February 1, 2017
On a bright summer morning as dawn smiled its arrival, little feeble Ivy sprouted with crinkled eyes. Blinking to the new light, she soon learnt to crawl around.
The place was brown and green and yellow. Felt wet and dry and sticky. And smelt of love and fear and faith. Time was running out for little feeble Ivy, she needed a hand to help her stand up.
Looking for support, she took tiny steps ahead and looked as far as her eyes could. And she saw a thousand eyes stare back at her. Some were eager and bright as hers, some dull and tired, yet others breathing their last and numerous dry remains. She didn’t want to be lost in that hopeless crowd.
So, little feeble Ivy quickly turned to her left. There she saw a huge eucalyptus tree. She strained her softy neck backwards, trying to look at its face, which was high up there kissing the blue sky. She waited, waited and waited to ask permission. Finally, exhausted, she gave up hope and turned to her right.
There little feeble Ivy saw big heart-shaped green leaves smiling at her. Eagerly she crawled towards it and now she saw its smile cheering across its body. Happily she lifted her tiny feet only to see the money plant stand on crutches. How can anyone who cannot support their own self help her stand up? Dejected, she slumped back.
Collecting her shattered hope, she just about managed to fuel the strength required to turn and look behind her. There she saw a huge gigantic structure. In fact, she was below its steps. She crawled a few inches behind and gaped at the length and breadth of its body. The eucalyptus was nothing compared to this monster, she told herself. Also she had no clue where its face was. So she took few more steps behind for a good look. She saw many faces – big and small. In fact, one big rectangular face was just before her, above the steps where she had been lying. All the faces seemed stern yet pleasant. Up above she saw the name: Building No #5.
She realised it was a do-or-die situation and so closed her eyes, said a prayer, and hesitantly lifted her tiny feet up on the steps. It felt cold. She waited. Gradually she felt warmth spread over her. She said a silent thank you, to the multiple faces that she had just seen and climbed up the other step, this time less hesitant. And lo! it was no more cold. She felt welcoming warmth. She smiled at the closest face and said a loud thank you. And, thereafter, with each step she took, little feeble Ivy became more confident and gained in strength, too.
Within a few months, Ivy was no more little and feeble. Confident, strong and self-assured she was voraciously sucking at the host. Ivy’s limbs grew fat, belly protruded and her confidence broke all ethical ceilings.
She clung on to it with all her might and used its body to see the world. She ate, played and slept all over Building No #5. When the rains where heavy she even yelled at it for not protecting her enough. And when the summer reigned, she screamed at it to water her. When it was Spring, she was the busiest, dreaming, planning, working and ignoring her host. Yet she continued to cling on unashamedly.
And then, the town authorities decided to lay Building No #5 to rest. Grand old Ivy was all attention.
She heard Building No #5 speak, as usual in its majestic voice. “What is the reason for your action against me, officers?”
“How could you have let this creeper cling all over you?” they thundered.
“She can’t survive on her own. She needs help,” Building No #5 reasoned.
“So you could have given her an arm or a foot or all your limbs even. How could you have let her abuse you like this?” the officers admonished.
“If so, doesn’t it speak of her than me officers?” Building No #5 quizzed.
“You have soiled your heart and soul for this bloody creep. And what has she given you. Chewing your skin and dumping her shit all over you as she pleases…,” shouted the officers readying the bulldozer.
“I didn’t soil my heart and soul, officers,” Building No #5 replied clam and poised. ” I have always been giving. I love to give. If I stop doing it, I am not me anymore. Yes, I have my needs though. I wish I got some respect in return. But again as I said, doesn’t that speak more about her than me, officers?”
“Damn with your philosophy. This slithering creeper is smart. Get it? And only the smart survive in a relationship! That’s the way of the world!” yelled the officers.
“My dear officers, which relationship in this world is balanced?” asked Building No #5. “Be it in the most loving of marriages; in the best organised workplaces; in the best of friendships; in the most peaceful neighbourhoods; among the most loving siblings…in each relationship one party gives more than it receives. And when the giver ceases to give, it ceases to be. I’m ready officers.”
Before the officers could approach, Building No #5 called out to Ivy to wish her good luck. Getting no reply, he looked below and saw grand old Ivy hurriedly climbing over the bulldozer!