Saturday, May 1, 2010

Burning Sky

"This land must be filled with sinners" Loony Bastard said. "Five-thirty in the morning and I could already feel the heat piercing through my skin, we are roasting in hell, we deserve to" He quipped. "Cutting down them trees, building more apartments, more factories and buildings when we ought to be planting saplings" he reflected as he took a drag from his cigarette and puffed the smoke in the air, watching it slowly disappear. "With so much heat, so much dust in such inhumane conditions I wonder how we survive, we are no humans at all, we are like bugs" he went on as Ankur stifled his yawn and acknowledged him with a "Hmmm", looking elsewhere. "Don't you read the papers? We are the hottest nation in the whole of Asia now with all those vehicles and carbon monoxide coming from it, drilling a hole in the ozone layer. Those melting ice caps and that constant rise in temperature is a sure sign that our time is nearing, 2012 is for real man!" "Yeah I hear you, I gotta go, gotta get to work" Ankur dismissed him as he slowly jogged back home. "Don't run away from the facts man!" Ankur heard him say as he was jogging away.

As he reached home he saw early morning papers lying on the porch. 
"60 MORE DIE OF HEAT WAVE" screamed the front page. "FARMER SUICIDES DOUBLE" said another, "CONSTANT POWER CUTS ADD TO THE MISERY OF PEOPLE" yelled another. 
"Loony Bastard seems to be right" Ankur thought to himself as he put the papers on the porch and went about getting ready to work.

As he was walking on his way to work he could see the beat up look on the faces of people. There was gloom spread across the faces of the usually chirpy schoolkids. The men and women trudged their way to work with sweaty brows and forehead. Hardly fifteen minutes in the street and his handkerchief was already drenched with sweat. This was Nature's way of payback, we may hide in our plush air-conditioned rooms, air-conditioned cars, malls, theaters or restaurants- adopt them as our artificial havens to counter the heat attack, but we had to step out sometime. Nature was sure to get us then, Nature's fury knew no limits, there was no way we could escape Her fury, Her wrath. Revenge was not being served cold. Revenge was served hot. Piping hot. 

The soaring temperature even played with people's minds, it made them more meaner, and left them with a  shorter fuse. They were ticking bombs ready to explode, they picked up arguments with everyone around them for the smallest of reasons, they got irritated with the drop of a hat. The heat was slowly but steadily getting to their heads, it was corroding their hearts and rendering them helpless.

People were drenched with sweat , there seemed no respite from the heat. Trees stood motionless, the leaves refused to budge, there was no air. Every passing day seemed to be hotter than the last, every passing day Loony Bastard seemed to be making more sense, every passing day the newspapers and the news on TV channels carried reports of the havoc that was being wreaked by the Hard Sun.

Loony Bastard was doing his bit by planting more trees, watering and nurturing them with care and love that one only reserved for a child. This had rubbed off on Ankur, he spent time watering his plants and caring for them, and sharing Loony Bastard's theory (which now made sense to him) with his friends. "We were responsible for making this mess, it was now our job to clean it" Ankur told himself. Planting trees and looking after the ones we got seemed to be the answer. "Its a slow process, but the results would be worth the trouble" Ankur assured himself.

Every passing day Ankur would look up at the sky hoping it would come clouding. But he could only see the sun beaming brightly and relentlessly. Days turned into weeks as he started yearning for that solitary drop from the sky which would bring hope and joy along with it. Every night he would go to bed hoping the next day he would wake up to witness some dark clouds in the sky.

It was a Saturday morning when a faint odor wafted into his room, it was a familiar odor that was accompanied with a cold wind that caressed his face tenderly. He opened his eyes groggily to see dark clouds enveloping the sky, he woke up with a glee as if he had met an old long lost friend. He went over to the balcony and savored the sight, he extended his arm out to catch the first drop, "Plop!" it hit his palm. Then followed one more, another one right after it, as the droplets grew bigger and bigger. "Plop! Plop! Plop!" he could hear the pitter patter of the drops hitting on the roof.  As he looked around the enchanting sight, he could see the grass drenched with the raindrops, the leaves seemed to be swaying to the tunes of the breeze and children coming out of their homes to drench themselves in the rain. He went inside to get a cup of coffee, he took out his phone and dialled Loony Bastard's number with his fingers trembling with excitement.


The Boatman said...

we could do with a lot more loony bastards in our midst.

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