Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Trespasser

He crossed the border and entered the new land with no apparent hesitation. He was in search for a territory for himself and knew that he had to violate many an existing border before he can draw one. And this was not the first one he had trespassed – he had been doing this ever since his mother disappeared on that fateful morning.

At this time, the senapathi was on a usual stroll in his verandah, full of energy andenthusiasmsm. From one end of his walkway he could see the border he was protecting and from the other end he could see the palace he was serving. At each of those ends he would stay, stare and dream of the wars he would lead and the prizes he would win. In between the dreams he would walk and think - the thoughts never seemed to converge.

The mahamanthri was lying on his lawn, occupied with thoughts. He considered himself the greatest planner of his time. He would plan a thousand schemes and dream about all the great things that these would achieve for his land. In between the schemes he would get up, shrug and look around lazily - the sights never seemed to influence his thoughts,

The maharaja was resting in his mahal immersed in prosperity. He would alternate between the taste of the delicious meals on the platter and the comfort of his manjal. In between the food and the sleep, he would look out through the window and think of his rule and immediately feel elated – the pride never seemed to have a reason behind.

The protagonist continued his destined walk wondering what he would have to face in this alien place. The senanayak was the first to spot the enemy. He sensed a great opportunity to win accolades, for the enemy did not look menacing at all. He started off in a spree, making loud threatening warrior sounds. He had already started imagining the ferocity with which he would attack, when he suddenly banged against the door and fell in anguish. From the balcony of the second floor of that green house which had no ground, he stared down at the enemy, who now looked strong and confident.

The manthri was brought into reality by the sight of the enemy walking in front of his lawn. He had an immediate problem to solve and ad to put his thousand brilliant schemes aside. He walked up to the enemy and tried to convince him about what dangers would befall him. There was no acknowledgement for his words of wisdom, let alone any response. The manthri could stand the indifference no more. He decided to attack, hesitating in between for a moment before concluding that the enemy was weak enough, and started to run towards him. Immediately he felt the terrible pain on his wounded leg and was suddenly reminded of his throat that could produce only groans and the left eye which could no longer see. He stopped midway staring at the enemy, who looked so young and energetic.

The maharaja had been woken up by the senapathi's groans which he felt was unusual and he looked out of the window. He was surprised at seeing the alien in front of his palace. Why did his prajaaas - the mightiest and the brightest of all – fail to stop this? He himself could attack and kill the tiny enemy, but for his stature. He was the powerful king for whom it was a shame fighting an enemy of no match on the street. He was the prosperous king who had to maintain the dignity of the palace. He had enough of duties on his plate already, and this is not a king’s job. He did not move - he simply stood at the window staring.

The hero, amused at all the happenings around him, suddenly paused and looked back. This looked like a nice peaceful place to stay. He looked at the three pair of eyes staring at him and found more appreciation than hate in them. He had almost made up his mind, when he decided to turn around and look forward for one last time. He wondered what life lie beyond the other border. Maybe ahead are more of his kind, the youthful and the spirited, with whom he can engage in games and adventure. Maybe ahead is a piece of virgin land, where he can rule, where he would find lots of food and love. He could not stand the urge to explore – after all, he was too young for peace. He decided to move forward.

The maharaja, seeing the foreigner move farther away, reasoned how noble he had just acted, allowing a foreigner to pass safely through his country. He felt proud and elated about his rule once again. He could have treated the visitor to some fine food too, for it did look as if he came from a place not as prosperous as this. At this, he suddenly remembered the meal which he had not yet finished and returned to his plate. The bones never seemed to taste so good before.

The sound of an approaching monster on wheels shook the manthri off his statue like posture. He looked once at the monster and then at the young one in the street and rushed back to the lawn. From the centre of the lawn, he looked around with appreciation - as if he was seeing it for the first time. He shrugged off the physical realities, foldedfour legsrlegs and returned soon to his world of utopian dreams.ambianceience around seemed to have been made specially for his high thinking, and almost as perfect as the world of his plan.

Seeing the enemy reach the border, the senapathi felt relieved. After all, there was no harm done. Maybe it was his threats which drove him away. Maybe it was the gods themselves who did it. Such arrogant aliens should not be allowed to set foot again. At this thought, he looked at the closed door and was diving fast into depression when he saw the door opening and his little mistress coming towards him. There was the kindest being he had ever seen in his life, the epiof loveflove and care. He had a last look at the young orphan and rushed onto the hands of his mistress. The hug seemed to be warmer than ever before.

As the street puppy crossed the next border, a few meters away from our house on the 1A Main, Stbed, Koramangala I could hear another crowd of angry royal dogs proclaiming their rights.

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