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A Full-Stop With A Mind
A Full-Stop With A Mind

© Sadanand Gopal Bendre


3 Minutes   10.7K    340

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I was reading Ludlum on my way to office in the train .


At first I thought it was a printing error, because the full-stop had no business being where it was in the sentence. Then, as if in response to my silent rebuke, it started moving ever so slowly and camouflaged itself in the real full-stop that was exactly where it should have been. Ludlum lost me right at this point. International conspiracies of colossal scale, and the cloak and dagger espionage took a back seat , and against all odds, this tiny book insect held me in rapt attention .


I was fascinated with the thought, that a mere dot I wouldn’t have a hope in hell of even noticing without my reading glasses, was actually a walking, breathing , living organism. A complete universe in itself , so to speak. I tapped lightly around the printed full-stop with utmost care, lest the living one might get crushed . Of course that must have felt like a series of earthquakes to the dot, and it scurried away with as much speed as God knows how many of his feet could summon. It then stopped and stayed very still for the next few seconds, probably getting all his sensory organs in overdrive, trying to anticipate and sense the imminent danger. I offered him a silent apology for having put him in a tizzy thus.


What an intricately carved piece of machinery, I thought . And intelligent too ! I mean, within the confines of a structure so tiny it could be blown away by the gentlest of winds, existed a complete system that fed, digested, and procreated. And as if this feat in organic engineering wasn’t enough, there was an alert, functioning brain that not only registered fear, but also was capable of working out a strategy of survival with a lot of stealth .


We talk of miracles as though they happen only in fairy tells, and mythological stories .If your idea of a miracle is a sudden manifestation of a genie out of an old lamp, you are never going to see one in your lifetime . But if you look around , and pause to think a bit, almost everything is a miracle. That little dot was nothing short of a miracle to me.


As my station approached, I shut the book and left Ludlum to mingle with his little miraculous pals, for only he would know how many were in there.

Don’t ask me if that little dot survived my shutting the book, or kept his date with his maker. All I know is that the next time we meet, I won’t even raise an eyebrow if he is in the mood to discuss the merits and demerits of Ludlum. It would be perfectly in order, you see .

Ludlum book full-stop

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