‘Our existence is eternal and our relationship a bond revered for life. As I pirouette on mountain tops and swirl around trees, you meander the bucolic farms and spit out as geysers.’
‘Spit out! No! I spring out from earth’s womb as her favourite child, deputed to be the elixir of life. You are a mere figment of imagination and I, the keeper of existence.’
‘Imagination? If, I cease to exist, you shall become static too. Life is possible without you for few days but not for a moment without me, I am the one who enters the body and pumps the potion of life into one’s soul. The swish of air that awakens the core.’
‘Stop it! This constant squabble will take you nowhere. You are both complimentary to each other’s presence. My gift of life to the world.’ Said Mother Nature, admiring them both, one so pure that it reflected back the emotions poured into him and the other so naughty that it played and ruffled your senses.
However, of late these new-borns, nascent air and virginal dew droplets were in constant skirmish.
They had to be unleashed to meet the real world, Mother Nature thought soulfully, ‘Will they return as innocent or wiser for their years. Oh, Lord!! Promise to make them knowledgeable but not disheartened. I fear for them and their innocence.’
Mother Nature lulled them to a slumber under the blanket of shimmering stars and told them about the lands they shall visit on their journey.
‘Over these mighty mountains you shall enter the realm of humankind. They are my children too, so, nourish them and their progeny. You may witness happenings that may jitter you, but remember to play your role and not interfere in theirs. When you feel you have attained your answer of who is greater, call out for me, I will come for you.’
So the effervescent siblings set out for a journey to meet their cousins, the humankind, leaving behind the pastures into an unknown territory. The rarefied whiff of air got pumped up with ignoble gases and warmed up to its new composition. The dewy extract lost its viscosity as it gelled with babbling brooks. However, they never lost track of each other, even when they became warmer and harsher. They hollered down the creeks and scooped down the crevices only to emerge louder and faster. They looked forward to the roller coaster ride ahead of them.
The gurgling rivulet attained inner peace as it mingled in the pious company of The Ganges. The brusque cold air snuggled in the balminess of the holy river and became lighter as if it had abandoned pride and prejudices that weighed it down and became enlightened, thereby rising higher.
They soon descended on the plains. The pristine waters still clear but sluggish. The air rant the plains mercilessly, scattering the cotton impregnated seeds; dispersing life.
The winds decided to settle and rest and so did the mighty Ganga, brimming over the riverbank. Every day the air and water witnessed the presence of a dark handsome man at the banks. Bare chested with tranquillity adorning his face. He rose with the dawn, bathed in the purity of the holy river and paid obeisance to their senior most cousin, The Sun. His torso gleamed in the shimmering rays of the sun. The metallic golden sheen emanating from his chest reflected on the waves. His chanting of the ‘Surya Mantra’ reverberated in the air. Naughty gusts of wind swirled and twirled around his golden Kundals which seemed to be fixed to his ears.
‘Oh Lord! I just ask for one wish to be fulfilled, to know my real parents. I promise I shall never disrupt their lives, but to get free from this feeling of abandonment and being unwanted.’
The pain misted his eyes but never his demeanour, an epitome of self-respect and integrity.
‘Oh Daanveer Karna! May you live forever!’
The chanting by the train of humans who lined up for alms resonated in the air. Karna was famous far and wide for donating unhesitatingly at that time of the day, without a flinching thought. A man full of riches but solitary existence.
The war cries from the battlefield of Kurukshetra, were carried to the banks of The Ganga by the gossiping breeze. One morning on the shore descended Indra, father of Arjuna, the lord-keeper of the rains disguised as a poor man; deceit was about to happen and the world stood as a mute spectator.
‘Karna! You give what you earned, but can you give something to this poor man what is innately yours?’ Fraudulent Indra challenged.
Karna smiled knowingly, the whispering winds had told him the truth and thus the air stilled in anticipation, ‘Certainly sir, what is it that you demand?’
‘Then give me your Kavach and kundal, I know they are your armour for protection, let me see if you live up to your fame.’
No! The winds bellowed.
No! The waves spattered.
‘Yes!’ Karna decreed.
He yanked off his armour and handed it over to Indra, who cried in repentance, a little too late.
‘I know you did this for the love of your son, how I wish someone would love me so. Lord Indra, if possible do bless me like your own.’
He walked away. When the water fumes at its core and winds go mad, they culminate in a storm. However they suddenly remembered their mother’s instructions, ‘Nourish the humans,’ and thus calmed down.
The next morning they awaited him and ran towards him to touch his feet; his soul. The water was blessed by his presence and soothed his wounds of the previous day when suddenly a white clad woman appeared on the horizon.
‘My son! It’s time to tell you that I am your mother. I apologise to have left you stranded as a new-born. I was unmarried and didn’t know what to do of an illegitimate child. Forgive me and spare the life of your brothers, the Pandavas against whom you have waged a war. They shall be unable to win against your integrity. Spare my sons.’
No! The winds hollered.
No! The waters splattered.
‘Yes!’ Karna decreed.
‘I have no complaints from you, gratitude for acknowledging my presence before my death. Please don’t tell my younger brothers about me, otherwise they would be unable to kill me, as one of us will have to die, and I shall not be able to kill them now.’
Kunti cried and Karna walked away; his head held high.
‘Enough, we can’t stand it any longer.’
‘This world full of deceit and ungrateful humans, isn’t worth staying. A world where a mother abandoned a child to safeguard her false notion of respect and still had the audacity to ask him for sacrificing his life to save herself from antagonism; this world is better left to answer to its own deeds.’ The air declared.
The winds and the waters connived, swirled and twirled and decided to go far away as fast as they could to escape witnessing the end of righteousness and integrity.
‘Mother! How can a mother forsake her own?’ The water demanded an explanation.
Mother Nature’s voice boomed, ‘My children, a woman’s heart is a sea of deep secrets, you are too young to understand. Human mind, and its intricacies are better left alone. This is just the beginning.’
‘Beginning? Mother take us home.’ They pleaded in unison.
The tormented children, the air and the water decided to go northwards, towards their home but got lost in the mist of tears. Over the rough terrain they heaved and got refurbished again. Heavier bellied air regained its form and sad sluggish water left the thankless selfish world behind and frolicked over the hills and rocks. And then they rested in a grave of snow and stillness, for years.
Drop by drop they came to life with the moving warm gusts and the melted snow trickled into The Yangtze. They twined together on their new journey, the memories thawed.
‘Hey brother water, mother’s lap was so comforting, my fatigue seeped out as I lay nestled in a crevice till you jolted me out.’
‘Agree brother air, I slept for centuries as snow until the rising temperatures shook me out of slumber. They called it global warming.’
They moved fast along the windy corridors across the continent and converged with the briny sea. Air frolicked with the waves and the water loved its new saline form. They could see the shore looming ahead. Ships, dockyards and military tanks dotted the shoreline of an island called Hiroshima. A sea of humanity greeted them.
All filed up in neat rows.
攻撃が予想されます (we expect an attack.)
Men in uniform organised the defence.
Air swished its way into the city inert. Chirping birds and chattering children, played around trenches dug in the ground. The airy breeze flew past the Genbaku Dome traversing the island city.
Water circled the city parameters and entered through little channels. It marvelled at the development of humankind. Suddenly the chirping birds went silent and time stood still. They saw a long stout needle dropped from a plane. In a split second it blew into smithereens and everything went blinding, scalding white.
No! The air cried.
It got jerked into action dispersed with debris, dust and shards of glass. Air itself became an agent of death as the ionising radiations created a pressure wave running four square miles. It brought all buildings, human and cattle to dust. Air was panting, heaving as the poisonous gases infiltrated its being and the air started detesting its own self.
No! The water bellowed.
The impact was so strong that it shook the waterbed. The radioactive material seeped into its core. The waves got smeared with debris and blood. Blood of innocent humans congealed in the drains and spilled over the banks. The marine life that pranced in its waves floated dead on its surface. The water itself became a harbinger of death.
Yes! The humans danced with joy.
They had finally received the surrender to end the war. Did the war really end?
The air and water remained laden with guilt at the havoc they had wrecked on the humankind, day after day and year after year. They became the instruments of destruction.
Half burnt bodies with skin withered like ribbons was a common site. Bodies covered with scabs which rotted and eventually fell off. The cries of agonising pain, echoed within them.
‘Brother air, I have seen enough, can we escape being a witness to the end of humanity?’
‘Dear water, seems I am dead too, scarred for eternity. As the skies will clear, we shall make our onward journey, but I wonder what is left to see?’
‘Mother! Will you forgive us?’ They pleaded.
‘Yes my children, it wasn’t your doing. You became a medium of destruction.’
‘Why do you still love this humankind, who kill for pleasure?’ Air asked.
‘This is the law of the jungle; survival of the fittest. The only factor that distinguishes them is their lust for power. Animals kill for primal existence and humans for greed. I shall still love them and wish they realise their follies.’ Decided Mother Nature.
Winds of change blew and guilt laden air and blood-soaked water waddled their way in trepidation. They made their way back to the land from where they had joined the womb of sea. The radioactive ions in water, heated it and changed its form to moisture.
‘Air, what’s happening? I am becoming you. I am scared of heights. Hold me.’
Air scampered to envelop his brother in a cloud, ‘Don’t be scared, we have just become one, now I realise the truth. We are both different forms of existence, none superior to the other. How I wish humankind would realise it too.’
Moisture and air continued their journey this time faster, until they reached the desert of Xinjiang. The sun was harsh and silence enveloped the sand. Serenity and calmness are often a lull before a storm. With the rising sun a huge metallic enclosure took shape. They breezed in.
沒有共產黨就沒有新中國; (without the communist party there shall be no China)
The song reverberated the prison like corridors. It seemed they had entered a school, suddenly their sighs of relief were jolted by shrieks.
让我走 (Let me go!)
Shouted the dainty fair skinned sharp featured girl, they both, seeped in the room. Three muscled men in uniform clasped the frail girl tight and clamped her down. Her cries rant the air. Were they trying to defile her modesty? The air and moisture clasped their eyes shut. They had witnessed deceit by a mother, betrayal by the Gods, mass killings, children’s bodies disembodied and being made a partner in crime, but they still shuddered when witnessing pain.
The anticipated physical scuffle and sounds of thrashing didn’t come, instead a metallic trolley rolled in. The air and moisture watched with bated breath.
‘Doctors! Yeah! She will be saved.’
The nurse started loading the syringe and the doctor injected the young girl. She sobbed, not fighting anymore.
‘Air, should I open eyes, is it all done? Since I have taken this new form of moisture, I feel I shall trickle down on feeling slightest emotion.’
‘Certainly, the girl probably wasn’t feeling well, so the doctor gave her a shot, no worries.’ Air blurted out a little too soon.
The facility doors were split wide open and women of varying ages were herded in to the room like cattle. Some crying, some revolting and some too tired to protest. They witnessed a carnage much horrific to comprehend. The women were administered the injection one by one. Each sharing a pain only a woman could understand.
The air and the moisture could palpate the underlying distress. The uniformed men, doctors and nurses left the huddled, sobbing women to share the agony of their loss.
我永远不会成为母亲 (I shall never be a mother!)
A lady from the far end cried, as the calamity of the truth dawned upon them and on the air and moisture.
Moisture couldn’t hold it any longer, it rushed out, ‘Air, what happened? Why did the girl say that she shall never be able to have children?’
Air was still, the realisation of the truth had percolated his entire being. The compound was full of men being beaten black and blue if unable to pronounce the words of the song still being sung and echoing in the building. Stifled he blew out into the lap of his mother. Moisture followed.
No! The air cried.
‘Moisture, they have been made Uyghur women sterile, they shall never bear children. These humans have become the new Gods! They have crossed all limits of humankind. They betrayed their own, we accepted, they killed their own we still relented, but now they are interfering with God’s divinity, they are breaking the circle of life. The gift of life that only HE can give, has been snatched away from these Uyghur women to finish their race: the ultimate crime of genocide.’
No! The water sobbed.
Moisture’s silent agony started seeping into surrounding air, ‘this is worse than killing, this mental agony will scar them for generations. Their race shall die a silent death! Oh, Mother Nature! If this is what humankind is like, send us, where there are no humans.’
The air and moisture wracked with distress, ‘Oh Mother! You said, you will come for us, we need you.’
‘Yes, my children, come into my bosom. You have suffered enough. I renounce these humans as my own. They have tempted the wrath of a mother by their deeds and so shall they pay.’
Mother Nature disgruntled with thunder. She spat the lightening streaks. The moisture and air converged to thick clouds and poured as incessant rain. The parched desert soul drank it voluntarily. The air and moisture felt safe embedded in their mother’s womb.
It rained and rained, the seas filled up and devoured the land, the tsunamis shrouded the shores, earth shook and deadly viruses and diseases took over. Rotting bodies and tormented spirits carried diseases and spread it around; humanity had ended and so would its bearers.
Nature’s fury stilled, she looked around.
A baby’s cry!
A little fawn smeared with his mother’s blood cried signalling the beginning of a new life. Mother Nature’s bosom swelled with the elixir of life and her wrath calmed. A mother shall always remain one, so she cradled the little one and lulled him to sleep. Her responsibility wasn’t only for dead humankind, but her other children too. Thus, the world flourished once again with stories of dead humanity whispering forever in its woods, brooks and mountain tops. The sun shone brighter, the music of the winds became louder, birds chirped merrily and rivulets meandered joyfully nurturing marine life.
Mother smiled at their joy but hid her unshed tears for the children she had lost to greed. Only if they had respected the love bequeathed to them… Only if…..
Daanveer: greatest benefactor
Kavach and Kundal: protective armour of gold
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