Text of Innocence
This is a post I retrieved from the saved archive of my old (now defunct) blog. It is one such posts I had enjoyed writing. Months gone, its essential humour has not wanned, at least not for me. Hope my reader will agree.
‘Right then, tell me how it rains. Aren’t clouds the vapours formed out of the smoke that escapes a pond, a river, the oceans, and the cooking pots that boil rice?’
‘Hmm…smoke and water vapours are not the same, but then in a way you’re right. The so-called smoke that billows out of the water bodies does form the clouds and when they condense and fall, we call them rain. That’s okay. Now tell me how does your sacred fire stoked up with wood and ghee produce rain?’
‘Simple, it’s the same way vapour brings you the rain. As we consign wood and ghee to the sacred fire we get smoke, right? And the smoke that escapes fire along with the special power of hymns forms the cloud, which in turn gives the rain. It’s as simple as that. Our forefathers in Vedic age knew what your modern science now claims to be its own discovery. They knew many more things like this. You people now borrow from our old scriptures in the name of inventions and glorify yourselves.’
‘Say for instance…what is that the scientists borrowed from your scriptures? Try if you can name at least one thing interesting.’
‘Aeroplane, my dear. It’s aeroplane that Wright Brothers had imitated from Ravana’s Puspak aircraft. Haven't you read the Ramayan? Go and read scriptures to learn many more examples. You'll find in our scriptures mobile phones, computers, missiles, blackberries, ipods, gameboys, camcorders, X-boxes--almost every gizmo and every swanky contraption!’
When the multi-purpose hydel project was completed with the construction of a dam, a powerhouse, a reservoir and a system of distributary canals, not all people were happy. In this case, the unhappiness was not fomented by environmental activists; rather it was spontaneous, born out of those genuine apprehensions of people affected.
At the downstream delta the advent of an assured source of irrigation did not make anybody happy. That an era of agricultural prosperity had already arrived was not entirely unknown to them, but there was a big doubt. And soon they voiced that.
And what was their doubt?
‘Of what great help is this water? It’ll be totally useless for our crops?’
‘But why? What is wrong with it?’
‘There is. Will this water, discharged from the powerhouses, retain any potency to do any good to our firms? We know all its essence will be skimmed as electricity before it’s discharged to us for irrigation here. Oh, we’re being taken for a ride!’
The city became prosperous with an integrated steel plant, a host of ancillary units, good roads, planned housing and other community facilities. The population became composite and cosmopolitan. And the most remarkable thing about it was the visibility of the progress of womankind.
The ladies with their fashionable make-ups were found on the road riding two-wheelers, moving in convivial company shoulder to shoulder with manfolks. Certainly they, as a group, ranked more advanced, more fashionable, and finally more buxom than their counterparts in other cities of the state.
Not that man folk in the town were unaware of this speciality of their women—they also knew its secret. And on this they were unanimous too. If you had asked anybody from them about this, you would get his elaborate response, something like this:
‘Look, ladies need more of iron than men do, right? When they’re in the family way, doctors advise them to take plenty of iron capsules. So why would they not flourish in this city? Isn’t it a city of iron and steel? What I mean is they get sufficient iron from the water they drink and the air they inhale. They make them healthy. It’s as simple as that.’
Male folks here have never ever tried to chew iron ores to become robust, because they know what works for women would not work for men! No way!