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A Dangerous Game

by Ajit Tripathi

    The ship rolled on the placid waters of the Devils Strait. It was growing dark. The rosy, post glow of the sunset had long since disappeared. The ship guided by a mysterious light was steering cautiously. Then suddenly, there was a deafening sound, as if all hell broke lose. A rocky under water reef had ripped open the frigate that disappeared into the Davy’s Locker. Seething and hissing foam was all that remained behind. No one had survived except for a weather beaten, rugged faced sailor.  He was aghast at what had occurred. His immediate worry was survival as he held on to some flotsam for dear life.

    He tried to peer into the darkness but failed to find his bearings but on a hunch swam in the direction to his right. He didn’t know how long he had been in water but was washed ashore tired, almost in a state of delirium. When, dawn broke. Jason (the shipwrecked sailor) woke up rubbing his eyes. Slowly, he recalled the incident and looked in the direction of the vanished ship. He felt a small pack on his back. Opening it he saw a small bottle of water and some victuals. Almost famished he lost no time in gobbling up whatever there was and thereafter took to exploring what appeared to be a small island.

    Apart from the incessant chattering of birds, scared looks of some scurrying rabbits and a passing mongoose there was very little wild life. Suddenly he stopped in his tracks. Right in a glade ahead, there stood a quaint little villa. He ventured in and was greeted by a liveried servitor who lost no time in taking him to his master.

    The master: “So you have come!”

    Jason: “Have you been expecting me?”

    The Master:  “As a matter of fact, yes. That eerie light you saw from the ship was simply to lure you chaps. I am sorry about that small liner or frigate as you call it. By the way I am Sir Drax.”

    Jason: “You mean the famous big game hunter who disappeared from the scene a few years ago.”

    The Master:  “I am flattered that you recognized me. But I would have wished under happier circumstances.”

    Jason: “Why is that?”

    The Master: “Years ago I had realized that animal is no match for a man’s intelligence. I decided that I would rather hunt man and so I devised a game. I will give my quarry provisions for twelve hours and give him a start of two hours in which to hide in the island. I will start the hunt with my dogs. In case I fail to hunt him down within twelve hours he becomes the master of the island.”

     Jason: “That is not fair. You have your dogs, the island is known to you.”

    The Master:  “But do you not see the prize that awaits you at the end of it should you win.”

    Jason: “How many have won?”

    The Master: ”None or else I wouldn’t be here. Now without wasting time I will ask you to start playing the hunted.” He nodded towards the servant who immediately brought the provisions.

     Jason: “But I will need a few more things-a small knife, a bed sheet for making a comfortable bed and a bottle of whisky that serves me both as an antiseptic and refreshing drink.”

    The Master thought for a moment and replied: “Take whatever you need, but the time for the hunt will not change” Jason was handed the things he wanted.

     Jason was soon on his way and after having covered a hundred yards or so he completely undressed himself and improvised an overall from the bed sheet. His own clothes he threw across the trails in different directions. He collected wild lichens, bitter fruits and some chilly looking fruits. After grinding them he threw them further down the trail in different directions to throw the dogs off the scent. Then he made use of the knife by whittling down dry twigs and small branches to fashion out a Malay Trap of sorts.

    The hunt was now on. Sir Drax started off with his dogs on leash and two double-barrelled rifles. With plenty of ammunition in his hunting jacket, that he had once worn, while hunting wild games in Africa. The dogs hit the false scent planted by Jason. One was snared partly by the Trap. The hunt wore on. Sir Drax was looking worried. His bravado and arrogance appeared to be ebbing.

     Another dawn was unfolding. Jason was making a hearty breakfast of bananas, wild fruits and coconut. The hunt was over.

    Jason had not slept in a more comfortable bed in the last fifteen days.


    Moral: even when the chips are down and situation is entirely hopeless one should have his wits about him like Jason did.


Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi




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THE LOOK-ALIKE VIDEO OF GURMEHER KAUR—exposes the dark side of Indian mindset


By Kamlesh Tripathi


     The look-alike video of Gurmeher Kaur has been making the rounds of social media for quite a few days now. I too, got a few copies from some of my whatsapp friends. Correspondingly, I too, sent out a few here and there. But, before sending it out, I keenly sat through it a couple of times. Where, I could happily reflect on my jaunty college days, nothing more and nothing less.

    But, as expected within minutes, some of my friends. On receiving the video reacted by saying—the girl I’m trying to troll. Is not the one who is in the video. The social media is only trying to malign Gurmeher Kaur by sending out this video. Which, I definitely don’t deny. But I have another point of view to highlight—towards, all the fracas or whatsaap jostle, as I would like to call it. That some of my friends tried to create about the whole issue.

    While, most of them, reacted to the video in a more conformist and derogatory manner, with of course, sympathies for Gurmeher. Where, they all tried to tell me. The video is indecent and should not be circulated. But, I had a more of a promethean point of view towards the whole issue. Because, I felt in certain ways. It only exposed the primitive mindset of my friends and that too in a glaring manner. As, I, would like to ask them? What was so obscene and vulgar about the video. That I shouldn’t have circulated? And, about which, you made such a brouhaha. If having a couple of drinks in the plush confines of a car with your close friends is an obscenity, so be it? Don’t women drink in India? Isn’t that a reality of our country? So where is the vulgarity in it? Come on, just let India grow up. Had a boy been drinking under the similar circumstances, would you have reacted in the same manner and called the video obscene and vulgar?

    That she was in shorts. So what? Aren’t women entitled to wear shorts in India? Then, she was with some of her male friends. Perhaps, they were her college friends. So, is that a big deal? That she was tipsy and entwining in the car listening to a love song. So what? Is that a crime? Most certainly not and above all, aren’t women supposed to enjoy as men do is the moot question. And by calling the video vulgar, aren’t we even exhibiting a sexual bias towards them?

    The short point that I’m trying to make is. There wasn’t anything vulgar or even obscene in the video. But, because, of our deep-seated dig and reactions. We made it look like it. For, any college child can enjoy in this manner in the company of his or her friends. Whether boy or a girl. We all have behaved like that in our college days. And, for a moment, even if the video was of Gurmeher. I wouldn’t have rated it in anyway vulgar and obscene. To, run her down. But yes, preferably, any man or a girl would have preferred to keep it as a private property.

    Last but not the least the video turned viral only because of the protagonist, who happened to be a girl. So to my friends—you told me not to circulate the video because it was vulgar. But I found no vulgarity in it and that only speaks of your polluted mindset.

    Sadly, I kept waiting for at least one person to tell me. You can circulate the video as there is nothing indecent about it. But I’m still waiting. Perhaps the wait will be much longer than what I had thought. India still has to grow up.