It was a hot sunny day. A fruit seller was selling mangoes standing across one of the busy urban stretches flanking Loyola College, Chennai’s oldest and most prestigious college. Mangoes were lined up neatly over the platform; the fleshy and juicy fruits occupied the front row pushing aside the pale and skinny ones. He sprinkled some water over the fruits, which glistened in the morning.
Two brightest fruits named Alphonse and Rumanish, placed at the front row, started their conversation.
“Oh God! This sun is killing me,” said Alphonse with a weary look.
“Come on man, cheer up.” Rumanish replied trying to cheer him up.
“Its 110 degree and you want me to cheer up? Are you kidding me?” screamed Alphose with an intent look.
“Eew! Don’t give me that look again?” replied Rumanish with a weird expression.
“Shut up! See how profusely I am sweating,” said Alphonse.
“Alphonse! You can’t sweat.” Rumanish paused for a moment and came again saying, “Technically!”
“Who the hell taught you that? Any fruit can sweat!” Alphonse said forcefully, “Actually, which school are you from?”
“Same school where your mother is a biology teacher,” Rumanish tried to shut her up.
“Hard to believe that you are her student,” replied Alphonse without understanding the irony behind his comment.
“I wonder why?” Rumanish giggled.
Alphonse smelled a rat when she saw him laughing and became furious. But before she could say a word, someone picked her. While on the basket, she stared fiercely and Rumanish waved her goodbye with a mischievous smile.
Alphonse looked around in excitement. No more sun. No more sweat. No more worries. In fact, she was feeling cold. She sensed a cool puff of air coming from a large rectangular box-like material on the wall. As she was wondering about the object, a whistling noise interrupted her from outside. She turned around to look through the window and found a lone guava hanging loosely from one of the branches of a tree. The poor guy was still whistling with his eyes closed. There was a slight gap between the glasses, which allowed the sound to pass through to Alphonse.
“Hey there,” Alphonse was happy to see another fruit.
“Hi,” waved guava with a charming smile.
“I am Alphonse and you are?”
“That sounds sweet,” winked Alphonse.
“So are you,” countered Guaish.
Alphonse smiled and asked, “So how long have you been here?”
“Well, for quite some time.”
“What are those black dotes on your body?” enquired Alphonse curiously.
“Oh! Those were bees. Can you see a tiny hole here?” Guaish turned around to show the surface.
“Yeah! What’s that?” Alphonse’s eyes widened.
“Those were squirrels!” smiled Guaish.
“You are being stung by insects and eaten by squirrels?” Alphonse was stunned.
“Why what’s wrong?”
“Now I understand why you are looking so good” Guaish frowned watching her glossy surface.
“Yeah, I never had such awful experiences.” Alphonse sighed.
“Awful? After all, that’s the purpose of your life, my friend.” Guaish smiled.
“Our purpose is to be eaten by mighty humans, buddy.” Alphonse answered back plaintively.
“Do you think human beings are the only species living on earth?” questioned Guaish.
“Of course not, but they are the superior species!”
“Superior? That’s a big word. Nobody or nothing is ever considered superior, my friend.”
Guaish interrupted her and said, “Do you think your so-called superior beings can lead a life alone? Human beings depend on everything living on this planet but nobody depend on them in return. Insects can lead a life without them. Birds can lead a life without them. Animals lead a life without them. You and I can lead a life without them. But humans cannot! They need us.”
Alphonse listened carefully that she did not even say a word and Guaish continued, “Humans are greedy, persuasive and influencing individuals. They can manipulate anything and everything. You are one such example.”
“You are right. My boss always talks about making money using us. He never cares about anything except money. He even killed many insects, small animals and birds who tried to eat us. I thought it was for our own protection but I was wrong.” Alphonse slowly understood the matter explained by Guaish reading her experiences. “He even sprayed a filthy spray over us throughout our life. That did not allow any species to come near us. In fact, many died in the process.”
“That does not sound good!” Guaish felt bad for an instant and continued, “That is insecticides, one used to kill insects. Humans use it to increase their productivity, thereby earning more money, without any concern about its harm.”
Alphonse felt bad for a moment as she was constantly making fun of Rumanish skin, who had black dots and fissures all around his body. She smiled thinking about the conversation she had had with Rumanish.
The Three Musketeers Reviewed by T R Gowthama on 20:19 Rating: