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Adventures in Aipotu
By Sanat Mohanty

Adventures in Aipotu -- Episode 2

The Woman on the Moon

Damini walked towards the swaying palms that grew like gatekeepers of the beach. The palm trees formed a rim along the coast. Soon they gave way to high grass. The grass was, in fact taller than her and swayed in the breeze. She could hardly see anything else except for the clear blue sky above. Damini wondered whether this was like the wild grasslands of Africa that she had read about. Were there lions and tigers lurking among the grasses waiting for an unsuspecting prey? That was a frightening thought so she decided to stop thinking.

Something flitted by her. She looked up to see a butter fly. Or was it a butterfly that flu? No, wait, she was getting it all wrong. She could not be bothered with the constraints of language. She decided to enjoy the creature flutter around.

The butter-fly looked down at her and said ``Hello there.''
``Hello,'' said Damini.
``Where are you off to?'' the butter-fly asked.
``I do not know,'' Damini said matter-of-factly.
``Oh I go there quite often myself. And I just love it. I love the aimless wandering and the feeling of timelessness. Do you think I can ride with you?'' the butter-flutter asked.
``Sure,'' Damini replied. The butter-flutter came and sat on Damini's shoulder. ``Are you butter-sit?'' Damini asked.
``You can call me that,'' butter-sat replied as it snuggled into the Damini's locks that fell over her shoulders. Butter-sing began to hum as she sat on Damini's shoulder. Once in a while, she would break into a song in an unknown language and then go back to humming.
``What are you singing?'' Damini asked.
``Oh, an old song,'' butter-mutter muttered.
``Won't you sing it loud in a language I understand?'' Damini asked.
``Hmmm,'' the butter-mutter hummed. ``I shall try. But if I sing too long, I will melt. It's a hot number, you know.'' Suddenly, the grassland seemed to fill up with a strange music of chirping, tweeting, whistling and croaking. The butter-singer began a hot number:

When the world was young and green
And wet behind the ears
And there was no hint of things to come
And no one knew of fears

There was a woman - fairy like
People called her 'Queen'
They also called her 'Equality' and

Wherever our fairy lady lay
There lay peace and joy
But peace can get boring soon
And excitement needs a ploy.

Some planned to throw 'Equality' out
So they could grab some more
Then the others would have less to live
That would be fun for sure.

So one night they crept up stealthily
To where the princess lay
They knocked her out and tied her up
And quietly stole away.

They took her to EndOfTheEarth
Then they pushed her out.
With Equality nowhere to be found,
No peace, nor joy about.

The others found out soon enough
That Equality had disappeared.
But before they could find out why
An unknown threat appeared.

Dark armies not heard or seen before
Came knocking on their doors
The others were taken, tied and bound
And turned to slaves by force.

So now on Earth you will clearly see
Those who live on naught
They slave and scrounge and labor on
While Equality is sought.

Every where that you chance to go
You will see the others.
Some call them by many names
They call themselves brothers.

Peace and joy have run away
Now people sigh and groan
But peace and joy will come back if
Equality gets her throne.

And Equality will come back only if
The others are not oppressed.
But that won’t probably happen soon,
Some consulting firm assessed.

What happened to Equality, you ask
She didn't have a plan.
So she went and stayed on the Moon.
And you thought that was a man?

``Wow, that was profound,'' Damini exclaimed. ``Yes,'' replied the butter-crooner. But I need to cool down or I shall melt. So she fluttered her wings and flew away.

Damini watched the butter-fly. ``That certainly was an interesting song,'' Damini thought. Seemed strange that everyone on Earth thought there was a Man on the Moon when actually it is a princess. Clearly folks on Aipotu would know better being closer to the moon. No wonder that no one on Earth knew of this song. She would try and remember the song and tell every one on Earth about it. All these thoughts pranced through her head as she walked along. Abruptly, she stopped in half stride. There was some noise from far away. Quietly she listened. The wind carried some voices to her. She began to walk towards these voices. She could hardly see a yard ahead of her - so dense was this wall of grass - and yet she walked on. Soon she could voices chanting. But she could not yet understand what they were saying.

Suddenly she felt herself sliding down a smooth surface. The grass fields ended quite abruptly. A yellow glare of sunshine blinded her for a second. As she squinted, she realized that she was sliding down along the surface of what looked like an immense bowl - like a large stadium. Sliding down, she saw that there were people at the base of this strange bowl gathered around some very large structure. She had picked up quite some speed along her slide and reaching the base she crashed into a man who was standing next to an easel. ``Waaaatch AAOuuut,'' she yelled but the man was focused on his painting and hardly moved. She crashed between the legs of the man. The man and the easel fell on top of her in a heap. The man quickly picked up the easel, set it up again and began to draw, frowning at Damini. Damini got up, straightened her shirt and dusted off her pants. She was not hurt at all. Of course, this was a smooth surface with no dust so there was nothing to dust off - but Damini dusted herself more out of habit than because there was dust to be dusted.

Adventures in Aipotu
By Sanat Mohanty


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