Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prayer of a Tailed Cousin

This is a story that happened some time back in the forests of Mundanthurai. For those who are not aware of Lord Sori, I shall say that he being in forest is more of a curse to forest creatures than a blessing.
He attracts up to half a million people to come into the forest and worship him.
 The people come there also to meet people and get marriage proposals and all that.
Similarly, the better cousins what we call the Bonnet macaques also come there to see their bad cousins- humans.

They come to meet their own kind and also to eat on what the bad cousin throws out as waste,
in forms of plastic, plantain leaves, rice and
even sacrificed goats!
Like their cousins, they too have to sleep in the night, and what do they do? They go to the temple and sleep above their bad cousins. Only the tail hangs down like vines in a forest. In day time, the tailed ones gang up and scour the forest for food and fight among themselves.
The tail less ones gather around and worship god, cook food and eat, sleep and make merry- for only once a year can they come and relax in the cool waters of Tambaraparani.

The poor man’s Jacuzzi.
One day, an old and concerned member of the tailed ones came to Mundanthurai Kitchen. It came to look up at the better cousins- Ecologists; for they were the only ones to share their concern with him. He was feeling bad that the cousins of his were destroying the forest. What could he do alone? His members left him and went to eat the waste thrown by their cousins. 
His self esteem was hurt. They were free beings of the earth; their order did not allow eating of waste thrown by others.
He wanted to end all this. So he came to us. Seeing us, he began to feel proud. He noticed that the ecologists worked very hard. They all looked green, brown and dirty, slept very little, and always roamed the forests looking for the relatives of the jungle world. They were always talking about the bad things due to Lord Sori.
He looked deep into himself on the wind shield of the jeep.
 At the same time, he wanted to pray to his cousins to stop the nuisance and let the jungle denizens live in peace. So he climbed over the jeep. The ecologists now began to see him. They did seem to understand the talk of all beings. He looked up at heaven and read the words Ecology and Conservation. He knew that he was close to ending all this. He wanted more people to support him, his noble cause. At the same time, he wanted to pray to his cousins to stop the nuisance and let the jungle denizens live in peace.
They silently saw. He bowed his head, asked Lord Sori to forgive him for what he was doing against the lord.
Then looked up at the heavens, thanked his stars for having found us.
Then he looked at the direction of temple and sat silent. He did not speak for he knew that his human cousins had alienated themselves form nature and would not understand their mother tongue.

He kept staring and we understood what he meant. He then began to weep. He felt miserable. He could not even drink water in the Tambaraparani River. This was the river where he grew up, had fun and frolic with his mother and brothers. They were all now gone; disillusioned by the free food they got from the degenerated cousins.
Sobbing, he looked up, met eyes. Both of us had nothing to say. Each understood the deep feelings of the other. The ecologists realized what the pain was. They wanted to cure it. He got some what reassured.
His sorrow now seemed to have lessened after weeping. His heart was light. He began to become normal again. He wanted to run. Something held him back. He was convinced we would do something. Something to help him.
He looked up again at the words Ecology and Conservation written on their vehicle. His heart became lighter than ever.

He looked up at us. Saw that we were equally concerned. He seemed to ask us if we would stand by our word. Deep inside, he could hear the reverberating yes. And with that, he jumped and vanished into the forest. We never saw him again.
This was a story, a story of a primate, looking up at their long lost relatives for help. Help- to make their world a better place. For him. For us. For all. For generations to come.
PS: The characters featured in the story are purely fictional. No relation to persons alive, dying or dead should be made. Any similarities seen by the expert eye are purely co-incidental and are the result of the handiwork of the devil’s kitchen of empty minds. 
All photographs are by Seshadri.K.S, please request permission before using any of it.
Please note, on a serious note, I have tried to Build a story based on some pictures I had. The story is clearly cooked up but the issue is real. I have no Intention of making fun of the pilgrims or the ecologists quoted here and it has been written so in light sense of humor. Enjoy reading!


  1. It would make a fantastic real life story to encourage kids into being more sensitive towards nature. Hope u seriously take to making at least an animation film on this for younger generation. well done!! chandrakant

  2. thanks for the encouraging words sir!