The Art of Laughing

14 10 2008

Augustus sat chomping on the baby seals while the sun shown over the Tundra region. It was very beautiful because the sun never sets there in the summer. There were plenty of baby seals to eat. After that he would mate with someone he loved and go back to hibernation at the onset of winters.

Far away in the other reaches on the earth, there was a country full of brave people who were in turn ruled by an even braver president. However the president had a slight problem. His problem was that he could not smile. Rather, he could not afford to smile because he didn’t have enough oil to run his country. And because of that, he began to hate the president of another country who had more oil than water. He began to wonder how he could get all those oil wells along with the oil that they contained. So all he decided to do was simply attack the other country and get hold of their oil wells. And that he promptly did.

The war raged for many a days. Brave men were killed. Noble Generals got bravery medals even as they tried their best to console the wives of the brave and yet dead soldiers. Missiles were launched into the very hearts of big cities rendering thousands dead and many more homeless. There weren’t many orphans because the little kids died along with their parents. There were protests and there were music concerts for peace. And finally the war ended with the president who owned the oil wells being killed by one of the missiles.

This made the first president very happy. All the oil was now his. However, what he didn’t know was that before dying, the other president had set the oil wells on fire. The fire was big. Bigger than any fire seen on the earth. Hundreds of such fires raged in divine fury. Tons of crude oil got burnt every second. A huge smoke engulfed the sky, which even managed to shadow the sun. A lot of harmful gases rose in the sky.

Far far away, oblivion to the above happenings, Augustus slept in a peaceful slumber. He had been sleeping for five months. While some of the readers might call him a lazy bastard, let me assure you that it’s a normal behavior for polar bears who rule the North Pole. They hibernate for almost five months in the winter. There was a pleasant smile on his face as he dreamt. Augustus sat chomping on the baby seals while the sun shone over the Tundra region. It was very very beautiful because the sun never sets there in the summer. There were plenty of baby seals to eat. After that he would mate with someone he loved and go back to hibernation at the onset of winters.

And suddenly, it was time to get up. Augustus had woken up after those five long months. If you happen to be a polar bear, which I know you are not because polar bears cannot read, but still, and were to wake up after five months, first thing you would realize would be how terribly hungry you are. And being a normal polar bear that he was, Augustus was no exception to this divine rule. He was terribly hungry but food will have to wait. He had to ravel a few hundred miles on the Arctic Ocean before he could gobble the baby seals. (On the Arctic Ocean because it would be under a thick blanket of ice). Augustus licked his tongue. It would definitely be worth the wait.

Augustus got out of the snow that had blanketed him in the last five months and started his pre-meal walk, slowly, step by step. He got down from the snow mountain he had slept on and started his walk on the Arctic ice. The sun was just beginning to rise and it wouldn’t set for another six months. Things seemed normal. What he didn’t know, however, was that the very sun was heating the earth up, more than what it was supposed to.

The first few miles were crossed without any trouble. However, things seemed slightly unusual after that. What? – he was unable to say. Perhaps the ice seemed softer or may be less cold. ‘Whatever!’, he thought remembering the baby seals he would eat.

After a while, just as he was walking, Augustus’ forepaw sank into the ice until it actually touched the water below it. It was strange. This was something that had never happened before. Of course, he wasn’t endowed with a degree in physics to understand phase transition.

He had barely removed his forepaw from the ice when his other forepaw too sank into the ice. And suddenly the earth, or should I say the ice, under his feet gave away and Augustus’ two ton body splashed into the arctic. He began to panic and splashed even more which caused the ice banks to break and he found himself in an even bigger pool of deep water. Somehow, he managed to get himself together and climbed back on to the ice.

As I had said before, Augustus didn’t know much of physics. Rather he didn’t know any physics and wasn’t a good swimmer. All this is, of course, true for all the polar bears, which is just to convey that Augustus was not a dimwit amongst fellow polar bears.However, Augustus, having roughed up in the wild stretches of the North Pole, had superb natural instincts. What he did was this – he spread his four legs away almost up to a point that his soft belly touched the ground. As a result he exerted lesser pressure on the ice and began to move ahead. The sight would have looked pathetic to his creator. Here was a giant animal, powerful animal moving like a coward, slowly on the ice his ancestors had ruled since probably the ice age.

The sun, meanwhile, continued its mission of melting the polar cap. The ice began to melt even quicker. And suddenly, there was all water around Augustus. Augustus sank deep into the water. He paddled hard and managed to come to the surface. There was no land to be seen. Had he slept longer than what he was supposed to? Had he started his journey in a wrong direction? Augustus couldn’t think. He started paddling his feet frantically. He didn’t know what else could he do. He didn’t know what was wrong. He gulped a huge amount of seawater and coughed. What the hell was happening? He began to panic as his life began to flash in front of his eyes. It mostly included eating baby seals and the snow. What was water doing here? Ah! The seals. He smiled and drowned.

Far away, the victorious president woke up from his peaceful sleep and read about his victory on the front page of his favorite newspaper. He turned to another page that showed a photograph of some dead polar bear drowned in some place he had never heard of. He smiled a satisfied smile as he tossed the paper away.

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7 responses

14 10 2008
Vishpala

Hi Vicky Very sensitive and suberbly written.Keep it up and hope this
remains a story only!!!Vishpala

14 10 2008
Pallavi

w’d eagerly waitng for ur next blog. anyways can’t stop saying
really u have great niche in writing. W’d await eagerly some more punny
stuff. bye.

14 10 2008
Sujit

Wow man you have an amazing talent of writing. Really talented guy you are,
Cheers,
Sujit

14 10 2008
Madhur Vaidya

Man, I’m very kanjoos when it comes to praising some-one. but what came out for
u was very impulsive n i think quite justifiable. Madhur would love to read
many more Guy de M like blogs.
Cheers…

14 10 2008
Sujit

Wow!!!!Vicky, I don’t know, how you can write so well. A very well
written tale, impregnated within with such deep meaning. Beautiful. Keep
writing, I am getting addicted,:)Cheers,Sujit

14 10 2008
Pallavi

hmm. this seems to be much truer than ever. So became a crusader against
bush and global warming. good effort.

13 03 2009
Krishna Chaitanya

It touched me deeply.. I am very sad for Augustus.. its not the selfishness of Presidents,infact of all human beings..that made the mother nature worse..
its time to wake up.
good work vikkoo..

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