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Thursday, March 10, 2011

How does that matter ?



RRRRRRRRRRRRR-RRRRR!! The engines started and the plane started moving, going fast then faster then the fastest it could possibly go. The plane took off. I thought about my homework, then suddenly, ppppppsh! The plane flew through a cloud so fast that I felt sick. I tried to get my attention off it, so I started to play my DS …

‘How is it?’, Rishi asked his mom expectantly.

‘It is great Rishi …’ Anita said as she browsed through the story her fifth grader son had written.

‘Which part do you like the most ?’, Rishi asked. He was now peering over Anita’s shoulders, breathing down her neck.

‘Hmmm, I will have to go with this …’  

When we got to the Emerald bay,  I pretty much dived in the water because I was in a hurry to see the fish and when I did I was aghast. The fishes were all sizes; shapes and colors, there were purple fish, orange fish, green fish and any other color fish you could think of!! I saw at least 1,000,000 fish.

But you need to fix the grammar in a lot of places’, Anita winked at Rishi. Just then Rishi’s five year old sister who was hovering around the room, decided to jump into the action.

 ‘I want to read that story too!’, Tanu declared, trying to grab Rishi’s notebook.

‘You cannot even read!’ Rishi responded cruelly ‘besides, I won’t share my story with you – go write your own’ 

Tanu and Rishi’s ocean of sibling love was currently under low tide. The trouble had started about fifteen minutes ago when Tanu refused to share the candies from the goody bag she got from a birthday party of her classmate.  Rishi had been fuming all morning that he was not invited to his sister’s friend’s birthday party.  Tanu's refusal to share goodies from the party had pushed her brother over the edge.

‘How about I tell you both a story’, Anita suggested jumping into the couch. The leather couch felt warm as the late afternoon sun shone through the patio door. Tanu and Rishi snuggled around their mother.

Once upon a time, there was a huge lagoon overlooking vast expanse of blue Ocean in the western coast of the island of Oahu.  Huge volcanic mountains guarded the sandy beach along it’s coast, their mossy green slopes casting an emerald shadow over the sparkling water.  

In the lagoon were white corals and colorful fish. The fish were all sizes, shapes and colors; there were purple fish, orange fish, green fish and any other color fish you could think of!!

‘That part is from my story!‘, Rishi exclaimed, grinning ear to ear as Tanu glanced at him from the corner of her eyes.

‘I told you I like that part ...’, Anita smiled and continued with the story…


But this story is not about the green mountains, the emerald lagoon or the colorful fish. It is about something just across the bay, deep in the Ocean – two little waves. A small wave called Honu and his friend Meha. 


‘Was Meha Honu’s girlfriend?’, Rishi interrupted.

‘How does that matter? Shut up!’, Tanu was getting back her pound of flesh.

Anita resumed the story quickly, averting the impending flare up.

Honu and Meha lived with millions of other waves in the ocean.  They spent most of their time jumping in and out of the ocean with other small waves, making the ocean look like a giant trampoline. 

‘I can’t wait to a become a big swell’, Honu said eying one of the big swells lazily rolling around the surface, not too far from them.

‘They say that one has to learn the language of the winds, and follow them to faraway places before you become big – it that true? ‘, Meha remarked plopping next to Honu.

‘Yes that is true’ , Honu replied ‘ And don’t tell anyone ...’. He added with a hushed splash,‘ I have almost learnt the language of the winds. They say that westerly winds will pass again this way soon. I am going to follow them … ‘

‘I don’t want you leave me alone’, Meha was almost in tears. It was difficult to detect that though because the tears looked pretty much like rest of her – salty water.

‘I won’t.  I will take you with me.’

Several waves had followed the westerly winds a little while ago. Honu had watched in admiration as the first wave had set out on the ocean following the wind and as other waves had followed. He had been preparing for his own excursion listening to the incessant splashes of the big old wise swell that ebbed around the little waves, sharing with them drops of wisdom.

‘The wind takes us out on our journey – without it, we are nothing’, the big old wave had said, ‘Never forget that’.  Towering over the little waves, the big swell looked remarkably peaceful as it rolled around on the surface of the ocean. ‘Also, it gets a bit cold when the wind gets strong – put on your white caps if that happens’, the old wave had said.

But the words of wisdom were forgotten as soon as the wind had picked up. The waves had scrambled out on the ocean surface with a rush of excitement.  Like a giant roller coaster through the ocean – the ones on the front riding under the illusion that they were leading and the ones on the back under the illusion that they were following as the winds heaved them towards their destiny.


‘Why did the small waves forget about the old wave’s words?’, Rishi asked

‘Is the Old wave Grandpa of the small waves?’  Tanu chirped in.

"How does that mater?" it was Rishi’s time to get back at Tanu.

Anita smiled and continued with the story…

So the westerly winds arrived shortly.  It was a clear morning and a wise old wave was telling them about stories from faraway seas when the wind had started to pick up.

 ‘Hey !  I am shining like a diamond!’, a small ripple shouted, basking in the reflected glory of the mid morning sun. ‘Of course you are!’  The wise wave did not want to dampen the enthusiasm of the small ripple, ‘You must see the waves near the emerald lagoon which is just down the horizon though …‘, he continued as he patiently rolled around the restless ripples, ‘ I have heard that the waves there look like red rubies !’  

‘How can a wave look red?’ Meha had wondered but she was too shy to ask.  Both Meha and Honu were less than a day old which almost made them teenagers in wave years. They had not seen a sunset yet.

Just then the winds picked up again. ‘Follow me’, Honu shouted at Meha as they set out in the open sea.  Meha followed Honu and along with countless other ripples, started speeding up towards the horizon.

‘Do red waves really exist?’ Meha asked Honu as they glided through the ocean surface. She had been wondering about what the old wave had said just before they set out, ‘I would love to see a red wave.’ 

‘You don't believe in the old wave’s stories, do you ‘, Honu laughed ‘He is mad. Blue waves, yellow waves, even green waves I can imagine. But how in the name of floating kelp can a wave be red?’
Honu laughed as he swelled with the wind – he was getting bigger.

They cruised along for a few more hours. The winds were picking up and the waves had put on their white caps. ‘The old wave did talk sense sometimes ... like putting up the white caps ...’, Meha sort of  liked the old wise wave - his quiet roll was different from the restless ripples surrounding her.

‘Ha ! everyone knows about white caps’ , Honu shouted above the wind ‘ How about the other rubbish he talks about -  like all of us being connected ?  You, me and every other wave being just a small part of the ocean … do you remember that ?  That old wave – I tell you … it’s time for him to evaporate.’

A faint outline of a shore appeared far away near the horizon, and with it a swarm of pelicans who glided noisily past them. ‘


Watch out’, Meha shouted as a row of Pelicans dived towards Honu. Before Honu could realize, the pelicans crashed through his ebbing form as he watched them in disbelief . His quiet disbelief turned into horror as the pelicans reappeared, each of them flying out with a squirming Anchovy in its beak.


‘The old wave did say that there are treasures hidden in the ocean- just beneath the waves’, Meha  said excitedly. A visibly subdued Honu took off his white cap and rolled silently towards the shore. 


It was getting dark and the familiar blue sky had started to turn orange. The distant shore was getting closer and closer as mossy green mountains loomed above them. Just then Honu crashed into a big reef that guarded the emerald lagoon. Meha crashed shortly after, creating a big splash of salty water.

The spash of water spilled into the lagoon filled with colored fish- The fish were all sizes, shapes and colors; there were purple fish, orange fish, green fish and any other color fish you could think of!!. 


The splash started small ripples in the lagoon. The emerald ripples danced in joy as the sun set across the ocean.

The End

Anita, Rishi and Tanu lay quietly, basking in the late afternoon sun. ‘You used that part again – the part with colorful fish’, Rishi said breaking the silence. Tanu was staring out of the window at the sun which was setting behind the woods.

‘I really liked that part’ Anita replied poking Rishi on his side.

‘Did Meha and Honu Die?’ Tanu asked, still looking out of the patio door.

‘The pretty red ripples in the emerald pool … they were new waves , weren’t they?’, Rishi  asked looking at Anita.

‘How does that matter?’ Anita hugged Tanu and Rishi and rolled over in the couch, playfully pinning them down. The room was filled with delighted screams of the two children.

3 comments:

Varsha said...

Banne,you are a seasoned story teller. I don't know why I was reminded of The Old Man and the Sea!Lovely.

sharma said...

The unity in writing comes from various things...the pace and the similes matching with the subject. There is the patience and depth of ocean in the piece and I esp. like "...sibling love was currently under low tide..."...the white cap ... the old wave as grandpa... This is very mature writing in terms of its harmony and cohesion. Good very good.

rachna said...

the sentient sea waves:) lovely! very cute story prithvi. i loved the descriptions, the kids,the philosophy, the sentience and the story within a story (besides another story). way to go

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