No, I am not referring to NASA’s robotic rover that landed on Mars recently. I am only referring to the emotion that every human being is born with.
What is curiosity? Is it the same thing that makes parents proud when their child breaks open every electronic toy they bring for him, giving credit to the child’s curiosity and see it as signs of a budding engineer? (I can’t say much on this though, as my child did not break/tear a single toy – and I am glad she didn’t because child psychologists would come up with a very different conclusion if she tore apart a cute looking teddy-bear or broke a limb of her Barbie doll!).
Many have opined that mythology is the result of man’s inherent curiosity to seek answers to various questions of life and nature. If it wasn’t for curiosity, then life would have no meaning and there would be nothing new to look forward to.
However, if you think that curiosity always bears good fruits, then think again –
- Eve along with Adam was thrown out of the Garden of Eden by God when she gave in to the temptation of wanting to know the truths that were hidden from her.
- When Kunti in Mahabharata was granted a boon of begetting a child by just calling any god, she was curious enough to try it out. The result however was that she ended up with an unwanted baby and needless to say, that this single act of hers had huge ramifications in future.
- The Greek God, Zeus had given Pandora a box with an instruction that the box should not be opened. Curiosity got the better of her and she opened the box only to release all the ills in the world.
- In Mahabharata, on being invited to the Palace of Illusions by the Pandavas at Indraprastha for the coronation of Yudhishtira, Duryodhan could not contain his curiosity to see the whole palace without being guided by someone who knew the palace well. This curiosity landed him in a pool, evoking a strong reaction from Draupadi, and the rest as they say is history or should we say – epic?
- While taking up the assignment of making the idols of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Lord Vishwakarma had requested that nobody should see the idols before they were over. But the Queen could not contain her curiosity and opened the doors of the room where the idols were being made. It is due to her curiosity that the idols have till date remained unfinished!
So is curiosity all that bad?
Not necessarily. What is a man without a curious mind? How else would he ever want to know anything? If it wasn’t for curiosity, would you ever want to solve a puzzle? If it wasn’t for curiosity, would you ever read an adventurous or a suspense novel? If it wasn’t for curiosity, would you ever want to research a subject? If the bug of curiosity had not bitten many a scientist, would we have found answers to so many aspects of nature? A curious mind is what makes man climb the mountains and dive deep into the sea. It is the same curious mind that is at work when a child keeps asking you all sorts of questions which start with a how, why, what or where.
To conclude, curiosity is derived from a Latin word ‘curiosus’ meaning ‘careful’. Till curiosity is a quest, it is worth pursuing, but when it becomes careless and intrusive, it might lead one into trouble.
When curiosity can become temptation, not many would understand, except Eve, I guess! So be careful and one doesn’t always have to learn the Kunti way!