So Long And Thanks For All The



The dolphins had decided to leave earth. Finally. It was the honking that got to them. Bowriders, Pontoons, Trawlers, Cruisers, Deck Boats and even dinghies had horns. Loud, piercing, ocean-peace shattering monsters carved out of gaudy-coloured plastic. Biology was of no help, as the dolphins could hear a rather impressively huge range of frequencies from 20 HZ to 20 Khz. The misery of having a ear 7 times more sensitive than a human one was acutely and unhappily felt by them.

Their plan was simple, relocate to another planet where there were no human beings. They had found a vast number of such beautiful land masses and were quite spoilt for choice. Finally, they decided on Kepler 22B because the blue of its ocean mirrored the drifting cerulean waters of the earth. Yes, they were going to miss home but their spacebubble, Absolute Darkness, the only thing in the universe faster than light was ready.

Before they left as a parting gift they gobbled every single squid in the ocean. Why you may ask? Why did the most intelligent, articulate, altruistic creature on earth devour every single cellaphod of the order Teuthida. A whim? Perhaps not considering what followed.

After the squid disappeared with the dolphins, the whales and the seals died of starvation. This led to the balance of the oceans being disturbed.  There weren’t valiums large enough to placate such a humungous volume of agitation and the oceans poured their angry frustration into creating crests higher than skyscrapers, which tornadoed into the nearby land  gobbling up everything that stood on terra firma with mountains of water.

The flooding killed all the small creatures on earth including the bees, which performed 80% of the pollination in the world. To give you an idea on how busy the bees actually are, a single bee can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. However, when the waters came, the bees went without a buzz. They didn’t even get customary watches to commemorate so many years of faithful service.

The death of the bees was the beginning of decline for mankind. A paucity of food led to wars between a population of many. Unfortunately, some of these fighters had nukes at their fingertips, which first they dangled as a warning, then dropped as a lesson.

Everybody who died, if given a chance, would have agreed on one thing. The end was a magnificent sight, an intense bright flash, followed by a glowing fireball whose heat burnt the skin of bodies and silenced minds engineered to escape.

When that time wrap of intense suffering paused, all that was left on earth were a few, bright, red plastic horns, glinting obscenely in the sun, amidst the blackness of absolute destruction.  Luckily, there was nobody to press them.

Moral: Everything comes to an End.

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


The Good Luck Of Luck

Like most of her species, Diomedia nestled on one of the most remote oceanic islands in the world. She couldn’t complain, the sun, sand and sea packaged with a sparse population and ample squid, fish and krill, which could be caught efficiently by scavenging, surface seizing or diving made life filled with all the good stuff that kept depression away.

These birds also had the conscience of a clock. As soon as she and her friends spotted a boat up ahead, they would fly with all their might to let the weary sailors know there was land close-by, where they could rest awhile before continuing their perilous and tiring journey.

One clear day, Diomedia was playing with the remains of a fish bone when she spotted a huge ship sailing in the distance. She looked at her beak-buddies excitedly. The oldest birdie there (He was 48 years old) shook his head, ‘Too far, we’ll leave this one to the mercy of the sea gods and the lost souls of sailors.’

Blame it on a full stomach but for some reason Diomedia didn’t want to leave those poor sailors at the mercy of anybody. She spread her 11.2 feet wings and took off. She flew steadily for an hour and that’s when she realised the ship was further away than she thought. The sea sometimes tricks you like that.

She didn’t want to head back and so this obstinate, clever little bird began using the tricks of aviation nature had gifted her. The first thing that come into play was her dynamic soaring technique, where she repeatedly rose into the wind and descended on the downwind, gaining energy from the vertical wind gradient. This helped her cover a 1000 kilometres without flapping her wings.

It was not enough. The ship still seemed miles away. Oh-damn-o-damn! She looked at the endless, pitiless, limitless stretch of sea and decided to use it to slope soar, a technique by which she could use the rising air on the windward side of large waves to fly further without exerting too much of her own energy. Luckily for her, the sea had an infinite number of huge waves and slowly, she inched closer and closer to the ship.

Finally, after 48 hours of flying, she reached the bow and silently perched on it, her exhaustion eating her thoughts, leaving her mind with a blank numbness. The sailors who were just about to turn their ship saw her and hooted with the joy of hope.

With renewed energy they made their way towards the land from which the bird had come from. A little cabin boy, meanwhile, gave poor, tired Diomedia some water and fish. When they finally reached the island, the sailors ran out, fell on their knees and kissed the land.

The captain hugged his men, salty tears rolling down his weathered face, ‘If we hadn’t got lucky and spotted that albatross, we would have surely died at sea.’ Diomedia glared at him, ‘Luck! Luck?? Bah!’.

Moral: Good luck is an unknown good deed