Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Three Coconuts

Somu is walking in the ashram. Seeing the Master, he is excited, but also respectfully tries to side step him with his head down.

"Somu?"
"Yes Master!"
"Can you get me three coconuts?"
"Yes Master!" (to himself) "Wow, this is the first time he has actually spoken to me! And he is asking me for something!"

He walks excitedly, thinking about the coconuts. He meets, Ganesh.

"Ganesh, Master asked for three coconuts from me!"
"Wow! coconuts from a nut" (laughs loud) "How are you planning to get them?"
"I am thinking... Any ideas?"
"From the grove obviously!"
"I don't know how to climb trees. Can you?"
"I have work in the kitchen."
It seems to be good timing. Mahesh is passing by.
"Mahesh, do you know how to climb trees?"
"No, why?"
"It's Somu's big day today. Master has asked him to get three coconuts!"
"Wow! coconuts from a nut!"
Ganesh laughs loud at the sync.
"Have you guys conspired to say this?"
"Hmmm, climbing trees is not my thing. But I will accompany you and assist you in the process!"
"OK, deal!"

Ganesh leaves to the kitchen. Mahesh and Somu walk to the grove.

"So why did he ask you?"
"I felt devout today morning - may be..."
"Yeah, right!"
"No, seriously..."
"Yeah, right!"
"No, seriously..."
"Seriously?!?"
"Yeah"
"Too bad, you didn't feel intelligent!"
"What?"
"Yeah, how are you going to get the coconuts?"
"I'll get it somehow. Master will be impressed at the hard task!"

In the grove...

"So, both of us cannot climb trees... Can you jump?"
"Very funny! Master asked me the coconuts. So I will climb!"
"OK. Remove your foot wear!"
(thinks) "...You know, may be, can you get a net and hold it below the tree..."
(Mahesh laughs loud)
"You know, just in case..."
"... bones are likely to break?"
"Not exactly. In case I have the urge to fly and miss..."

a few minutes later, the net is setup

"OK, I am going up!"
Somu excitedly climbs up. Half way...
"You know, it is harder than I thought....
Man, there are huge ants on the tree!" (scared) "Will they bite?"
"Are they black?"
(yells) "How the hell does that matter?"
"Black ants don't bite!"
"They don't?!?"
"Yeah, they won't"
"Oh man, there are so many on the tree. I don't think I can hold on, is the net strong?"

(a few minutes later, on the net)

"I am so glad we set this up!
And yeah, black ants don't bite! Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuch"
"They bite?"
"YESSS you idiot! So much owwwwwwwwwwww for your theory. Help me push them away"
(a few minutes later, the ants are gone)
"You know, small black ants don't bite. Apparently, the big ones do!"
"I am big!"
"OK, what about the coconuts?"
"My hands are swollen!"
"But Master..."
"Yes. Master asked ME. I will get the coconuts!"
"You know, may be we should use the ladder?"
"You IDIOT. Why didn't you suggest this earlier?"
"Apparently, big blank ants trigger memories too" (laughs loud)
"Is the ladder tall enough?"
"It should be!"
(a few minutes later, very close to the coconuts)
"Do I take only three? Or we need more for the ashram?"
"We get a coconut climber every month. Just take three!"
"Mahesh!" (almost a whisper)
"WHAT... what happened?"
"There is a snake here..."
"You're kidding"
"No, a big snake?"
"Is it black?"
"YOU IDIOT. Black snakes bite too!"
(the snake bites Somu on the hand. He falls backwards with the ladder, bypassing the net)
"Ooooooooouuuuuch"
"Are you ok, are you ok?"
"My hip pains. My hand pains..."
"Show your hand first." (looks at his hand) "Only one fang mark. It's not a poisonous snake"
"Are you sure?"
"No!"
"Hey, wherever I go, hell or heaven, I'll come back in search for you!"

(a few days later of bed rest and hip healing, Somu is better! Mahesh excitedly comes to him)

"You know..."
"Yeah, that snake was non poisonous all right!"
"No Master is coming to see you!"
(Somu excitedly tries to sit up)
"Oooooouch"
"It's ok, lie down"
By that time, the Master is there. He laughs loudly looking at Somu. Somu doesn't know how to react!
"You know, for all this trouble, you could have at least got the coconuts!"
(sadly) "Yes Master"
"And you managed to scare the poor snake!"
(sadly) "Yes Master"
"Coconuts were not available in the shop?"
"Aaaaaah, the shop! The shop!"
(groans loudly and looks at the fang mark on his hand!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

balance

brood like the pine trees
in deep embrace with the creator
wait like the still mountain
in it changes nothing for eons
strike like an arrow
as it shoots for the mark on motion

Monday, May 12, 2008

No Response!

Muthu was driving his car on the highway with his favorite song on the stereo. The road was clear with just a few vehicles in front of him and so the average speed on most vehicles were high. To the left of the highway, he spotted a dog. It seemed quite restless, which may have been because of the unrelenting heat.

Suddenly, in a whim, the dog tried to cross the highway with a rapid dart. Muthu's heart froze as the dog had jumped right in front of a bus. Muthu desperately looked to his right across the other side of the bus to see if the dog made it. His stomach tightened as he found the dog missing. He knew what had happened and he drove on till he reached the dog. Vehicles following the bus started deviating from their straight line course to swerve away from the dog.

The dog was on it's back, all four legs reaching out to the sky. (S)he was still alive, but in too much pain. Way too much pain perhaps, for (s)he was unable to even squeal to express her pain. Muthu looked back to see a steady stream of vehicles flowing straight up and he realized it was only a matter of time before an unaware driver runs over the dog. He did not know what to do. He parked the vehicle by the road side, switched off the stereo and laid his head on the steering wheel - his heart full of pain.

He did not have a proper response to the situation. All his gusto came crashing down in a moment that the accident needed to happen. Slowly, he drove away with the image of the dog on it's back imprinted on his brain. The question on his head for a long time to come would be - "What is the response when there is no proper response?"

Earth Day

12th May 2008,
Chennai



On Earth Day, the National Environment Institute organized a slogan competition among many schools. Children under 12 years of age were eligible to participate. The task was to nick-name the Earth in a way that promoted a gentler and a conscious outlook.

Among many entries that poured in, which included those like "My Home", "Beautiful Earth" - the winning entry was "My Blue Planet", submitted by an eight year old girl.

The judges chose the entry as it depicted many things in one simple phrase. As viewed from space, the earth is a blue planet. The "My" in the title relates to the Earth on a very personal level as in "My Friend" or more appropriately "My Home". Incidentally, an entry titled "My Home" was also in the list. The judges felt "Home" was too generic and did not have the emotional context "My Blue Planet" provided.

My Blue Planet, indeed!


The entire post is fiction - there probably is no "National Environment Institute" either!
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