This is a civilized way of saying no. Farhad is told that he can have Siri if, alone, he can create a canal through the mountains and bring the canal to the palace of the king – Siri is the daughter of the king. And the canal has to be of milk, not of water.
Now, this is absurd. In the first place, even if it was just going to be a water canal, a young man, single-handed…and from the mountains, hundreds of miles away, it will take thousands of years for him to bring the canal to the palace. Even if it is accepted, hypothetically, that it may be possible, how can he manage a canal of milk? From where will that much milk go on continuously flowing through the canal? And the king wants his palace gardens to be watered with milk – only then will Farhad be qualified to ask for the hand of the king’s daughter.
I have been thinking about hundreds of love stories around the world, but somehow or other this factor constantly appears: something impossible is asked. My own understanding is that that factor does not appear without any reason. There is somewhere in the unconscious of the human mind the knowledge that love can make the impossible possible.
Love is so mad. Once you are possessed with love you don’t think in terms of reason and logic, reality. You live in a world of dreams where everything is within your hands. My only concern with these love stories has been to find out something about love which is very essential, and this is what I have found about it: Love makes you so mad that nothing is impossible.
When Farhad is asked to do this job of making a canal from the mountains thousands of miles away, he starts. He does not even say, “Are you mad? What are you asking? You are making it impossible from the very beginning. Why don’t you simply say no? Why go so roundabout?” No, he does not say a single word; he simply takes a spade and moves towards the mountains.
The people in the court of the king ask the king, “What have you done? You know perfectly well this is not possible. You cannot do it, we cannot do it – nobody can do it. You with all your army, with all your forces, cannot bring this canal to the palace – and bringing milk from where? Milk does not come out of streams in the mountains. You can conquer the whole world – we know your power and we know your armies – but that’s another matter. You cannot change the ways of nature.
“In the first place, that poor boy alone – you have told him he is not to ask any help from anybody – is going to dig the canal from the mountains to your palace. It will take millions of years for him, and even if he manages to do it, from where is the milk going to come in the canal?”
The king says, “I know all about it – it is not going to happen. That’s why I have asked, that’s how I have thrown the whole responsibility on him. Now, if he cannot do it, he is responsible. I am saved from saying no to anybody.”
But the people in the court are more puzzled about the young man, Farhad. They rush out, catch hold of him and ask him, “Are you mad or something? Where are you going? It is not possible.”