The tadpole that turned into a toad and then got coronated! Santosh Bakaya witnesses a rapid rise to glory that may inspire those who are aspiring for their thrones.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
A rag picker’s trolley was silhouetted in the semi darkness, but the rag picker was nowhere around. There were rain water puddles in profusion, and a plethora of big and small tadpoles jumped around with the royal hauteur of having taken over the earth. What if tadpoles really took over the earth? The random thought made me smile as the fattest tadpole in the vicinity jumped on to my foot. This is definitely not the first time that I have had tadpoles jumping over my feet, during the rainy season, deluded into the belief that they could hitch free rides on my feet!
With an agility that I had never thought was part of my personality, I kicked it away – little expecting that it would land on to our car! I wonder why they are called tadpoles. They are not even a tad ‘pole’ like. 🙂
It was 5. 45 AM, and still dark. I came closer to the car, and peered at the toad. What if it turned into a prince! I broke into a loud guffaw at the very absurdity of my thoughts. Having had my fill of tadpoles, [Disclaimer: Please do not take this literally. I have no fascination for munching tadpoles] I walked on, almost bewitched by the verdant greenery all around. The rains had showered their benevolence on the plants and trees. I had never seen so much greenery in this area, where we had shifted four years back. Even in the monsoons, there used to be only patches of green here and there. But now there was a huge expanse of green.
The grey above and the green below, I walked on, stopping now and then to admire a grasshopper or a butterfly, when suddenly a bunch of mynahs a little distance away broke into a string of highly agitated chirps, reminding me of that hugely popular rhyme of the bygone era –
one for sorrow, two for joy,
three for a letter, four for a boy,
five for silver, six for gold,
seven for a secret never to be told.
This rhyme was meant for magpie robins, I believe, but we as kids used to apply it to mynahs.
I counted them. There were six – six for gold – I have always shunned gold and gold ornaments, in fact crinkled my nose at them. Whatever would I do with gold!
I walked on, afraid that it would rain any minute as the grey clouds seemed to be racing all over the sky, chasing each other with a joy only bloated clouds can feel.
There was again a profusion of tea stalls a little distance away from our house, where the new Mart had come up. During the lockdown days, it used to have a deserted look, a few strays lolling around, and drifting in and out of nothingness, but every tea stall was filled to capacity. People were sitting on benches sipping tea, and talking loudly. Hoping that things would continue like this, with no virus intruding into our lives, I walked on, happily, and to cheer me on, the sun peeped from behind grey clouds. The greys vanished.
The grasshopper with golden tints, the butterflies flitting around with golden wings, the gold on the squirrel’s whiskers. What a golden sight!
When I headed back home, the thought topmost in my mind was, whether the toad would be still sitting atop our car, so I stopped near the car, feeling a trifle sheepish at my mission.
But lo and behold, there was magic! The toad had really turned into a prince.
It had a halo of gold around its head. This coronation had taken place during my absence from the scene. My heart went out to it. It just looked so confused at the new found glory. The unsuspecting prince seemed to be wondering – ‘to be or not to be prince’. There is no guarantee he will get a beautiful princess but managing the throne would be quite a task.
When I had headed for my walk, the sky was overcast with grey clouds, but when I was walking back home, the sun had thrown off the restraining arms of the grey clouds, and was now scintillating brightly, turning a toad into a prince.
There were seven mynahs now. Seven for a secret never to be told – so hugging the secret of the metamorphosis of the toad into a prince, I was back home.
Do you think anyone would believe me even if I divulged this secret! On second thoughts, those aspiring for their “thrones” might just get a huge moral boost and sit on the accelerator of their dreams.
Click here to read all episodes of Morning Meanderings Season 2
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