The umbrella as we know it today was first manufactured in London in 1749. This is how one person described the new invention at the time: “When opened, it was like a small tent, and when shut it was all curiously jointed and would fold up to the length of a man’s hand.”
At the beginning of the 20th century, a hand pump was installed for the first time in one Indian village. When it was operated, and water started gushing out from beneath the ground, a village woman exclaimed: “Only death has defeated man.” What she meant was that man can do anything, only he cannot control death.
Two hundred years ago, umbrellas and hand pumps appeared extraordinary. Not, however, to a person living in the present age. He or she does not view such things as out of the ordinary; the reason for this is that now they have become familiar objects.
This is a person’s test in the world: to see a tree and look on it as the first tree; to see the sun shining, and look at it as if he were seeing it for the first time; to hear a bird as if it were the first bird that ever raised its voice in song.