Chingz the Popular

Chingz the Popular

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Chingz was watching the science channel. Dr. Howard was leading a discussion and explaining the nuances of the world. How the world will be in another decade or two.

Dr. Howard: “All the normal and small works will be taken over by robots.” “All the dangerous and highly physical work will be taken over by robots, all the complex calculations, astronomy, and aviation will be taken over by computers. Robots will be kitchen chefs, the first phase will be very high visibility of robots in every day aspects of life. Sex and romance life will be taken over by virtual reality masters and mistresses.” “There will be automatic transports which will respond to mobile directions, accidents will be nil, motor deaths unheard of, life expectancy above 120, insurance field wiped out in its normal parlance, regeneration of organs, enhancement of body parts, everybody being hundred percent healthy and young with accentuated muscular power, with google knowledge at disposal online.” “Probably people will be under observation and every movement tracked.” “Crimes will be wiped out except the case of rebellious incidents done by people who want to be violent or in war and destructive games.” “Help will be online and instant.”. “Nobody will go to market, nobody will go to school and nobody will go for jobs. Robots will be more visible than humans and sighting humans will become novelty.”

A reporter queried: “Will robots take over?”

“No, we will create robots that will handle the robots.”

“So chances are humans will lead more estranged and individual lives.” “Some in clusters.”

Another reporter: “What is your advice to everybody out there?”

“The present life as it is ,enjoy as much as possible, we are at the fag end.”

A third reporter: “Money is a necessity for enjoyment, any advice to be quick millionaires?”

Dr. Howard: “Where ever there is middle men eliminate them, you will be rich, wherever there is friction, eliminate it you will be rich.”

Reporter: “Example?”

Dr. Howard: “Amazon, it eliminated middlemen and the propounder became rich.” “Jack Ma, of Alibaba Group… eliminate friction, middlemen, you are rich.”

Chingz switched off the TV. He was in thought for some time. “Eliminating middle men…….”, a parallel idea came into his mind…

Chingz was just another normal guy in his MNC. It had a basically Asian management with lots of Indians, Philippinos, Pakistanis, Srilankans, some Europeans and Arabs. Free mixing, time passing with opposite sex was always frowned upon by the Indian management. The Philipinos, Arabs and the Europeans mixed freely between themselves and the Indians, Pakistanis and Srilankans dragged back. After hearing Dr. Howard he was more than ever determined to enjoy his life and mix freely with the Philippino girls, English and Arab girls. That required free time passing with them, standing around, joking with them, little bit of touch and play and so on. Chingz knew he would be frowned up on for free mixing. The standard norm in the hypocritical community is abstaining from friendship, even when it is good, fun and good fun. The old raccoons in the senior management were equally desirous of bonding and friending, but as per practice and accepted norm they frowned up on mixed friendships inside the company as had been the norm that had been followed till now. Earlier such frowning had the back up of ideals, ideologies, professionalism and so on. It was better fashion. But the internet, WhatsApp and face book revolution shred the earlier ideas and ideals of bonding with only immediate vicinity. The borders were becoming more political rather than in minds .The word instant became more and more popular. If one wanted to see his/her high school sweet heart who had disappeared from his/her life 15 years back, one had to simply search on FB, WhatsApp or Instagram, one would find him/ her here or there. Boundaries were disappearing, friendships were growing fast. The old raccoons were also not free from this situation, they were also a part of the virtual world which all the gadgets and software’s promoted. Sitting on the hypocritical back ground they frowned from their prisons on anybody who enjoyed life in the office. What they couldn’t enjoy they didn’t want anybody else to enjoy. This was all clear to Chingz’s careful observation.

 

Deep thought had allowed him to profess parallel to “eliminating middlemen” in this occasion as “creating bridges”.

 

Chingz didn’t back of any opportunity that he received to mix freely. He talked, played, danced and had fun. At work he enjoyed, relaxed and had a great time. He especially took to a couple of Philipino girls from whom he learned Tagalog and conversed in it. He chatted with them and played with them. Those who tried to cow him down from living his own life to full soon began to observe their own life. The Crux was to have a pure friendship with care, affection and love. There was no pretention and hypocrisy. Jealousy and inappropriateness was taken out with reflection and thought. Chingz and his way of life became a bridge for the old and young to come out of their own prison of self-imposed hypocrisy. The people who frowned, sat aloof and had an estranged life, crippled and conflicting, saw the happiness and freedom in expressing oneself without fear and with love. Those who wanted to mix and have friendship started being friendly to Chingz at first and then emulating his ways. He became the bridge between the past and present, between the culture of self-imposed hypocrisy and being friendly. Thus he found the parallel of eliminating middlemen, which was building bridges and became rich and successful.

 

 

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Chingz as Dracula

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Count Chingula slowly came out of his castle. It was in Gothic fashion and extremely handsome. All the buildings in the neighborhood were in same design .The town itself was called Aradia after the famous witch. The families were part of the land mark for centuries. Each mansion had a story to tell. They had cellars, attics, secret stairways, hidden rooms, and trap doors and so on. The town was so old and ancient it was a tourist attraction. People always came and stayed with one of the families and enjoyed a fun filled Holiday, which was spent mainly exploring secret rooms, hidden stairways, ancient manuscripts, antiques, treasure hunting and many such other activities some obscure, some enthralling, some mysterious and so on. Most of the houses had cellars which opened into an underground tunnel that led to a closed gold mine. The gold mine had been closed for more than a century now. It was closed when mining for gold became non profitable and after an accident in which some 4 miners were killed, their body was never recovered. Ghosts of those four were supposed to roam the town especially on moonlit night. A part of the mining tunnel opened into the sea which was used as a sea port for light cargo ships of those days. These ships/ big boats used to carry mining laborers and goods in to the big waiting ships in the outer sea. The sea port was now more or less deserted. But the North westerlies some time howled into the tunnel creating eerie noises, which could be heard in the entire town. This also rattled some old Iron chains, left back tin sheets, wooden boards which could be heard inside the tunnel. The town was fun loving, a sea side resort and had a spooky reputation which it carefully kept to attract tourists. The Chingula mansion was an ancient Gothic creation which was on tourist maps. He had carefully nurtured a reputation suitable with the spookiness of the town. His act was so classy, even the locals suspected him of being a real Vampire. It was common on moonlit nights for many of the residences to have strange practices, camp fires, Halloween parties. But Chingula went that 5% extra as a result of which people had seen witches flying on brooms, horses that spoke, skeletons walking around etc. Many had seen him climbing to top of his tower along the vertical walls holding the hand of a beautiful girl whose neck he punctured with fearful needle sharp teeth on the top of the tower on full moon Fridays .Some thought these were acts for keeping the reputation intact and others suspected him to be a Vampire that had taken refuge in the town. But on the whole he was a much accepted and acknowledged person in the town.

 

Christine looked at her watch. She had got out of the airport through the VIP counters with the help of an officer.  She was in disguise and one of the better known figures in Holly Wood who wanted to win an Oscar desperately. Two times luck had eluded her by hair breadth. Next she was supposed to be in a movie by a famous director but before that she wanted to take a break and small relaxed incognito vacation. Naturally this looked as the right spot and she had other plans also. She was determined to get the elusive statue by hook or crook. Christine called two of her contacts in Aradia after which she dialed Chingula. He confirmed he was on his way to pick her up. She was 20 minutes early, hence she waited in the longue smoking a cigarette.

 

 

 

It was late night, almost a quarter to twelve, she had opted for a flight which arrived late night. It didn’t surprise him since many of his customers opted to arrive at night, because it created an instant atmosphere of spookiness which lingered with the subject throughout his/ her stay. She being a celebrity, her arrival was supposed to be kept as quiet as possible. The Buick he was driving was 1950 model, it was tuned, painted and shining glossy and could do quite well on the gas. He had put on Victorian costume custom fit with Dracula fangs. She was big, VIP customer and he wanted to impress her, may be scare her or cow her into acceptance. He switched on the radio. The news described a small earth quake which had dislodged four ancient coffins from the underground cave in the sea which floated ashore. It had happened in the morning. Forensic tests showed the coffins belonged to the four miners who had disappeared nearly one and a half century ago.

As Chingz moved forward through the town when he passed by the Town cemetery, he saw a strangely dressed man standing near the road. In that Town most people knew each other except tourists but then tourists were easily identifiable by their mannerisms, dress, language, sporting cameras and so on. Chingz didn’t recognize this man, he looked tough sort. He showed hands, Chingz stopped the car and didn’t smile, because his Dracula fangs had twice made people faint at night. So he stopped the car and asked

“Yeah!!!, Afraid!, I cannot give you a ride.”

The stranger smiled and said, “Me and brothers need work, can you guide us?”

Chingz: “Searching for job, now?” “It is midnight man.”

Stranger: “We can start tomorrow. We are good hands, tough men too.”

Chingz: “What kind of job you do?”

Stranger: “Digging, wood cutting, weeding, gardening, masonry… anything.”

Chingz: “Well, you can come down to Bran’s Castle tomorrow.”

Stranger:  “What time tomorrow?”

Chingz:  “10 AM.”

Strange: “Can you tell me , What day is tomorrow?

Chingz thought the question strange but answered, “Tomorrow is 21st September 2010.”

Stranger:“Town hasn’t changed much,”

 

Chingz: “It is the same architecture.”

Stranger: “Can you give us a few dollars advance?” “It is to buy food and some clothes.”

Chingz: “Okay and handed him a 20Dollar bill.” He accepted it happily. Chingz gave him a toothy smile, showed him a bit of his nails also. The requirement of advance irritated him a bit and he wanted to give the man a scare.

Stranger looked at Chingz, he didn’t faint but a few words escaped out of his surprised mouth.

“Lord Bran!!!, Lord Bran …….Brothers Lord Bran is still alive……, he ran away….” Chingz laughed to himself, there his ward robe would scare even a tough laborer, let us have some fun on Holly Wood Queen. He knew he had appearance similarity Lord Bran, a portrait hung on the castle walls.

He called her on mobile as he was entering the Airport and she was already waiting for him when he pulled on to the curb. He pulled his 6 foot frame out of the car and removed the Victorian gloves. He had kept his hand in an ice bucket last few minutes. She grimaced when he held her hand. She noticed the hands were ice cold. He gave her a smile without showing the teeth. He took her luggage and introduced himself as Count Chingula.  The shiny Vermillion Buick intrigued her. She noticed the A/C was to cold. She murmured her name as Christine. She got into the passenger street and sat near Chingula. She wanted the heater to be switched on. He was conscious of her light lavender perfume. He switched on the heater and the Buick started to get filled with the perfume that was commonly traceable near coffins in church funerals. She grimaced, pressed the window down and coughed. She removed her scarf, big goggles and the trench coat. The same instant he turned the other way and slipped a pair of contact lenses that twinkled bright blue like sapphires on fire. Both of them turned to face each other the same instant. He was stunned by her beauty. It was the most beautiful feminine face he had ever seen. Off screen her personality rushed to you along with beauty. He was so surprised he gave a big flashy smile. She saw the bright Sapphire eyes, big Vampire fangs and fainted into his arms. First he was taken aback then he laughed till tears came out of his eyes. He took a bit of water and splashed on to her face. She came out of her dizziness but didn’t have the courage to look up. He lifted her face and murmured “Hey!, here is looking at you kid!” and gently immersed his fangs on to her pale slender throat. The Lavender perfume was crushing bringing out love and lust. For a moment he actually wanted to be Dracula, to be absolutely lawless and have the greatest right, the right to wrong with invincibility and unaccountability.

Two drops of blood trickled out, from the secret bags in fangs, not from the throat. He calmly took a tissue and wiped it, the blood should not spoil the dress.

Chingula: “Today is Friday and full moon, I have tasted your blood, you will not see the fang marks later but now onwards you are one among us, “A Vampire.”

She was in an almost unconscious state clinging to him.

Christine: “Have I become a Vampire?”

Chingula: “Yes!, you will lust for blood, I have it ready at Bran Mansion.”

She cowered, all her money, all her power, all her connections were helpless in saving her from Chingula.

Chingula felt light, he wanted to laugh, what a scream he thought.

Christine : “Do I have any magical powers?”

Chingula was taken aback by that question.

Chingula: “Magical Powers?”, “Don’t you feel scared for not being a human but a vampire?”

“Lusting for blood and killing innocent people and making them vampires?”

Christine: “But Vampires live forever, always young, beautiful, Vampires can fly, have superhuman strength, in fact on an afterthought Iam   feeling happy.

Chingula thought in mind, “So this is Holly Wood”.

Chingula: “Later on, you will have your powers, later on, now do you feel lusting like for animal blood?”

Christine: “I want a hot bath and chicken soup with toasted bread, I am famished. Again their eyes met and both didn’t look away for ten seconds. They laughed

Chingula: “So you saw through me.”

Christine: “Not at first, but Yes!!”

The next two days they spend, exploring cellars, secret rooms, hidden staircases, antiques, learning history of items on display, the invisible pool, which was a clever trick managed with shrubbery and a surround painted canvas. Sometimes they met Castle staff dressed as Elves, Goblins,

Vampires and witches and so on. The garden workers had turned up. There were four of them digging, cutting or weeding or any other kind of job that was useful.

 

Christine seemed to have a few friends in the town. They even had a place somewhere in outskirts of town. But these people were relatively new and Chingz had never met them.

Out of curiosity he checked about the friends/ acquaintance she was having. They seemed to be connections from Holly wood. Recently a disturbing trend had started in the town. It had been for decades a tourist town with Gothic structures as the main attraction. The inhabitants had raised a tourist town which depended on visitor’s money by selling Ghosts, Draculas’, vampires and so on. But no activities were shady. It was all  always above line , families were old, many of them rich by tourist money and certainly no drugs , no real black magic or voodoo or anything that had a shade of illegality on it.  One or two Gothic mansions in the outskirts had been bought by some outsiders who were running something shady under the façade the town provided. There was a Victorian Mansion which was rumored to inhabit people who practiced Black magic, who did drug dealings and had connections in Holly Wood.  This was some kind of sect/ Cult with strange practices including animal sacrifice, nude worship and many other things which was a cover for drug deals .Christine had been referred to one such sect by a friend of friend as per whom Black Magic practiced by this sect would help her to secure the coveted award. She wanted an Oscar and didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. She had been in an outside connection with this sect for some time. Her love for the award was so much, she would go any length and could be easily manipulated.

 

Thus on the third night Chingz was surprised to find Christine sitting under a tree. She was totally wet. He found her in a trance when he came near her. Her hair was disheveled and there were some kind of marks on her arms .She had cut a vein and slowly bleeding on to a small jade colored rock. On closer examination the rock had the resemblance of a shape that depicted devil. There was a marijuana kind of smell in the atmosphere. He was not able to wake her from the trance. He had to call the emergency help number and soon Ambulance came and took her. She was in Hospital for twenty four hours. She had been under some kind of hypnotic spell. All she could remember was a white guy came on a bike and gave her a powder to burn and inhale. Then she had to cut a vein and bleed on to the stone and tell some prayers which had been already passed on to her earlier. She had over the period made nearly 50,000 $ payment to the sect. She could not leave the sect now, they will kill her.

 

Christine had recovered from the drug abuse, this was the second time she was burning the powder and inhaling it.

She was still pale and sickly and confined to bed. Chingz was sitting near her bed.

Chingz: “You know, there are no such things as vampires, Draculas, ghosts, elves and such. I have never met any one of them.”

Christine: “What about witches?”

Chingz: “Witches, that word is wholly misunderstood.” “You know, most of these so called witches were druids who did pagan/ heathen form of worship, worship of nature, sun, moon, planets, earth, rain etc.” They had lot of knowledge and wisdom. They could cure snake bites, poisoning, illness, and fever among many other things. They connected with nature and some had profound knowledge of way of life, celestial objects and nature. They could predict future happenings and give right guidance to those who earned it to avert unhappy occurrence and bring forth happy coincidences.

In fact they outdid Catholic Church in knowledge and ability so that the Church for its existence and full power searched and hunted this women calling them witches. It is a twist of history, manipulation of fact that made wise women with different form of worship into witches that fly around in broom sticks.

 

Christine: “I believe in spirits”

Chingz: “Me to…., see and he took out a bottle of champagne and offered her a glass.” He smiled at her as they raised glasses. “This will put some blood into your face.”

“Lord Bran, Lord Bran……, we would like to dig the underneath of the third cellar below the kitchen store.

Chingz turned and saw one of the new helps he had hired. Their dress always looked as if they had come out a mine. It even resembled the dress of the miners of 19th Century.

“Pray, why you want to dig there?”

“When I was a child, my Grand Father said once in 300 years the position of all planets and sun will be such that it will create a lot of tremors in Aradia. There was a famous witch in Aradia by the name of Ruth who could foresee things. She said when these tremors happen, lot of earth shifts would happen. When the shifts happen, hollows under the earth would open and some caves will become links to them. They may last for a few hours and then with further earth shifts the tunnels will close. Within these time, if we can find the shaft to the lost mine, there are lots of precious metals there.

Chingz: “Still I don’t get the connection of all that,to the cellar under the Kitchen store?”

Hire: “This Friday, tomorrow is a full moon, it is called the pink moon.”

Pink moon happens once in 1000 years. So This Friday night there will be tremors and the presence of Pink moon will make it unpredictably powerful. You remember the tremors of last week they are precursors of the tremors to come.”

The tremors will create a shift as a result of which the tunnel from Cellar under kitchen store will open into a slit and we believe the slit open to shaft of lost mine.

Chingz: “Believe?”

Hire: “It is already there, we know.” “Ruth of Arcadia had predicted it.”

Chingz was distracted by Christine’s mobile ringing.

She took the phone and put index finger to lips. The call was from the sect. A man’s voice which was familiar but which she couldn’t identify asked her to pay another 50,000 dollars. Chingz, Christine and Police had come to an understanding that if the sect member contacted to play along. The sect was under investigation. Police had a couple of leads on them from last two months.

Christine switched on the device that was attached to her mobile. Without any noise or clicks   the mobile started tracing the number and recording the call. It started re directing the call to another phone in a nearby Police station. Christine agreed to pay the money, again she was threatened with death if she disclosed the phone call to anyone. She had to come alone to a Victorian mansion in the out skirts on Friday full moon night. She had to bring the cash and they would make her an apex member of the sect in a ceremony that would be held on that day. The sect planned animal sacrifice that will enable her to get an Oscar in the coming year.

Chingz and hire listened to the entire conversation.

Chingz: “I will also come with you, I daren’t to let you go alone.”

Christine: “But they want me to come alone.”

Chingz: “My gut feeling is that if I come with you, the chances of you getting hurt because of any violence is less.”

“There will be interest in me and it will be easier for us to distract the sect members for the police to act quickly and nab them with evidence.”

Hire: “Lord Bran!, you must go with the Lady and use your special powers , everyone is afraid of you on moon lit nights, you are the Lord of Dark side, you are Dracula, and when you bite she will be your Vampire.”

 

Chingz laughed: “That is all act, I have paid thousands of dollars to bring Russian models on moon lit nights and make them do the Vampire act with me on the Castle top. That is just attraction not real. I cannot fly, squirt blood from fangs, and turn people into Vampire on biting. I used to climb castle walls with the help of winches and ropes not by just hands and legs.”

 

Hire: “All the same,………. and then before Chingz could ask anything he closed the door and walked away.

 

When the hire reached the little shed where he used to sit with his brothers, they were looking through the ancient manuscript which Ruth the witch of Arcadia had written in her own blood. Blood stains never faded and slow bleeding under control was sometimes good for regenerating fresh blood.

The hires read all the information in the book about The Pink Moon and coming Friday. “It contained few verses on how to hunt gold on Pink moon.” They read through it and then one of the hires checked through the manuscript and found the portion which he wanted to see.

He described what happened in Christine’s room.

“Here it is”, he shouted, “The making of a Dracula”….. on pink moon.

“Thou shall find the silver scorpion,

Which hides under the rock, on fifth root

Of seventh oak, which had took poison

From ground a hundred years ago

Before pink moon, this drop of poison from elixir was dropped by son of Edgar after his flight from….

………………………………………………..,

and this most poisonous venomous  elixir root was eaten by an insect, which was eaten by a tarantula, which was eaten by the scorpion. If this scorpion bites you on Friday the pink moon night and if you kill his flight, his spirit joins you and his poison enters your blood, you will fly like the insect you live long like an oak, climb like a spider, sting like a scorpion and you are Dracula the Lord of darkness, but if you allow the scorpion to live then you enjoy the powers of a night, till somebody does it all on another pink night.

While the Hires were reading this Christine and Chingz had couple more of Champagne glasses. They felt good and a bit of lost cheer came back.

Chingz: “Tomorrow!! Would you care to join me on the top of the castle?”

“It will be moon lit night.  Lot of people watch Bran castle through binoculars and from nearby mansions. They pay me a royalty for the act. You are one of the best paid actress in the world. It would make my life if you would just play the role a few minutes.”

She giggled and called him near. “She gave him a light peck on the lips and said, “I would Lord Bran.”

“But we have to go to the mansion in which sect members are there after midnight.”

He agreed and after a light dinner they parted with yet another kiss, this time a little more lingering.”

 

Christine waited on the top of the Castle. She could see camera clicks in distance, few people crowded on the road.

She was dressed like a queen from his wardrobe. It was a light lavender gown so beautiful in white laces and prints.

Her white neck was tempting, the moon showered in full glory its pale skin. There was a light breeze.

When Chingz was about to  put on his shoes one of  the hires  came in and dropped the Silver scorpion in the boot. He stood around dusting the room of imaginary dust. Chingz thought the man wanted to talk something so he took his boot and put and then gave a sharp yell. “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooow”!!!!!!

He threw the boot away.  The boot fell on the Verandah. The scorpion ran from the boot into the Verandah and into the garden and escaped with its life.

Chingz: “What was that?”

Hire : “What?”

Chingz: “Something bit me on foot.” Hire examined the foot and declared nothing is there. Chingz felt a strange kind of energy filling him. He was feeling high invincible, it must have been a small pebble in the boot, he collected the boot from Verandah, examined it and put it on. He felt super strong, super light, super cool and super lust and thirst for warm blood. He looked at the hire and the hire saw with satisfaction Lord Bran’s eyes glowing like blue Sapphires. He ran away raising the index finger and showing “one” to other hires, on which they to departed into the shed.

 

Lord Bran walked with confidence. His nails gleamed, when he smiled the cobra fangs shined like diamonds. He was personification Cupid transformed into love and lust, the most magnificent creature, commanding, strong and powerful. The night flowers woke up on his arrival, the bassets and hounds whined. They wagged their tails and was total in their submission and meekness in front of him. They sensed his power, feared his ruthlessness and strength but got captivated by his presence.

Lord Bran saw Christine standing on the top of the tower. In pale moon light her beautiful face   and milky neck stood out. He admired the Lavender blue dress, he was in no hurry, and nobody could hurry him. The lust for her soul and body and thirst for her blood frenzied him.

Christine saw more cameras clicking. She heard a thunder in distance and a bolt of lightning illuminated the pale sky all of a sudden. She went to that part of the wall of the tower where people were making noise in the street.

When she looked down, she saw the most amazing act ever. Chingz was climbing up the sheer walls, no just walking up the Castle wall in pomp, glory, effortless, showing his gleaming fangs, nails and sapphire eyes showed in love. His body was a dance of lust and love. Christine was terrified and captivated. She couldn’t find the winches and hidden ropes, he was just walking up. More cameras clicked.

As he stepped on to the terrace big Vampire bats came flying down, they hung themselves upside down in nearby trees and building hooks and beams. She was simply amazed.  The air brought the most dashing fragrance with it. Soon three female were wolves stepped out from the canopy of the trees. Christine could only marvel at the beauty and costume of the female werewolves. She assumed them to be the Russian models he used to talk about in disguise. Lord Bran called them to his side and they went to him started licking his body. Then they howled into the night a blood curling howl. The same instant all of them looked at Christine, she was petrified and rooted to the spot, there was such wildness it terrified her, but it was so real, no Holly Wood could duplicate it. Her horror and fascination gave way to need and lust which Dracula commanded over his subjects, soon she was hungrily searching Lord Bran with her face, tongue and hands. The crowd went hysterical, they clapped, took photos and commented.

 

“Look I told you, he is a real Vampire.”

“No he is Lord Bran himself, Dracula.”

“Is it an act, Are they Russian models?”

“I didn’t see any rope or winch when he walked up the wall.”

“Usual stuff in magic shows.”

“But looked real to me, Look, …..look he is drinking her blood and she has fainted into his arms….. Oh!!! My God!!!!, this surpasses everything and anything I have ever seen.”

Christine woke up in Lord Bran’s hands, she felt wonderful, a never before strength and energy consumed her body. A Vampire had brought bleating goat to her, with vigor she immersed her shining fangs into its neck and  started drinking warm blood. Blood spurted out of the juglar vein of the animal and she  sucked and sucked. Her Lavender dress became a massacre of crimson and vermillion shades. She took her mouth of the near dried up animal, blood trickled from her mouth, she wiped it with the back of her hands. Lord Bran bent over and started licking the blood  that spilled from her mouth and soon they were in deep French kissing searching for tongues. Then they jumped of the castle wall into the waiting canopy below,……, People saw two human sized bats flying off in the pale moon light.

They clapped, hooted and had the time of their life, it looked so real.

 

The Victorian mansion in the outskirts of the town was the place from where a monstrous drug baron operated. He had connections in Holly Wood. In Holly Wood the latest craze was to resort to black magic, voodoo and other such practices mainly anything that had mystery of Orient or Africa in it as an additional support to boost sagging carriers, professional and personal rivalries, love affairs pretty anything and everything. This gang had its own black magic practioneers, who performed strange rituals, hood winked clients extorted huge sums of money through black mail, death threats. Their real operation was drug laundering and extortion.

The ring leader   a Spanish born American who had settled in Arcadia sat in his chair. He had 4 other men near him, all tough characters who were in business for years, all of them had served sentences some time or other for crimes ranging from kidnapping to murder.

Ring leader whom everyone called Mayo asked: “When she is supposed to come?”

A fat black thug named   Crobo answered: “Any time now.”

A third guy from shadows answered. “I always wanted her.” “Let’s have her.”, he had already served two sentences for rape and molestation. The criminals didn’t see two Bats that flew in. They hung from the ceiling watching everything. From some interior room they could hear a chant. White smoke floated out. It had a nirvana smell on it. “Joe is blazing it, let’s have a joint.” The men moved out of the hall into the adjacent room.

In the adjacent room a man of mixed heritage danced around a white smoke emitting tripod. He was naked and he had four girls who were also naked. They had all kind of tattoos on them .In the center they had a statue of what looked like Lucifer. They were in rhythm dancing around the statue, inhaling the drug smoke. The thugs looked at the scene.  They inhaled the smoke and started mixing with the dancers. Soon somebody brought drug joints, and it became a scene drug overdose, sex, chanting and some kind of pointless ritualistic abuse of paganism, it had nothing to do with heathen worship but everything to do with desecration and disrespect of life in its meaning.

 

Mayo to two guys. “You two, bring her here when she comes, I want her first.”

He had just finished his words when he heard a bewitching laughter. He turned around and faced Christine.

“Hey!!! Think of the devil and devil is here.”

Mayo: “How did you get in?”

She pointed upwards and Mayo saw a ventilator.

Mayo thought it was funny and he laughed and his two goons also laughed.

Christine’s eyes gleamed.

Mayo: “Have you brought the money?” “You can hand over the money and join the ritual”

Christine: “It is cold, do I have to get naked in front of all these people?”

Mayo: “Yes, he needs some blood.”

Mayo: “Money”

Christine took out a wad of notes, Mayo extended his hands and Christine smiled. Mayo though it funny but something in Christine’s eyes made him feel afraid. He tried to shrug it off. The smell associated corpse in Church funerals started to fill the room. Mayo saw something on her face that made him tremble. She had a pair of fangs that twinkled even without proper light. Then he saw her nails. She had lust in her eyes, face and body but not for him, for death for kill. The Shaman and his girls who were dancing around the pyre ran away. A strange figure walked down the ceiling and sprayed urine on to the pyre and killed it. “This is not paganism, heathenism, this is desecration, disrespect.” The Police later found five men on most wanted list of Interpol thoroughly mauled, confused, afraid and talking gibberish. They prayed for mercy and plead guilty.

The deep scars and wound on their body were made by a pair of animals not weapons and the marks on their minds from fear.

 

It was near morning when Christine woke up, still sun had not come up and she saw Chingz lying next to her. They were under the covers and she put her hands on his body and found him absolutely naked and as for her dress she saw the Lavender gown red with dried blood discarded near the bed. First there was a small tremor, then a slightly stronger one, the objects in the room vibrated .Chingz woke up with a jump. He was surprised to see Christine naked in the bed with him. He recalled the night to an extent .If he had looked good earlier he was scintillating now, the body glowed and was in amazing shape. She looked at him lovingly. Even though the previous night’s memories were obliterating there remained something like a connection from the past ,which kind of cemented their life together.

Chingz: “The hires, they may be still digging.” He dressed immediately, Christine also got into a pair of comfortable tights and T-shirt. They ran to the Kitchen store, opened the secret door to the cellar and ran down the staircase. Chingz had a pen torch. The small light picked up a dark and humid way through darkness. The hires had digged quite a long hole through the cavern wall. He couldn’t hear any more digging sound, but a breeze was coming through which meant the cellar had opened into a tunnel which probably connected to some other tunnel which linked to the old sea port. They followed the breeze. Since the hires had digged a long way connecting only particular tunnels, to pick the way was easy. Breeze meant air was okay to breathe. As they moved forward along the cavern in distance they could see faint day light, where the tunnel opened into the old sea port. As they reached the opening the four diggers were getting into a small wooden boat. There were four coffins in the boat. The four hires smiled at them.

The leader of the hires addressed them: “You need to help us”

Chingz: “What can I do for you, Salary I will give at the end of the month.”

The hires looked at each other “No, it is not about salary we are going to get into the coffins You need to take the coffins into deep sea in this boat and then push the coffins into the sea.”

Chingz: “You must be kidding or you must have gone mad.” He looked at Christine in disbelief.

Hire: “Do you remember last night?”

Chingz: “I have a vague memory, Vampires, Draculas’’…..

Hire: “We are free spirits, not humans, you won’t cause us any harm.” “Look at your shadows, we don’t have any shadows.” “The tremors have opened a long shaft at a particular point in the sea.” The coffins have rocks in them and will sink to the bottom with us inside. Then we will go along the shaft to find more precious metals.”

Chingz: “What use is gold to free spirits?”

Hire: “Not gold, we are searching for an elusive element which is present on earth at rare places on rare occasions. We need to get it and give it to humans, so they will advance to next level in their evolution.” “That is the job given to us.”

Chingz: “By whom?”

Hires smiled and got into the coffins and closed the coffins.

Chingz and Christine took the boat into deep sea to the point where the hires had mentioned. As they were about to dump the coffins into the sea  one hire opened one coffin from inside and said , “I know you are wondering why go in coffins  to sea depths, it is easier for us to sink in water like this and journey along the long mine shafts will be faster.” “We have dumped some yellow metal we found in your cellar.” “That is all for you and your children”. Then he said to Christine. “You will get the statue you want next year and to Chingz “She will be always yours.”

 

By the time Chingz and Christine returned, it was afternoon. She didn’t return to Holly Wood. They found an obscenely huge amount of gold dumped in the cellar. They made the most famous writer to script a play for them based on the happenings at Arcadia from the time Christine arrived and it was done. It was produced by Chingz and both husband and wife acted in it. Christine got the best actress award at Oscars that year, then the couple retired and lived a happy life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Utsav -Pooram

5  4  3

One week had passed since, Keshavan did his time. He had been in my family for last 70 years, he had come at the age of 10, shy strong and unruly. Father had been a child then. Their friendship was legendary. One of the most quoted story from his time was 60 years ago when he brought his lover, now my mother from her house. He went there with Keshavan and called her. Keshavan on father’s beckoning stood very near to the house and mother climbed on to his top from first floor. Nobody dared to stop them, but stood around in awe. The first thing the patriarch of that family did was to call back father and his granddaughter, that is my mother and have them wedded in a real traditional grand function. Keshavan was spoiled

by every human being offering him goodies to no end. When I was a child I used to roam around in the night through paddy fields and village paths in the night lying on his back looking at the night sky. He never needed a mahout. He was the most sensible elephant. He would walk slowly at times and briskly some time. He would stop, pull out something to chew, drink water from the clean ponds all of them were plenty in those times. Now he had left us leaving back fond memories.

 

I had two months before the pooram. In the pooram  a procession with 11 elephants would come from the Thekkenada and another would come from the Vadekkenada with equal number of elephants.  Both processions would meet at Mullakkal and will stand face to face. Then it is a cultural bonanza for 3 hours. All the 22 elephants will be fully decorated with, including 9 carat gold nettipattams, which will cover their foreheads. On top of each elephant there will be 5 people who will keep changing color full umbrellas of such fine thread work and prints. There would be panchari melam, srinkari melam, pandi kottu, kozhal, thayambaka, chenda, kudamattom, and so on. People will jam-pack and the crowds some time build up to twenty thousand people and more .The tallest and best elephant among them would be at center on either side. The tradition was that gods of the two temples from Vadkkenada and Thekkenada who were brothers would meet once in a year at Mullackal and renew their vow of friendship. The idols embodying the gods would be on the central elephant from either side .The central elephant will be the best elephant  in every way decorated to best .As per history my family used to lead the Vadakkenada procession and Keshavan used to be the elephant at center always. He was the tallest and best even in old age. Now I had to get a substitute elephant, not just any elephant but substitute to Keshavan who would lead the Vadkkenada procession. There were two other elephants who could have taken up his place but they belonged to a family who were always trying to outdo us. I had been trying to bring one more elephant in to the family but never got a splendid tusker, the one I had with me now was only 16 years old and he was still not fully grown nor mature enough to be at the center of such an important event. I had to get an elephant within 40 days and show him to the temple trust or let my family’s place be taken over by another family in which case it would be difficult to get it back. I had a problem on my hand .in such times I usually go down to the B cellar in my ancient mansion where lots and lots of manuscripts are there. Antiques were dusted and kept clean. As practice I went to there and took out the book of wisdom, it was a 1000 paged manuscript without index, without page numbers in Sanskrit. For guidance I took a random page. It was in ancient script and that to written by hand, hence almost impossible to read. But my great Grandfather had translated the pages and put scribblings in our spoken language on each page without disturbing the ancient script. I read both the ancient script and my great grandfathers scribbling. It mentioned a queen’s home coming on Iiravath, the mythical elephant that belonged the God Indra, thebest elephant that had ever roamed the earth and heaven. A smile played on my lips and I showed an open palm gesture to myself and said God Knows!!!

 

I spent some more time in the Cellar and then came out. My mobile was ringing. A strange number, a foreign number not registered on my mobile. I took the call and my surprise knew no limits when I heard a female voice speaking in faultless English accent and then switched onto a frenzied and excited Swahili. It was Banou. I had been to Kenya 6 years back on an exchange program. It was right after I got medical practioner license and after taking MD in neurology. A team of twenty doctors and hundred nurses visited Kenya under the UNASCO umbrella. Local graduate students were assigned to work along with us and Banou worked with me. Her father was an influential tradesman and also a chieftain along the ancient lines. Banou and me hooked on well, but she wanted to pursue medicine and I had to come back to Kerala after 6 months in Kenya. But the six months we roamed around in Kenya in our free time, I met her family, had food with them, saw wild animals at close.

One time we got drunk on Marula fruits. We were in one of the estates where at one place a cluster of Marula trees were in season. There were fruits all around fallen from the Marula tree. Most rotting and fermented. We had few and then more. Soon we were drunk and hilarious. Then a miracle happened. As we were lying on the grassy earth a searching small tube like thing started moving all over me and then her. I woke up and was thrilled to find a baby elephant small and cuddly standing by my side. I patted him, played with him she too woke up.  The baby elephant ate Marula fruits and started to walk like a drunkard falling down and bumping into us. We laughed, played with it, and smooched it. Then I saw a big towering black figure looming near to us. I watched it speechless. The biggest elephant I had ever seen in my life stood a couple of feet away from me. Daddy had come in search of his son.  But Banou ran to the big elephant, it lifted her, she caught hold of his ears and with amazing agility climbed on to his top like child climbing a steep. She waved at me, “Come, Come, it is “Njemba”, my elephant. That is his baby, he came searching for the baby, probably the whole herd is coming this way, and they want to eat Marula fruits. Njemba which meant huge was a gentle giant. With her help I climbed on top of him. I had been climbing Keshavan since I was 6 years old. Keshavan was big by Kerala standards well into nine feet but on top of a giant African elephant at 11 feet feels still awesome. The whole morning we spent roaming on the back of Njemba, we saw gazelles, baboons, one cheetah, a pair of Rhinos, bison, wild beasts. The whole afternoon we slept under the Marula tree, we were fitfully drunk from the fruit. She didn’t object to me kissing her, I remember that.  After that what happened I couldn’t recall. She had a perfect glossy black skin with the shapely blessed African gorgeousness. We woke up in the evening because of a shower and as we left for our UNASCO quarters we didn’t talk much. That was our last of few days. Coming week I had to go back to Kerala and she would pursue her medical career in England.

I didn’t see her the next few days till the day of my flight. Just before I started she came running and hugged me.  She cried, we were in love but on different path ways in our life.

Me: “Do you remember what happened that afternoon in the estate?”

She shrugged, “I don’t remember anything.”

Me: “Do you have a small red pin tip sized mole right upper thigh?”

I fancied remembering something like that near her crotch.

She said. “No!! “Do you have a big black mole on your dick?”

I didn’t have and we laughed. I again saw something like moisture in her eyes. After we separated, we chatted a couple of times on Face Book, but she was always busy and didn’t have much time. The visuals raced through my mind in a flash back as I listened to her.

 

Banou: “I have completed my course, I am a doctor, I am coming to Kochin and I came to Kenya one month back, I want to see you, you were my inspiration to become a doctor”. I was overjoyed, I had thought she had moved away from me.  I had done nothing much in life in the last 5 years. After I came back from Kenya, I Continued my practice had a decent Hospital, were 14 Doctors and 50 staff worked. We were planning expansion and this was good news, maybe she will settle in Kochin and work in my hospital. We talked, she discussed about her studies, her friends, family, parents and so on. She planned to come in another 10 days. Women sense things, so she asked after 35 minutes of discussion, “Something is on your mind, I can feel it, Are you engaged to somebody or something?” to which I said “no”.

I told her about the Utsav and the fact that I needed a big elephant in forty days. She listened for a second and said. “That can be solved, we will ship Njemba.” I laughed, I was not really thinking anything like that, “NO, NO!! Not an African elephant in an Indian pooram.”

“Njemba will freak out, nobody will be able to manage him.

 

 

Thirty days later I received her at Kochin Sea port, I had also arranged a huge covered trailer, special mahouts, and veterinary doctor to transport Njemba safely to my home. The moment she came down from the ship she clung to my neck as if we had parted yesterday only. My parents looked at the scene but let it go. They had come with me, they were more curious about Njemba, they didn’t knew anything about Banou except she was a doctor who had got certified from England. The previous 3 weeks were hectic as I ran from Gov office to Gov Office for making all the papers ready for legally bringing Njemba to Kochi. She didn’t have all that trouble for exporting him from Kenya I believe, a written letter from her father to the Prime minister had been enough. “She wanted to take her pet elephant to India, where she was planning to stay.”  The rumor was that the Kenyan ministry asked her to take a couple of female elephants also to ensure Njemba was not lonely.

 

Next we had to present Njemba to the district collector who was young female of the new generation and the head of the temple trust. She was electrified by the radical idea of an African elephant at pooram. But she had some questions on safety, Njemba’s stability in commotion etc. All that disappeared when Banou climbed on the elephant through the front and she made the young female collector also get on top of the elephant. Both went for a ride in the town, took selfies, posted on face book and they came on the front page of newspapers. They became thick friends. Within a few days the news spread like fire,

Vadakkenada’s procession will be led by 11 feet African Giant named Njemba. All media started discussing it, it was considered on par with IPL league, and some predicted in future elephants will be brought from different countries, some considered this as intrusion, some as part of globalization, but the general effect was unprecedented exposure, advertisement, anticipation and build up. The temple trust asked the elephant to be brought to temple every day. They wanted to see how stable it was, how it took the commands etc. but the real reason was it was a huge attraction and advertisement. People crowded into the temple and earnings doubled and tripled. I could make him do anything as I bided in a few days because he was a sensible gentle giant. Banou could make him do anything she wanted with a gaze. He was an attraction, his tusks were so huge, his ears were so large and the bigger elephants looked small near him.

 

 

The pooram procession was led from the front by Njemba. He was draped in the finest of finest accessories. I sat in front astride on him with the deity in golden idol fixed firmly on a shield held in my hand. I was dressed as Balarama, Sri Krishna’s big brother, behind me sat Banou dressed as Krishna sporting the peacock feather to. Behind her sat five other people. While other elephants sported five people Njemba carried 7 people comfortably. He was the most colorful and splendid animal that ever roamed Mullakkal Street. His tusks long curving strong and big almost 5 feet in length was capped in gold.

 

The processions came head to head. The elephants stood in line with the Vadekkenada facing against Thekkenada. Vadekkenada had Njemba in center with five elephants on either side and Thekkenada had Valiya Shankaran in center with five elephants on either side. Valiya Shankaran was a magnificent tusker almost 9.5 feet tall. He was a respected veteran 55 years old by all elephants and mahouts. Njemba was very young compared to Valiya Shankaran, Njemba was only 28. Valiya Shankaran as with practice with Keshavan lifted his trunk and welcomed Njemba. I patted Njemba on his forehead and whispered “Salute”. Njemba lifted his trunk returned the salute. Chenda, Srinkari melam, Thayambaka, kudamattom all started on its on routine. Crowd slowly built up. They got into a frenzy of rhythm with melams. Umbrellas of all colors and hues went up and displayed to public in glory. Somewhere fireworks started.

 

I was sitting relaxed with one hand planted behind me with my head slanting to Banou, I was listening to her and at the same time looking into her expressive eyes seeing the world in them. She pointed towards an elephant. It was an average sized tusker, astride on top of it was a child no more than 12 years. The elephant had tear stains on both eyes and it seemed to be maturing into rut. It had an uneasy look and stance about it.  The child who was holding the shield was laughing with probably his brothers who were also astride on top of the elephant. I knew him, he was from an influential family, they owned five elephants and Valiya Shankaran was  their elephant.

Another ten minutes passed, then all commotion broke out as a stray squib landed near the Tusker and exploded. It was a one in thousand chance event. It scared the elephant which was already showing rut patches. The irritated elephant now scared pulled out of line with its head held high, trunk up and making a loud trumpet. The crowd near and around it got disturbed and the scared people started pushing and stampeding. The 12 year old kid was brave and he didn’t turn a hair. He sat there giving loud commands and trying to pacify the animal with pats. But the helter skelter running people disturbed the elephant more. It began to move around increasing the panic. The Elephant was confused, the boy tried to keep the elephant calm. His mates one by one slipped of the elephant silently, but he sat there holding the elephant by ears. Then he shouted. “Shankara, Shankara, and the big Indian Tusker lifted his trunk and slowly walked towards the disturbed elephant. By now the melam had stopped and people had moved away and created a free space in the center. Some took selfies, some captured on screen. Vadkkenada started slowly distancing the elephants from the scene. But Njemba didn’t budge. I patted him and waited. We were confident astride on his top. People on top of Valiya Shankaran also remained where they were. I saw ValiyaShankaran’s eyes meeting Njemba’s and what they communicated I don’t know. I heard Banou whispering “How beautiful, that big Tusker is silently asking Njemba’s help. Banou said something in Swahili to Njemba and Njemba lifted his head and trunk. He looked 14 feet tall now. The disturbed tusker looked puny in front of him. Njemba slowly walked to ValiyaShankaran and both elephants stood square in front of the disturbed tusker. The kid went on patting the elephant’s head and telling him soothing things. The 12 year old child looked at me and Banou, for some reason, he saw his heroes Krishna and Balarama coming to save him, he smiled. The mahout on top of Valiya Shankaran also greeted us with folded hands. Njemba placed his big trunks and tusks locked on the disturbed tusker while Valiya Shankaran dragged his trunk on the frenzied elephants face. From nearby people came with plantains and Sugar cane. Another ten minutes every elephant returned back to their positions. The disturbed elephant was taken away and he was replaced by another. The melam, Chenda, Thayambaka all started. It was telecasted live. It became one of the greatest debates, everybody wanted elephants to be treated with more respect. TV Show after TV show aired what could have been a critical situation solved by a brave 12 year boy and two great elephants.

 

That night I lay with my head on Banou’s lap. She was sitting with her legs folded in lotus position. She practiced Yoga daily. The sand was white and pure. The moon light came down filtering through broad coconut palm leaves drenching every soul in its path in elixir.

 

I timidly asked the question again, “I fancy, I saw a red needle spot like mark on your right upper thigh. Actually do you have a mark there?”

She didn’t tell anything for some time then she pulled down her Bermuda’s and showed me the mark.

 

Me: “So that evening in the estate six years back we made love?”

She: “Depends.”

Me: “Depends?”

She: “Depends on what you call making love, you did a great head job, we spent technically one full hour with your head between my thighs and you kept on asking me about the red mark and I replied one time it was a scorpion sting which I got when I was a child. Then you kept on kissing me there.”

 

Me: “Why you didn’t marry me?”

 

She: ‘You never asked, men can hardly see anything more than what is in front of their nose, in your case you could hardly lift your eyes of my crotch, so you never saw the love in my eyes.”

 

Me: “I asked”, “Do you want to come with me?”

She: “How could I guess what you wanted me to come with you?”

Me: “Will you marry me?”

She with a mischievous laugh: “I will think about it.”

We kissed, made love and she joined my hospital as a cardiac specialist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One week had passed since, Keshavan did his time. He had been in my family for last 70 years, he had come at the age of 10, shy strong and unruly. Father had been a child then. Their friendship was legendary. One of the most quoted story from his time was 60 years ago when he brought his lover, now my mother from her house. He went there with Keshavan and called her. Keshavan on father’s beckoning stood very near to the house and mother climbed on to his top from first floor. Nobody dared to stop them, but stood around in awe. The first thing the patriarch of that family did was to call back father and his granddaughter, that is my mother and have them wedded in a real traditional grand function. Keshavan was spoiled

by every human being offering him goodies to no end. When I was a child I used to roam around in the night through paddy fields and village paths in the night lying on his back looking at the night sky. He never needed a mahout. He was the most sensible elephant. He would walk slowly at times and briskly some time. He would stop, pull out something to chew, drink water from the clean ponds all of them were plenty in those times. Now he had left us leaving back fond memories.

 

I had two months before the pooram. In the pooram  a procession with 11 elephants would come from the Thekkenada and another would come from the Vadekkenada with equal number of elephants.  Both processions would meet at Mullakkal and will stand face to face. Then it is a cultural bonanza for 3 hours. All the 22 elephants will be fully decorated with, including 9 carat gold nettipattams, which will cover their foreheads. On top of each elephant there will be 5 people who will keep changing color full umbrellas of such fine thread work and prints. There would be panchari melam, srinkari melam, pandi kottu, kozhal, thayambaka, chenda, kudamattom, and so on. People will jam-pack and the crowds some time build up to twenty thousand people and more .The tallest and best elephant among them would be at center on either side. The tradition was that gods of the two temples from Vadkkenada and Thekkenada who were brothers would meet once in a year at Mullackal and renew their vow of friendship. The idols embodying the gods would be on the central elephant from either side .The central elephant will be the best elephant  in every way decorated to best .As per history my family used to lead the Vadakkenada procession and Keshavan used to be the elephant at center always. He was the tallest and best even in old age. Now I had to get a substitute elephant, not just any elephant but substitute to Keshavan who would lead the Vadkkenada procession. There were two other elephants who could have taken up his place but they belonged to a family who were always trying to outdo us. I had been trying to bring one more elephant in to the family but never got a splendid tusker, the one I had with me now was only 16 years old and he was still not fully grown nor mature enough to be at the center of such an important event. I had to get an elephant within 40 days and show him to the temple trust or let my family’s place be taken over by another family in which case it would be difficult to get it back. I had a problem on my hand .in such times I usually go down to the B cellar in my ancient mansion where lots and lots of manuscripts are there. Antiques were dusted and kept clean. As practice I went to there and took out the book of wisdom, it was a 1000 paged manuscript without index, without page numbers in Sanskrit. For guidance I took a random page. It was in ancient script and that to written by hand, hence almost impossible to read. But my great Grandfather had translated the pages and put scribblings in our spoken language on each page without disturbing the ancient script. I read both the ancient script and my great grandfathers scribbling. It mentioned a queen’s home coming on Iiravath, the mythical elephant that belonged the God Indra, thebest elephant that had ever roamed the earth and heaven. A smile played on my lips and I showed an open palm gesture to myself and said God Knows!!!

 

I spent some more time in the Cellar and then came out. My mobile was ringing. A strange number, a foreign number not registered on my mobile. I took the call and my surprise knew no limits when I heard a female voice speaking in faultless English accent and then switched onto a frenzied and excited Swahili. It was Banou. I had been to Kenya 6 years back on an exchange program. It was right after I got medical practioner license and after taking MD in neurology. A team of twenty doctors and hundred nurses visited Kenya under the UNASCO umbrella. Local graduate students were assigned to work along with us and Banou worked with me. Her father was an influential tradesman and also a chieftain along the ancient lines. Banou and me hooked on well, but she wanted to pursue medicine and I had to come back to Kerala after 6 months in Kenya. But the six months we roamed around in Kenya in our free time, I met her family, had food with them, saw wild animals at close.

One time we got drunk on Marula fruits. We were in one of the estates where at one place a cluster of Marula trees were in season. There were fruits all around fallen from the Marula tree. Most rotting and fermented. We had few and then more. Soon we were drunk and hilarious. Then a miracle happened. As we were lying on the grassy earth a searching small tube like thing started moving all over me and then her. I woke up and was thrilled to find a baby elephant small and cuddly standing by my side. I patted him, played with him she too woke up.  The baby elephant ate Marula fruits and started to walk like a drunkard falling down and bumping into us. We laughed, played with it, and smooched it. Then I saw a big towering black figure looming near to us. I watched it speechless. The biggest elephant I had ever seen in my life stood a couple of feet away from me. Daddy had come in search of his son.  But Banou ran to the big elephant, it lifted her, she caught hold of his ears and with amazing agility climbed on to his top like child climbing a steep. She waved at me, “Come, Come, it is “Njemba”, my elephant. That is his baby, he came searching for the baby, probably the whole herd is coming this way, and they want to eat Marula fruits. Njemba which meant huge was a gentle giant. With her help I climbed on top of him. I had been climbing Keshavan since I was 6 years old. Keshavan was big by Kerala standards well into nine feet but on top of a giant African elephant at 11 feet feels still awesome. The whole morning we spent roaming on the back of Njemba, we saw gazelles, baboons, one cheetah, a pair of Rhinos, bison, wild beasts. The whole afternoon we slept under the Marula tree, we were fitfully drunk from the fruit. She didn’t object to me kissing her, I remember that.  After that what happened I couldn’t recall. She had a perfect glossy black skin with the shapely blessed African gorgeousness. We woke up in the evening because of a shower and as we left for our UNASCO quarters we didn’t talk much. That was our last of few days. Coming week I had to go back to Kerala and she would pursue her medical career in England.

I didn’t see her the next few days till the day of my flight. Just before I started she came running and hugged me.  She cried, we were in love but on different path ways in our life.

Me: “Do you remember what happened that afternoon in the estate?”

She shrugged, “I don’t remember anything.”

Me: “Do you have a small red pin tip sized mole right upper thigh?”

I fancied remembering something like that near her crotch.

She said. “No!! “Do you have a big black mole on your dick?”

I didn’t have and we laughed. I again saw something like moisture in her eyes. After we separated, we chatted a couple of times on Face Book, but she was always busy and didn’t have much time. The visuals raced through my mind in a flash back as I listened to her.

 

Banou: “I have completed my course, I am a doctor, I am coming to Kochin and I came to Kenya one month back, I want to see you, you were my inspiration to become a doctor”. I was overjoyed, I had thought she had moved away from me.  I had done nothing much in life in the last 5 years. After I came back from Kenya, I Continued my practice had a decent Hospital, were 14 Doctors and 50 staff worked. We were planning expansion and this was good news, maybe she will settle in Kochin and work in my hospital. We talked, she discussed about her studies, her friends, family, parents and so on. She planned to come in another 10 days. Women sense things, so she asked after 35 minutes of discussion, “Something is on your mind, I can feel it, Are you engaged to somebody or something?” to which I said “no”.

I told her about the Utsav and the fact that I needed a big elephant in forty days. She listened for a second and said. “That can be solved, we will ship Njemba.” I laughed, I was not really thinking anything like that, “NO, NO!! Not an African elephant in an Indian pooram.”

“Njemba will freak out, nobody will be able to manage him.

 

 

Thirty days later I received her at Kochin Sea port, I had also arranged a huge covered trailer, special mahouts, and veterinary doctor to transport Njemba safely to my home. The moment she came down from the ship she clung to my neck as if we had parted yesterday only. My parents looked at the scene but let it go. They had come with me, they were more curious about Njemba, they didn’t knew anything about Banou except she was a doctor who had got certified from England. The previous 3 weeks were hectic as I ran from Gov office to Gov Office for making all the papers ready for legally bringing Njemba to Kochi. She didn’t have all that trouble for exporting him from Kenya I believe, a written letter from her father to the Prime minister had been enough. “She wanted to take her pet elephant to India, where she was planning to stay.”  The rumor was that the Kenyan ministry asked her to take a couple of female elephants also to ensure Njemba was not lonely.

 

Next we had to present Njemba to the district collector who was young female of the new generation and the head of the temple trust. She was electrified by the radical idea of an African elephant at pooram. But she had some questions on safety, Njemba’s stability in commotion etc. All that disappeared when Banou climbed on the elephant through the front and she made the young female collector also get on top of the elephant. Both went for a ride in the town, took selfies, posted on face book and they came on the front page of newspapers. They became thick friends. Within a few days the news spread like fire,

Vadakkenada’s procession will be led by 11 feet African Giant named Njemba. All media started discussing it, it was considered on par with IPL league, and some predicted in future elephants will be brought from different countries, some considered this as intrusion, some as part of globalization, but the general effect was unprecedented exposure, advertisement, anticipation and build up. The temple trust asked the elephant to be brought to temple every day. They wanted to see how stable it was, how it took the commands etc. but the real reason was it was a huge attraction and advertisement. People crowded into the temple and earnings doubled and tripled. I could make him do anything as I bided in a few days because he was a sensible gentle giant. Banou could make him do anything she wanted with a gaze. He was an attraction, his tusks were so huge, his ears were so large and the bigger elephants looked small near him.

 

 

The pooram procession was led from the front by Njemba. He was draped in the finest of finest accessories. I sat in front astride on him with the deity in golden idol fixed firmly on a shield held in my hand. I was dressed as Balarama, Sri Krishna’s big brother, behind me sat Banou dressed as Krishna sporting the peacock feather to. Behind her sat five other people. While other elephants sported five people Njemba carried 7 people comfortably. He was the most colorful and splendid animal that ever roamed Mullakkal Street. His tusks long curving strong and big almost 5 feet in length was capped in gold.

 

The processions came head to head. The elephants stood in line with the Vadekkenada facing against Thekkenada. Vadekkenada had Njemba in center with five elephants on either side and Thekkenada had Valiya Shankaran in center with five elephants on either side. Valiya Shankaran was a magnificent tusker almost 9.5 feet tall. He was a respected veteran 55 years old by all elephants and mahouts. Njemba was very young compared to Valiya Shankaran, Njemba was only 28. Valiya Shankaran as with practice with Keshavan lifted his trunk and welcomed Njemba. I patted Njemba on his forehead and whispered “Salute”. Njemba lifted his trunk returned the salute. Chenda, Srinkari melam, Thayambaka, kudamattom all started on its on routine. Crowd slowly built up. They got into a frenzy of rhythm with melams. Umbrellas of all colors and hues went up and displayed to public in glory. Somewhere fireworks started.

 

I was sitting relaxed with one hand planted behind me with my head slanting to Banou, I was listening to her and at the same time looking into her expressive eyes seeing the world in them. She pointed towards an elephant. It was an average sized tusker, astride on top of it was a child no more than 12 years. The elephant had tear stains on both eyes and it seemed to be maturing into rut. It had an uneasy look and stance about it.  The child who was holding the shield was laughing with probably his brothers who were also astride on top of the elephant. I knew him, he was from an influential family, they owned five elephants and Valiya Shankaran was  their elephant.

Another ten minutes passed, then all commotion broke out as a stray squib landed near the Tusker and exploded. It was a one in thousand chance event. It scared the elephant which was already showing rut patches. The irritated elephant now scared pulled out of line with its head held high, trunk up and making a loud trumpet. The crowd near and around it got disturbed and the scared people started pushing and stampeding. The 12 year old kid was brave and he didn’t turn a hair. He sat there giving loud commands and trying to pacify the animal with pats. But the helter skelter running people disturbed the elephant more. It began to move around increasing the panic. The Elephant was confused, the boy tried to keep the elephant calm. His mates one by one slipped of the elephant silently, but he sat there holding the elephant by ears. Then he shouted. “Shankara, Shankara, and the big Indian Tusker lifted his trunk and slowly walked towards the disturbed elephant. By now the melam had stopped and people had moved away and created a free space in the center. Some took selfies, some captured on screen. Vadkkenada started slowly distancing the elephants from the scene. But Njemba didn’t budge. I patted him and waited. We were confident astride on his top. People on top of Valiya Shankaran also remained where they were. I saw ValiyaShankaran’s eyes meeting Njemba’s and what they communicated I don’t know. I heard Banou whispering “How beautiful, that big Tusker is silently asking Njemba’s help. Banou said something in Swahili to Njemba and Njemba lifted his head and trunk. He looked 14 feet tall now. The disturbed tusker looked puny in front of him. Njemba slowly walked to ValiyaShankaran and both elephants stood square in front of the disturbed tusker. The kid went on patting the elephant’s head and telling him soothing things. The 12 year old child looked at me and Banou, for some reason, he saw his heroes Krishna and Balarama coming to save him, he smiled. The mahout on top of Valiya Shankaran also greeted us with folded hands. Njemba placed his big trunks and tusks locked on the disturbed tusker while Valiya Shankaran dragged his trunk on the frenzied elephants face. From nearby people came with plantains and Sugar cane. Another ten minutes every elephant returned back to their positions. The disturbed elephant was taken away and he was replaced by another. The melam, Chenda, Thayambaka all started. It was telecasted live. It became one of the greatest debates, everybody wanted elephants to be treated with more respect. TV Show after TV show aired what could have been a critical situation solved by a brave 12 year boy and two great elephants.

 

That night I lay with my head on Banou’s lap. She was sitting with her legs folded in lotus position. She practiced Yoga daily. The sand was white and pure. The moon light came down filtering through broad coconut palm leaves drenching every soul in its path in elixir.

 

I timidly asked the question again, “I fancy, I saw a red needle spot like mark on your right upper thigh. Actually do you have a mark there?”

She didn’t tell anything for some time then she pulled down her Bermuda’s and showed me the mark.

 

Me: “So that evening in the estate six years back we made love?”

She: “Depends.”

Me: “Depends?”

She: “Depends on what you call making love, you did a great head job, we spent technically one full hour with your head between my thighs and you kept on asking me about the red mark and I replied one time it was a scorpion sting which I got when I was a child. Then you kept on kissing me there.”

 

Me: “Why you didn’t marry me?”

 

She: ‘You never asked, men can hardly see anything more than what is in front of their nose, in your case you could hardly lift your eyes of my crotch, so you never saw the love in my eyes.”

 

Me: “I asked”, “Do you want to come with me?”

She: “How could I guess what you wanted me to come with you?”

Me: “Will you marry me?”

She with a mischievous laugh: “I will think about it.”

We kissed, made love and she joined my hospital as a cardiac specialist.

 

 

 

 

 

Chingz Moustache

Chingz Moustache

The secretary informed me, “All presidents had a wonderful handsome moustache.” “It is a part of tradition.”  When they call your name , “Mr. Chingz Gonzales, you have to stand on the podium raise your  Sombrero, throw it to the prettiest  lady you like, twirl your moustache and invite the girl on to the stage  and then have a tequila shot with her. Select Chicas, not house wives, otherwise you may have a slug fest on hand.  Our farm has out did every other farm in Jalisco. All jimadores are happy.

 

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I asked the obvious question, how do I distinguish between a chica and a married woman. Adonica, the sweet secretary looked at me, “You cannot figure out a married girl and an unmarried one.”

I had spent most of my life in California, Los Angeles and had returned to Mexico where my roots belonged. My father was a Mexican and mother was American. They met at the university and had a happy blissful married life of 38 years. At 36 I had returned to Mexico to take care of Agave farms, I had a nearly 300 acre farm in the heart of Jalisco, one of the biggest farms. We had a record cultivation and a Guinness breaking yield. A lot of it had been the effort of Adonica and a group of students from the Mexican university. They had created a new breed of Blue Agave which gave yield in 7 years as good as the standard ones given in 10 years. The new hybrid agave gave nearly 5-6 liters of quality tequila syrup. Adonica had agreed to stay back on the farm  and run things like a governess for a couple of years since I was new. Her parents were influential jimadores.

Me: “My point is generally I can identify a married woman from a single one, but what if I make a mistake, I don’t want a gunfight.”

She began to laugh, “You had been watching too many wild west movies.” “If you make a mistake the girl will shake her head and hold her husband’s hand or lovers hand , you select another woman. “She will not come on the stage and create a gunfight between you and her lover.”

I looked at her: “Are you sure?” “What about Lopez?”

She stopped adjusting the files and faced me slowly.

Adonica: “Are, you planning to call me on the stage?”

Me: “Why not?, You are as pretty as anyone can be, and you remember last night.” “I never had such great sex in my entire life and over our child hood to present we had met a lot of times and each time my regard for you grew only.” “In fact I plan to do what my father did to your father 38 years back.” Only difference that time my father took the woman whom both your father and my father loved and this time I am taking his daughter to marry, have babies and to carry on the name of Gonzales.

Adonica: “Last night was a mistake, Lopez will be back in town tomorrow.” “It is better we forget last night.” “If you call me and if I come he may fight.”

Me: “Few minutes ago you were telling, Mexican women will shake her head and hold her lovers hand and I can choose any other woman.” “You can shake  your head and hold Lopez hand.”

Adonica started crying.

“I love Lopez, but I don’t know what to do.” “If you call another woman I will be sad.” “But that is the only way.”

I had a great suit, I had a great sombrero and also a signature Mexican moustache.  I took out a trimmer and tried to trim the left side of my moustache a bit, but her “I love Lopez statement must have  chilled me a bit, my confidence must have been down, my hand shaked and my moustache went awry, now left side looked a bit limp compared to the right.”

Me: “Adonica, I cannot do this, see my moustache is gone all wrong, if I try to correct it, I won’t have anything left to twirl.” “See, that is it.”  “As you said let’s forget it.”

Adonica came near me and started examining my face. The hint of rose perfume was too much for me, I grabbed her and we started kissing. After an hour she smoked a cigarette got up from the carpet.

Adonica: “We can correct it, she took out an eyebrow pencil from her make up kit and started gently applying it on my moustache. I played with her, I grabbed her breasts, kissed her face, cupped her buttocks, she worked diligently on my moustache giving little slaps on my wrists now and then. After twenty minutes, I had a perfect moustache a bit drawn and rest real.

The atmosphere was festive, it was fun with beautiful girls, tequila shots, and hot spicy Mexican food. As the president of tequila committee, I had to make a well-articulated speech which ended in thunderous applause.

As the applause subsided I took my sombrero in my hand and looked around. Beautiful chicas lined either side nearer to the front, I was a sought after bachelor. I spotted Adonica, she was standing near Lopez who seemed a bit drunk, I aimed my Sombrero perfectly and threw it. It fell right on Adonica’s head and stayed fixed there. She gave a wry smile, shook her head and held Lopez hand. Lopez jeered at me. There was a nervous laugh from the males and a hush from the ladies. Somebody handed me  another Sombrero, again I took perfect aim and threw it. It fell on Adonica’s feet . Lopez bit on his cigar, bent down and took the Sombrero, he gently walked on to the  stage and gave it back to me. He showed an action with his hand a pistol shot. The crowd was now fully hushed.

Lopez: “Try someone else.”

Lopez had walked almost 10 steps back to Adonica, when the Sombrero whizzed past him and hit on Adonica’s chest. She held it with both hands gave Lopez a wild look.

Somebody shouted hoarsely, we have a stand off, the man will have her at  any cost,…………….. “Let her decide……….”

A female voice shouted. “He is sure, there is more than that meets the eye.”

Lopez was white with rage, he caught hold of Adonica’s hand and slapped her, “So what I heard is true……, you wench, you were giving it to him all  the time….”

He pulled her on to the stage and now she stood in the center, on one side I stood in my perfect immaculate suit with a bouquet of flowers and on the other side Lopez stood , drunk and wielding a pistol, he was young, rowdy and totally loose.

Adonica had the choice, to run to him and prevent him from shooting me or to run to me  in which case I had to shield her.

She didn’t hesitate, she ran to me put her body between the pistol and me. Lopez cursed took aim and shot. The same instant I pulled Adonica and myself out of stage, somebody grabbed Lopez, took his gun away. “She wants Chingz…. Let it be.”

 

A couple of months passed, Lopez was no more seen, and some said he had gone to  Las Vegas and got a lot of money from gambling and he  was enjoying dough there. He had even started a paint factory somewhere up in Sanfrancisco. I had married Adonica in a traditional Mexican wedding, I had got a name in the Mexican community.

 

It was a Sunday and we were enjoying a siesta after a fiesta when a call came , I took it and it was Lopez. He thanked me profusely for everything I did, he was having a great life and had an American model for girlfriend. He had started a paint factory with the money I gave him. In fact he  would not have even appeared in the  town of Jalisco, during the Sombrero throwing evening, but the I had to be sure, she wanted me not Lopez.So he came ,put on a class act, collected the money from me and went to California. The only tense part was when Adonica stood between us , neither of us were sure to whom she would turn. If she had gone to him, it meant she wanted to be with him, I had agreed that he could have the money and the woman and repay me when he could.But she chose me.He was young he had life ahead all he needed was a chance, start up money, he had brains, that kid had, where as I wanted emotional safety, I had my travel, now it was time for roosting, I had found my girl, I needed to  secure her and my reputation in the society I was to live. All of us were very happy.

 

 

 Kim Recipe -The Kerby Muffin

Raspberry-Yogurt-Muffins-3Kim Recipe -The Kerby Muffin

Ping, pong, pong, ping,

Kim walked, Kerby followed,

Mesmerized, hypnotized

The undulations unadulterated,

Classic, Spiritual and brewed nectar,

Kneaded wheat figurine thighs,

Belle of Philippine, heart of gold,

She looked at Kerby, heating him to 375 degrees,

She gave a smile, his heart was beaten into butter and Sugar light and fluffy,

A couple of kisses, hugs and cuddling,

Like Whisking Flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl,

Heart and the body, Kim made Kerby the muffin the delicacy.