Blogging- Conclusions

Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it

Hope you all won’t take it amiss and hate it

Your ‘likes’ are pretty much useless to me

Awareness of a possible read their only utility

A comment serves much better purpose

A thought to ponder, another view to consider

Constructive, helping in the final creation

Destructive when it’s hate without basis

David’s words for example, have helped me reached new heights

And I hope I have repaid him in kind, in at least some small measure

Lester’s words brought me peace and joy

Words are powerful, they aren’t toys

Matthew that much needed wake-me-up coffee

Between, at times, a stalwart presence

Abygale a dose of crazy creativity

Madly, a laugh at the right time with a cup of tea

Johnny opened up new writing styles

And Cubby makes me smile

For those who feel shy, and write responses with poetry

Doesn’t help if I’m unaware, you need to mark me

With a name I can identify with, so that I know

Fleetfoot, the Queen, Bright Tiger, D’nought, Ero Bodhi, White Dragon

Some names I’ve used to mark a few I wrote (or may write) for

I have no idea what name you’ve used for mine

I’m pretty dumb that way, don’t want to second guess

Feedback (engagement) is about the only useful purpose a blog really serves

Without it, better off writing with pen and paper

Wasting five less minutes on format and images

I’m not blaming anyone, especially not you ninjas out there

Who must cling to the shadows

It’s my own failing

Just, I’m not getting much out of this, so it seems a pointless…

Effort, that is

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Feedback

To the few who have stayed with the Immortal Dummy web novel so far (I count four, plus one invisible man) , feedback is welcome and will be rewarded with a tambourine solo composed in your honour, accompanied by a grateful smile.

Ch-da-da-dum-ch-ch 🙂 (A sneak preview)

I think the story has progressed to a point where it can finally benefit from a few more pairs of critical eyes. I plan to post this on a platform more suited to the genre when it reaches Ch 100 (if it ever reaches there). What did you like about the story so far? What did you dislike? Was the unreliable narration confusing? Is the plot too convoluted? Are the characters cardboard cut outs? Are the poetic interludes too gimmicky? Let me know in the comments.

Ta and g’day mates

3/7 feedbacks received with much thanks and appreciation(I had the count wrong… Me dummy 😑). Waiting on one more before I bring out the old tambourine (Also, I need a break, so take your time).

Feedback received: interludes are useful guardrails

Add the qutub minar to the opening scene? (I’m not sure he meant that, but it’s a good idea)

Chapter structure, end chapters with a hook, have smoother chapter transitions

Potential for hypertext

Heaven and Hell

Though he walked in Paradise
He was damned all the same
Kidnapped into heaven
He saw only a new hell
Exotic delights assaulted his mind
Toxic thoughts engulfed his strides

Just as Osiris brought life to the Underworld
So too were the seeds of death sown in the upper
Heaven had long since ceased being a true paradise
Such a place could only be found within one’s soul

Image: Pinterest

Immortal Dummy Ch 12

Previously

As dawn approached the Wolf finished his inspection of the house, and took a few much needed mouthfuls of Smirnoff water from the fountain. He mentally made a list of all the rooms

Floor 1 east: entrance, west: library, north: weapons museum, south: training room and gym (filled with exotic equipment that the Wolf longed to try out)

Floor 2 east: dormitory with twenty beds, west: music hall and museum, north: board room, south: dispensary full of vials with strange liquids, pills and herbs

Floor 3 east: master bedroom, west: mad scientist laboratory (best not to mess around with), north: walk in wardrobe with enough bling to buy a city, south: meditation room and study

Terrace east: gazebo, west: store room filled with carpets, chairs, etc.

The Wolf had been able to inspect the compound from the terrace but the outer walls were too high to gaze beyond. There was a courtyard out east, a herb garden in the north, an oversized shed to the west along with some tinier outhouses, a tiny pond in the south. There was still no sign of a bathroom or kitchen. Come to think of it he hadn’t felt hungry since arriving, just thirsty.

He heaved his glaive onto his shoulder, ready now to brave the outside. He really wanted to know what the neighbours were like. In fact, there looked to be a delegation waiting for him by the front entrance, besides a coconut leaf palanquin. They were really short… pygmies? The Wolf made sure they saw his big glaive as he approached them… they had tails. Everything in this place was a da…rn mess…they were rats, upright walking rats with clothes. He made double sure they say his gigantic glaive. He would have to approach them sooner or later, better off dealing with them while there was still sunlight for everyone to appreciate his humongous glaive.

The rats ran around frantic when they saw him approach, the fattest one jumping head-first into the palanquin. The others were marshalled into a line by a stern looking rat wearing a folded balaclava.

“Ahem, ahem,” it said, when the Wolf stopped a few feet away, “presenting his royal highness of Ratland, slayer of the Gorgonzola, Duke of the Anthill below the Lone Cypress…”

“Make some more of them up,” the Wolf heard a voice whisper from within the palanquin, “I can’t find my sceptre.”

The stern faced rat acted it he hadn’t heard a thing. “Marquis of the Cheese hole, Long Starer of the Waxy Moons, Eater of Scaly Fish, Watcher of Ratatouille, Floater of Oceans,” the rat wiped some sweat off its cheek with a sigh when it finally got a cue from within, “his royal ratiness, his macheesy parcheesi Ratatat the Third.”

One of the rats bent down on all fours by the palanquin, so that the king could step out with suitable regal flair. He wore a crown made out of seaweed, and grasped a sceptre consisting of acorns strung to a metal rod.
“Greetings to the Master of the Island,” the rat king bowed.

The Wolf bowed as well, too bemused by the entire scene to correct the rat king’s mistaken impression of him.

The rat king said, “We were shipwrecked and cast onto this island two seasons ago, and have been eagerly awaiting your arrival ever since. We have heard much about the great and benevolent master from the other inhabitants of this glorious land.”

The Wolf slowly nodded.
“We have prepared gifts as befit your magnificence,” the rat king gestured impatiently to one of his subordinates, who presented the Wolf a wooden tray covered with a palm leaf mesh. “Our greatest treasures,” the king said proudly when the leaf mesh was removed with great flair. The Wolf even heard a drum roll from within the palanquin. On the tray were a pile of chicken bones.

“Umm… thank you very much,” the Wolf said, his replies now coming automatically. It was best not to think. He knew how to cook chicken on a camp fire. Why couldn’t they have brought him a chicken? The foolish Wolf would now have to hunt, even though he really didn’t need food at all. He might even have to eat these rats because of his stubbornness to adapt to this new world. The Wolf closed his mind from the constant din within, focussing his mind on the Smirnoff water. He could now tell his own thoughts from the lady’s at least. Things were improving slowly. Maybe he’d be able to block her off completely if he was drunk enough.

Just then, the Wolf’s keen sense of danger, which had been on the fritz ever since he entered the Bay Area, noticed that the shadow of the rat king seemed to be growing ever larger. In fact, the shadow was now covering half the entrance way. He looked into the sky and saw a giant dog on a pogo stick hurtling towards him from the wild blue yonder, with one heckuva roar.
The rats followed his gaze and shrieked, “it’s the Black Death. Run for your lives. Every rat for himself.” The pogo stick made landfall seconds later, the giant dog controlling its momentum to perfection when it jumped off and charged at the rats. Once the rats had fled past the entrance the dog lost interest in them and turned towards the Wolf.

The Wolf gulped as he tried to unsheathe his glaive without success. The fricking thing had a locking mechanism that he hadn’t figured out yet. It hadn’t locked when he’d practised unsheathing earlier! That lady probably had something to do with this, monkeying around with his mind.

The dog was now a few feet away from him. He gave up on the glaive and drew his sabre.

“Woof!” the dog rolled its eyes at the Wolf, snatched the chicken bones away and ran towards the large shed… doghouse out west.

The Wolf finally figured out how to unsheathe the blade and took his first steps past the mansion’s entrance way. As soon as he walked past the arch a cacophony of sounds hit his ear. There must have been some sort of invisible acoustic shield preventing the sounds from entering the mansion’s ground.

In the river delta the Wolf could see giant carp as big as the dog whirling around on their tails like dervishes searching for God, dancing on whirlpools. They stopped for a moment and saluted with their tail fins when a yellow rubber duck with a band-aid covering one eye swam past them towards the open ocean.

The Wolf heard music playing from the seaside cliff. It took him a while to realise that the music was being played on trees. The trees were a motley crew, some with branches sprouting with tympani and cymbals, some with string like aerial roots that fell to the ground, some with hollow woodpeckered tubes. The wind played the trees like a one man orchestra. In the centre was a gigantic tree with aerial roots that reached from the sky to the ocean. The roots must have been hollow. The ocean waves played this part, the pipe-organ soloist. A group of giant beavers shouted ‘Bravo, bravo’ after every movement.

The Wolf decided it would be wiser to head back to the fountain before planning any further exploration. The massive beavers were just too much for him.

Image: dreamstime.com

Immortal Dummy Ch.11

Previously

Lila was bored. Even those castaway rats were no longer fun to play with. When would her master return? She sniffed, and a new scent caught her attention. The mansion held the smell of a newly arrived human. Had the master taken a new disciple? It had been centuries since there’d been one. She wagged her tail excitedly at the prospect of new games. She would have barged into the mansion immediately if it hadn’t been for the Lila-proof force field the master had placed around the house. The master always left a weakness in his creations though, just in case they turned against him, and Lila had long since discovered where the weakness lay… the inner courtyard. Her latest invention had a high probability of breaking through the force field.


The Wolf walked back to the courtyard, and shuddered when he heard a peculiar sound, ‘Woof Woof pong.’ This house didn’t have any people but it had dogs? Just fuh…reaking great! He hid behind a pillar, looking for the source of the barks. Just then, bouncing above the walls he saw a giant black dog on a pogo stick. The monster was at least fifteen feet tall, its wagging tail spouting mini tornadoes in its wake. Fuh… Dam…Dang! If there was one thing he hated more than anything else in the world it was overgrown mutts. Pogo sticks came in second. Overgrown mutts riding pogo sticks was something he didn’t want to think about just yet.

Whenever the dog came near the walls the pogo stick would turn about as though repelled. Each time the dog forced its vehicle to go ever higher. When the dog had gained enough momentum it bounced over the fountain, its tongue hanging out. The Wolf noticed the dog’s wonky eyes and panicked. He let loose two magazines as it descended. The bullets bounced off the dog’s black coat harmlessly. Some of them were swatted back at him by its giant tail. He finished the last of his ammo, and drew out the little push dagger from his boot. He’d go out fighting at least.

Bong, bong, bong… strange noises sounded from the garden as the dog descended. Boom, the air exploded making the Wolf’s ears ring. The dog on the pogostick shot back into the sky emitting contrails in its wake. The Wolf heaved a sigh of relief as he heard the dog’s howls grow ever softer. Had it reached escape velocity? Well, that mutt wouldn’t be coming back here, that was for dam…dang sure.

He continued his reconnoitre, stepping through the doorway without tripping this time. Within he found a weapons display room, just what he needed. The room was like a museum, exhibiting its wares on display cases mounted on labyrinthine walls. He walked through the maze gazing in fascination at the swords, daggers, spears, and halberds. One particular weapon almost seemed to be calling out to him, a gigantic glaive. Its handle held a bronze carving of a strange looking creature over the tang , with the body of a horse, and the head of an antlered carp. The blade was made of a black metal, one character engraved on the front read ‘Death,’ and on the reverse ‘Fate.’ It was shaped in the form of a crescent moon, a red sheen on the cutting edge.

When the Wolf drew nearer to the glaive, he lost his sight for a brief second. The next moment he was transported to a battlefield, looking at it from a bird’s eye view, filled with millions of Asian looking soldiers, dressed in mail and leathers. Tens of thousands upon horseback and many fold that number on foot. In the centre of the battlefield hundreds of men were trying to defeat one lone rider wielding the glaive the Wolf had been so fascinated by. His view magnified, centring on this lone warrior. The man wielded the glaive with one hand, using the momentum of his horse to aid his swings. Each strike was like a breeze of death, snuffing out the lights of any fool within ten feet of him. The lone man displayed a number of different strikes and swings before he was pulled off his horse. He was even deadlier on foot.

The vision faded, and the Wolf was back again in front of the display case. The plaque below the glaive said, ‘Baiqi’s favourite blade, China Warring States Period. Won it in a drinking contest, year 14800.

The Wolf opened the display case and grabbed the weapon. It seemed to shiver with excitement when his hand lifted it. A gleam passed through the edge, and it sang with an ecstatic ‘shing’. Oh, the dang thing was heavy. The Wolf had to use two hands to lift it out. The man in the vision must have possessed monstrous strength to swing this thing. It was the perfect weapon for dealing with any giant critters. The Wolf inserted the blade into its casing, heaved the weapon onto his shoulder and then continued his exploration.
He picked up another weapon a few rows down, something lighter and easier to wield. ‘The saber of Ghengis Khan, won it for placing first at the Tuva mounted choir competition, year 16350.’

He left the room with a smile on his face. With this he was all set to tackle this fresh new hell.

Image: Guan Yu, Dynasty Warriors

Next

Immortal Dummy Ch 10

Previously

The Wolf forced his eyes open, the rest of his body inert, too numb to move. Had it all been a dream? Reality faded in, casting away hope.

He was in a peristyle garden, besides a marble fountain carved in the form of woman with a spouting black dragon covering her shoulders and chest. Some water dripped through her stone hair, the drops turning a tint of green, a few blue tinged drops from her eyes, and a moist golden sheen on her forehead. The statue almost looked alive, the horned dragon grinning as it sprayed him with water.

A plaque near the pool by her feet said, ‘Netherworld spoil of war, year 6790. Contains some of the essence of the sky goddess, who was kidnapped into this realm during the Golden Age and became its queen.’ The plaque was written in Japanese or Chinese or something. The Wolf couldn’t read either language, and shouldn’t have been able to understand it.

Where the hell was he? It sure as heck wasn’t Little Italy. Maybe he was in the museum of modern art? The Wolf had heard that the people there were into a lot of kinky shit.

He felt some sensation returning to his body and slowly turned his neck to further examine his surroundings. The pillars of the atrium were made out of some sort of green gemstone, not jade, not emerald. The Wolf was familiar with gemstones, especially diamonds, but this was a stone he’d never seen before. The pillars emitted a soft luminescence, filling the grass carpeted courtyard with an ethereal glow. The walls were made out of a white stone, probably not marble. The material held a strange translucence.

He carefully got to his feet, losing his balance twice. He hadn’t felt this physically weak for a long time… Not since that IED fiasco in Kabul… or was it Mosul? He’d worn those injuries proudly, scars in service for his country, a hero to the few that knew, but he couldn’t say the same now. This time around, he’d just gone and fucked everything up for some money, attempting to assassinate an innocent and beautiful young woman. She was smart and made excellent pasta too… and had the voice of a nightingale. Her kindness and compassion… Wait, what the fuck was he thinking? That evil bitch had tried to pull off some voodoo style fuckery. He hadn’t gotten around to figuring out what had happened. The last few hours were so fucked up that his mind instantly blanked out when he tried to think back.

The night sky was full of unfamiliar constellations, thousands of stars big and bright… No Milky Way. This wasn’t MoMA then. This wasn’t his country… Not even the same fucking galaxy. The Wolf washed his face in the fountain pool, sipping some of the water. It tasted strange, a little like Smirnoff. The Wolf thought better of having a second mouthful. He didn’t want to get drunk… Not yet anyway.

“Hello,” he shouted, “is there anyone home?” He did this three times with no reply before deciding that it was safe to investigate the premises. He’d leave the thinking and the water drinking to later, after he’d made sure the premises were secure. The Wolf was a cautious man.

He wobbled into a room, his legs still feeling like jelly. The entrance to the room lacked the door, but it felt like it had some kind of invisible barrier. When he walked through it he felt a resistance and his ears popped. He was so surprised that he tripped and fell into the room. Ha, ha! Stupid Wolf.

As soon as he entered, the room’s floor tiles started to glow golden. He wouldn’t have a problem here looking for stuff in the dark. The room was about ten times the size of the garden, and filled with shelves and shelves of books. The titles of the books were in a number of different scripts but the Wolf could magically read them all. There was one written in a bunch of round and wiggly letters, like ‘The Travelogue of Siddhartha Gautama,’ and ‘Ashoka’s Guide to Forming Secret Societies,’ he gazed at a few in Chinese like the ‘Chi Technique Manual of Bodhidharma,’ and ‘Cao Cao’s Guide to Pronouncing Names with Dignity,’ Cyrillic ‘Ivan’s Tips on being Terrible,’ and ‘Khrushchev Boot Techniques,’ Arabic, ‘Al Jabar’s Illustrated Guide to the abc,’ ‘1001 Nights and more: how to have a blissful marital life,’ Latin, Hebrew, hieroglyphs, cuneiform and scripts that looked otherworldly, ‘Will Smith protection techniques: How to Firewall your Mothership.’

The books were organized haphazardly, not even in linguistic order. It would be a pain sorting through them all, but the Wolf could find some hidden gems in this collection and improve himself. He took out the Chi book and glanced through the beginning pages. What the…

“Shut up,” he shouted all of a sudden, “Stop putting weird thoughts in my head.”

Reading books? He had to finish with the reconnaissance first, establish a source for food, and more importantly, make sure there were no hidden surprises in this place. After that, he had to secure a means of communication and get help. And then he’d finally have time to take a long drink from that fountain, and think. Books were not on his priority list.

The stupid wolf didn’t realise that he was in the upper world, and the aether would provide him with all the basic nutrition he required. There was no help coming there no matter how loudly he howled. He was th on a tropical

“Shut the fuck up! Get the hell out of my head.”

The Wolf thought he heard his mother’s voice saying sternly, “Theodore Junior, you’d better watch your language. Go and wash your mouth out with soap and then put a dime in the swear jar.”

He checked his pockets for change on reflex.

Image: Pexels

Next

Appetites

Bakasura from Indian epic
Probably suffered from problems peptic
A fussy eater, appetite for human flesh
Many were sacrificed, eaten… he liked them fresh
At last a hero infiltrated the livestock
And vanquished Baka with his mighty co… wrestling lock

Baiqi, legendary General from China
Was also sometimes called an Asura
Ruthless and cunning, mighty and terrifying
The perfect combo for some Warring States fighting
Tactically brilliant, a near perfect record
Only one loss ever fell into Baiqi’s battle wok
Unmatched in war, he killed a million and some more
Probably should have spared those prisoners of war
Tens of thousands surrendered and died at Changping
Asura Baiqi was adept at massacring
He earned one more nickname then: ‘butcher’
Centuries before old Pompey Senior…

Baiqi hungered for victory at any cost
Baka! Baka!

The Emperor killed him, paranoid boss

The immortal and Manny were far from moksha
Still hungering, one to rule samsara
To do many fun and interesting things
The other hungered for Oblivion
An end to his torturous existence

Now back to the Wolf once again let us turn our gaze
Trapped in the immortal’s hood, an isle in the aether haze

Image: Asterix

Immortal Dummy Ch. 9

Previous

Mohan was having another great day at college. He’d comprehended every lecture once again, and hadn’t even felt the need to take down copious amount of notes like he’d done before. He was used to copying down the lectures verbatim, but now things were suddenly looking good for his heavily used ball point pen, and callused finger. Ah, everything felt so weird, to just learn and understand things without taking any effort. His life was so much easier now . It almost felt like cheating. Of course, he still wasn’t on the same level as his best friend. Manny was fast asleep beside him, his usual routine during the morning classes. Mohan sighed when the professor stared at his friend and shook his head sadly. It wasn’t very polite to sleep during class, but Manny was the sort that didn’t care. As long as he kept his grades up and handed in his assignments on time the professors didn’t feel a need to complain out loud.

“Oh Ayshrana,” Manny was startled awake when the bell rung at the end of the lecture.

Ayshrana? Interesting, it was her name in ancient times

Much before my generation, antediluvian in its prime

Find out more, he seems to be hiding a mystery

Your friend moans it out with so much misery

“Who’s Ayshrana?” Mohan asked.

“My Sharona,” Manny said, still groggy.

“Who?”

“Wot?” Manny yawned and then went back to sleep.

Mohan wrote down ‘Ayshrana?’ in his notebook, and circled it. He felt the urge to use up more ink. He began to doodle for the first time in his life, feeling like a rebel like that William Wallace, winning freedom from the autocratic notebook.

Bwahahahahaha, amusing young man

Made me laugh for the first time in months

Maybe I shouldn’t have made you watch Braveheart last night

Oh brave rebel leader, you’re still much too light for a woad fight

Wood pulp a different matter

Let the ink splatter


The immortal was feeling much better today. Mohan the dummy might have been a little simple, but there was something about him that the immortal liked. Mohan had potential, he thought. The dummy just had to be nurtured. He gazed on, as Mohan finished his home work, reading much further ahead into the curriculum than he had to. In fact, Mohan was nearly done with the entire semester’s required reading materials, though classes had only just started. There was definitely a link between them that encompassed more than mere words with rhyme.

He looked on with interest as Mohan began to play a game on his old and battered laptop, ‘Lords of Warcraft’. The immortal was aware of these sort of games but he’d never paid much attention to them. Mohan was an alcoholic panda wielding a stave in this internet mirror world, using a mix of drunken kung fu and Shaolin stave arts, with some mayamkal river techniques and marakun storm boxing thrown into the mix. The immortal felt a closeness to Mohan’s mirror world character. He had often experimented with strange and impossible martial style combinations in his younger days.

The panda was roaming through a land that reminded the immortal of his campaigning days in the wild lands of the nether world, killing one abomination after another with flair and reckless delight, teasing his opponents with system generated taunts, spitting out bamboo shoots that exploded, breathing out fire as he drunkenly danced around the dark and desolate plain. This fighting style was complete chaos, but oddly efficient. The mirror world’s system had transformed Mohan into an interesting drunken virtuoso.

An idea struck the immortal. If he could superimpose his will on Mohan’s visual cortex he could recreate the interface and the system, guiding this middle world life onto a more interesting path. He could teach Mohan methods and techniques, and even give him quests like the game. Better yet if he could tap into the pleasure and pain receptors directly. Perhaps Mohan, under this training, would even grow powerful enough to give the immortal a way out of this hellish dual existence.

“How come you’re playing for more than half an hour today?” the elf archer asked the panda. “Not that I’m complaining. Ha, maybe I should just gift you your own account, now that you’re playing more often.”

“Five more minutes, Manny my friend

There’s another mini-boss beyond the bend”

Image: World of Warcraft

Next

Immortal Dummy Ch. 8

Previously

On his way back home from college Mohan noticed that there was something happening in the playground near the bus stand. It was filled with people watching a spectacle on a wooden stage under a shamiana tent. Mohan had some time to kill so he decided to investigate, squirming his way through the throngs to the front. It was a play. He watched on as a brave hero with a mace danced with a ferocious looking demon. The demon wore a mask painted with big eyes, a gigantic mouth and green skin. He wore a wig with long and wild hair, and his loins were covered with fake fur. Judging from the hero’s weapon and the demon’s large mouth, they were probably enacting the scene of Bhima slaying the demon Bakasura.

All wrong, their stances are all wrong

They’d both be done in by a greenhorn

I know it’s just a play

But there’s no realism this way

What a bore! What a snore!

Mohan sighed, agreeing with his inner voice as he made his way out of the crowd. He didn’t much care for plays like these. He liked plays like Satya Harischandra. The school teacher in his village had taken him to see it when he was younger. That play had mesmerized the young Mohan.

Invoke the memory

I don’t remember the story


A long time ago there lived a good king named Harishchandra who was ever truthful and full of honour. His subjects lived in peace and prosperity, and their regard for him grew ever greater with the passage of time. One day while roaming through the jungle, he chanced upon the divine sage Vishvamitra meditating in seclusion.

Oh, I knew that one well, old Kaushika

He was not always a friend to all, Vishvamitra

Quite a temper, like most divine sages when young

He was very good company, lots of fun

A demon trying to disrupt the austerities of the sage, found a way to possess the king Harishchandra. Though he was honest and just, he was a man like any other, with weaknesses. Harishchandra shouted abuse at the divine sage, making him lose the precious balance that Vishvamitra had sought in the secluded jungle. The sage, furious at having his efforts of enlightenment frustrated, exorcised the demon and then demanded restitution from the king.

“I will give you everything I have,” the king said, guilt ridden by what he had unwittingly done.

“Then I will take everything,” the sage said.

The king sold his kingdom, but this was not enough for the sage.

The king sold his family, but this was not enough for the sage.

The king then decided to sell himself. An untouchable grave keeper agreed to buy him, but the former king could not allow himself to be so polluted. So he sold himself to the sage instead (for though the divine sage had once been of the warrior caste, equivalent to the truthful king, sages had transcended the social illusions of caste, his teacher had explained).

The sage agreed, “From now on you will do as I command,” he said, and then sold Harishchandra to the untouchable grave keeper. Harishchandra could only accept his fate without protest, for he had agreed to all the terms and conditions. The sage’s treatment of him was just. For a long time he worked diligently under the grave keeper, paying his dues with a smile on his face. The once proud king was now treated as the lowest of the low, shunned by the very people he had once cared for. Then one day he achieved enlightenment, and a place in the realm of the gods. The divine sage and Indra, king of the devas, visited the honest grave worker Harishchandra.

“You have passed my test, broken your curse,” the divine sage said. “Come now and take your place in the realm of heaven.”

But the truthful king refused, “Not unless my family and people may accompany me as well.”

A bargain was struck, and Satya Harischandra’s people toured the realm of the upper world for a single day.
Though the king had his weaknesses, his honesty had helped him conquer them all. The loss of his family, kingdom, wealth, and status had helped his virtue grow and overcome the tribulations of this world, when it would have broken other men.


Mohan had no idea why this play he had seen long ago still touched his heart today. Maybe it was because his school teacher had explained everything to him with clarity and patience while they watched the actors prancing around the stage, enunciating their lines in ancient dialect. This was a morality play in essence, but his teacher had added interesting nuances to it, in words that a five year old could understand. Mohan had encountered very few people like him, filled with such knowledge and understanding.

Bah, harebrained king

Weak minded being

Honesty is all well and good

But strength and power are what makes the rules

Courage and cunning can win all duels

I’ve faced Indra to a standstill many a time, many a where

Even Kaushika couldn’t win if I planned with care

In those days before he became one of the Seven

And yet here I am, defeated by that bald head

Who held a mandate beyond the heavens

Without a face to wear, where is my strength and pride?

Is there some understanding I’m lacking?

All for nought my mighty backing?

Enough of this story, I will hear no more

I need to think of ways to open this dummy’s door

Image: Vishvamitra, wiki commons

Next

Immortal Dummy Ch. 7

Previously

The immortal was in a state of despair. He was unused to being powerless, and the prospect of living a lifetime imprisoned within the bland and simple Mohan almost made him want to cry. His impotence at shedding a tear just made the situation worse. He had been through countless battles and betrayals, his love had begun golden ages, his hate had started wars that spanned galaxies, his boredom had brought paradigm changing revolutions, and yet here he was… Oh, how his enemies would laugh. He began to meditate, as he had done during his younger days whenever he got agitated, a secret method he had created. It brought near instant relief, and a kernel of hope as he analysed Mohan’s doings since the time that damn bald monk had made his move.

There was a tiny chink in his dummy’s armour, a stray ray of light that made its way to the immortal’s sharp metaphorical eyes. He realised that as long as he shouted loud enough, and his words held some semblance of rhyme, his meaning would resonate with Mohan’s mind. If he could guide Mohan, albeit through an echo, then things would start looking a lot better. He’d used tinier weaknesses as levers in the conflicts of his past, to lift mountains. Literally too, in the case of the Himalayas. He’d inundate Mohan’s mind with poetry until the boy could consume his essence. It meant death for the immortal, but also in a way… rebirth. A chance!

———-

Mohan had been feeling very peculiar during the last few days. He’d never bothered about girls and romance, but that day a girl people called ‘Nova’ had caught his eye. He had no idea what her actual name was. No matter how much he tried he couldn’t stop himself from stealing glances at her during his lunch break. There she sat, across the quadrangle, surrounded by her friends and admirers.

“What’s up with you today?” asked Manny, slurping up the last of his rice and curds. He ate the same thing everyday, lunch and dinner. Didn’t his tongue ever grow bored?

“Nothing,” Mohan shrugged, feeling a little embarrassed, “Just feeling a little strange, is all.”

“You should eat more curds,” Manny said with a sage’s grace.

Mohan made a retching face. He was lactose intolerant. Even curds sometimes made his stomach twist and churn. He nodded in Nova’s direction, “Do you know her name?” he asked his friend.

“Ha!” Manny smiled, his amusement apparent, “so it’s hormones that are troubling you? Puberty is hitting you a little late. You should look it up, the birds and the bees.”

“That’s not it,” Mohan defended his honour. “I just want to know her name.”

Even Manny made fun of his slow intellect at times. Juts good natured ribbing, but sometimes it got on Mohan’s nerves… like today. He might have been an idiot, taking thrice as long to learn things, but all that meant was he just had to work thrice as hard. He’d managed to score eighty percent in his biology school board exams. He knew all about the birds and the bees… in theory

.
“Stay away from her,” Manny said. “She’s out of your league. Trouble will follow. She’s got a habit of playing with people. Besides, sex is a huge waste of time, energy and resources. People invest so much to have a few moments of fletting pleasure. It’s just not worth it. Even adepts at the Kama Sutra are just wasting their time, chasing after a half an hour orgasm.”

This man is wise, Mohan heard a voice deep within him

Ignore that rise

Last thing I now need

Is a lustful view feed

Swear celibacy now!

For Life! For Life!

Don’t touch the plough

Forget the hive

Ascend beyond the flesh

Basic drives, crush and thresh

Easier to work with an essence

Untouched by animalistic presence

Don’t want to be stuck in a teenage drama

Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!

 

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