Midnight 31st December 2011 is approaching and we are making a dash for the finishing line. In fact it’s already beyond 00.00 in this part of the world but in Google Land it's still 2011, and we are reminded of Around the World in 80 Days. Phileas Fogg of London and his French valet Passepartout set out to circumnavigate the globe on a wager of 20,000 pounds and it takes them 81 days to finish, according to their calculations. However they discover that they have gained one day due to the feat as a bonus, having gone around once, and thus the sum is their’s.
We refer to Gopal’s insistence on at least a blog a month and our tally is 11 so far.
Nothing elaborate. The complex ones are under formation. We muse about this blog. It was mooted reluctantly by us because Gopal wanted us to record our alleged learning and our freak- angled views which he loves. We’ll never get time, so we believed. But then our health concerns forced us to make up for the lost time. Nothing is impossible, our friend, unorthodox philosopher and beloved guide, Reddygaru insists. We end the year with a Telugu story we never tire of recounting.
The Emperor of the Telugu Kingdom acquires a great white Steed, and the Royal syce is engaged in training the King to ride him. Unfortunately the King has a fall and breaks his arm. Incensed, he sentences the syce to death by hanging. On the gallows, the syce is asked to make the last wish by the King. Alas…, our man laments, my wish is beyond your power, My Lord, he says. Thus challenged, the King grants him his wish, whatever be it. Well…the Steed..he has miraculous powers, and secretly I was teaching him to fly, Sir. The King, skeptical, asks him for a ‘time-line’ in our organisation lingo. A year at the most, My Lord, syce says. Granted, release be ordered, says the King, buttt… in case you fail, your death will be a thousand times more painful, for you will be boiled alive in oil.
Back home, the family is wailing and weeping, and the syce’s wife questions the wisdom of making such an outrageous wish, given the certainty of a horrible death.
Well…..I’ll tell you the wisdom of the choice, he says. One, I have gained a year of life. Then...in this one year the King may depart. Or he may be deposed by the neighbouring Kingdom, or why not….by his own kin! And then don’t discount one possibility- the Steed may learn to fly!