The gold-shielded warrior king and his army of cottony clouds appeared to be furiously fighting a planetary war with the earth and its poor creatures on two legs.
Way too hot. Too hot a day to discuss with my friends the ongoing political chaos in our state. The conversation was as heated up as the political turmoil, which in turn was as heated as the April Sun.
Requesting a short recess from the seemingly endless discussion, I slipped into the kitchen, which gave me the feeling that I was in a microwave oven, specially designed to grill human beings. I convinced myself that I was stuck in the lungs of a dragon. I scanned the dining table (which was experiencing stark lawlessness to the level extreme), and concluded that it bore not a single thing that could assist me in honouring our dry throats with a mitigating drink. At hard times in which a region, state or country ruled by a government, is struck by anarchy, it is the consumers who are greatly affected. Supplies are disturbed, and the prices of goods play the economic see-saw recklessly. What a sheepish comparison, I thought.
My eyes chanced to fall upon the green-and-white-striped tablecloth (stained all over with tea and tomato sauce), which appeared to be covering something from the public view. I lifted it, and found a porcelain bowl holding oranges. Just the thing! Well, of course, the politicians somehow manage to hide away what the people call “just the thing” inside the most inconspicuous of places (as black money in foreign banks, for instance). Another downright dumb comparison, I thought. I wondered for a split moment if the April heat had succeeded in collapsing the synapses between the neurons in my brain. I decided to continue the game with myself.
I picked out five oranges from the bowl, and got ready with the required armaments – the knife, the juicer, the can of sugar, two spoons, and a mixing bowl. I cut the oranges into ten equal halves, and admired their interior symmetry. Equality – in terms of caste, creed, religion, gender, financial status, property, rights – is more of a should-be-worked-upon concept; unbeatable in theory, but unseen in application. More importantly, in “endeavouring” to provide equal shares to the people, considerable amount of money disappears into the pockets of the politically and the economically influential people. Lost, somehow, just like the drops of the oranges scattered on cutting them open. The politicians dismiss the fact, but the truth is the truth, no matter what. Spots are spots. Facts can never be an option.
The juicer volunteered itself under my fingers, and aided me in squeezing the juice out from the pockets of orange pulp. It also is undeniable that it is the responsibility of the citizens to get the best of the government, and vice versa, also for the good. This, however, is beyond the practicality of things, if autocracy is what we are under. The government behind a single mind is always dangerous.
By the time I had finally liberated the fresh juice from the oranges, the entire place was a disaster. If there ever was an Orange War, this is how it would look, I thought. The very idea catapulted me into battle mode, and I grabbed the knife and swerved it right and left, imagining myself to be a Samurai soldier. Objectionable kitchen behavior. It really is mind-blowing what power-hungry leaders dare to do, to maintain their unreasonably greedy appetites, at the cost of other people’s lives. At times, I wonder if international peace could only survive in Utopia, but then, there was Buddha, a symbol of peace; tolerance. Well, a peaceful world is where men have ceased to be animals, and climbed the next rung in the ladder of human evolution. I believe the change will come.
It was time for the culminating episode. I poured the orange juice into the mixing bowl, and added to it a little cup of water, and gave it one round of mix with the abnormally long tablespoon. I hoped sincerely that I was not flinging injustice at the truthfulness of the orange juice by pouring water into it. But, to maintain the balance of equilibrium between the demand and the supply, certain measures have to be employed. The government has not yet mastered the art, though. If it had, unemployment would have been wiped off with a swift stroke, like the drops of orange juice would be from the table.
Clockwise went the mixing process; orange waves moving in irregular swirls, and I, enjoying the fact that I was the creator of that whirlpool, thinking of bringing the game to an end, when I noticed something. When I changed the course of the currents in the counter-clockwise direction suddenly, the smooth flow burst into a cataclysmic state of uproar. A change always comes with quite a confusion. Then the mixing changed directions round and round. To this ocean of disorderliness, I added three teaspoons of sugar for taste, and I noticed something else as well. The sugar almost disappeared the moment I added it. Dissolved, to be precise in the definition. Relatively faster than in a normal process of uniform one-direction flow. How good plans and policies get lost in delirium.
“The l’orange juice est ready,” said I to myself, battling with the bits of French I picked up somewhere. What a lot of politics even in an orange juice these days. Pouring it into six juice glasses and carefully placing them on a plastic tray, I made my way to my community, and for the first time felt myself breathe since I entered the dragon-lunged kitchen.
“Now, where the hell have you been?” asked one of the friends.
“Making orange juice for us,” I replied, passing the glasses around, half grinning.
“The time you took should be enough to grow an orange tree. Well, come on. I feel loads better after the drink, though.” After a storm comes a calm, I thought.
“So, what do you think they would do next?” asked another, resuming the discussion, addressing all of us.
“Orange juice,” I replied.