Friday, December 24, 2004

The Gift of The Magi

"The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi. "

The above extract is from this story by Mr. William Sidney Porter (Popularly known as O.Henry with O standing for nothing) which I read many winters back and the following sentence still sticks in my mind for some strange reason (because I havent fathomed it.)

"Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on. "

5 comments:

Geetanjali said...

:-) Amazing co-incidence. You must go watch Raincoat - apart frm being yet another beauitful movie by Rituparno Ghosh, it will have much more interest for you...I for one am now looking for the Gift of Magi to read the original!

jhgasuhvkjahklnsdlksnlknmlwvlckn said...

I was about to mention raincoat as well. It was an interesting movie and like other artsy films it progressed slowly, while driving the characters in. Bengali director, bengali film, but to be perfectly fair to him I think it was a good movie overall...

Nice short story - O Henry is a favourite, as is some of Oscar Wilde's stuff...there is a platonic nature in their works which I enjoy...

Interesting blog - my first time here...

Rajesh

little neesan said...

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Sumedha said...

Maybe he means that the 'answer' was not among the gifts of the Magi and the 'answer' lies in his story.

Noticed that I have been rechristened Some Sin :)

Paddy said...

True. Still the question is "What is the answer" that was illuminated.Probably I should read again :)

Yeah! I have rechristened you again.Sorry for the vacillations till I settle down on one name.