Thursday, July 2, 2009


It was a big zoo.I was strolling in front of a cage on which hung a board proclaiming Extremely Violent Beast'.These cages had a strange design;at some places, they were high walled,at some , the walls were low,at some places ,they jut out, at some places, they receded and some had the walls on the left side,while others had it on the right.The cages that are high,have a staircase alongside.these stairs lead you to a long verandah,having many small cages,all in a straight line.
I came across him here,holding a canister. His fingers were stained with bits of flesh.He was not an animal,but a human being.Picking pieces of flesh from the canister,he was throwing them into the cages for the animals.Suddenly, my attention was captured.Though, some flesh might be still left in the canister,on his own body, there was no flesh visible at all.think about it. In the given situation,is it not the limit of irony.I was even more surprised when that bony figure,laughing with a carefree swagger,said to me,"Have you come from downstairs?I left a cage open there.The very stairs that u came up by,the lion might come up too."
I started bleating like a goat.I thought that if a goat were listening to me, it might feel jealous of my goat like tendency to bleat.In my fright,I had even surpassed a goat.
I could hear thumping sounds on the stairs.I was staring at the staircase,aghast.Some animals were shrieking in their cages,some were twittering, chirping;but all of them were safe,because they were in their cages.Suddenly, I felt
all I needed at this moment. was an empty cage,but there was no empty cage in sight,no cage to run into.Wasn't there a deeper irony of fate that I had been confronted with.
This is a short story in Rajasthani, by Sh.Malchand Tiwari, translated into English by me.

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