Catch the middle one !
This incident took place in the famous ancient city of Haridwar. On the banks of holy Ganges, a Pundit was seated on the corner of a house. He was repeatedly uttering one sentence in Hindi - 'Agli chhodo, Pichhali chhodo bich wali lo pakdi', the meaning of which was “Leave the first one, Leave the last one, but catch the middle one!”
None of the passers by had any idea about what this Pundit was repeating time and again. People understood the literal meaning of this saying but nobody could comprehend the underlying meaning behind the utterances of this Pundit.
Some of them thought that Pundit was thinking about girls and so they commented that despite Pundit's old age, his attraction towards women has not ceased. Some commented that even on the banks of holy Ganges the mind of Pundit is impure and filthy.
This continued for quite a few days. Once it so happened that three girls passed by and heard the words of the Pundit. They immediately became angry and decided to teach a lesson to this aged man. The girls started to beat him with their sandals. In no time, people assembled there to inquire about what happened.
The Pundit clarified, "I was just repeating a quote of a saint". Everybody was taken aback. A quote of a saint?
The Pundit then clarified, "I visited a saint some time back and he gave me this message: 'There are three periods in a person’s life – childhood, youth and old age. The best time to worship God and to achieve His grace is the middle one – youth. The reason: most of our childhood passes in play and when we are old we are bound with so many limitations. It is only during our youth that we can achieve whatever we wish. So we should maximize our efforts for the realization of God’s grace during that time.' The explanation to my words is that simple. I meant nothing foul by them.”
The people who assembled there, including the three girls, understood the meaning of that sentence and apologized to the Pundit for their behavior.
The incident demonstrate us that the presentation of the material is also as important as the content therein and hence one should refrain away from using such ambiguous words.