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First, a cool story...

My eight-year-old daughter Ananya was about to do her homework, but her mind
was elsewhere. She sharpened her pencils. She arranged the eraser, sharpener
and ruler in a row. Then she collected the pencil shavings in a pile.

"Let's read the first problem," I suggested, but she began doodling.
"Well, have you heard the story of the bird's eye?" I asked. Her ears perked
up. I began...

Long ago in India, there lived a martial arts teacher named Drona. He ran
an academy in the middle of the forest where he taught the art of archery.
Students traveled for miles and miles to learn from him. A boy named Arjuna
wanted to be the best archer in the world. So he decided to study at Drona's
academy. He lived in the cottages for students.

Drona showed his students how to hold a bow and arrow. He told them to
focus, "Look at where you want your arrow to go. Nowhere else." He told
them to concentrate, "Think only of what you want your arrow to do.
Nothing else."

Arjuna listened intently. He practiced and practiced and practiced. One
night while Arjuna was eating his dinner, a gust of wind blew out the oil
lamp. Arjuna continued eating.

"I can eat in the dark because I know where my mouth is," he said to
himself, "I don't need to look at anything else."

He decided to practice archery in the dark. He relighted the lamp and used
it as a target. He thought, "I know where my target is and I don't need to
look at anything else."

He picked up his bow and arrows and began shooting. TWANG! TWANG! The
sound of bow strings filled the air. When Drona heard the sound, he came
out of his cottage. The sight of Arjuna practicing archery delighted him.
He blessed Arjuna, saying "May your arrows never miss their targets."

Soon other students grew jealous of all the attention Arjuna was getting.
"Why do you think Arjuna is the best among us all?" they asked the teacher.
That evening Drona made an announcement.

"Tomorrow, there will be an archery competition to find out the best archer,"
Drona said. "When the sun climbs over the horizon, be ready with your bows
and arrows."

The students polished their bows. They sharpened their arrows. Next morning
they gathered in the yard. Glossy bows and pointed arrows gleamed in the sun.
The wind was still but the students' hearts fluttered with excitement. Drona
stepped out. In his hands was a bird made of clay. He laid it on a tree far
from them.

"See that clay bird perched on the tree ahead of us? Aim at its eye," he said.
Then he called the first student. The student plucked an arrow from the
quiver, placed it on the bow, and pulled the string.
"What do you see ahead of you?" Drona asked.
"I see the sun, the clouds, the trees," the student replied as he released
the string. The arrow shot forward and landed yards away from the tree.

The second student took his position. He plucked an arrow from his quiver,
placed it on the bow, and pulled the string.
"What do you see ahead of you?" Drona asked.
"I see the tree, the branches, the leaves," the student replied as he
released the string. The arrow shot forward and landed near the roots of
the tree.

The next student came forward, plucked an arrow from his quiver, placed it
on the bow, and pulled the string.
"What do you see ahead of you?" Drona asked.
"I see the bird, its legs, its wings," the student replied as he let the
string go. The arrow shot forward and grazed the wings of the bird.

Finally it was Arjuna's turn. He plucked an arrow from his quiver, placed it
on the bow, and pulled the string.
"What do you see ahead of you?" Drona asked.
"I see the eye of the bird," Arjuna replied.
"What else do you see, Arjuna?" Drona asked.
"Nothing. I only see the round black eye of the bird," Arjuna replied as he
released the string. The arrow shot forward with a swoosh. It pierced the
center of the eye of the clay bird.

"And that's the end of the story," I announced. Ananya thought for a few
moments.
"Hmmm.. I see. So I'm Arjuna, my pencil is the arrow, and the homework
problem is the bird's eye?" she asked.
"Yes," I replied. "It's a story from Indian mythology."

She didn't even hear me. She was busy with her homework.

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