Here’s another anecdote from the same colleague who was the source of a funny incident covered in a blog post in the past: “A soapy incident“. The one narrated this time was to us co-workers when we had all gone out to lunch at a Thai restaurant which had decoration at its entrance consisting of a little pond, plants and various statues from which water flowed out. Looking at those statues made that colleague laugh at a funny memory and he shared it with us.
The story took place in Kerala, India, many years ago, perhaps in the late eighties or early nineties. His grandmother was fond of gardening. One of her many sons, his uncle, who was a business man, had contacts with a man who was a sculptor. This uncle had an idea of gifting his mother some statues to put in her garden to decorate and landscape it. According to instructions, the sculptor first created a lovely fish statue with water spurting out of its mouth like a fountain. The uncle had an idea for another figure in mind. He had seen a photo of the famous statue of “Mannekin Pis” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manneken_Pis) which is a small bronze fountain statue of a cute little naked boy urinating into the fountain basin in Brussels, Europe. The uncle went to the sculptor to describe this particular statue and the artist then set to work on it.
The day of the delivery arrived. The statue was unloaded … and what a shock it gave! It did not look anything like it was supposed to be. What did it look like then? The statue was not of a sweet little child but of a well-built adult male instead! The sculptor who perhaps had little or no knowledge of cultures around the world, had maybe never even seen the picture of the actual statue and just used his own interpretation of what the uncle had described about it. So, here they were, faced with not an innocent child but a stark naked man peeing shamelessly into a fountain basin! How scandalous!
What else was left to do then but cover him up in a way that conformed with ideas of decency in Indian culture? The sculptor created a drum to be strategically placed in front of the statue so that it seemed that the man was playing it now! He also got a set of colorful clothes painted on him as time went by.
All of us were laughing our heads off by now. Another colleague then shared with us information regarding the statue, which is one of the many legends associated with its creation. What the colleague told us was that some enemy army of the city that the boy belonged to had arrived to attack it and had lit explosives to blow it up. But the little boy who saw this urinated on the burning fuse to diffuse it and thus saved the city. That is why, the grateful citizens erected a statue in his honor. And centuries later, in another country far away, the creation of a supposed copycat gave rise to hilarious results!