would only say and they would obey. Neither the woman knew how to read, nor her daughter. Where is your development?

It was dusk, the vermilion fast disappearing into the violet of a grape with the darkness spreading. I watched the children play and the adults walk. They were happy that there still is a place where people were genuinely happy. Just as the last of the sun rays were seeped by the twinkling stars, I noticed all of a sudden, that the only people in the park where men and boys. Not a sight of a girl or woman.

Adam: Why did all the girls leave?

Eve: I guess it’s because it’s dark?

Adam: Yes, so?

Me: A foolish couple called Adam and Eve ate the fruit of good and bad. So we all know what is good and bad, thus we do it all bad. This God also cursed that a woman is under the subjection of man, thus man takes it as his right, to harass her in all ways possible. Thus, the women go back to a safer place at dark. They move into a darkness called light and never learn what the world is like in the dark. Not due to fear of Serpent or the dark, but a Satan called man.

With that, I quit the voices in my head and got up and walked away from that bench.

Today, very few things have changed since, Garden of Eden.

What started then as a myth, is true till today.

The innate nature will never change. This is the art of start.

-N D Deepak


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Have you sinned? Take 1

Sin. A three letter, monosyllabic word with profound implications. A word people often tend to avoid. Yet, a word so ubiquitous, people tend to forget its origins. Not the etymological one, we are talking about the conceptual origin here. The Fish Bowl Network presents, over a series of posts, a rendezvous with Adam and Eve-the story of how the concept of that three letter word began. But there’s a catch. What if the rendezvous were to occur now? How have the things changed from the past-the start? Read on.

(For more Art of Start articles, tune in to our bimonthly magazine FURORE.)

(Thunderous applause)

(Pre-recorded Musical Intro) Speaker: Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to This was your legacy!! The show where your opinions are as important as the aptitude round on a beauty pageant. Tonight on the show our very first guest (quite literally) is none other than Adam!

To those of you who don’t know Adam, He was the first man - Yes, Ladies and gentlemen – the very first man on earth. Please join me in welcoming him!


Host: Hello and welcome to the show Adam. It’s really good to have you here.

Adam: Thank you. Thank you. It’s really good to be here.

H: So I’m going to get straight to the point here. I’m pretty sure each one of us here wants to know one and only one thing. The Creation, Garden of Eden, the Terran Mission – Whatever you call it. Do explain to us about it.

A: Well, it’s not much of a secret actually. Each of you follow some or the other religion. Well in each there exists a creation myth. Put together all of those and you get the Terran Mission. The mission that each and every human on the earth has signed up for. To be born, live, populate and eventually die on this planet. Some say God has cursed us to do this, while others believe this to be the real motive in one’s life.

H: You speak of religion… I personally am an atheist. So what does the “Mission” have to do with me?

A: As long as you are on earth, you will always follow one religion. Humanity. So irrespective of whether you believe in a superior power or no, you still hold the power to make a difference. If not in other’s lives; then at least in yours. That’s what the Terran mission would mean to you.

H: Wonderful! That’s a good way to look at things. Before we call our next guest on stage, do you mind answering some of the Audience’s questions?

A: Not at all. Please, go ahead.

H: Well here’s one: What do you feel about the overall success of the Terran mission, as you call it?

A: That’s a tricky one. On the outer look of things you could say that the Terran Mission cannot fail; because all it involves is humans being born again and again on earth. But what it also implies is that humans in their desire to survive must not drive other species to extinction. On that note, I’d say the Terran mission is a failure waiting to happen.

H: Now wait a moment. How can you brand us a failure?

A: I never said any of you was a failure…

H: But by saying that the Terran mission is a failure waiting to happen, means that it will fail if not because of us but then because of our children doesn’t it?

A: If you put it like that, then yes. Yes, I blame the human race for what you have made earth today. If you continue this practice unstopped your children will not have an earth to live in.

H: Don’t you think that’s a bit rich coming from the very people who caused the first blunder? Have you forgotten about the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden?

A: Uhh… Umm..

(Before Adam can answer)H: I think we need to take a commercial break. We’ll be right back after a word with our sponsors. After the break, Adam answers the million dollar question. And, Who is the mysterious second guest?

(Break music – Think of Any addictive humming music)

H: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen. Now, Adam we have a special guest today. Any guesses?

A: Evie!!

H: That’s right! Please welcome Eve!

Eve: Thank you very much. Now, I was backstage and couldn’t help overhearing. I would like to answer the question you asked Adam.

H: Very well. Please go ahead.

E: Yes. We were the ones who made the first blunder. I take full responsibility. But as our children, can any of you do that? Can any of you take responsibility for your actions? Don’t you always blame fate, God, luck or something else for your mistakes?

H: It’s not like you were ideal role models… What we are today is largely based on the mistakes you committed in your life. You cannot blame US for committing mistakes when you yourselves have made blunders.

E: This may seem direct and blunt, but, are your parents alive?

H: Yes and they are well, Thank you for asking.

E: I’m sure that in case of a tragedy, you will be the inheritor of their life’s worth of efforts?

H: Yes I will. But please get to the point.

E: If you can inherit their profits, then it’s your duty to inherit their losses too. We may have committed mistakes, but we didn’t want you to do the same. That’s why we called them blunders and had books written about it. We unknowingly made errors in our life. But you, knowingly so have been doing so for a very long time now. But, do not worry. There is still hope. After all, you are at a better position than we were so long ago.

H: I get your point. So what do you have to suggest for us to improve our earth?

A: Start by accepting all the mistakes you have committed. Only after acceptance comes repentance. After this comes the healing. Take responsibility. Not just for yourself. For your family, home, neighbourhood and the country. Then, finally the Terran mission will be a success.

E: I couldn’t agree more.

H: Thank you Adam and Eve for showing us where we were going wrong. Goodbye and Goodnight!

A & E: Goodnight everybody! Live long and prosper! (Adam and Eve exit the stage) H: Well that was an interesting turn of events wasn’t it?

Police: Ladies and Gentlemen! Be calm and stay in your seats!

H: What is the meaning of this officer?

Police: We had got information that two fugitives were here some time ago. They are asylum escapees and consider themselves to be Adam and Eve. Have they been here?

Now, that – just makes you wonder doesn’t it?

-Kapil Aiyer

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