Blind men and the Elephant: A Poem for Children and Adults

John Kolyav By John Kolyav, 22nd Aug 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

People who know a little will argue from their point of view. They never listen to others. Here is the famous story of elephant and blind men in verse.

Four blind men

Dorji, Tshering, Sonam and Tenzin
Were born blind, perhaps by past sin.
Healthy youth, to see they fail
But they write and read in Braille
Friends they are and lived in *Phuentsholing
They were loved by people surrounding.

A festival started in a temple
In *Jaigaon, where one may tumble
People gathered like an ocean
Animals, vendors and many a ruffian.

To North, to East, to West and South
The news spread, like wind, mouth to mouth
There are elephants, seven and a half
Half means young one, like a calf.
Groups of people started dancing
And people flowed out from Phuentsholing
These four blind friends liked to dance
If they could go and get a chance.
And they liked to touch an elephant,
The biggest, they heard that on land.

The festival

Mr. Rinchen, a shopkeeper in the city
Thought of these friends and felt so pity.
He took them in his van to the temple
And helped them, he was afraid of trample

Near to the youngest elephant
The four friends were brought by the merchant.
Dorji caught the elephant’s tail
Tshering patted the elephant’s ear
Sonam gripped the tusk without fail
And Tenzin hugged its leg to his cheer.

They roamed with Rinchen among the crowd
They touched an elephant! They are proud
They lunched and some times took ice cream
They felt all as if in a dream.

Quarrel and settlement

While coming back in Rinchen’s van
Dorji said, like a learned man,
“Why all are silent? Kissed you gloom?
Talk of the elephant, the pretty broom!”
Broom?” Denied Tshering, “The elephant? No!”
It is as flat and wide as a winnow!”
“Don’t talk fools!” Sonam shouted, “It is a spear
If you did not touch, me you hear!”
“Are you all blind?” Tenzin cried as in a war
“The elephant is just like a pillar!”

They started quarrelling on the issue
Rinchen got anger in every tissue
He could not drive the van properly
And escaped an accident nearly
He shouted, “Don’t quarrel like apes,
Elephant has many different shapes!”

*Jaigaon (India) and Phuentsholing (Bhutan) are twin cities bordering India and Bhutan.

Other links:


Bhutan, Children, Dorji, Elephant, Festival, India, Jaigaon, Phuentsholing, Sonam, Temple, Tenzin, Thrissur Pooram, Tusk

Meet the author

author avatar John Kolyav
Born in 1963, Postgraduated in 1986. Six novels and four poetry books published. Got three state- level awards for literary works. More details at

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author avatar A K Rao
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Another nice poem dear John! Thanks for sharing!

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author avatar John Kolyav
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Thanks dear Rao for your encouraging words of appreciation.

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author avatar jkalwaye
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Appreciable work dear poet .nannayittundu .thank you for sharing .jk

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author avatar John Kolyav
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Thanks dear jk for the appreciation. nandhiyuntu.

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author avatar Uma Shankari
24th Aug 2012 (#)

Good one.

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