Wednesday, December 23, 2009

void by failure chapter 5

Two butterfly seasons after:
                Jack successfully grew more butterflies for the next two seasons. Eventually he grew out of the fascination of rearing caterpillars. He needed something new. That's when he went to a village on his vacation. It was his habit to hunt for ant lions whenever he went there. Only this time he had seen a program in nat geo about ant lions. Ant lions are actually larvae of a flying insect somewhat like a dragonfly.

Ant lions dig pits in loose sand and wait hiding inside sand for ants to fall in the pit. once an ant falls and struggles to climb out the ant lion grabs it and takes it inside sand. To hold an ant lion feels soft and squishy.

Jack, determined to grow an ant lion till it becomes a fly, carried some ant lions to his home back from vacation. He filled a small tray with sand and let the ant lions in it. Its very fascinating to see how the ant lion digs the pit. The creature looks scary but the pit it makes looks so beautiful.It requires patience to watch the ant lion make a pit.

Everyday he used to catch ants and put it inside the tray. He watched how the ants fall into the pits and how the ant lions throw sand over the ants and grab them and drag them inside.

Over weeks his ant lions had become bigger in size. He thought they would pupate any time. But he was wrong. Unlike his former pet, ant lions pupate after four to five years of feeding and also only when circumstances are favorable. They need a plant or some support nearby because just like the butterfly, when an adult ant lion fly emerges out of the cocoon its wings r crushed and wet and the fly needs to climb on some support in order to expand and dry its wings.

Jack waited for sometime. Finally he discovered that the ant lions need much longer time to pupate and also he was getting bored of catching the ants for them. so one day he released the ant lions. adieu

Thursday, December 17, 2009

void by failure chapter4

A Piece of Green Wax!
He watched with tears in his eyes and a heart as heavy as an elephant, as his best pal ascended into the sky defying gravity! There was no sadness in his tears but ecstasy. He felt like BRAHMA( Indian God of creation)!


Jack is now 12 years old. Having enjoyed enough of wilderness he moved to a growing concrete jungle; a small town where generally one's grandfather used to be a farmer; which will be his neighbourhood for five years. he was already in his 4th school studying 7th standard.

Jack was a bright child. He was interested especially in life sciences, may be due to his early bonding with nature. Also he was becoming fond of another subject "Physics". He was very fascinated when he learned about the metamorphosis of butterfly. From an ugly looking worm to a beautiful splendid creature of natural flight! He felt a sense of unexplainable irrational joy and enthusiasm, just by thinking about butterflies and their life cycle.

His school was located in the banks of a famous river of the state. There were lots of vegetation around the school campus. Especially a poisonous plant named erukalam. And butterflies have this funny habit of laying their eggs in the leaves of such poisonous plants so that the larvae which hatch from the eggs,namely caterpillars,feed on the leaves and become poisonous themselves thus providing natural protection against predators.

Jack had seen black and white pictures of the butterfly life cycle in textbooks and it didn't take him long to figure out that the funny-coloured worm living in the erukalam plant around his school was indeed the caterpillar form of a future butterfly.

He made up his mind to rear a caterpillar till it becomes a butterfly; to travel along with it in its journey of life! But mom can be a problem. He decided not to tell mom. He caught several caterpillars and put them inside his geometry box. This time he was careful enough to punch some extra holes in the box for circulation! the "rabbit in the box" incident may have been behind this precaution ;). He also regularly put fresh leaves for them to feed on.

He then chose one caterpillar which showed more growth than others, he released others in their natural habitat. It is really amazing to observe how the tiny thing munches away the leaves like some machine and how it gets bigger by the hour. It used to defecate at the same rate of eating. So jack had to clean his box often. He learnt that having a pet comes with attached responsibilities. But he was happy to do it.

He eagerly waited for the next stage of its life cycle-The PUPA. And one evening it finally happened. Mr.Caterpillar climbed to the roof of jack's geometry box and hung himself upside down like a bat. He then started to shrink and have jerks as if he was having hiccups. Then slowly his striped coloured skin started to peel off showing a wet light green inner body. Jack was amazed and nervous at the same time.

He did not know whether what was happening was right. He knew how a pupa looks like but he had imagined that the caterpillar will build a cocoon around itself like a spider building a web. But this was a surprise. But after an hour he was satisfied that everything was fine as the form attained the familiar pupa shape. Now his pet looked like a solidified droplet of green wax and even felt like shiny wax.

He then waited days and days for the transformation to complete. It was amazing to see how such an active big life form has become so small; so plastic and so lifeless. Jack wondered what was happening inside. He wondered how this small blob can be considered a living thing. He wondered how the pupa is sustaining its life. Its not breathing or eating. It is sealed in an airtight shell. Without his knowledge Jack had stepped into the realm of philosophical thinking.

Slowly the colour of the pupa began to change. There were shades of black and orange visible. Everyday jack used to have a look at the pupa at least ten times. He could clearly see the shape of a butterfly now. Once there was an ant trying to break into the shell. Jack was lucky to notice it early and defend his helpless immobile pet! He was so scared that the pupa might have been damaged. He was not sure whether to call it damage or injury. The transformation did not stop. He was glad.

Then one fine afternoon when jack was in his school, the pupa started to crack. There was a vertical split near the proboscis(the straw like mouth of the butterfly) area. Jack couldn't watch closely after that as the class started. When he finally took a peak into the box the "MONARCH BUTTERFLY" was out of his self designed womb flapping his wet crippled wings. For the next hour jack watched in ecstasy as the wing straightened and dried. Finally his pet was in its beautiful form. Jack held the butterfly in his hands as it was flapping its not-yet-ready wings without realizing that once the wings are fully dry and flat, he had to say goodbye to his longest kept pet!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

void by failure chapter3

The Eagle

Four years have passed since the flying squirrel incident and jack was already in his third school with no success in his pet raising ventures. This time he was living in a dense forest in the foothills of western ghats-Mudhumalai. He had many friends now. They used to roam around together in the forest in the vicinity of their neighborhood playing (cop-thief) திருடன் போலீஸ் .

On one such occasion jack and his friends heard loud noises of monkeys in the nearby bamboo bush. When they got there they saw an injured eagle fighting to get away from the monkeys. They rescued the eagle. There was a deep wound under the eagle's wing. So the poor bird couldnt fly properly.

The kids decided not to tell the elders because they feared that the elders might take the eagle away somewhere. one of jack's friends had a small hen-house. The eagle was sheltered there. Meanwhile the evil monkeys were planning to catch the eagle again.

That evening when everyone had left, the monkeys came near the house and examined the spot where the kids had gathered to examine what was wrong with the eagle. The monkeys tried to sniff a trail in vein. Defeated, they left. Jack was happy seeing this not realizing that the monkeys will soon get what they wanted!

For the next couple of days, the kids tried to feed the eagle. They tried carrots, vegetables and then realizing that Mr.eagle may be a pure meat eater they tried to bring whatever natural food they can get their hands on-earthworms, beetles, grasshoppers etc...But Mr.eagle never opened his mouth...uhm beaks.

Sunday is usually when Indian families cook non-veg food. The kids decided to wait till Sunday which was two days after. Meanwhile they tried to teach Mr.Eagle to relearn his flying skills. The wound was healing quickly because of the medical attention by the kids. But even then flying was difficult for Mr.Eagle.

It was Sunday. Jack eagerly opened the hen-house with a piece of raw chicken in his hand. He was not invited by a 4day-domesticated bird of prey, but by a corpse!
Yes! the eagle had given up its struggle for life. It had passed away peacefully sometime in the middle of the night. Jack and his friends were mourning the entire day. They burried the eagle in their backyard.

That evening the monkeys sniffed their way to the grave and dug out the eagle. They then fought with each other on who should first peel off the bird's feathers. As Jack watched, the monkeys moved out of sight with his 5day-pet in their hands!

Will jack ever get to have a proper pet?

void by failure chapter2

Flying Squirrels

Jack was in his LKG. they were living in a scenic mount covered with green curtain. the place was devala where tea estates were abundant; also was wildlife. there used to be occasional visits by leopards and elephants!

jack's dad used to tell him about a fluffy furred creature with huge ears the size of his hand and hair as white as milk. this creature used to hop in a funny way and people call it RABBIT. jack had never seen the creature before. his mental picture of rabbit was more of a sheep with fur till its ankles.

jack's father decided to bring one for his son as jack was pestering him for a pet. He caught hold of a wild rabbit and took it back home.

when jack returned from school he was invited not by his first pet; but by a new non veg food!

his dad had put the rabbit in a box in his hefty enfield bullet for a safe ride back home which eventually became its coffin partly because the person who designed the box did not consider air circulation and partly because the government was too lazy to maintain the condition of roads in that area.
Poor boy jack. he did not have the chance to see even the dead rabbit!

jack also used to pester his dad to get him a flying squirrel. its a type of gliding rodent which inhabited the local ecosystem. though jack had not seen one. once a flying squirrel landed on the butter fruit tree in front of his house but before he could catch a glimpse it disappeared.

once again his dad decided to get his son a pet, this time a flying squirrel. it was rather by accident. a squirrel landed right next to him and he by impulse caught the rodent.
when jack returned home he was again not invited by a new pet, but by a big bandage on his dad's palm! the squirrel had bitten his hand and escaped, leaving both his dad and himself in pain.

will jack ever get a pet? or at least see one?

void by failure chapter1

Seeds of Dream

"it was fun". this is how dad's bed time stories would start. what followed was vivid nostalgic description of how a life form which cannot talk, cannot express emotion, cannot laugh at your jokes made dad's childhood life happy.

"is dad making up these stories?" jack had thought many a times

the answer came when dad's sis i.e jack's aunt told him about his dad's childhood companions conforming to dad's version.

The seeds of dream have been sown.

jack's dad grew up in a farm. so there was constant presence of animals in his stories. like for once, he had a mongoose as a pet. he used to tell jack how the little animal thought that he was its parent and how it would cuddle up beside him while sleeping etc... etc...
this is where it all began. the never ending quest in search of a pet like in his dad's stories. a companion. a life form with unconditional love.
this quest lasted longer than normal because
1. his mom hated pets
2. they had to move due to dad's occupation which made it difficult to have a pet

Will jack's quest be successful?
what adventures await him on the way?

void by failure

hi people,
im back after a long gap.
some stuff i had to take care of.
here goes....

i'm going to narrate a story about an avid young boy and his almost constant failure in attempts to have a pet. He tried having some pets which one may consider unusual to the extent of being eccentric. like antlions and caterpillars!

1. his mom hated having an animal in the house
2. his dad used to tell the boy about his own childhood pets as bedtime stories
1.conflict of interest!
2.eccentric solutions to meet mom-norm!
i'll follow up with the chapters of the story.... stay updated...