Friday, May 8, 2015

An Old Bike

From the pen APN

Berhampur otherwise known as the silk city is now assuming a new shape which is dominated by concrete flyovers and the roads that are divided by iron railings implanted into cemented base. The roads, flyovers and such ancillary structures are constructed to accommodate the speed of the burgeoning town. It is indicative of the restless run of the modern man in a commercialized town.......

While driving a car through the roads I remembered my olden days when I used to ride a 1978 model Yezdi Roadking on the undivided roads in the late nights. The absence of traffic and my solitary journey on the roads at those nights still lingers in my mind. I was a student at that time......

In these 14 years many things have changed. The roads are no more as they used to be. Now riding an old modeled bike in the silence of night won’t fetch the same charm because things have changed a lot. Push-start bikes with four-stroke energy efficient engines, disk-brakes and ergonomic designs have changed the taste of people. Riding an antique bike with its high thumping sound is a lost sight. It causes now many onlookers to raise their eyebrows in surprise and confusion because the Gen-Next hardly knows the brand. Although Royal Enfield bikes continue a tradition in the same line, they come with a lot of improvisations and advancement. So, strictly speaking, the brand Yezdi is a dying cadre. However, it has enough strength and resilience to defy time. To bring the memories back I remodeled my old bike. It was a herculean task to arrange the spare parts of an obsolete bike.
Now the bike looks new and I have grown old but still my heart dances when I see the old friend standing before me in unparalleled beauty.

I told my wife to sit at the back so that we would go on a round together. But she turned her face and walked into the house. I could hear that she was muttering angrily, “I do not know in whose memory you renovated the ramshackle bike paying so exorbitantly.” She walked away peevishly. I could not stop my smile at her fury because her fury and her turning back were directed at some imaginary girl friend which I might have in my past.

Only I and my bike knew whether my wife was correct in her assumptions or not........

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A mother goat’s last prayer

From the pen APN

“Now the sky is unclear. The air is dusty. The water is tasteless and the soil is barren. And this is so because man who walks upon earth is now hollow like scare crow.” said the mother goat to the kids. The kids could not understand what the word ‘HOLLOW’ really meant. Whether man is SELFISH or UNPRINCIPLED-The kids could not make out anything.

On the contrary, the kids were very happy with man because every day he would feed them on soft leaves of cabbage and fresh long green grass. Every day he would put the little goats on the weighing machine and then he would leave them again on the ground. The little goats would jump and play with gay abandon. They would bleat and then they would go near little plants to nibble young soft shoots. Man was more than a friend to them.  

One day, after weighing the goats, the man spotted the healthiest one and took that one with him. In the afternoon when the man returned, he was no more accompanied by the goat. But a blood soaked goat skin was visible in one hand and big bundles of green shoots were seen in the other hand. The man dumped those leafy shoots on the ground and the little goats happily started devouring the leaves.  

The mother goat knew that she and her family are meant for the hungry jaws of men. They are reared and raised so that they can be killed. Her eyes became teary but she knew that she had no stand before the mighty man who knows how to kill like a machine and who knows how to rob the nature of her resources and beauty.

One of the kids asked the doe (mother goat), “Why do you say that man is hollow?” The mother goat looked into the innocent eyes of her kid and told, “The man of this age carries in him the unfathomable emptiness of greed and selfishness. He is empty and hollow inside.”
The kid was confused and a little bit panicked at the appalling state of man. The kid asked anxiously, “Why has man become so empty inside?”

The mother goat explained to the little one that man has forgotten to live in harmony with Nature. Because of his greed the man is empty and the joy of his life is missing. She said, “Man cuts millions of trees, runs millions of industries, digs mines, pollutes water, kills many animals and sucks all the resources of nature, yet he is not happy. It is because his emptiness and greed grow every day.”
Blinking his eyes the kid asked, “Mother, what is Greed?”

The mother goat replied, “Greed may feed the senses but eats away the soul. Life on earth is a celebration of joy through sharing and caring but greed dries up the springs of life. ”


The sun was about to set in the west horizon. The sky was splattered in red with the last rays of the sinking sun. The goat skin, red in blood, was hanging on the walls of the man’s house. The mother goat was deeply hurt and shut her eyes in anguish. She was tearfully praying to God for her turn when she will also be thrown into the unquenchable flare of man’s greed. But she had a last wish that she should be taken to the abattoir before any of her kids.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A CLOUD THAT LOVED CHILDREN

From the pen APN

“When children smile the world smiles” said the floating cloud to the wind. And the cloud requested the wind to carry him to a suitable place where he can make children laugh, giggle and dance in joy. The wind swayed his head approvingly as a result the leaves of the trees nearby rustled merrily.  
The cloud had many rain drops in him but he did not like to pour his water on the village playground because it would make the playground unsuitable for children’s play. The cloud wanted all boys and girls to be the angel of joy and happiness. The cloud had resolved to bring smiles to many children. So he chose a dried pond nearby and told the West Wind, his friend, to carry him just above the dried pond. The cloud had thought that when his belly would burst and there would be a thunder storm, he would pour all the rain water into the dried pond.
The time came and the cloud burst. There was a terrible roll of thunder. With the rumbling of thunders the cloud emptied all the water into the pond lovingly thinking of the children. The rain drops fell into a pond and now the pond was full of water. The cloud was no more seen in the sky. It had welcomed death to fall into the pond in the form of rain drops. The cloud had embraced death peacefully dreaming happy children playing and swimming in a pond brimming with water.   
Next day the sun shined in the sky gloriously. The rippling waters of the pond reflected the golden sun-shine to the trees standing at the pond side. A group of children came to the pond dancing and hoping. Some of them dived into the water and sprinkled water on each other playfully. Some children swam in the water giggling and some other children floated paper boats in the pond. They all made the noise of joy and celebration. Many birds came from different directions and started chirping. A small flower plant which was withering a few days back now looked fresh and a few butterflies were seen hovering around it. In short, the place had just become heaven like with a new touch of life-giving water.

In that joyous atmosphere a big painted lady butterfly was chasing a small orange sulfur butterfly. They flew round and round for a while. A moment later the small orange sulfur butterfly sat on a nearby flower and sipped nectar. The nectar was sweeter than honey. The little butterfly asked the flower in surprise, “How could the nectar flowing in you be so sweet? It is so magical.” The flower replied, “My nectar is made from the waters of a cloud that loved children so much.” The flower looked at the pond where the children were merry-making and the flower continued,” The cloud had the last wish to make all children happy and that WISH had made this place heaven.” The butterfly was enchanted. Now it flew to the pond and out of curiosity sucked a little water from the pond. The water tasted like heaven. And the next moment the butterfly could realize
how deeply the cloud loved the children. The butterfly flew happily after drinking the sweet water of the pond. And while flying through the gentle wind the butterfly sang a song that told, “Mother Nature gives everything/ To see all her children smiling.”