Of Wild Fires and Wildfire
Valiant steeds pulled the chariot of the golden orb, which blazed fiercely and set fire to the lapis carpet as it tread along its destined path towards west over yonder.
The crumpled clouds hastened to merge into the trail, in order to bandage the blood-stained bruises of red and amber that the stallions bled.
Emissaries deployed to the Earth arrived, clad in golden rays to awaken the world, like maple syrup poured over oatmeal.
Sweeping the cobbled footpaths, blowing on the chaste dandelions, seeping through the honeycombed burrows, caressing the scarce vegetation, and winking at the withered stubbles, they made their way towards the diligent hard-working man who had just woken up.
As he savored the beguiling moment of morning that was as alluring as any fresco, he tried not to think of the trials the day would pose.
Lately, dark gloomy clouds had been hanging about the skies, and he feared that monsoon would strike earlier this year.
He whispered a prayer to God that the rains be forestalled until the harvest was reaped.
As Sanjaya made his way towards the fields, he saw the van that had been lingering about the fields for the last few days.
Cameras and camcorders he could digest. Glamorous women holding mics and suit-clad men who acted as if they were genuinely interested, he could NOT stand.
With a frown that creased his smooth olive forehead, he made his way towards the shed to change into his work clothes.
* * *
Apsara had seen him through the corner of her eye. She had detested coming to the arid zones of Dambulla to shoot a documentary of the routine life of a vegetable farmer. She and her team were anxious to please their event manager who had hinted of a possible promotion if this episode managed to be rated at least a 7 out of 10.
It was hell, literally, for the scorching sun pulled up way more degrees than she was accustomed to. She had clenched her teeth and bared all curbs and made it this far.
If only she could talk to that young man, she could wrap up things and head off to headquarters. Apsara was an excellent judge of character and she had at first glance, known that Sanjaya was her cue to raising her stars.
She had been astounded at the allure which he seemed to emanate but he seemed to have no knowledge of his magnetism whatsoever. His strong powerful shoulders looked as if they were ready to bear a generation of responsibilities, and his hands were rough and etched with the days of hard labor in the fields every day. He showcased power and authority that was so aggressive that she feared to cross him. With features that were lovingly sculpted by the sun, he stood there, clad in a sarong that was refolded to reach his knees and a turban that covered the dark crop of hair on his head.
Here was a man, whose only promotion was a richer crop for the year. A man who prayed reverently if the temperature dropped. This man was your example of a hard-working roughneck. A vegetable farmer whose only concern was to feed the country. And here she was, feeding her ego with false pretenses.
As she adjusted the hidden mic-cum-camera in her blazer, she hoped that the interview would be successful. She only needed a voice-over for the perfect script she had written last night. A catchy monotone from Sanjaya to emblazon her documentary.
Sanjaya stepped over the little stream and made his way towards the plot of carrots he was unearthing. She advanced a few steps but then halted, when he stooped down and pulled up a carrot, clumps of mud plastered on it. His face chose that magical moment to light up with a smile so brilliant, a smile as if he had just been a doctor in charge of a delivery. And indeed it was the delivery of a baby carrot. The smile was contagious; Apsara did not realize she was smiling too, until Sanjaya looked up and met her eyes.
It was an electrifying moment. Apsara, for once, did not feel the raging heat of the sun, as she looked into his eyes, the Earth strangely quiet, and the wind gently caressing her cheeks and flinging her hair. The moment called for a situation song and she could think of nothing else but Bipul Chettri’s Wildfire… A melody that seeped through her nerves and accelerated her heart beat.
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