The Destruction Of You


Azandica roared majestically. Any living thing, in a 8 kilometre radius quivered with fear and wished it was dead or eaten. The grasslands were tired of him. After being thrown out of the pride (he was eating too much) Azandica travelled for three days and nights. Finally, he reached a place where he could smell no lion. He roared claiming this territory as his.

He slept for ten hours straight. After this refreshing slumber he woke up and began eating. He ate continuously, pausing only for four hours every day to sleep. The first things to go were the wildbeast. They were all eaten up in a matter of three weeks.

Chewing continuously, Azandica systematically eradicated the population of zebras, buffaloes, warthogs, nilgai, wild boar and 40 species of lizards from the region. None of the animals could understand why he was eating so much. They wondered why it never showed on his body (not an ounce of fat did he gain) and why he went on such a rampage, destroying the finely balanced ecosystem of their home.

Even the birds weren’t spared. He would wait for one of them to land unsuspectingly on a branch. Just as it began to relax and contemplate the colour of the sky he would open his mouth wide enclose the entire bird in it. Birdie would die of asphyxia without uttering a single panic-stricken cheep.

Once he finished eating all the animals with the names we know, he began killing and devouring wildlife with strange names – the kudu, hartebeest, gemsbok, eland and springbok.

Soon there was nothing for Azandica to eat except some grass. He tried eating a mouthful but spat it out immediately unable to comprehend why any intelligent thinking animal would eat vegetarian gook.

He looked around hopefully. There was nothing stirring except for the plant life. For a second he almost wished he hadn’t eaten everything in sight. Then he spotted his giant paw, which helped him run 56 kilometres an hour. The pads of it were extremely soft, like the tongue of a giraffe. He decided to give it a shot.

He began chewing his paw. Not bad at all. He moved on to his leg and slowly, one by one, he ate all his four limbs. Then, he began attacking his body from the back. His beautiful tail with its cute little tuft at the end was swallowed in one go.

His rump, back, sides, abdomen and underbelly followed. His head was a bit problematic. The magnificent mane surrounding it choked him a bit but he persisted. Soon he ate through. He took a break to cough out some hairballs and gobbled his eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, whiskers and the flesh around his mouth.

All that was now left were his 30 strong, sharp teeth, including the large piercing canines, which grabbed and killed, the scissor-like molars, which sliced the flesh and the small incisors that scraped the meat from the bone.

They clacked together loudly in this land, where no living animals could be found. They seemed to still be hungry and still demanding more food.

Moral:: Even if you try, you can’t destroy all of you.

Azandica is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com


The Beauty of Ugliness

IMG_2318 panda

Pinyin kept chewing. When you have to eat 20 Kgs of bamboo a day to survive, it’s a good idea to keep those cheek muscles moving. She was also thinking hard. The forests of Gansu had decided to hold a beauty contest and she was desperate to take part.

She had looked at her reflection in the water that morning, one tubby hand placed on a wholesome hip and she had to say she was a knockout. With the help of her modified sesamoid bone (thumb to the unscientific) she plucked a bamboo flower and placed it fetchingly behind her black ear. Awww, pwreetee. Then she marched to register for the contest.

A wren who was taking entries tittered when Pinyin gave her name. Pinyin was so outraged, she demanded an immediate explanation for the mocking. The wren, who had a Chinese-British accent, in haughty tones told her in the history of the world nobody with dark circles had ever won a a beauty pageant.

Pinyin had a stubborn streak. You would too, if all you did was eat one type of food 16 hours a day. She knew what sticking to plan meant. She ignored the wren and walked off haughtily, swaying her hips in that enchanting beauty queen way.

Once she was out of sight she began to bawl. After the tears subsided, she looked at the two large tear-shaped black circles around her eyes and wondered how to make it white. She tried crushing the white petals of a Paeonia Rockii and smeared it around her eyes. Nothing happened. She got an itch and the jet black of her fur peered inconsiderately, behind the mutilated petals.

Then she tried pulling her white fur (Ow, Ow, Ow) and sticking it with forest sap onto the black circles around her eyes. It hung in clumps and she looked like she had an acute attack of mange. She washed her face in the clear running stream and looked at her beautiful self.

The wren must be a bird brain she thought darkly, for why else would it think this sweet, charming, friendly face looked ugly. Yes, this panda was a Leo with an Aries ascendant and had no self esteem issues whatsoever. She stared some more at her gorgeous self, huffed twice, barked thrice, growled four times and made her decision.

She would take part in the beauty pageant with her dark circles. Not only that, she would accentuate her circles and make them the most striking feature of her face. She found a bit of burnt wood and smeared the coal on her dark rings, deepening it into a blackness found only at night in bat caves.

The pageant had begun and the animals were gliding past the judges, their gait trying to be graceful and glamorous. Pinyin lumbered over and stood in front of them. A Nodding Lilac was behind her ear and her eyes glittered from their dark orbs. There was something stunning about this contrast in black and white.

Her winning answer is still a legend in the Gansu forest -’A panda symbolises peace for we have the yin and yang in us. The black and the white are contrasts, which co-exist in harmony, in beauty’. As she sashayed away with the trophy (A cluster of bamboo shoots) the judgemental wren hid its face in its quivering wing.

Moral: Accentuate your ugliness to make it beautiful

Pinyin is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com


Surviving Humans


Bzzzzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzz, bzzzzzz, Mansonia did a few somersaults near a brown, rather dirty ear before piercing her proboscis into the nearby neck. Blood, sweet blood. Delicious mouthfuls of never ending blood. Life was glorious till a shadow of the hand loomed over her, threatening to swat away her existence,

She flew off leaving behind only an itch. The human cursed. He had tried everything to rid his house of these ectoparasites. Nothing seemed to have worked.

The coil he burnt had choked off a sizeable population of the mosquitoes (and his grand aunt who suffered from asthma) but the next generation had evolved to be coil resistant.

He tried installing a bizzing frequency, which was supposed to irritate all six parts of a mosquito’s mouth simultaneously. It worked for two weeks. In that time they learnt to love the sound and probably even created operas with the zzings.

He sprayed the dreaded DDT, a lethal nerve poison all over the house. In the process he killed his beloved butterflies, earthworms and moths. The end result? His little creatures died and the mosquito became the first living thing in the world to develop a resistance to DDT.

Someone had told him that keeping a lemon grass plant at home prevented these bloodsuckers from inviting themselves in. He gave it a shot. The pesky creatures danced with the lemongrass leaves, waiting for him to sleep.

He had almost given up hope and was looking at a life of constant bites, itches and impotent slaps, when the still-grieving granduncle as an early birthday present gifted him a bright yellow mosquito killer racquet. Charged with electricity, all he had to do was wave it in the general direction of the mosquis and they’d get electrocuted to death. The frying noise, which the racquet emitted, when it hit a mosqui was perhaps the sweetest sound he had ever heard. And that beautiful, crisp fried aroma of mosquito bodies charred to death promised him a night of uninterrupted sleep.

The mosquitoes were puzzled. They tried changing their DNA, their partners, their timings but no matter what they did, they couldn’t be immune to electricity. There was now a serious threat of them being wiped out forever. After 210 million years were they finally going to be history?

Mansonia saw how troubled her elders looked and she wondered what she could do. She thought she may get some serious science clues closer to the human. She flew up to him boldly and noticed the dreaded yellow bat lying next to him. He sensed her presence, lifted the weapon and waved it around. Instinctively, she ducked a bit too low and hit the floor.

His razor sharp eyes began to hunt for her all over the room. He finally spotted her on the ground. He laughed aloud and sang, ‘dead, deadd, deaddd’. Then, he placed the bat next to him and continued to read.

When she heard his stuttered snores she rushed back to the other mosquitoes (but first she took a quick nip of some blood) and shared her secret. To avoid the racquet they didn’t need to evolve by mutating their DNA. All they had to do was ‘play dead’. He would never realise the mosquitoes, which lay inert on the ground were alive.

Moral: When sophistication doesn’t work try dumbness.

Mansonia is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com


The Not-Knowing of Life

bactriancamelProtylopus was a placid Bactrian camel. She had long eyelashes, large dark eyes, a protruding eye ridge bone, gorgeous thick eyebrows and even a third eyelid to protect her eyes from the sand. Her two beautiful humps were 30 inches high and was covered with the softest looking beige fur. She was a true beauty.

If we had put a matrimonial ad for her in the paper or a profile description on a dating website, the line of suitors would stretch from one end of the Gobi Desert to the other. She belonged to a Sheikh who liked to be comfortably wedged between her two humps. He never noticed her beauty and being the gentle creature she was, she didn’t mind.

The Sheikh was a kind and loving master with just one weakness. No, it wasn’t belly dancers, it was chocolate. He had to have one after every meal and sometimes he would gobble them up between meals too. The camel was used to the sound of a chocolate wrapper being torn and the strange chocolate-melting-in-mouth mmmmmsss that would emit from the Sheikh every three hours.

Protylopus had a good life. All she had to do was walk when the Sheikh sat on her. She didn’t mind taking a stroll in the desert for her flat, leathery footpads and wide two-toed feet helped her walk through rocky terrain and shifting desert sands without sinking. At the end of each day, her grass and five gallons of water would be provided by one of the Sheikh’s minions. What more could a camel want? Very often, as the sun set, you could hear Protylopus grumpling, bellowing and grunting happily.

The Sheikh was very worried. The world’s supply of cocoa beans had run out and he had only two chocolates left. It had happened suddenly. One day, the world was gorging on chocolate and the next day there were none to be found. Conspiracy theories buzzed in the air, ‘The aliens have stolen all of earth’s chocolates, the CIA is making nuclear weapons with cocoa beans, the fundamentalists have hidden it in a safe city, etc.’. Nobody knew the truth and the Sheikh along with millions of chocolate addicts was facing acute withdrawal symptoms.

Now, unknown to even Protylopus, her humps were filled with chocolate. Blame it on her pregnant mother who ate only cocoa beans during her pregnancy. Every day, the Sheikh would sit between the chocolate humps and travel miles and miles looking for chocolate. If only he knew.

The Sheikh couldn’t take a world without his favourite food and decided to end it all. He got on Protylopus and asked her to march to the middle of the desert. Once there, he got off and waved goodbye to his camel and the only chocolate in the world. Protylopus didn’t feel sad at all. She just liked following instructions. Her master had told her to go home and that’s what she would do.

Calmly chewing some regurgitated grass she started walking back leaving behind a weeping Sheikh. It took four weeks to reach home. In that time, the only chocolate in the world began converting itself into fat to keep Protylopus alive. By the time she reached her shed sans Sheikh, her humps were small and shrivelled, devoid of any chocolate.

Moral: What you miss is not yours to know.

Protylopus is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com