On the same ship was an elderly bellman who used to sit and converse with the younger man and shower in the light of that bright intelligence.
One night, while walking on the deck of the ship after a long conversation, the learned man asked, "Tell me, old man, what do you know about the stars?"
The bellman shook his head sadly, "Only that they fill the night skies with beauty, sir."
To which the learned man replied, "That is a shame, you have wasted half of your life by not learning astronomy."
The next day, over dinner, the educated man asked the elderly, "What do you know about gastronomy?"
The elderly shook his head again with embarrassed innocence, "Only the difference between a full stomach and an empty one, sir."
Again, the learned man shook his head in reproach, "You have wasted the other half of your life eating without understanding how food is digested."
On a third day, the elderly man ran into his companion and with excitement in his voice asked, "Sir, sir! Can you swim?"
The learned man said, "Why, no. Why do you ask?"
For once, the elderly smiled with cockiness, "Sir, you have wasted your entire life learning astronomy and gastronomy. The ship is about to sink, and you haven't learned swimming-tromy."
- one of the stories passed by Goenka to his students.