Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Rushdien Fable

Once upon a time, far away in the ramshackle tenements of Fogcity, there lived a happy ole fella by the name of Hunfun. His home was perched atop one of the several shantytown high-rises. It wasn’t a big place but it was exposed to the wind and gave a grand view to his merry heart. And it wasn’t even a grand view at that, for his shanty was in the darkest locale of Fogcity called Glumfog.  From there you could see the smoke that constantly belched out of the sad-poor homes to keep them warm on cold nights. Sometimes the smog lay so thick through the day there wasn’t even anything much to see except a hazy Sun lazing through a groggy sky. Sometimes on rare mornings you could see a fleeting glimpse of blue skies above the acrid smog and for that, Hunfun loved his place.
His place was simple. It was beautiful and what was essential he had. He didn’t have much furniture, but his home was stacked with piles and piles of scrolls and parchments on every conceivable and esoteric matter. Some of them were very rare and hard to find. Some of them were centuries old. They filled every nook and cranny transforming the ambience with a mellow glow. For years he would pore over these with merriment and an unsatisfying hunger for knowledge. His joy was infectiously visible in the way he spoke or wrote. For his fans he was Blogular-the-Jocular, for the media he was simply Potion-of-Commotion and for his fault-finders he was derogatively Brag-the-Gag. Nonetheless those who were really very close would call him Hun-the-Fun, for he was absolutely unpredictable and full of amusement. But beneath all that mischievous laughter, he was immensely knowledgeable and nobody stayed untouched from his wisdom or happiness. The lives of many were affected throughout Glumfog, Fogcity and other towns.
For everyone who came to his home he gave a meal of happiness and a parcel of joy. He made it all in his humble kitchen of Pure Love. He made it with herbs and spices and with recipes long forgotten but only known in some ancient scrolls. No one knew that the most important ingredient used, was a scarlet drop from a vial that contained the “Sacrifice Essence”. It was a distilled concentrate of Lifelove. The vial of “Sacrifice Essence” never became empty, but over a period it would discolour, until someone made a sacrifice to make its potency visible. No one knew what it was or how he got it, but it had the power to wipe out defilement, pollution and taint. It not only generated happiness but it also created cleanness. So there were many who came to visit Hunfun to taste it and plunge into a delight of inner joy, even though they were surrounded by gloomsmoke in Glumfog.
Hunfun lived all by himself and his only companion was Teensy-Weensy-Me. Teensy was a little kitten that limped painfully one sad evening into his home. He nursed it, gave it food, made it clean, mended its bones and gave it Lifelove. He nourished it and cared for it. It was very playful, sometimes dribbling the scrolls with its padded mittens. Over the years, it could not be without him and he could not be without it. The little thing added greater fun and greater joy to his life. And even though he lived in Glumfog, he danced in his heart.
Teensy always announced itself as mee-mee. It was bothered about what it wanted and when it wanted. Whenever it needed anything it would cry out mee-mee, till it got what it wanted. If things didn’t go its way it would cry out louder MEE-MEE! Sometimes Teensy could be very demanding. As Teensy grew, it started exploring new territory. It would move around, it would browse the neighbourhood. It would go beyond the neighbourhood. It was fond of adventures, it wanted to travel places… straying further and further from the home that had given it hope.
One day Teensy-Weensy-Me, was gone.
The attractions of other places appeared grander than a roof-top in Glumfog. The colours and smells seemed nicer than the kitchen of Pure Love. Or had it gone to the golden land of the beyond?
Hunfun was lost. He had no way of knowing. The laughter died in his heart. He was now as old as his scrolls in a single day, and a voice that was as lonely as the stars. He never spoke again. He never cooked again. His scrolls gathered deep dust, as his home gathered ash that fell on it due to gloomsmoke. Even the vial of “Sacrifice Essence” was now discolouring. He was empty himself… and then with sudden shock he realized that it was now time to magnify the potency of the “Sacrifice Essence”. So he distilled into it his own Lifelove, until it became scarlet. Then he trained an apprentice and passed onto him the wisdom of the ages. This was the tradition of all the Grandmasters who engaged in laughter. They were called to be processed through pain. And among all the pains one pain is meant to be colder and sharper than an icicle through the heart. It was now time for him to go. It was time for others to take over. It was now time to handover laughter to another who could carry it to all others in Glumfog. His work over here was done.
It was time go over to the eternal Blogcity, where there are no tears to wipe, no sorrow to mourn, where the ink never runs dry and all the happy stories never end.

“Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” 
Colossians 1: 24
No one can bear the vicarious substitution of Christ but we are called to make that Cross visible, through our own suffering.

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