Ravi'S Escapade In Kabini
Ravi'S Escapade In Kabini
“Mom, why are we shifting to Kabini?” asked Ravi.
“Because your father’s job is to manage a huge factory. Unfortunately, it is not in Bangalore, Ravi” replied his mother.
Ravi was an eighth grader, a very mischievous boy, perhaps too mischievous for his age (often said by all). He was expert in troubling all. He threw stones in the neighbor’s well; he drew funny caricatures of cartoons with irregular shapes on walls of the street and teased all the pets in the nearby vicinity when they were chained to their kennels. His father had got the job of being the manager of a factory that manufactured something that was clueless to Ravi. He didn’t want to leave his cozy comfortable home in Bangalore.
But Ravi didn’t run the house so he had no choice but to leave the metropolitan and follow the lead of his parents.
The ride was long and tiring. Ravi’s father drove all night and when they took a break in the morning, they realized that their petrol was over. They parked the car in the side and walked a mile or two and reached their new house.
It was in the middle of a village. On one side, he could see the river Kabini flowing swiftly and smoothly between the lowlands. On the other side, he could see tea plantations.
Ravi had no choice but to adjust to his new friends and folk.
In front of the verandah of his house, there was a beautiful big Gulmohar tree that had blossomed in its own pride. This easily looked a hundred years old. The villagers said that this tree was the oldest member of their village. Children played and climbed the tree, people sat under the tree seeking its shadow and people plucked its flowers and used it for prayers. The tree was also worshiped and guarded from axe men and lumberjacks. The villagers said that legend has it that this tree has guarded them from evil forces. Ravi observed how the sunbirds suckled the nectar of the tree. Butterflies buzzed sucking nectars from its blossoms and many birds had built their nests, preparing for the monsoon season.
One day Ravi decided to mingle with the other villager boys. They were quite different from the upmarket crowd one would find in Bangalore. They were quite active and thin. They played a game of hide and seek, and then raced against each other to the top of the tree.
“I bet you’ll lose this one, bull-head!” said Ravi.
“Not a chance, I’ve been climbing this tree for years; I know the entire tree from its root to the top most branches” replied his challenger.
And the race to the top began with full energy; both of them ran with equal pace an energy. Ravi crossed the first branch, and then a second. But his rival competitor was way ahead than him.
Ravi realized that if he wanted to impress everyone with his skills, then he would have to push his limits. He gave everything he could.
Then disaster struck. As Ravi landed his foot on the third branch, his leg slipped and he lost his balance. He was now quite above the ground. He hung on to the rough branch with his hand and screamed for help.
“Help! Help! Somebody! Anybody! Help!”
Just then his rival competitor leaped from branch to branch like a monkey and landed on Ravi’s branch. He helped Ravi and embarked him on the downward journey. Ravi was overwhelmed by his generosity and didn’t know how to thank him for saving his life.
“Thank you! Sorry I talked rudely to you.”
“Well, it was my duty to save you at that point, or you would have become human squash!”
Both of them laughed aloud and hugged one another. The group of kids then went to a nearby well to take a dip. For once, Ravi felt nice with these folks in the land of Kabini.
Ravi took a deep breath of the fresh country air and thought in his mind that the shift to Kabini was not bad after all. He now realized how beauty lies in the simple folks of Kabini, in their kind ways and the resplendent nature around them. He thanked god for this great beginning of a new journey.