Adventures in Aipotu: Episode 11, Part 1
Damini and Filo walked back to the oasis. It had begun to grow dark and Damini had no perception of direction. Filo chattered about this, that and the other, keeping the conversation jovial. Damini had already discovered that it was easy to enjoy Filo's company. In a distance, Damini saw some lights. It looked like a small town. Filo confirmed that it was a small town named Kreyzimen.
"Lets go there", Damini said. "I want to see a town in Aipotu". "Sophie plans to take you to one tomorrow", Filo replied. "Besides, it is easy to get stuck in a sticky situation in this town. There is a reason that it is called Kreyzimen."
But Damini really wanted to go and eventually Filo relented. So they turned towards the town named Kreyzimen.
As they approached the town, they noticed a board under a lone streetlight announcing that they had entered the town of Kreyzimen. Next to the board was a man dressed in a business suit and a hat and he seemed to be frantically searching for something.
"What is he searching for, Filo", Damini asked. "I have no idea", Filo replied. "But I would be careful to stay away, at least in this town." "Lets go and see if we can help", said Damini. Before Filo could stop her, she ran up to the man and asked, "Sir, can I help you?"
The man in the business suit looked up. The left half of his face was masked as if he had stepped out of a fancy dress party. Filo walked up to join Damini. Looking up, the man first shushed them. Then looking around, he said, "I have lost my precious wedding ring. I need to find it quickly or else my wife will throw me out."
"Where have you lost it?", Damini asked.
"Oh!", the man replied, and then pointing to the darkness in the direction that Filo and Damini came from, he said, "somewhere there I guess."
Damini was confused. She first looked at Filo (who was smirking) and then at the signboard and then the man who had gone back to looking. Eventually, she said, "But why do you search for your ring here, when you have lost it there". "Are you dumb, girl", the man looked up, clearly irritated. "Can't you see that there is no light there? Do you think I can find anything in that darkness?"
"But clearly", Damini continued, "you wont find it here if you lost it there?" The man looked up exasperated. "I certainly will not find it if you keep up your nonsensical chattering. Don't you see that this is the only place that there is any light? So any logical person will come to the conclusion that the only chance of me finding the ring is right here."
Damini looked up at Filo, who was still smirking. Then she turned back to this masked man and said, "Sir, if you tell us approximately where you lost the ring, we will go and try looking for it there while you continue looking here."
The man looked up elated. "You want to help me?", he asked. "Well, that will make our task easier. Why don't you two look in this half under the light while I look in the other half?"
"Sir, don't you understand "Damini began. But before she could continue, the man replied. "You are too young to think logically, little girl, so just follow what I say and we will find the ring."
"Who are you sir?", Filo finally broke his silence.
"I am the chief economic adviser to the President of the United States", the man replied to Filo, looking very important. Then turning to Damini, he said patronizingly, "I am a very intelligent and powerful man, young lady, who decides the economic policies of the civilized world. So just follow my directions."
Damini shrugged her shoulders and began to look where the important man had indicated. Filo did not comply but just stood to one side so that he would not hinder their efforts. The man went back to looking too. After a short time, the man yelled, "Yes, I found it". He seemed pretty excited. Filo and Damini rushed to take a look at the important ring. But the ring that the man held up did not seem all that precious. In fact, it looked like a ring that one uses to hang curtains. "That does not seem like a wedding ring, Sir", Damini opined. The man frowned at her. "This is a wedding ring. Can't you see the gold? ", he asked, pointing to the plastic. "Can't you see how it shines? This has to be my wedding ring."
Damini saw that the man really believed that it was a shiny gold ring and did not have the heart to tall him otherwise. The man dusted his clothes and walked away.
Filo finally burst out laughing. Damini stared at him rolling on the sands and was forced to smile. But she could not figure out what this was. Was this man crazy?
Eventually, Filo said, "Its not his fault. If he can only search under the light, he will be forced to accept whatever he finds there as the solution to his problems. On the other hand, it is very alarming to acknowledge that the solution to his problem is not under the light where it is easy to search for but out there in the darkness where he will have to look hard and he may not find it quickly."
A loud song being sung in a rough voice and completely out of tune broke the quiet of the night. The twosome looked up to see a man, stumbling towards them, seemingly in his own world, oblivious of anything around him, singing.
The man had come up close before realizing that he had an audience. He stopped. Looking up he smiled coyly and said, "Hey folks. Kind of late to be singing, isn't it? But this song should have a Grammy for its lyrics. So I keep singing it."
"Do you live here?", Damini asked.