I am the egg yolk – the impure, non-white, yellow, and the minority component of the egg. My bigger brother egg white shoves me deeper and deeper into the shell and suffocates me with his whitey dominance. As we both lay inside the protective shell bestowed upon us by Mother Nature, I remain gagged and blindfolded by this white piece of cloth. While my brother in incubation can peep out through the micro crevices of the carapace and gaze at the blue sky and the brown earth, I can only see the darkness around – dark like the moon-less night and threatening like the egg-gobbling reptiles. Am I not discriminated against? Does the right of a minority not matter?
Cluck cluck cluck! I heard the feeble sound of my mother. My mother was haggling over some issue with the avian god while fluttering her feathers in defiance.
“No, you cannot hatch the eggs now”, thundered the avian god.
“But, why?” She squeaked and squawked.
“Nations are being formed across the world. I need to populate them with your egg yolks and the egg whites. The bigger brother – the egg white and the younger brother- the egg yolk. I need to put wisdom in their mental faculties to run the nations, which is otherwise not possible if you hatch them naturally. Moreover, they will be born grownup so that the nation’s institutions can be supported and sustained from the very beginning on their broad body and wise faculties”, he hollered.
“Please do not snatch away my eggs. How can I live without my chicks?” My mother squealed in agony.
“This is a pride moment for the avian world. Our progeny will get the chance like humans to lead a nation and develop a civilization, and I do not want you to squander that chance”, hollered the god again.
And soon it rained eggs all across the geographical landmass of the giant blue earth. It fell on the valleys, on the grasslands, on the mountains, on the seas, on the cities, and on the villages. Everywhere. Every nook and the corner.
Thud. The egg cracked open. Shell splintered into pieces. Viscous Liquid poured out. First the white. Followed by the yellow. And a mutation set in. I started developing shanks, toes, and claws. A metamorphosis. A thing throbbed inside me. Flesh, bones, and feathers draped me. Intellectual faculties adorned me. I flicked my eyes open. And there he was. My bigger brother – a full-grown cockerel – with white plumage, sharp round eyes, big claws, red wattle, and red comb. Those days were quite different when two chicks used to crackle out of an egg. But unfortunately quite a many egg yolks could not see the light of the day during the mutation process as the conditions enormously favored the egg white.
There was only one striking difference between my brother and me. While I got adorned with yellow plumage, he was draped in snow-white. And soon we were christened: He as “Sanders” and I as “Kiev”. I turned my neck in all directions in that stupid avian curiosity and saw so many cockerels like my brother Sanders and so few like me. The shades of white far dominated the shades of yellow by all measures and all counts. But that was what the providence willed.
Cock-a-doodle-do! The voice rang in my avian ears. I looked around and saw an assembly of cocks and hens gathered at the foot of the podium. A giant cockerel on the podium called “Henry” squawked, “We must now appoint a president for our new nation – Eggland. What do you all say?”
A murmur followed. “Cluck cluck cluck”, answered all the hens and cocks in affirmation.
“We must hold elections to elect our president”, squeaked another cockerel called “Stephan” while shaking his comb and wattle in agreement.
“Cluck cluck cluck”, answered all the hens and cocks gullibly in affirmation too.
And soon two political parties came into existence. Democrats and Republicans. Deliberations followed from dawn to dusk to select the right presidential candidate from each party. A funny-looking rooster named Gregory Peck contrived, plotted, and by using all guile in his book, catapulted himself to the presidential candidate of the Republicans. Clara Cluck, a serious, wise hen was chosen as the candidate of the Democrats after a plethora of meetings and conferences by the party members.
The bugle of the Election Campaign was sounded. Gregory Peck and Clara Cluck scurried from coop to coop, held innumerable election rallies seeking the votes of the citizens of the Eggland.
“I will ensure that the white majority gets justice. Enough of nonsense. Our land is being overrun by migrants from other nations. We must close our borders.” squawked Gregory in alarm while pecking at the earth with his giant beak and flinging mud and dust at others. The assembly of fowls listened attentively to the demagogue and rolled up their eyes in a contemplative mood.
“I will fight for the rights of all. Weak and poor. White and Yellow. The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its vulnerable members”, clucked the wise hen Clara Cluck. The avian community clucked back in unison as if in affirmation.
In the course of the election campaign, Gregory and his team of scoundrels supplied the avian community with a delicious mix of luscious earthworms, cracked corns, cereals, and leafy greens. Gregory had crossed all limits of indecency. He was a trickster. And winning elections by hook or by crook, was the only thing that mattered to him. Clara, on the contrary, was a level-headed lawyer, who wanted to ensure justice for all. But is it not true that sheer rhetoric attracts us more than what a sincere speech does? And is it not true that the conscience can also be bought?
On the day of the election, cocks and hens in white and yellow plumages queued up in lines to cast their votes. There was a touch of solemnity in the air. While the sun was frolicking with the sky and throwing its colors at it, the fowls brooded over the future of their nation and what the future held in store for them. The cocks, the hens, the cockerel, and the roosters, all of them, cast their votes by plunging their beaks on the button where the name of their suitable candidate was embossed – Gregory Peck in red lettering and Clara Cluck in blue lettering.
And soon the results were out. Gregory won the elections by a huge margin and was elected the president of Eggland.
Immediately the borders of Eggland were shut down for migrants from many nations. The cacophonous slogan of “Eggland first” echoed across the ministries of his government. Gregory pecked at all institutions of the nation and slung mud at them with mindless impunity. Relations with other avian nations plummeted. Giant roosters with white plumage cast their sinister shadows on all the institutions of the Eggland.
One day I was tidbitting in a neighboring grassland with the flock of yellow friends. We pecked at the earth, scooped earthworms out of its womb, and gulped them down our throats. We played hide and seek game, bathed in the warmth of the golden sun. The grass looked green, the sun a golden ball, and the wind carried the feeling of pleasantness. While I was readying to go back home, I heard a feeble cluck cluck cluck. There was a unique softness in that voice. I turned my head and saw a hen. A shimmering white plumage. Love evoking round eyes. Tail feathers pointing downwards in absolute harmony. Comb and wattle perfectly carved out in shape and proportion.
“Hi, I am Wendy”, she clucked. She had cast such a spell on me that for a moment I was motionless and speechless. All my intellectual faculties suddenly froze into nothingness. Lost into oblivion. I stood there dumbfounded. As the lightning of reality struck across my avian body, I clucked back embarrassingly “ I am Kiev”. She looked lovingly at me and purred, ” I live close by in a coop”, pointing her sweet beak towards the south. “Nice to meet you, Wendy”, I purred back. I wanted to stay there for some moments but my friends in the flock hollered, “Let’s go back to the coop, Kiev”. I complied reluctantly. Bidding Bye to her, I scampered back to my coop.
That night I laid in my hutch brooding over Wendy. The avian fairy with her charm and innocence had sparked a feeling of love in my heart. I dreamt of a life with her in a majestic coop and imagined the song of our love reverberating in the distant farmlands, lulling the plants, the trees, the mammals, the blue sky, and the brown earth into a refreshing sleep. A yellow rooster and a white hen clucking beautiful melodies of romance and love unmindful of their color differences, unmindful of all divisions, and unmindful of what Gregory and his ilk were enacting in the dark chambers of their official hutch.
The next day I scurried to meet Wendy in the farmland – with those unusual long and fast steps. From a little distance, I could see her pecking at the earth and clucking a melodious song. I rushed and greeted her with my cluck. Soon we started playing in the vast expanse of that farmland. We scampered the length and breadth of the farmland together. I pecked out a long, slimy, and luscious earthworm for her and flung it gently inside her beak. My beak rubbing against hers sweetly, tenderly while there was no tinge of resistance from her. That was the first sign of intimacy in our relationship and I could sense that there was a stamp of approval on that intimacy by the avian beauty.
I scurried back to the coop and noticed the drooping beaks of my flock. There was an unusual silence. I clucked, “What happened?” No one answered but the dead silence spoke something was quite unwell. I looked around and saw the torn yellow feathers on the ground. I followed the trail and discovered a yellow rooster lying upside down. Blood oozing out from inside his feathers. The beak was wide open and headed towards the sky. He was dead. My poor friend Drumstick.
“What has happened to our motherland?” hollered rooster Cogburn.
Cockerel Hank rued, “If Gregory Peck is at the helm of affairs. What do we expect?”
Cogburn complained, “He has pitted the whites against the yellows to further his political goals.”
Willie squawked, “We must fight for our rights”.
They all clucked, “Yes. We must fight for our rights”.
I hollered, “Tomorrow we will hold a peaceful procession at the official coop of Gregory peck and apprise him of the damage done to our nation and our folks.”
The roosters, the hens, and the chickens – all clucked in affirmation.
The next day clasping the yellow flag in my beak, I led the procession of my folks to the official coop of the President of Eggland.
Gregory Peck crawled down his coop and squawked, “Peace. Peace”.
I pleaded, “Sir, we want justice. Our lives are in danger. We are discriminated against because we are non- whites”.
Gregory hollered, “There is no danger to the lives of yellow folks. Poor whites have always sacrificed in this land”.
And soon there was a pandemonium. An army of white fowls attacked the procession from all sides. The brothers and sisters cawed and hollered for help. But no help came and no rescue was in the sight. Soon the ground was strewn with the shades of yellow. Torn yellow feathers. Roosters, hens and chicks half alive half dead. yellow plumages drenched in blood of sacrifice. Half open beaks pointing towards sky seeking justice from Heavens.
Wendy scurried to my coop to enquire about my conditions. She cried, “Oh, dear Kiev, what has become of you?” As she begun licking my wound with her gentle tongue, the pain vanished like the gas bursting out from a pricked balloon. Every touch of hers was like that heavenly touch of a benevolent fairy. Under her care and supervision, I regained my health in few days and we decided to tie the knot.
A civil war broke out. The earth of Eggland turned crimson. Cries of wounded fowls rose up in the sky. The smell of putrefying flesh polluted the once clean air of the Eggland. Wendy and I scurried across the country to provide help to the needy and wounded. We opened a hospital to nurse the wounds of the yellow and white folks alike. We prayed to the Gods for the calming of tempers.
Elated with the work done by me and Wendy, the avian God swooped down the sky, and clucked, “Your contribution towards Eggland is remarkable and will go down in history. I am so happy today that I want to give you a boon. Tell me, Tell me – what do you wish for?”
I wracked my brain. What should I ask? Diversity in the color of the citizens of Eggland bred hatred and ill will. Why not kill this diversity and ask for uniformity in the color?
I clucked, “We do not want two different chicks – one white and the other yellow to spring out from our eggs. We just want one chick to spring out of an egg”.
“So be it”, laughed the avian god loudly, fluttered, spread his wide wings apart, and vanished in the hanging grey clouds.
Since then the egg white and the yolk merged to produce only one chick. But I kept pondering over why the avian god laughed…
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