Saturday, 5 March 2011

Once Friends, Always Friends

           He was sitting there thinking. He looked so troubled that he could not see me coming, I tapped him on his shoulder making him jump as if touched by a live-wire. Clenching his fists, his face a viper, his looks could tell his mind, but the reasons behind his action was something I wanted to know.

          David was always friendly, jovial, and all the time one could see him wearing that lovely grin. I have never seen him like that, not to mention the weight of his anger lying behind his smile. Oops! He threw his punch, landing squarely on my temple, the second one came splitting the air as it landed on my chin. Staggering off balance, he shoved me down as  if  I was just a piece of paper. It was something I expected but I did not know I was a victim of his anger.

          Having managed to calm down my own anger, I stood up facing him, now ready to to retaliate if he bounce on me again, and he did. It was a horrible as we fought each other as if long time enemies. People came to watch a free for all show, shouting and screaming, other encouraging for more action. I remember an older man coming to separate us. It was hard for him to get in the middle of the two energetic middle aged men fighting. The old man had another trick from long time experience, he hit me hard with his walking stick, a sting of pain forced me to step aside- I could see David giving in too.

          Well, the show was over and we parted ways. My mind was full of questions, but with no concrete answer, 'Hows' and 'Whys' kept visiting my blank space in my mind, only to realize it was all a waste of time since only one person could have an answers to my rhetoric questions.

           Tears of sorrow, lose of friendship and embarrassment was what my mind was fighting against. I went and sat in a banana farm, resting my back against mango tree. I could see dancing leaves, happy bird feasting on ripe mangoes and peaceful nature of plant-kingdom, then I reflected my mind to the previous incident regretting the fact that plants are more intelligent than humans. They are harmless to each other.

          My plans for that day was postponed, it was bad that I was forced to skip my birth-day celebrations too, mark you- it was the only time I had planned to honor my freedom of breath. I spent the rest of the day calling my friends telling them to wait for another year or maybe forever. Some demanded to know the reason behind it, all I had to tell them was 'something inevitable came up'. It was not easy letting go off something like that, but my mind needed a good rest.

          Three days elupsed,  the story faded away among the villagers, but in me it was as fresh as a painful wound, even the black-eye David left in my face was still intact. I came to realize I was passing alot  of time thinking of him more than worrying about my own health, leave alone my life which I considered was at risk.

           We did not see each other for about a week or so, not even his voice, no laughter no nothing. It was not his norm to keep quiet for that long or even to be in seclution from us-youth withiut a reason. That gave me a sign that something was definately wrong. I asked my younger brother Dan if he has seen him lately, only to find out that he leaves the house at dawn and get back at dusk.

         One afternoon, I heard people complaining about police harassment of illicity brewers in our village, that a squard led by our area chief is arresting peolpe found drinking home made brews. It was not easy to connect  the story to David whom I knew does not drink, smoke or walk with notorious gangs, but something stung my mind when I heard 'young-stars in the village have taken a major role in guarding browing-homesteads'
It did not take long to get the point being raised by passers-by. In my mind I believed the story involves crazy youths in our village- people who grew up in brewing dens ready to go beyond measure to protect their source of income.I was so wrong. There was a game being played by my fellow youths to make people belive they are helping but in real sense they were gaining from these acts, their main plan was to trick people in a way that no one would realize the secret behind this police crackdown on illegal brews in the village.

This was taken very seriously because the penalty was very harsh and none could dare question the authority or try to stop or even raise an issue concerning the crackdown, that left the villager in dilemma- the only option was to rely on home-guard-youths. Pretenders and caning youths were doing deliberately.

                                         Wolf in Sheep's Skin
                  Days elapsed into weeks, a count down that seemed forever until the time I caught a glimpse of him cross the way from one bush to another. That seemed to be the most favorable opportunity I was looking for. I had to follow him through the thickets that lead to a certain homestead that I suspected was brewing illicit brew. The home in question was located at the banks of the river Kuywa, surrounding it were an artificial forest consisting of Eucalyptus and cypress trees. Thorny pruned hedges made the final touch at side of the door.
                   Reaching the targeted place, I saw him scan the environment as if sniffing to be sure of the target. Then he made a high pitched short whistle, within no time did I see two other guys emerge from the near-by bush. They had a short conversation and everyone went into position.
                 I was left wondering what these guys were up to, but I knew that any slight move will endanger my discovery and I will loose the greatest part of my plans- to expose the rotten youth society and the real culprits.  It did not take long to notice one guy climbing on a tree and the other one with a whistle in his mouth walking along the way as David ran into the compound shouting- alerting the people about the presence of the chief and his police officers. I heard a high pitched whistle as drinkers ran in opposite direction. I could see the guy on the tree looking intensely towards the direction of the river as the noises died down and quietness engulfed the compound as before.
            I remained in my hiding position as fear consumed my heart until I found myself shaking. It was like a scene in a horror movie. I fought my conscience to forgive and forget but with no positive results.

             My troubles always end with a pen and my note book. I wrote the following alluded text:-

It blurs and become blind
                   it cries tearlessly  but harmfully
                      Its fruitless and poisonous
                             If it burst out
                Its smell is unbearable
I can see it coming
I feel it consuming my fellow youth
 But why did they invite it?
Mmmm! Oh No!
 Forgive them Father.

David had no idea that I had seen the whole game, it gave an opportunity to face him and spill the rotten beans to him first before anyone else could know the trick behind Police Issue. I went strainght to him and told him exactly what I saw. I could see his face turn aside as tears ran down his cheeks. He bend low and apologized his heart out. His sincere apology hit my heart that we found ourselves into arms of each other. Back in our roots we were.
The End

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

'Why' Story: Wolf and The Sheep

Sometimes it happens that my mind reflects back my `junior’ years.  It happens very often, remembering that moment when our learning started through tales of our legendary heroes and tricky-canning animals. Every evening we would assemble around our grandmother’s hearth, it was mandatory for all her grand-children to attend the gathering-, only the sick exempted.
It was amazing how she chose topics based on her daily observations, stories that related well with our behaviors and usually with hidden teaching about life.
Here is one of them…
                  After the great deluge, Noah released animals from the Ark. It happened that the wolf- Chui and the ram- Marr had became close friends, after being together for along time in the Ark. Their friendship grew much stronger through visitation and working together until the two communities came to relate well and with respect to each other.
                One day, the whole wolf community was called for a meeting to discuss a certain matter that pertain their community. It did not take long for Chui to realize the meeting was called because of his relationship with Marr. “We have to stop this imposed friendship with sheep community…...”  an elder announced as the whole community cheered in agreement except Chui. He was left wondering why such a decision has been reached by his elders and why the whole community has assented to it. Then another blow came, “………how can we work with our prey? How can we share items and house-hold goods with herbivorous-edible animals? We are carnivorous and that as our way of life, we should not befriend anyone who is not our kind- not even our rivals….”
                 Chui was occupied in thoughts trying to figure out how to save his friend and family from looming danger, only to catch the conclusion of the elder’s speech. “……….tomorrow we go hunting, and we gonna start with the most docile communities around us…. The sheep,” An elder paused, then he continued “Kill them all, we need food to keep us through this on-coming season of great hunger,”
                  After the meeting, everyone set off happily chanting to their war songs, praising their leader for wise decisions in ‘dilemma times’. Chui hung his head and walked home disappointed by his elders.  
Early the following morning, Chui woke up and headed for his friend’s home.
             Chui went straight to his friend to give him first hand information about the wolf-community’s plan to annihilate them. He found Marr having break-fast with his Parents. As usual, Chui was invited to share their meal.
            After break-fast, the two friends secluded themselves from the family gathering to have a chat. It was then that Chui broke news to Marr, he told him that was the only way to save him and his family and how he will trick his own community to follow a different route when hunting. They terminated their hobnob and parted ways.
            The news was spread like bush-fire in Sheep-community, in no time that they set off for their secret hide-out. They only carried essential needs, leaving their crops in the farm.
           The journey was so long and strenuous since they carried heavy loads plus their young-ones on their backs. They covered miles in a single day, tired but kept walking away from danger… through the hills and valleys, wadding through swamps and in plains, passing in thorny bushes and in grassy lands. Finally the elders announced their arrival in their destination.
           Starting a new life was the trickiest part they had to out-do in order to settle down and wait for their destiny.
           Time went on smoothly, worries died down and happiness resumed in Sheep-community. One day, Chui came to visit his best friend Marr. Elders did not like it but anyway he saved their lives, they only pretended happy to see him, giving him high praises but their inner feelings were tormented with hatred.  
            It was not just a normal visit but an invitation for Barr to attend a dancing ceremony that marks a bridge to adulthood in Wolf-community. It was not easy for Chui to persuade Barr to attend the party, but he succeeded after promising to hide him in his neck-basket. After confirmation that Barr is certain to attend the party, Chui left for home.
           The day came; Barr hid in Chui’s hunting basket and attended the party in secrecy. Time passed on fine until at one moment a small brother to Chui came just close to him and shouted “I can smell something…” he kept sniffing around, “do you smell a presence of a sheep around here?” He asked Chui. Without waiting for an answer, he rushed away in haste, Chui knew it was risky to stay with his friend any longer; he excused himself and parted from the gathering.
             He took Barr to a safe place, thanked him for his mighty bravery and let him off. Barr walked away, happy being far away from his greatest foes- the Wolf-community.
               Time elapsed; a day drawing nearer and nearer, Barr was determined to give tit-for-tat to his friend. An on-coming most secret initiation ceremony was the only hope to give back an equivalent to his friend’s treat. But how?. It was not easy because the ceremony was only attended by elders and the selected male members. Luckily, Barr was selected. Having an opportunity to invite his friend but still not sure if he will manage to get into Wolf-community without being noticed, he set off for his task. Fortunately, he met Chui on the way to fetch water. After a short conversation, Barr gave Chui an invitation to attend the ceremony before they parted ways in hurry lest they get noticed.
               Barr did not have any clue on how the ceremony is conducted, it was hard to guess they way forward or even an inkling of what supposed of the new members. Chui hiding securely in Barr’s harvesting basket. The time came for new members to dance and the best dancer awarded the privilege of being provided for for the whole Sheep-community’s calendar year. That was the minute Barr forgot Chui was in his basket, he danced until the basket gave-in for the weight and tore up exposing Chui’s tail. The worst happened; Chui had to run for his dear life.
               Their friendship ended, enmity between the two communities grew to the worst level until the sheep went back to human community for protection, as the wolves stay in the jungle waiting for the day when the sheep will be ousted by humans.

Above All

Training my tongue like a small boy,
Moving it back and fourth,
Just to make noises that jovially,
And truly unwound my lazy mind.

It goes black and write in white,
It goes dark illuminating light,
I follow it like a tathered herbivore,
Without a link to my destiny,

The only hope,
Is my desire to see in reality,
My only joy,
Is my destiny in clear sky,
And to see my dark side damned.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Words Of Wisdom

“With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.” Keshavan Nair