Pancha Forkers and the Egghead Robots

Reads: 485  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Two sample chapters from my Scifi, fantasy novel - "PANCHA FORKERS AND THE EGGHEAD ROBOTS"

Submitted: May 27, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 27, 2016

A A A

A A A


WEIRD HAPPENINGS IN LENIN GARDEN April, 2015 The beautiful, early morning sun popped up East of the town of Kancheepuram and scattered the dull gray sky with streaks of pink, red and gold. Situated on the outskirts of the town, was the newly built Buddhist monastery. This building was constructed on arable land and spreaded out over 5 acres. From the outside, one could clearly see that the monastery compound contained three blocks of apartments, all of them painted in a pearly white color. The first block served as residences for the monks. It was a rectangular piece of building, built with steel and glass and had five floors. The second was the Dhyan block, a circular building built with marble stones. It had three floors, all of them used for practicing meditation and Tai Chi exercises. The third building, the catering block, was squarely constructed and had only a single floor. It had a huge kitchen at the back and an enormous dining hall in the front. Monks would take turns to cook food in the kitchen, and would dine together merrily. The three blocks were enclosed by a huge garden. It was planted with full of herbal shrubs, edible vegetables and all kinds of tropical and sub tropical trees. This garden was named as Lenin Garden. It was crisscrossed with foot paths to walk peacefully at one's leisure. A huge barn was at the extreme end of the garden, where cows were reared for milk. Every dawn, the monastery would teem with dozens of cheerful looking monks, both men and women, working in the large Lenin Garden. All of them had their heads and faces shaven clean and wore pale saffron robes. Some would hold spades or shovels and dig the earth to plant new saplings, others would water the vegetables and the extraordinary collection of herbal shrubs and trees growing there. A few would milk the cows and feed the calfs in the barn. After completing their routine morning work, the monks would take a good bath and refresh themselves. Then they would enter the Dhyan block to do the regular Tai Chi exercises. After that, they leave to the catering block, prepare a healthy vegetarian breakfast, finish their meals in silence and would go to practice meditation or hear sermons from their master. On that particular morning, the head of the Monk community, Master Bodhitaran, was sitting cross legged in deep meditation, alone on the terrace of the Dhyan Building. He was clothed in his usual pale saffron robes. The crisp sunlight streaming down from the cloudless blue sky, glistened off his bald head and made his ivory skin shine brighter. His best disciple, Mr. Jing Jing, stood hesitantly at a corner of the terrace, watching him with reverence. He was there to remind his Master, the time had come for him to start his routine rounds around Lenin Garden. But he was reluctant to awake his Master from his trance. Mr. Jing Jing was with Master Bodhitaran for the past couple of years and was now his Personal Assistant. He had impressed his Master with his quick wit, alert mind and selfless dedication. At the age of 25, he was elevated to a significant position in the monastery. But he hadn't made much progress in the spiritual side. Though he understood only half of his Master's teachings, he was patient like a true disciple, and waited for the divine wisdom to blossom in his soul. He trusted the Master with all his heart. He was recognized as the right hand of the Master, because the Master was very fond of him. Mr. Jing Jing always held his Master in high esteem. He was the first among the 200 other followers in this Monastery, who were drawn towards him by the distinct aura of his divine grace and power. Mr. Jing Jing stood there and stared at his Master, scratching his shaven head. He fidgeted with his pale saffron robes, not daring to disturb Monk Bodhitaran, even though he was clearly instructed by his Master to remind the time for him to do his other tasks. He wished his Master would soon open his eyes. As though he had read his disciple's mind, Monk Bodhitaran slowly opened his pale grey eyes filled with full of kindness, and looked at Mr. Jing Jing. He smiled at his disciple. "Jing Jing," he said in a calm voice, "You here to remind me something?"

"Yes Master," replied Jing Jing. "The time is quarter to eleven. You are to go for your routine rounds in the Lenin Garden. It's your time to...." he hesitated, then lowered his eyes and said, "to talk with nature." He stood there embarrassed, as though he had said something rude. Master Bodhitaran merely smiled and leapt to his feet gracefully, much more graceful for a 70 year old man. He beckoned Jing Jing to follow him, and descended the stairs rapidly like a teenager. Jing Jing trailed him hastily, wondering for the umpteenth time, how his master could be so fit in this age, not even with a wrinkle on his face. His master was not a body builder - he was lean and short, only 4 feet tall. Yet, he was physically powerful. Jing Jing had seen his Master fight and chase a group of 50 hooligans in the city, during a bundh against the government. His fight was not ferocious at all. It was graceful, like dance movements. That doesn't meant it looked funny. He had excellently coordinated hand and leg movements. He anticipated his opponent's every move and disabled him within seconds. Jing Jing thought it's not possible for a normal human to have super natural concentration like that. The youthful old Master and the young disciple marched steadily, bare footed, up the Lenin Garden path. Some monks were still working in the garden with sweat running down from their foreheads. On seeing their Master, they put down their tools, bent low and folded their hands in respect. Monk Bodhitaran reciprocated the gesture and moved on. Jing Jing lumbered behind him with a quizzical look on his face. His Master broke the silence. "Do you ever wondered why I named this garden as Lenin Garden?" he asked. "Hmm... Because you believe in socialism?!" Jing Jing suggested shiftily.

Monk Bodhitaran chuckled. "Of course I believe. But that's not the reason for naming this garden as Lenin Garden. The reason is, every living thing in this garden follows socialism. You know that?" he asked with a smile. "Yes Master, I mean, no Master, I don't get it Master," blathered Jing Jing, thoroughly baffled. "How could the trees follow socialism?" he asked shyly. "Oh yes, they do. They are not like selfish, greedy humans. People earn lots of money and store them away for future. It's fine as long as it is for a small period of time, like a saving. But most people simply lock away billions of money for hundreds of their generations to come! That sounds sickening, isn't it? I mean, look at the number of children dying due to hunger across the globe. Poverty simply tears apart humanity everywhere. People must understand that they take wealth from the nature, they take from the earth. They shouldn't behave ridiculously like everything was created by them, like they were Gods. Their mundane mind would never accept the fact, whatever they own is only borrowed for a short period of time, including their precious body. They never bring anything along with them by birth, nor do they take away their wealth at death. They mustn't create a narrow mindset of 'my family, my blood,' out of sheer possessiveness, which itself is an illusion. If they leave everything only for their spouse and children, they spoil their chances for liberation. If they shared their wealth equally among the needy, enlightenment would come running to them like a dear little child." He said with a sigh. Then he continued briskly, "Coming back to the socialist creatures of this garden, watch the birds, they built their homes on generous trees, who never torture them for rent money. Look at these scurrying ants, they share their work, home and food equally among them. Look at those scampering squirrels. They never save food for hundreds of their future generations, never save anything in excess, or exhibit sole ownership over resources.

Their savings would be only for a week or for the next season in the maximum. A peepul tree won't stock million litres of water for the sake of its seeds that would sprout and grow into many peepul trees in the distant future. Plants and animals know life is unstable, impermanent. They know they might be withered in a drought or even ravaged by a fire. Still, they would survive. But what happens with humans? You dream of building a luxurious palace to yourself, but you die the next day in a plane crash. What's the use of such a life? Humans must be humble and ready to share, like the nature. Then, we could make a better world. But alas! that would never happen. Humans would find a lot of blunt excuses - 'Its my hard earned money, I have the right for luxuries. My family alone is my life. I pay my taxes, the government must take care of the poor. I'm doing a bit of charity, that's enough, its not my fault that so many people are poor and burdening the planet with over population'. Yes, they always find excuses." he finished sadly, and then relapsed into a meaningful silence. Jing Jing mulled over the wise words of his Master. Soon they reached a secluded and denser part of the Garden. His Master suddenly stopped walking. Jing Jing perfectly know what his Master was about to do now. He bent his head low and averted his eyes from looking at him. But he could clearly hear his Master's footsteps rustling the fallen leaves, moving away from the footpath, towards the large, towering neem tree yonder.

"Hello, Miss. Nicky! How do you do?" Monk Bodhitaran greeted the neem tree cheerfully, like an old friend. "Hope you are not too thirsty in this hot weather. I asked my people to water you well," Jing Jing couldn't resist. He raised his head with a jerk and his eyes found his master, who stood facing the tree. His head was bent forward, as if he was in earnest conversation with the tree. He was nodding and listening to the tree, as though it was replying to his queries. But the neem tree had not replied. It was there, silent like a tree, with no mouth to speak. The only sound came from it was from the gentle waving of its branches by a light breeze. Monk Bodhitaran continued talking. "Look here, Missy, you can't possibly blame my people. If the share of your water was quickly absorbed by Mr. Conku, that's not our fault. After all, I reckon a coconut tree needs more water than a neem tree." He stood there, listening to the tree with rapt attention, but Jing Jing couldn't hear a single word the tree was saying. Of course, how could he? Trees never speak. He would be horrified if it does! "Ok, All right, I would warn Mr. Conku sternly not to do that again. And I request you not to sleep when my people water you. It would be entirely your fault then, for losing your share. Now please excuse me. I have other trees to meet. Good day to you!" Monk Bodhitaran walked away from the neem tree back to Jing Jing. He began in a solemn voice. "It's that rascal, Mr. Conku, the coconut tree. This morning, Miss. Nicky the neem tree was a little late in waking up. In that gap of time, he absorbed all her share of water. It's her laziness that has to be blamed!" He paused and looked at Jing Jing expectantly, as though he too would blame the tree's laziness. Jing Jing said nothing. He merely looked with a blank expression, apparently dumbstruck. Monk Bodhitaran continued, not taking in Jing Jing's disgruntled face. "Still, I think Mr.Conku is a little greedy. What he needs is a nice tick off. He is asleep now. I'm going to sit and wait on the lawn till he wakes up. You staying with me?" he asked eagerly. Jing Jing suddenly found back his voice. "Er.. No Master, er, I got a job to deliver tomatoes to the kitchen...." "Well, I must deal with Mr. Conku on my own, then. After that I'll return to the Dhyan Block. What's my programme for today?" Monk Bodhitaran asked. "Nothing in the afternoon, Master. Evening, you need to give a live speech to B.C.T.V. It's scheduled at 8 o'clock." Jing Jing said. "Right. You may leave now," said Monk Bodhitaran, and settled down on the lawn. Jing Jing turned back and started to walk by taking lengthy strides, keen to keep as much distance from himself and talking trees. His whole brain was caught in a whirlwind. For the past 2 weeks, his Master had been behaving weirdly. Jing Jing revered and trusted his Master, but he simply can't understand this odd behavior of talking with trees. If any other person behaved like this, he would have screamed into their ears that they are insane. But this is his Master, the great Buddhist Monk Bodhitaran, who had far more intelligence and knowledge than him. He turned sharply around a corner and reached the edge of the Garden. A handcart stood there, loaded fully with fresh tomatoes harvested from the garden. They looked mouth-watering. He took a tomato hungrily and dug his teeth into it, sucking on the juice and enjoying its savory taste. He began to push the handcart, trudging slowly towards the catering block. Right from his day one in the monastery, Jing Jing had heard rumors, that Master Bodhitaran was spotted talking with animals and plants. But he had pooh-poohed them as silly gossips spread by someone with malice, someone who had a grudge against his Master and wished to injure his reputation. Some people outside the monastery talked nastily about him, said he was a crackpot, a kook ... Jing Jing never believed a single slander told about his beloved Master. But 2 weeks before, he got the shock of his life. Everyday, after taking a light breakfast, his master likes to meditate on the terrace of the Dhyan building. Then sharply at eleven A.M.., he takes a stroll around the garden. Usually, Jing Jing would be the one to wake him up from his trance and sends him for his walk. He would watch his Master amble into the garden, then he would run away to complete his other tasks. But on that specific day, the Master asked Jing Jing to accompany him. Puzzled and pleased, he went sauntering along with his Master. He knew that his Master always roamed alone in the Lenin Garden. If he suddenly needed a companion, then it must be for a special reason. Maybe he wanted to bestow some divine knowledge to him, thought Jing Jing. After they went deep into the garden, Monk Bodhitaran asked Jing Jing to wait and left him on the foot path. He wandered yonder and halted before a very old peepul tree. Then he begun to talk earnestly with the tree. At first, Jing Jing couldn't believe his eyes. He thought he was day dreaming. But soon, the Master finished his one sided conversation with the tree and came over to Jing Jing. He explained that the peepul tree was disturbed by a pack of mice who drilled his trunks and made numerous holes, thus turning the tree weak. He was very much taken aback, when his Master referred the peepul tree as Mr. Pagoda. At that time, Monk Bodhitaran spotted a mouse running on the garden floor. He begun talking with it in a most courteous voice. All Jing Jing saw and heard was the mouse squeak at his Master and scamper away. Monk Bodhitaran turned back to Jing Jing, smiling. He said the problem of Mr. Pagoda was solved. Needless to say, Jing Jing was half maddened by this time. He swallowed heavily, thinking this was some sort of joke played by his Master on him. Or else, it must be a psychological test, to evaluate his sanity. He thought he must not give himself away by expressing his doubts openly to his Master. So, from that day onwards, every morning Jing Jing went along with his master, but turned a deaf ear to his weird talkings with the nature. He didn't ask, nor did Monk Bodhitaran explained what was happening. It was a private battle of wits between the Master and the disciple. It was just a matter of time before one of them cracked. After delivering the tomatoes to the kitchen, Jing Jing sat on a chair in the dining hall nearby an open window. He sipped a glass of iced lemonade with relish, to ward off the summer heat from damaging his body. He stared at the pale blue sky, stuffed up with puffy white clouds and pondered over his Master's odd behavior. This was the fifteenth day, he thought. He won't stand it anymore. He must confront his Master. He must demand the truth. If it was a joke or a trick, he would ask the reason behind such an act. Abruptly, the lunch bell rang loudly and monks started pouring into the dining hall to have their lunch. A short, fat, olive skinned monk waddled towards the table in which Jing Jing was sitting. "Hello buddy, you early for lunch?" he asked Jing Jing and seated himself opposite to him. Jing Jing smiled at the fat face grinning at him. "Hey, Mr. Sunker, a few minutes before I saw you snoozing on the lawn. Good thing you woke up in time for lunch." Mr.Sunker looked offended. "I wasn't snoozing, I was meditating. How could you accuse me of doing such an outrageous thing?" he asked, his voice full of indignation. Jing Jing smirked. "Well, you were practicing a new form of meditation, then. I never heard people snore loudly when they meditate. Your snore would have reached the Master's ears. It was that loud." Mr. Sunker moaned. "Oh, man. I still couldn't get the knack of meditation. I sit there cross legged, focusing all my concentration into one thing, and guess what happens? After a few minutes I fall asleep in exactly the same position... Every time." he sighed heavily. "Perhaps I must quit. I'm unfit for this life." Jing Jing patted his hands comfortingly. "There, there. Don't worry. All you need is a little bit of extra time. You have been around here just for a couple of months. You could do well with a bit of practicing," he said sympathetically. "Actually, what you need first is a nice slimming, if you ask me," he added. Mr. Sunker grinned. "Yes. My body and mind feels rejuvenated with these vegetarian food. The sad thing is, these foods are also very tasty. I couldn't stop myself from having second helpings of everything. I particularly love the mushroom raveoli. You must try them. The chief cook does warn me, if I eat too much. Time to heed her warning seriously." They both stood up and walked over to the rack where the cutlery items - plates, spoons and forks were stacked neatly. Jing Jing and Mr. Sunker took a plate each, went to the wash basin and washed their hands and plates. Then they stood behind the queue before the smorgasbord. "What do we have for lunch?" inquired Mr. Sunker to the person standing before him. "Its brown rice and eggplant fry," came the reply. "Not bad," muttered Mr. Sunker, smacking his lips. At that time, Mr. Ryno, a burly, short tempered, white skinned monk, known to be a goon before joining the monastery, strode into the Hall. Unexpectedly, he elbowed Mr. Sunker out of the way and took his place in the line. "Hey! You can't butt in like that, go back!" said Mr. Sunker angrily and shoved Mr. Ryno. Immediately, Mr. Ryno pushed Mr. Sunker down to the floor and stamped on his face and chest violently. Momentarily shocked, the other monks tried to hold him back. Mr. Ryno shook them off roughly and stormed out of the hall.

Jing Jing helped poor Mr. Sunker to stand up on his feet. "Man, are you all right?" He asked in a concerned voice.

"Yeah, sort of," replied Mr. Sunker faintly. Clearly the brutal assault had shaken him. He felt his face with his hands to confirm nothing has been damaged. "That goon Ryno would be surely expelled for this. This is the second time Mr. Sunker was attacked today," said a monk nearby. Jing Jing looked at Mr. Sunker with surprise. "What?! Someone attacked you earlier? Who? How?" he asked. "Well.. about 8 o'clock this morning, when I strutted out of the bathroom after having a shower, that black bloke, Mr. Needhimaan stood in my way. Abruptly, he tried to grab my pink towel from my waist, so I tried to get hold of his blue towel. But he twisted my hand roughly and pushed me down to the floor. Then he jumped on my face and chest repeatedly. When he had done hitting me, he forced me to polish his boots and made me to wear them on his feet," Mr. Sunker said morosely. "These guys are scamps, stand up to them! Have you complained to Master Bodhitaran?" Jing Jing asked, outraged. Mr. Sunker shook his head. "Not yet," he said gloomily. They fetched their lunch and settled back at their table. Both of them ate patiently. They took the rice with their right hands and fed it into their mouths. Mr. Sunker seemed to have recovered from the attack. He took a large piece of fried brinjal and swallowed it wholly. Then he said to Jing Jing in a whisper, "You know, a most mysterious thing happened in the Garden this morning," "What, someone had a vision or something?" asked Jing Jing. Elder Monks who had excelled in their meditation skills got glimpses about their past births, like a vision, in their trance state. Whether the things they claimed to have seen were true or not, young Monks were always keen to know about their visions, so it caused much excitement. "No. It's about our Master," said Mr. Sunker in a low voice. "Yeah, what about our master? " asked Jing Jing curiously. Mr. Sunker looked around cautiously and checked if anyone was listening to them. All the Monks were busy eating their lunch in absolute silence. "Some people say that our master is weird," he said in a dispirited voice. "I saw that with my own eyes, this morning." Jing Jing clutched hard at the edge of his chair. "You saw what?" he asked with an odd sinking sensation in his stomach. Mr. Sunker grimaced and bend his head down. "I was jogging down the footpath of the garden, you know, to burn my excess fat. All the way I was thinking what's the food for lunch. Then I sort of went deep into the garden. Suddenly, I heard someone talking. I stopped and checked who it was. Our Master was standing before a coconut tree. And what do you think he was doing?" he asked from the corner of his mouth. "Yeah?" Jing Jing listened with an accelerated heart. "He was talking with the tree, like it was human. He called it as Mr. Conku! Chattering with it like anything. He paused occasionally to listen, as though it was talking back," Mr. Sunker said, his eyes round. He then took a huge chunk of fried brinjal and put it into his wide mouth. At once it chocked his throat and he coughed violently, his eyes bulging. Jing Jing thumped him hard on the back. Mr. Sunker took a sip of water and felt normal again. "What do you reckon?" Mr. Sunker asked after a while, watching Jing Jing closely. "Well... My friend, I think you jogged into the garden, felt tired; had a short nap on the lawn and got some weird dreams, in which you saw the Master speaking with trees. That's what happened, I perceive. Or the attack on you outside the bathroom might have addled your brains," said Jing Jing, with a simper. Mr. Sunker's face puckered. He felt angry. "You think I'm lying? I'm making this up? I respect the Master more than you do, Jing Jing. What I saw was REAL. If you still think it's some cooked up story of mine, come, let's gather a few of our friends with us. Lets go straight to the Master. We will ask him the truth." Mr. Sunker looked so fierce that Jing Jing felt sure he would go marching to the Master instantly. "No, No, you misunderstood me!" Jing Jing said, trying to pacify Mr. Sunker. He was horrified at the suggestion of rushing to his Master with a group of people and interrogating him like a criminal. "Cool down man, I was just joking. What I really meant was, after your tiresome jogging, you must have done meditation. I dare say you went into a trance, like our Master. You didn't realize that. People sometimes get weird experiences in meditation. They must have felt real to you. I'm sure its not a dream," Jing Jing lied, with a horrible guilty feeling in his heart. Mr. Sunker looked stumped. "You think.. You suggest.. That I had my first trance? Oh! was it my first success at meditation?"

"Of course pal," said Jing Jing, struggling to keep a straight face. "Congratulations. Keep on the good work." He left the table, washed his hands and his plate, then placed the plate back on the rack. He waved good bye and showed the thumbs up, to a most perplexed Mr. Sunker. UNCLE JUMBO HAD VISITORS April, 2016

The smooth tar road of the National Highways shimmered in the intense afternoon heat of the April sun. A huge sunflower field expanded on the right side of this road. Its beautiful yellow flowers nodded their pretty heads in the occasional faint breeze. This field was called the Jumbo sunflower field. On the left side of the road, opposite to the sunflower field, was the Jumbo paper mill. Next to this mill was a cluster of shops. It consisted of a restaurant, a bakery, a coffee shop and a petrol bunk. All of them were named as Jumbo. An apartment and a few lonely concrete houses were behind the paper mill. A small, two storeyed modern structure, built fully with glass and steel, was visible right beside the sunflower field. It was painted in the sweet color of sky blue. People called it the Jumbo house. This rather peaceful neighborhood, comprising the Jumbo group of properties, was known as Tagore Nagar. It was located just outside the city limits of the Chennai Metropolis, faraway from the city's noise and smoke. Inside the living room of Jumbo house, a man was reclining relaxedly on a comfy white couch. He kept checking the time in his golden wrist watch. This man's name was Jumbo Raja. He was 41 years old, was stoutly built, had medium height and an olive complexion. He had long, wavy black hair and a handlebar shaped black moustache. He wore a full sleeve black shirt, indigo color jeans and black shades with white frames. Two tiny golden earrings dangled from his ears. Jumbo Raja was a widower and had no kids. He never had the heart for remarriage, so he lived all alone. He owned the paper mill opposite, and all the four shops nearby. The sunflower field also belonged to him. Jumbo Raja lived a simple life. Even though he was rich, he didn't like keeping servants. He did the household chores himself, ate food from his restaurant and spent most of the time in his paper mill, taking good care of his business. Another important aspect of his life was spirituality. He was an ardent follower of Buddhist Monk Bodhitaran. He never liked worshipping people or things, but he respected and revered the Monk simply because he was genuine. He attended all of Monk Bodhitaran's public meetings and never missed his speeches in T.V. programs. He never intended to establish a personal connection between him and the Monk, because he was content with admiring him at a distance. But Monk Bodhitaran was always watchful. He took notice of Jumbo Raja's fervent dedication. One day, he descended from the stage of a public meeting and made acquaintance with Jumbo. From that day onwards, they became good friends. He remembered one of the Monk's nice speeches, in which he had talked about selflessness. "Being selfless means abandoning the evil habit of being choosy. 'My family, My people, My children' - all these notions reflect a man's selfishness born out of attachment. Selfless people would be inclusive. They see life as an interdependent entity and treat everyone with equality. Hence, they would share half of their fortune with the needy. A high standard of living is fine if it is a necessity, but should be deserted when they turn extravagant. The greatest illusion is one's attachment to self. It tricks the mind into believing that the form of human body is one's true identity forever. Thus it hinders the soul's progress in spirituality. The only thing that belong to you is the moment 'now'. Everything else is ambiguous. The greatest deceiver is time. There is no past and future. Dead past becomes non existent and irreversible. Future is only a hope, an imagination, it couldn't be entered at will. Only the present is an everlasting reality. So stop being extremely lavish or stingy. Remember, if you ever did charity when you are famous, be humble. Keep in mind, you are giving back what you had taken from nature and earth in the first place. If a rich man does charity, its his duty. There's nothing to be proud of in that. On the other hand, if a poor man shares what little he has, that is greatness. Such a man is worthy of worship. Listen to this story : Once upon a time in Arabia, there were two rich merchants, fond of philanthropy. They were also thick friends. Hearing their generosity, poor people from far off lands visited them. The merchants gave them enough riches to get rid of their poverty. On a starry night, a desert genie, impressed by their benevolence, gifted them a super power. Using that power, they could read other people's mind. The next day, while the merchants were distributing alms among the poor, they decided to read the people's thoughts. Though the people showed intense gratitude in their faces and words, most of their thoughts were distinctly rude. Many were thinking the same thing - 'Look at these two clowns eroding their wealth on us. If it were me, I would have locked away all the riches safely for my future generations and would live in the lap of luxury. As long as rich fools like these men are there, we could live easily without any hard work.' The second friend was enraged on reading these thoughts of the people and stormed away, fuming. He came again the next day. But that day also, the people's thoughts were impertinent as ever, though they acted outside as if they were grateful. Some even thought of slitting the merchants throats and robbing their wealth! The second friend stopped the first friend from giving any more alms. "Do you read these people's minds? How could you still do good to them? They are bitter and ungrateful!" he said furiously. The first friend replied calmly, "Being hateful is their nature. Being generous is my nature. I can't change my character because of others." So, do good both to your friends and foes alike. It reflects your own character. Remember, honesty and humbleness are the twin virtues that would reserve a first class ticket for you in the train bound to the destination of liberation." Jumbo Raja took that eye opening speech straight to his heart. It made him a firm believer in democratic socialism. He decided he would share his wealth equally with the have-nots. Half of his yearly business profits now goes evenly to the city's orphanages. Jumbo Raja was not born into a wealthy family. He was orphaned at 10 and had spent his childhood in a slum, along with his 5 siblings. He came forward in life using his sheer talent, hard work and honesty. His childhood years of poverty were filled with humiliation and abasement. Even though those memories left a nasty cramp in his conscience, he never became a selfish man. After steadying his business, Jumbo Raja got married to steady his life. His lovely wife brought breeze into his bleak surroundings. When he was getting settled into his new, blessed life, he lost his wife in an accident. He felt completely desolated. At that time, to save himself from his own wrath, he started following Monk Bodhitaran. The words of the Monk gave eternal peace to his troubled heart, like the gentle drizzle spraying on one's face from a grey sky. It's not the kind of peace the cavemen gets after their savage avenging. It's the peace one would feel while sitting alone on a sunflower field in the evening, watching the gorgeous sun set; or gazing at the puffy blackish blue clouds on a rainy day. It's the peace one gets while staring at the stream of stars on a clear moon lit night; or by watching the flock of birds flapping across the sky in beautiful formations at dawn. Jumbo Raja's three brothers and two sisters, lived separately in different parts of Chennai city. Unlike Jumbo Raja, who chose to be an entrepreneur, his siblings had become doctors and engineers. He was now waiting for a group of five young children and their pet dog. All those kids were his nieces and nephews sent by their parents, to spend the summer holidays in their Uncle's home. Uncle Jumbo loved having the five children and their dog in his house. They added color and music to his sombre and monotonous life. When they came last year for their vacation, he spent a lovely time with them. While he was ruminating on those sweet memories, there came a loud honk of a car outside. He stood up and went to the entrance. His giant Hummer car screeched to a stop before the gate. The doors of the limousine flew open and out bounded four teenagers, a lovely little boy and a beautiful dog with a glossy brown fur. "Uncle Jumbo!" the children chorused happily. Their Uncle eyed the lot of them with apparent delight. The little boy, named Lenin Saakiyan, was his favorite. Being only 8 years old, he was still small, but well grown for his age, with a nice round face and cocoa color skin. On the right side of Lenin stood another good looking lad, beaming at his Uncle. His name was Marx Pandyan. He was a tall, healthy, fair skinned, square faced boy. Both Marx and Lenin had their hair cropped in a medium size. Behind Marx appeared a third boy, grinning. He went by the name Karma Veer, and had a heart shaped face, toffee complexion, average height, medium hair and healthy body. He was extremely handsome. Uncle Jumbo opened his arms with a welcoming smile on his face. The little boy named Lenin and the dog rushed towards him. Uncle Jumbo immediately picked up little Lenin in his arms and swung him around playfully. The child screamed with pleasure. The dog, barking happily, jumped on him and tried to lick his face. Uncle Jumbo lowered Lenin down to the ground, still hugging him with his one hand. He patted the dog's head kindly with his other hand and shook hands with it. "How are you, Kingdum?" he asked the dog. The dog wagged its tail vigorously and smiled, hanging its tongue out. Marx Pandyan and Karma Veer started to unload the baggage. Two girls were helping them. The first one was Teresa Rani. She was of average height, had a healthy physique and caramel color skin. Her hair was tied behind in a ponytail. She looked pretty. The second girl's name was Maya Shree. She was tall, healthy and had a creamy complexion. Her long wavy hair flowed loosely around her shoulders. She was gorgeous. All of the children had jet black hair and beautiful onyx eyes; besides Marx, who had bronze hair and hazel green eyes. The boys wore dull colored cotton shirts and jeans, while the girls were dressed in brightly colored cotton skirts and tops. Apart from Lenin, all the kids were 13 years old and studied at the same school. Soon the children had finished removing their luggage from the car. Uncle Jumbo nodded at the driver. He saluted smartly, turned the limousine around and drove away. The gang of kids crowded eagerly around their Uncle, holding their suitcases in their hands. They all tried to hug him at the same time. "Oh Uncle, your tummy seemed to have grown a few inches like a pumpkin!" squealed the tall girl. "Maya! don't be rude," said the other girl Teresa, crossly. Uncle Jumbo laughed jovially, his huge belly shaking with the effort. "Yep, Teresa. Maya is right. I haven't been cross country running for the past couple of months. Not been able to get enough free time. Business alone seem to occupy my life nowadays," he said, frowning slightly. "Not anymore Uncle," piped the little boy Lenin.

"We know you will spend time with us. You'll take us to nearby hill stations, to the circus and theme parks, like you did in last year," he said, holding his Uncle's hands affectionately. "No he won't," said the tall boy called Marx Pandyan gloomily. "Father told me Uncle will be busy this summer, expanding his business. He asked us not to pester him," "Well, its true. Business is booming this year. But I'll still somehow manage to spend at least the weekends with you." Uncle Jumbo said thoughtfully. The children looked soberly at each other. Even Kingdum stopped wagging his tail. Uncle Jumbo glanced at them. "Come now, why these long faces? You all love to be on your own, isn't it? You five and Kingdum could picnic anywhere you wanted around the city. I'll send my driver with you, He's a nice guy," he said cheerfully. "Oh, no Uncle, it won't be fun at all without you," wailed Maya. Kingdum approved with a woof, capering playfully around the children's ankles. "Hmm. I know what you mean," Uncle Jumbo said with a twinkle in his eyes. "Last year when we went to the circus, I ran halfway from the show when the lions came to perform. You all laughed and thought I was scared, no wonder it was funny to you." "But Uncle, I knew you had to go. Because if you had stayed, the lions would have been scared to death on seeing your large mustache. Then the show would have come to a stand still," the boy called Karma said cheekily. "Shut it. Don't be so insolent!" snapped Teresa. "Really, Uncle just went out to make an urgent phone call. I saw him. You're being too saucy, Karma," said Marx with irritation. "Uncle, I wasn't teasing you," protested Karma. "Its nothing, its nothing. Karma's been always like that. Quick witted, that's what I call him. But he's the one who helps me the most with all the household chores; washing clothes and ironing and all those things, he even does some of my office work. That's why he gets more pocket money from me," Uncle Jumbo said with a wink.

"We too helped," said Teresa indignantly. "Not always," said Karma, sticking his tongue out. They all trooped into the house. Uncle Jumbo glanced at his wrist watch. "Well, I'm afraid I got to go now. I'll be back for dinner around 8. Marx, you take care of these folks.." "Uncle, we could perfectly take care of ourselves. Marx is our own age! we're not toddlers who need care takers!" said Karma, outraged. "Hmm... I know that. All the same, Marx is much more disciplined and responsible than the rest of you. Be good children and obey your team leader. And Marx, don't go bossing around your team, they will squash you," Uncle Jumbo said, beaming. "Yes, uncle. I know. I still remember how the others soaked me in mud the last time I tried to be bossy," Marx said, smirking. "Clever of you," said Maya with a sneer. "Gosh, where's Kingdum?!" little Lenin asked with surprise. Karma squinted around. "I suppose he ran off to the sunflower field, to snap at those poor butterflies." "Er.. I forgot, You kids had finished your lunch?" Uncle Jumbo asked lightly. "Oh, yes Uncle. We ate at Lenin's house. Mushroom biryani and cauliflower 65. It was a very tasty dish. I had it rather full." said Karma, tapping his stomach. "Okay then. I had finished my lunch too. Have a nice time, I'm going back to the Mill," said Uncle Jumbo, signing off. They watched him as he trudged up the foot path and crossed the road towards the Paper Mill. The children looked around the house. It appeared the same when they visited it last year. All the rooms were neatly furnished and brightly decorated. The first floor consisted of a living room, a kitchen, a dining room and a master bedroom attached with a bathroom. Uncle Jumbo had provided the children double bed rooms with attached bathrooms, in the second floor. One for the boys and the other for the girls. Both the bedrooms were covered on one side with a wall fully made in glass. Through them, they could get a wonderful view of the sun flower field. The children stomped up the stairs, dragging their luggage behind them. Marx entered the boys bedroom, banging the door open. Little Lenin ran to the glass wall, slid back the curtain and pushed open the glass windows. A cool breeze immediately filled the room. "There's our tree house!" said Lenin excitedly, and pointed to a lonely mango tree right at the center of the huge sunflower field. The mango tree was broad and tall. On its uppermost part, among the strongest branches, nested a wooden tree house. Three sides of it had small circular windows. The fourth side had a small door. The roof of the tree house was shaped like a pyramid, made from four blocks of wood, nailed together to form a sharp apex. Each side of the wooden pyramid roof had a glass window, to let the clear sunlight stream into the house. The children built the tree house themselves last year, with some help from their uncle's carpenter friend. They simply loved to while away the time inside their own tree house. A small rope ladder hung from the base of the door. The children always preferred to climb inside the house using the branches; but the rope was there anyway, in case of emergency. Lenin had insisted that Kingdum shouldn't be left out of the tree house. Since dogs can't climb trees like cats, they fixed a rope pulley attached with an old bathtub near the door of the tree house. They could put Kingdum inside the tub and lift it easily using the pulley up to the house.

"It still looks new and great! Please Marx, lets go immediately, lets go! lets go!" Lenin chanted excitedly and pulled Marx's hands. "Calm down kid, first we must have a dress change. Then we shall go to our tree house, and play chess there. I won the district chess tournament last month, do you know that? I'm sure I would become a World Champion one day. You must learn a few lessons from me," Marx said, gazing at the mango tree. "I think we need to paint our tree house to protect it from the weather. What do you say Karma?" Karma said nothing in reply. He didn't even turn his head towards the glass wall but slumped on the bed, pulled out his smart phone and started checking his WhatsApp messages. Both Marx and Lenin started to change their dress speedily. "Get up, you lazy lump, we'll go to the tree house," Marx nudged Karma with his feet. Karma simply rolled to the other side of the bed and started typing something fast in his phone. Suddenly, there came the sound of pattering feet. "Uh, oh. Incoming." said Lenin. Kingdum tore into their bedroom at hundred miles an hour. He jumped like a kangaroo and landed right on top of Karma's head and started to lick his face furiously. "Hey, get down Kingdum! I'm not an ice cream to lick like that," Karma pushed the dog away. Soon the three boys had dressed themselves in brightly colored casual clothes, not bothering to wear them matched. Karma wore a jade green T-shirt and periwinkle blue shorts. The boys exited their bedroom and waited for the girls to join them. Karma leaned casually on the wall next to the closed door of the girl's bedroom, still texting something of utmost global importance. "Leader sir, you better make the girls come out soon," said Karma, "using your leadership skills," he added sarcastically. Little Lenin stood on the balls of his feet, trying to peep at what Karma was typing, but Karma jerked it away from his view. Kingdum also did the same and his wet saliva drooled on the phone's screen from his panting mouth. The dog even tried to scratch the screen with its paw. "No Kingdum!" yelled Karma, hugging the phone to his bosom, alarmed. Marx banged the girl's bedroom door impatiently. "Just give us two minutes," said Teresa. Her frustrated voice sounded muffled by the closed door. "Come out soon ladies. We're going to a tree house, not the White House," Marx said, scratching the ears of Kingdum who stood rubbing against his knees. After five minutes, the door opened with a bang. Both girls stood there, dressed in matching gay T-shirts and shorts, and looked extremely cross. "What's the matter with you guys? Can't you just wait for a few minutes?" said Teresa, stamping her feet angrily. Marx ignored her and said to Maya, "I forgot to bring my chess board. Where's yours? Take it out." Maya bit her lip. She went back and fumbled inside her knapsack. She grabbed something and then rushed outside. "Here, I have it," she brandished a Tablet computer before his face. Marx frowned at her. "Not this, Maya. I asked for the real board. You know we can't play peacefully with this. Lenin would badger us halfway to allow him play games with it." "Then you better give your phone to him if he wanted to play games," said Maya firmly. "Like you, I forgot to bring my chess board. This tablet is a birthday gift from a very special friend of mine. I won't allow anyone to spoil it." "But my phone's charging," said Marx, annoyed. "Mine too," said Teresa promptly. "Don't worry. I'll coddle Lenin. He's a darling, he won't bother us," Maya said. Teresa was looking sideways at Karma beadily, whose eyes were still glued to the cell phone, his fingers working madly on the screen. With a wicked grin, Teresa suddenly wretched the phone out of Karma's hand and started sprinting down the stairs like a cat. Karma looked at his empty hand clutching the air, stunned. Then he went after her like lightning. Immediately Kingdum scampered behind them. Little Lenin bounded after the dog, trailing its tail and disappeared. "There goes my team," said Marx with a sigh. "Its a good thing we all wear sneakers. Else, at the speed Karma went racing on this mosaic floor, he would've fell down sprawling," he said with concern. "And would've broken his nose," he added hopefully. "Well then, what's the game plan for now, Fuhrer?" asked Maya, sweeping a strand of hair away from her eyes. "Hey I'm not Fuhrer, only leader!" Marx said, looking shocked. "All the same," she said, rolling her eyes. Marx looked at his watch. "Well, the time's already inching towards four. We shall go to our tree house and have two or three chess matches straight away. Then we'll have our tea at uncle's coffee shop. After that we'll return to the sunflower field and just sit and watch the glorious sun set," he said cheerily. "Hmm. That's not very much exciting, but I might get inspiration for my new poem. I do love writing in English. It's a beautiful language. I'll be a great English poet one day. I think I got the first line for my poem. It starts just like this : 'When I set my lovely, lovely eyes on the lovely, lovely sun set...'

"It sounds great, Isn't it?" Maya asked, her voice bubbling with enthusiasm. "Yeah, sure," said Marx, carefully not looking at her. He turned his head hastily to hide his smile. He remembered how horrid her last poem about the rain was, when she recited it to them last year. He felt Maya's poems were nothing more than nursery rhymes, but refrained himself from saying so, because Karma had pointed that out already, and made her cry bitterly. Marx carefully locked the doors behind them. Then they ambled into the huge sun flower field, towards the mango tree at its center. Lenin was there, sitting on one of the lower branches and waved at them wildly. He was gorging on a fat mango, its juice dripping down from his palm. Kingdum peeped its head out from one of the tree house windows, its black nose sniffing at the sweet scent of the ripe mangoes hanging from the branches. Karma had lifted the dog up into the house using the bathtub pulley. Kingdum vanished from the window and reappeared at the door. It asked Marx and Maya to come up in its barky language. The two of them climbed up using the branches and went inside the house. Lenin followed them at once. The tree house was surprisingly roomy for one little boy, four big children and an equally big dog. The sunlight from the roof top glass windows illuminated the place brightly. Teresa was sitting cross legged on the wooden floor, and was desperately trying to grab the cell phone from Karma, who dodged his hands away from her. He was lying on his back comfortably on a squashy sleeping bag. It looked as if Karma had wrenched back his phone from her after the chase. Now, Teresa was again tugging at his hands to get hold of it. "Just leave me alone, Teresa. Don't mess with my personal matters, ok?" Karma tried to say with a serious face, but grinned at the last moment. "Personal matters?" said Teresa disbelievingly. "Hmph, A little kid like you has nothing which is personal." She looked at Marx, who settled on another sleeping bag in a corner and reclined on the wooden wall. "Marx, do you know with whom Karma was chatting all these time? It's with that senior girl Sara! From what I've read in their messages, I reckon they are secretly in love," she declared triumphantly, like a detective who had solved a puzzling murder case. "What?" shrieked Maya, her hands flying over to her mouth. She looked at Karma with wide eyes, like he had done the most outrageous thing in the world. "Really?" asked Marx, in an uninterested voice. He began to turn on the tablet and then opened the chess game App. "You may get yourself into serious trouble at school if this news came out," said Maya in a hushed voice. "Stupid girls," said Karma irritatedly. "Sara's just a friend of mine, that's all," Little Lenin eyed the tablet with longing. His fingers itched to play his favorite racing game. He began to take it from the lap of Marx. "Hey, give that back," Marx asked sternly, but Lenin simply twisted his body and turned his back on him. Marx started to pull the tablet from Lenin's hand and the little boy immediately gave out a loud, piercing yell. "Okay then, keep it yourself, you little wretch!" said Marx, defeated on seeing tears in Lenin's eyes. "Lenin, you're a very good boy... Now give it back. Why don't you take Kingdum down for a walk and chase butterflies together for sometime? I'll buy you a double chocolate ice cream at tea. Ok dear?" Maya spoke to Lenin coaxingly. On hearing his name, Kingdum turned his head around from the window and cocked his ears. Lenin shook his head stubbornly and hid the tablet behind his back. "Here, you play in my phone. I have installed a new action game. It's superb, you'll love it. Give the tablet back." Karma said. He threw his brick sized smart phone over to Lenin. Lenin caught it and slumped to the floor, putting his head on Kingdum's body. The dog was lying down with its tongue lolling out, looking bored. Lenin soon became busy with his gaming. Maya gave a sigh of relief and took back the tablet. Soon, she and Marx began to have a fiery battle inside 64 squares. Teresa was watching their game with the utmost interest. Karma lay down on his back and gazed relaxedly at the rolling fluffy white clouds in the beautiful blue sky, through the crystal clear glass window on the roof of the tree house. Marx won the first game. Teresa and Maya drew the second game. Again Marx won the third game, this time with Teresa. Suddenly, the alarm in Marx's wrist watch went off. Kingdum woke up from its brief slumber and gave a sleepy woof. Marx stifled the alarm and noticed that the time was 5 P.M. "Well.. we had 3 interesting games, and as usual, I won the most. Come, let's have some snacks at the coffee shop. I'm already feeling a hole in my stomach," Marx suggested. Everybody agreed wholeheartedly. Kingdum thumped his tail hard, thinking about dog biscuits.

Marx first went down swiftly by hopping down the large and sturdy branches.

"Send Kingdum down," he called from the ground. Karma lifted and put a trembling Kingdum into the bathtub. Marx worked the pulley carefully and lowered the bathtub to the ground. As soon at it reached the ground, Kingdum leapt out with a yelp. "Why all dogs are scared of heights?" Lenin asked in a puzzled voice. "Because they don't have wings, silly!" said Karma, with a stupid guffaw. Then he gave a yell like a gorilla, beating his chest. He swung from the upper branches to the lower ones methodically. When his hands slipped on a lower branch, he jumped to the ground wildly. Then both the girls followed him. They climbed down gracefully using the strong and flexible branches. At last Lenin climbed down silently without putting much effort or show. The children marched towards the main road and crossed it patiently, looking out for vehicles on either side. The Jumbo coffee shop with its glossy glass walls looked inviting. The children entered the posh building and began to settle on an empty table overlooking the road. The head waiter Mr. Susi came to their table, smiling. He was a blind man; short, fat and black skinned, clad in a white shirt, midnight blue suit and tie. He wore oversized black shades with black frames. "The five little children and their nice dog Kingdum, all back for the holidays. Hope you're in excellent health and spirit?" he asked kindly. "Jinkies! How do you know we're here Susi?" asked a surprised Maya. "I heard your dog, Missy. I know its scratchy bark. I do think you all are hungry. Kindly place your orders," he said politely. "Well, first we like to have five cups of steaming hot tea. Then bring us hot chocolate to drink. What shall we have for snacks?" Marx asked the others. "Bring fifteen Vadas with hot Chutney, after that we'll have ten Cupcakes. Don't forget the Strawberry flavored dog Biscuits for Kingdum, he's partial to that," Karma said brusquely and bent his head down to the cell phone on his lap. Soon the five children were having a smashing tea. Kingdum crunched his biscuits sitting under the table. Karma ate 7 Vadas and 3 Cupcakes all by himself. "Don't behave like a glutton, Karma," said Teresa with disgust. "I say, look at the cashier's desk." she nudged Maya. Both the girls stared at the bloke there and started to giggle. "What's the joke? Who are you laughing at?" asked Lenin, his mouth full of Cake. "Hmph," said Karma, after checking who it was. An olive skinned young man stood there, collecting bills. He was clad in a white shirt and violent pink suit. He wore an indigo silk tie, a silver stud in one ear and black sunglasses with pink frames. He had long black hair, a trimmed black beard, thick black mustache and thick rosy lips. His nose was fat like a capsicum. "Its Justin Solomon, the jester who flatters himself as a charmer. I didn't see him while we entered. He's a dolt. The last time we met, he said he traded his Parker pen for a pair of tongs! Honestly, I can't guess why these girls find him so attractive." Karma said, his voice riddled with contempt. "You're simply jealous." retorted Maya. "Because he's handsome than you." "What?! I'm taller than him! he's only 4.5 feet, I'm five. Look at my bulging arms! That guy looks like he couldn't say boo to a goose!" said Karma furiously. "Well he's lean like a sword, not a bulky goon like you. He's smart and handsome to me," Teresa said with another giggle. Karma honestly couldn't think of anything sensible to reply. So he decided to sulk. He gulped his hot chocolate and relapsed into a moody silence. Marx turned his face into what he hoped was a neutral expression. Soon Susi came with the bill. Marx tipped him generously and they stood up to go. Karma still looked sulky. The guy called Justin Solomon flashed a brilliant smile at the children when they came towards him. He shook hands solemnly with all of them, except Karma, who simply nodded at him and kept his hands well inside his pockets. Justin gave a small pat to Kingdum, who was sniffing at his ankles. "I didn't see you kids when you came. I was out for a while. Back for the summer holidays, I suppose?" "Yeah, we just came today. You're now what... at your second year in college?" asked Marx, handing him the bill amount. "Yes, young master. Next year is my graduation year," Justin said brightly. On seeing the money, he said hastily, "No, no, no! You don't need to pay! Your uncle asked me not to charge you." "But we would like to pay! He's giving us a lot of pocket money, anyway." Marx firmly thrusted the money into Justin's hands, who accepted it with a grin.

"Nice shades you wear," remarked Teresa coyly to Justin. Karma cleared his throat loudly. "Everybody, quick! The time's already quarter to six! We must run to our tree house, or else we'll miss the sun set!" he said urgently. "Why, are you children painting the sun set?" asked Justin Solomon with interest. "Never you mind," said Karma rudely and stormed outside. The others waved good bye to Justin and began to jog towards the sunflower field. "You're awfully rude, Karma, if you don't mind me saying so." Maya said crossly. "It's jolly good of you to remind the time. I'm afraid the sun would be fully down before we reach there," Marx said, racing ahead. "Relax, fuhrer! This is not the very last sun set of the world. That giant fire ball is not going to perish anytime soon, it would rise again." Karma said with a sneer. "Stop calling me fuhrer," snapped Marx. "Or else I'll spread the romance story of you and that Sara girl all over our school," he said with a vicious grin. "If you do that, I'll I'll..." stuttered Karma, enraged. "Clutch my feet and cry? Don't worry. It's going to come out eventually," Marx said with a wink. The five children and the dog reached a small mound located near their tree house. It was fully covered with grass. They started to move to the top of the mound and sat down, stretching their legs. The children gazed at the golden streaks of the setting sun with ecstasy. The orange sun with its yellow rays; the pink tinted blue sky; the white fluffy clouds; the beautiful sun flower field with a lonely mango tree and a lovely tree house on its top, would enchant any onlooker. Even Kingdum stopped frolicking and stared mesmerized by the view. "Nothing could ever recreate this wonderful nature. Never." sighed Marx. "I mean, if I took a video of this in my phone and watched it daily, would it give me the same feeling?" "No, it won't. Nothing feels great like reality. But in the future, its possible to create near perfect virtual worlds. I mean, many scientists are working on it, isn't it?" Karma said thoughtfully. "Well, if you both still had a tiny inkling of reality, you must hear a phone ringing. Karma you great mutt! Its your phone. Pick it up," said Teresa. "My phone's not with me. The little devil's having it," said Karma jerking his thumb at Lenin. Lenin took out the phone and saw the caller I.D. "It's from Uncle!" he shouted. "Give it to me," said Marx, reaching for the cell phone. "I'll talk, I'll talk," jumped Lenin and attended the phone. "Hello, Uncle its me Lenin... Yes, Uncle, I'll ask.... Uncle's asking what we want for supper," he repeated to them. "Ask him to buy twenty Ghee Dosas," said Karma quickly, before anyone could answer. Lenin repeated it over the phone. Soon it became very dark and the children went into the house. "I think I forgot to do something there on the mound. But I can't remember what it is," said Maya desperately. "You forget to compose your new poem," said Marx. "Oh, no!" Maya wailed. "I got to try it again tomorrow," Marx caught Karma's eyes, who bit his fist to stop laughing. Inside the house, the children split to pursue their favorite activities. Marx busied himself with the desktop computer in his Uncle's master bed room. The girls spent the evening listening to Music in their own bedroom, while Karma chatted in his phone lounging on the white couch in the living room. Lenin sat right next to him, watching Cartoon on the TV. Kingdum lay down and snoozed peacefully at his feet. Sharply after an hour, the sleeping dog opened one of its eyes. It stood up, ran to the door and barked joyfully. The children heard their Uncle's heavy footsteps. Uncle Jumbo came inside, carrying a huge paper bag in his hand. Lenin ran to him and hugged his legs. Uncle Jumbo looked tired, but he managed to beam at the children. "You kids had a nice time?" he asked, moving towards the dining room. "We had a lovely evening," replied Teresa earnestly. He gave the paper bag to Maya, who put it on the table and took out six food parcels. "Lenin, there's a tin of dog food on the lower shelf in the kitchen larder. Put it in a bowl and give it to Kingdum," said Uncle Jumbo. Lenin scooted away to the kitchen. He came back with a bowl full of dog Biscuits and placed it under the eager nose of Kingdum, who sniffed, licked and crunched the biscuits noisily.

All the others washed their hands and took chairs around the table. Maya fetched tableware from the kitchen. She emptied the packets of Sambar and Chutney in separate utensils and piled the Ghee Dosas on a huge plate. Karma immediately lifted five Dosas from the heap. Using a scoop, he took a liberal amount of Chutney from the utensil and spreaded it over his Dosas. They all ate with their right hands in silence. The meal was over in ten minutes. For dessert, Maya served Gulabjamuns - a delicious sweet, to everyone in small silver cups with spoons. Uncle Jumbo took his plate to the wash basin and washed his hands and the plate. Then he placed it neatly on the kitchen rack. The children all did the same. Uncle Jumbo sat heavily on the white couch to watch the News. The children huddled on the blue couch that lay perpendicular to him. "Well, you kids better go to bed. The time's half past eight," he said, dispersing them. Karma elbowed Marx and mimed at him to talk. Marx scowled at him, then opened his mouth hesitantly. "Er.. Uncle Jumbo, me and Karma were wondering, whether we could sleep in our tree house tonight... If it's all right for you.. It's fascinating to sleep watching the stars, and its a cloudless summer night, you know," Marx said awkwardly. "Yes! I too like to see the stars wink at me," said Lenin at once. "Sure, you three can go. Take Kingdum with you, and take care of Lenin." Uncle Jumbo said, his eyes on the T.V. "Could we also go Uncle?" asked Teresa hopefully. "No, definitely not. There is not enough space on that little tree house. Anyway, It's not a safe place for girls to spend their night." he said sternly. "That's not fair, We too wanted to watch the stars," complained Maya. "You could see a whole lot of stars easily through the glass wall of your bed room," said Karma scornfully. "Those stupid stars would be visible from your bedroom too! Then why are you going?" demanded Maya. "To have a closer look," said Karma mildly. "Huh, really? How do you suppose to do that? Have you fixed a telescope or something on our tree house?" asked Teresa huffily, crossing her arms. "No. I'll ask the stars to come close," replied Karma with an innocent expression. Marx sniggered. The boys donned their pajamas and wished good night to their Uncle. They lumbered to their tree house, leaving behind two furious girls. The night sky was strewn with millions of stars. The cool light rays of the silver moon was enough to illuminate their path, but they switched on their torches, anyway. They could see the head lights of vehicles zooming on the highway at a distance. Using the bathtub pulley, they uplifted a reluctant Kingdum into the tree house. They debated whether to leave the torch on for the sake of Lenin, but the little boy said he could sleep without light. He nestled in between Marx and Karma. The three boys lay down on the sleeping bags silently for a while, staring at the glittering stars and rolling white clouds, through the glass window in the wooden roof. Kingdum put its head on the feet of Lenin. A few minutes later, Karma started to snore loudly. Lenin began to tell Marx about all the adventure stories he had read in the school library. "Pity, we don't have any real adventures till now," sighed Lenin.

"Well, you always imagine them, isn't it. That's why you often tell me fabulous tales of your own. It sounds far more exciting than any real adventures," said Marx. "But who knows, we might have a real adventure, even a dangerous and heroic one," he said hopefully. A cheeky star winked at him overhead. Within a few minutes all the children, the boys in the tree house and the girls in the Jumbo house, were fast asleep. They never would've guessed that they'll be gifted with amazing super powers, and would be sent to undertake a very exciting and dangerous adventure on their own; for destroying the most evil power in the Universe and save planet Earth! Those things are going to happen soon, very soon!

Like the sample? Buy my full book in amazon by visiting the below link!

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01G2DY5U4


© Copyright 2020 JpV. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Science Fiction Scripts