Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Secret Agent
I was sitting on a beach, sipping lazily on the mojito that the waiter, who actually belonged to the Blue Panther gang, had served me, my mind like a labyrinth, wondering how to outwit my enemies next week in the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas, when I was stuck by a flash of lightening!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The 'story' of my life!
Here's how this is going to work(hopefully). Every day, my wife will be giving me 5 random words. I have to construct a story using those 5 words as the base. the words for today are:
Brook, Forest, Wizard, Cottage, Mount Crescent(what's that?). So, here goes nothing...
The Wizard Of Mount Crescent
Long long ago, in a forest not so far away(on Mount Crescent as a matter of fact, which is in New Hampshire), there lived a young Wizard named Stoppgappi. He was not an exceptionally great wizard, since he did not own a pointed hat(and made do with a baseball cap instead) or a flying broom(having to depend on his Hero Ranger bicycle for his transportation needs), but he was all the forest, it's denizens, and this author had, so we have to make do with him. Stoppgappi lived in a quaint cottage by a small brook in the forest, with no one to give him company except his Bai, Diana, who used to come in once a day every morning to do the dishes, scrub the floor, wash his clothes, and steal the 'desi ghee', in reverse order of preference!
Our story starts on a random winter morning, when Stoppgappi woke with the first knock of the Bai. He got out of his 'rajaai' and ran to get the door before she went back thinking(conveniently) that he wasn't home. As the Bai came in, the door remained open behind her. It was then that Stoppgappi noticed something amiss with the brook. He quickly slipped into his slippers and promptly slipped on the slippery floor, where the Bai had just started doing 'pocha'. But, being a wizard(even though an average one) has it's advantages. Since he had also slipped on his fur robe, he managed to escape unhurt, since the padding of the robe cushioned his fall.
Anyways, coming back to the brook, there was something weird about the colour of the water, it was blood red . Now everyone knows that wizards are the protectors of the forest and all the creatures living in it. And Stoppgappi took his responsibility very very seriously. He immediately asked the Bai to leave, locked his cottage, took out his cycle from the garage, and started cycling uphill to try and trace the source of the abomination. He toiled on and on for almost half the day, since Mount Crescent is a high peak, and finally reached the source of the brook. Unlike other brooks, this particular brook was coming out of a dark cave near the top the mountaion. Stoppgappi stopped his cycle, dismounted, threw up(it was quite a steep climb and he was not in the best of shape after all), took out his magic wand(he was a wizard, remember?), and started walking towards the cave. The blood in the brook had made him wary, and so he approached very very carefully.
As he entered the cave, tentatively skirting the water flowing out of it so that his new suede shoes would not get damaged, he spoke a spell softly while simultaenously switching on a battery-operated bulb on the tip of the wand. He could not illuminate his wand by magic, but the creatures in the forest need not know that. He walked on for around 200 metres through the dank, dark corridor, and suddenly, the darkness gave way to bright light, the cobwebs gave way to emulsion-painted walls, and his wariness gave way to horror. For inside a huge well-lit hall that he had stumbled into, he found.....Diana! Only, she was now at least 80 metres tall, and surrounded by 12 other females(for want of a better word), who were not that short themself!
"Diana, what is the meaning of all this?", cried out Stoppgappi as loud as he could, since he was not sure whether his voice would even reach her. But the cave was accoustically like a home theatre system, so his voice came out like that through a loudspeaker in a Ramlila. Diana looked down and noticed a speck, who, on closer inspection, seemed remarkably similar to her young master Stoppgappi. Now, if it were any other man, she would have immediately stomped him to powder, but this was her master, and she had, after all, eaten his salt(in addition to desi ghee of course). She mumbled a few words and immediately shrank to her 'normal' height. Stoppgappi was livid with anger."Diana, what have you been up to, and how many people have you killed that there is so much blood in the water?", asked Stoppgappi, full of righteous indignation. "Blood? Killed? What are you saying Stoppu baba?", bleated Diana in her meekest voice. The wizard was still bristling with anger, and started shouting at her again- "Don't pretend to be so inncocent Diana. The blood in the brook is sufficient evidence of your guilt!" It was then that Diana noticed the red colour of the water. And started laughing.....and laughing....and laughing!!!
Stoppgappi's expressions changed from anger, to surprise, to slight amount of fear. He was quite sure that he would be able to manage Diana and her friends under normal circumstances, but he was not sure he could take on a psycho woman who could grow up to height of 80 metres, especially on an empty stomach(he hadn't had time for breakfast, and had thrown up a few minutes ago, remember?). Diana put one hand into her pocket, and Stoppgappi stiffened. She was obviously going to take out some hideous weapon which she would use against him, and the wizard brought up his magic wand in anticipation, ready to say 7 different spells at a moment's notice to protect himself. Diana fumbled around in her pocket for a few seconds, and then, suddenly, took out her hand with a flourish. "What is this magic potion that you are holding in your hand", said the wizard, "I've never seen anything like this in my long and illustrious wizarding career of 6 months!" Diana walked towards him....and smiled. "This is known as a nail paint amongst you humans", said Diana. Stoppgappi stopped in his tracks,"You humans boley toh?" "You still haven't got it, hai na?". Diana said softly with what seemed to the wizard to be a menacing tone, "think about my name again, and you will get your answer. Diana, as in Daayan-a, I am actually a Daayan(demon)."
Stoppgappi almost fainted with fear, and if he had had his breakfast, I am sure he would have thrown up again, as it is, he felt bile fill his mouth. He had studied about these 'Daayans' in his 'Hideous creatures and how to handle them' class in wizarding school. The chapter on 'How to deal with Daayans' consisted of just one word: 'RUN'! But fear had frozen him in his tracks, his feet felt like lead, he tried to think of any spell that might help him escape from Diana, but his mind kept throwing up just one line-"Bhoot pishaach nikat nahi aawe, Mahavir jab naam sunaawe", from the Hanuman Chalisa, which, he had been told by his granny, was the best weapon to fight off ghosts and demons.
Diana took another step towards him. She had stopped laughing now. She was still hoding the nail paint in her hand, which she was pointing towards him like a gun. She took another step towards him, and Stoppgappi finally found the courage to start screaming! And while he was in the middle of this mother of all screams, he realized that there were many other screams mingling with his scream, 13 to be precise. He stopped screaming and realized that all the 'daayans' had a petrified look on their faces and were screaming their lungs out. "Silence", he shouted loudly enough to drown out their schemes, and there really was silence. "Now Diana, please tell me what is going on", he asked her in his sternest 'me Master you Bai' tone. And Diana started speaking...
"We are a family of 13 daayans, all sisters. Contrary to popular perception, we do not eat humans or animals, in fact, we are pure vegetarians, just like Brahmans/Gujjus/Marwaris/Jains amongst you humans. We have special powers that allow us to reduce our size from 0600 to 1800 hours. To earn our living, we work as Bais in various households during the day, and get back to our home(this cave) by the evening so that we do not get caught and lynched by humans, or devoured by animals . We are the last of our species, and just want to live out the rest of our days peacefully. So please please please don't hurt us or inform the other humans about us, after all, maine aapka namak khaaya hai."
Throughout this explanation, Stoppgappi was standing with his mouth agape, too flabbergasted to say anything. When Diana finally stopped, he found his tongue again,"I don't believe you because there's a critical flaw in your explanation." "What's that?. whimpered Diana. "The blood in the brook."
"Ohh that!", said Diana with a sigh of relief,"why do you think I was showing you this nailpaint? We got 50 tonnes of these yesterday from the market, to try on(aakhir daayan bhi insaan hoti hain, unke seene mein bhi dil hota ai, unki bhi kuchh tamannaayein hoti hain), and my sister Hidimba accidentally sat on the sack containing the nail paint this morning!"