Diminishing Marginal Utility and the Tenth Apple

Original Story in Odia: Anil Kumar Parhi

Translation : Deepak Kumar Dey


On a sleepless night, I was fascinated and my willingness got elongated  when God himself appeared live in front me and said- ”You can ask from me whatever you wish. I will bestow upon you the one which has never been given away to anyone till now.” Time was running out of my hand; because He would have to set off before the first watch of the morning. Then I was in complicacy as to what should I ask . Time was fleeting by and since my better-half was sleeping I was unable to get her succor and kids were also sticking to sleep. What should  I put before Him and  which would be profitable for me?

– Kingship of heaven, world or the whole universe ! No, so far as mythology is known to me, most of such bizarre fates had begotten horrendous death to all those who had sought such thirst – I did organize my deeper control and stability.

 – Elixir !

I was reminded of beheaded Rahu and Ketu.

-Wealth or property! Who knows not the melancholic suffering of King Midas. So, what rests at Lord , I know Gods are icons of cleverness. They will appear with golden-silver and iron axe such that man will be puzzled. What shall I lay before Him? He laughed and said -” Yesterday , your desire had undergone experience about your illness, lack of money for son and daughter’s admission. You are allowed to go with better health and money .’

I smiled- Bah! God is very clever . Who will ever ask such little things when by medicine disease can be cured and  banks are available for loan, but God can provide whatever He wills. Every second of craziness countered in my mind that I will ask Him that He would never confer, but -what ! Managing my decorum I started flattering with -“My Lord ,I need one day ,please.’

He nodded His consent and disappeared.


‘What will we table ‘- I asked my wife. At first she couldn’t  believe . Little later she took into core and suggested,” Ask Him – job for our kids ,a big apartment at Bhubaneswar and best award for your literary work, money, gold , deathlessness and culmination for neighbors.

She, being the one who offers prayers everyday for my well-being and prosperity, had completely forgotten about my health. I was saddened a bit. Let it be. I asked my son and daughter. They responded- Tell God to fulfill your hundred wishes. In my utter surprise I replied that only one was to be granted.’  ‘Yes, pursue those hundred wishes be filled in that one’, they remarkably advocated . ‘Is it that all will be yours if the hundred is accomplished?’, I asked.

‘Dad, how foolish you are ! When ninety nine will be in use, for last will, won’t we tell for another hundred’, they answered. God came at night and said,’ Have you decided anything ?’ ‘No ,Your Majesty! To quest is too difficult a part among many, this is not easiest to get at one choice, one  more day please.’

‘ All right ‘, saying this God vanished .


In a quietude memento, I did put my stippled talk before Baba Bhairabananda at his monastery. Dissolved in astonishment he stood with a condition that I must help him meet God; in an asystematic way ,’Yes’, – said I. Baba went on chanting hymns from epics . To anticipate my will he recommended  to give in before His feet. To get into infinity I must surrender to Him , My Son’, unexpected advice came from him. Giving in – I asked. When Lord is bound and ready  for all ,why should I unnecessarily sail upon ?’

In turn ,I came back to a philosopher and did proceed with the same quest. He looked up sky while his tears tumbled down  line by line . He negotiated, ‘Dear, ask God to let you know the existing reality and secrecy of death and  life.’ The answer did not satisfy me nor was I pleased with, knowing well that this won’t be appropriate for the pursuit I require .

In order to find my answer I asked a poet. Immediately he sang up a poetry r which he had composed at spot. Then he stated , ‘Ask him for surreal compassion that Saraswati will reside in your larynax.’  I was not interested for knowledge for it was needless for me. So  I discarded his suggestions. I had come in contact with  peasant, soldier,teacher; wanted to know from them but their replies were incorrect . I was worried what if God won’t step in on that specified day.

For the first time , seeing God before my eyes, I wholly fell into devotional madness . He seemed like a king in second meet and today, He was not less than a loyal messenger of king .


There lived a notorious one near our residence. Indeed definition of a wicked one is realistically critical. He had been informed about my meeting with God and he better knew that God never met people like him. Therefore he did neither mock nor poke.

Perhaps, he had taken drugs and was an educational witch . On the way he made me stop and claimed like soaring eagle’s expectations , ‘Hello uncle ,are you not finding your answer ? Listen what I am speaking . Your work is done and to feel like safest to ask supreme omnipresence from Him.

His say was not to undermined. That was an enough stuff to think over in giddy mind . Though I had acquainted with omnipotence that is not only a supreme energy but an indescribably independent source of responsibility, infinite patience and incomparable innovations.Aptly which generates unselfish art of love giving and protection as well as the existence of everything in vast nothingness.  Might be ,none had sought God’s omnipotence. That night I was fully  exhausted before God’s arrival. It was felt like a futile adherence unlike available air in the world , God wishes to give away to me from air as  a self oriented man loves to manipulate for wider fame and recognition; will God follow the same way. As He is master and me -his dog and like rice and pulses during corona. Will God come up with featured photo on social media posting ??That day was gone; as before I asked for time .Since HE never defies anyone, He did not nullify my request .

Today is tenth day, effect of  tenth apple. My belief was concrete that God was boring and an invisible prudence. From day five to ninth day I was in mental disturbance and in scroungy moments . Some expressed God is a beauty for ever. My better half, kids, saint, poet , philosopher and the wicked man  continuously  went on querying what had I asked God and what I got. No one had intended to know exact reason – How God looks , on which  He comes; does He really look like wholesome grace or revered as constant companion? Everyone enquired about what I got for my stippled letter . I was tired of replying to them.

Today -my last day of colloquy with God. Oh! Twiddling night was passing by. Did I live as a human in past ten days? I had become an unsolved and elicited question.  On the upturn of periodic time I had ignored my daily routine as if I was turning into mute ,blind and deaf. No, today would be final .I decided to tell him to be framed in photograph to be worshipped in sandalwood paste ,stay in offerings and oblation. Please , come not in any different form -especially in childish Krishna adoration. Be a photo.

It was felt somehow likely God was coming to take away something instead of giving as I am a loan defaulter of Him. I couldn’t come to any point what I will ask for me for my eyes were beholden.

Last hour of night ! He came. ” Today is last day for you .Note your draft what you want .For this years after year gods , ogre go on meditation along with austerity’, said God . ‘But  , me why , my Lord ! I am just a commoner. Many saints had sacrificed themselves to get you why not them’ ,I replied.

  _” That’s you, go on!’- God gave a distasteful laugh.

In the azure sky there are millions of stars , galaxies, astronomical bodies and vast emptiness . What shall I want – do energize me so that I could travel in live human physique or immortal lines of poetry or secret of life and death or

Sure defeat of my neighbor? Suddenly ,somewhat like consciousness sparkled in my heart. Instantly my inner sense got enlightened.  I was able to see my lungs  , heart and venation. The unsolved seemed to be solved. With a smile I spoke,’My Lord! Do take away one by one that I have  . HE smiled so did I.

Seeing me unconscious on bed, my better-half shook me and said – Hey ! What are you dreaming of !


The well-known story goes like this:-

A man lost his way in deep dense forest. After three days and three nights, without food, he came up to an apple tree while he was wandering . Because of bitter hunger he burst into cry in joy and thanked God. The first apple was blissful nectar, he felt. Having great interest he had had second and third apple  and while taking fourth one his stomach was fully filled. Fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth , ninth apples were full of displeasure for him and he began to throw out abusive language at God. With all might and a fierce anger he flung away the tenth apple into forest .

2 thoughts on “Diminishing Marginal Utility and the Tenth Apple

  1. Excellent story line and outstanding translation work.. Heartiest congratulations to both the writer and the translator.. The vocabulary and structure of the story in Odia and English are just beautifully superb.

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