Professor Gambs walked into the lecture theatre in his usual sun-blinding sparkling white caftan. Although he was well advanced in age, his well-combed gray coiled beards always gave him that stunning countenance. His classes always brimmed with students who took psychology as core, cognate core, and as an elective course; even some who have their Monday mornings to be lecture-free, would choose to invest their two-hours in his thrilling and enlightening lectures. I guess this was simply because of the electrifying atmosphere he created and his passionate pragmatic-zest.

“Everybody settle down” he started. I’d like two volunteers to come forward for a little demonstration. As expected, Lampani – the class beauty, business woman, and fashionista, always seize this sort of opportunities to advertise her latest collections and beauty – briskly made her way to the front of the class. Our dear gentle Class Governor (CG) also joined her.

Prof – as we call him – dropped a cardboard on the floor before him, and gestured for Lampani to stand to its left while facing it, and CG to do the same on the right.  Pointing at CG, “I will like you to tell us all, what exactly is on the cardboard.”

“It’s the number, nine (9), Prof.” he replied. Turning to Lampani, Prof. asked; “What about you my dear?” “What I see is six (6) Prof.” He got another pair to compare the result by performing the same exercise.” You could hear the drop of a pin, as the hall had become deafeningly silent. Prof. had succeeded in arousing our appetites while starving our curiosity.

“My next question is to the class: of both pairs, who were right, and who was wrong?” Prof. asked. After about thirteen seconds of uneasiness and murmuring, Stanley – the class guru – stood up to attempt the question by saying. “Prof., with respect to where they all stood from the paper, they were all right; but wrong, relative to where they did not look at it from.” This birthed resounding applauds and cheers from the students. When it all faded, Prof took turns to admire such wisdom. He then told us to hold onto that thought, as he threw his last question.

“If you all can recall clearly, my question to the two pair of students that came out for the exercise was, ‘to tell us exactly what was on the cardboard.’” Prof picked up the paper and detached a clear, translucent, sheet of binding-film he had carefully overlapped on the cardboard. They both had equal lengths and breadths. It was on it that what the volunteers saw to be 9 and/or 6, was boldly written.

With both cardboard and binding-film in his raised hands, he continued, “now, my final question to you all again is, ‘what exactly was on the cardboard?’” A rowdy blend of laughter, exclamations, applauds, and of the word ‘binding film, filled the air. After few seconds, Prof moved to the whiteboard and wrote:

Topic: Perception and Perspective

‘He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favour of two.’

  • Charles Dickens(1812 – 1870)

Prof summarized his amusing and scintillating introduction, thus: “The danger of this statement is responsible for many of man’s error, pain, and regrets. Most often than not, outcomes of man’s assumptions limit his visual and mental potential, because of its often overly simplified unidirectional perspective.” With a smile, he said “Give that a minute; it will settle in.” The class responded with a laugh. “Here’s what I just said in simple terms: the eyes and mind can lie too, if you permit them to. For instance, my gentlemen, you wouldn’t assume you’re in a relationship with a lady who has not given you a yes, isn’t it?” Once more, their laughter and cheering surged.

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