Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Power of Spit

“Never underestimate the power of spit,” declared Mannan sitting in his Durbar atop the gooseberry tree branches. His courtiers Appu, Lal and Jana past masters themselves in licking slates, plates, looking glasses etc to blinding brilliance with spit still listened to Mannan (literally meaning king) respectfully — for who would dare interrupt the biggest brother on street while he discoursed on things big and small and life essentials such as spit?

What the king didn’t know was that his saliva-speech was spittingly relevant from where he delivered it — for the gooseberry tree itself was born after Sitamma (Mannan’s grandmother) carelessly spat some gooseberry seeds from the terrace while drying clothes. Before long, the seed had taken root, shot out and become this big, beautiful and benevolent tree giving shelter to birds, insects and noisome kids alike. If there was a spitting match, surely Sitamma would win hands down, for our spits could only wet, but hers could grow a tree!

“Our saliva has great cleaning and healing properties,” Mannan stated and immediately Jana spat into her hands and began applying saliva over her eye sty which had erupted owing to too much fun under the afternoon sun. Red and round the sty looked like a red chilli ready to be tossed in oil. It sure burnt like one.

“Poor Jana, do you need our spit too?” Appu and Lal, the next door siblings asked generously.

“Aw! Just shut up and keep your precious saliva inside your own mouths,” snapped Jana, who sighed “sssss”, “ssss” in relief each time her saliva-brushed finger caressed the sty. “Maybe you should apply spit to your name also, Jana. You never did get out of the hurt of having a boy’s name,” laughed Lal, much to Mannan’s indignation, for Jana though incorrigible was his dear little sister. “Jana is not short form for Janardhanan. It is short for Jana Bhai,” explained Mannan.

“Hahhahahahhahahahahahahaha! See? The name itself says she is a boy. Jana Bhai, Jana Boy, Jana Bhai, Jana Boy,” Appu and Lal cracked up laughing, when Mannan dived off his high throne and landed WHAM on both the puny creatures.

Usually Jana would have creamed those boys herself, but the cool feel of her spit was so alluring that she not only passed up the fight but also proceeded to smear saliva on her other normal eye as “preventive measure”.

“Stop, stop, please stop. We will both give you 25 np each if you stop pounding us,” Appu and Lal pleaded and instantly Mannan hoisted a white flag, declared amnesty and continued—

“Yesterday our neighbour Achari mama gave me a full 50 np because I cleaned his board to sparkling cleanliness. Mama simply couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the board looking all new and bright. My secret cleaning agent? It’s spit! I spat all over the board and cleaned it superbly,” gloated Mannan.

“Which board are you talking about?” asked his courtiers.

“The one that he hangs on his front fence? The one that says, “Do not spit here and make nuisance”. That’s the board I cleaned.”

1 comment:

  1. ""....for our spits could only wet, but hers could grow a tree!..."" This line is best of all:-D