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The Fruits of Peace
The Spoils of War
|by Ramendra Kumar|
Not very long ago in Akhand Bharat there was a kingdom named Ekta Pradesh ruled by two friends Ram and Rahim. Ram was the king and his best friend Rahim, the Prime Minister. Together they managed the affairs of Ekta Pradesh wisely and well.
One day a merchant came visiting with the intention of doing business. His name was John Bull and he had come from S.N.S. or Sun Never Sets Britain. John Bull was a crafty and cunning man and slowly and steadily he won the confidence of Rahim. Soon Rahim and John Bull became inseparables. John Bull kept poisoning Rahim’s mind and drove a wedge between the two friends. Egged on by John Bull, one day, Rahim told Ram he wanted Ekta Pradesh to be partitioned.
“Partitioned? How can you say such a thing, Rahim? You want our motherland to be butchered? But why?”
“I don’t have to give you any explanation? The choice is yours - either Rahimabad or a civil war?”
Poor Ram, he tried his best to reason with Rahim but to no avail. Finally he had to agree.
Naturally both Ram and Rahim were very keen to grab the village. The headman of the village was Rahim’s relative while the people belonged to Ram’s caste. The headman wanted to be a part of Rahimabad while the villagers wanted to be with Ram. The stalemate continued beyond August 14. John Bull exploited the situation and a few months after Rahimabad was created, he urged Rahim to attack Kaash Meer and annex it. Rahim did his bidding and launched an offensive on the beautiful village. Ram retaliated and beat back the invaders before a cease fire was called. Now both Ram and Rahim had a piece of Kash Meer with them and were eyeing the rest of the village.
In the meanwhile John Bull, who had milked Ekta Pradesh and later Rahimabad completely dry, left for Britain. He had nothing more to gain from staying there. But before he left he made sure that the wedge he had driven between the two friends remained firmly imbedded.
As time went by the enmity between Ram and Rahim continued growing. This hatred percolated down to the people and soon the two kingdoms spent their entire energy hating and plotting against each other.
One day Kalam Kamaal the head scientist of Rampur came to meet Ram.
“O’King I have found a way to vanquish Rahimabad.”
“What is it? Tell me?”
“I have created a creature in my lab. If tended to carefully it will grow into a huge giant, a monster, a rakshasa. Once it is full grown we will release it near our border with Rahimabad. This creature will go and single handedly destroy the entire kingdom?”
“But surely Rahim’s army will be able to capture it or kill it?”
“No, sir. It is invincible. Its hide is so thick that bows and arrows will just bounce off it like tiny pins and needles.”
“When will it be ready?”
“In exactly three months time. But sir, it will need a lot of grains and vegetables and meat and ....I am not sure whether Rampur will have enough food to feed this monster.”
“Don’t worry. For such a good cause we will all starve. If the common man has to manage on one meal a day my sons too will eat only once a day. To protect the interests of Rampur my people and I are willing to make every sacrifice that may be required.”
“That’s great. Then, O’ king in three months from today Hy Bo will be at your service.”
“Yes that is the name of the monster. Hydrogen Bomb or Hy Bo for short.”
For the next three months the entire kingdom of Rampur became obsessed with feeding Hy Bo. The monster seemed to have an appetite that could never be satisfied. As he grew by feet and yards his appetite grew by gallons and tons. Gradually the food reserves of Rampur started depleting. Adults started taking only one meal a day and a few weeks later the children too had to followed suit. In the beginning no one complained. After all the cause was such a noble one - to teach Rahimabad a lesson it would never forget. Soon however, as the cries of the starving children rent the air, the mothers and then the fathers stared murmuring in protest. Ram declared a state of emergency and there was strict rationing of food.
Three months later Hy Bo was taken out in full public view and marched off to the border. As he was about to be released there was a huge roar from the other side. As Ram and Kamaal stared in surprise and shock they saw Rahim and his number one scientist Dr. I. Q. Caan holding the chains of a creature almost as huge as Hy Bo.
“Wh... what is that?” stammered Ram.
“Sir...I..I.. think that must be At Bo?”
“Yes, Sir. Short for Atomic Bomb. Intelligence sources had told me that Rahimabad was trying to create a monster called At Bo.”
“You fool, if you knew why didn’t you tell me?”
“But sir, they were only trying. How was I to know they would succeed so soon?”
“What do we do now?”
“Nothing, sir. We quietly go back. If we release Hy Bo they will release At Bo. Though Hy Bo is stronger and can completely smash Rahimabad, At Bo too is capable of destroying Rampur quite effectively.”
Ram and Kamaal quietly left with Hy Bo in tow.
“This Hy Bo has become a real monster. At this rate it will eat up everything,” complained Ram to Kamaal.
“But sir, there is nothing we can do. I can destroy Hy Bo but the minute Rahim comes to know he will unleash At Bo and that will be the end of Rampur.”
And so Hy Bo and Ato Bo flourished in the two neighboring kingdoms even as the people starved.
A decade later both Ram and Rahim passed away within a few weeks of each other. Ram’s son Raman became the king of Rampur while Rahim’s son Rehman ascended the throne of Rahimabad.
Now both Raman and Rehman were very sensible young men whose main objective was to ensure the peace and prosperity of their kingdoms. Both had grown up reading the scriptures and holy books of different religions and knew the importance of peace and the futility of war.
One day Raman sent a message to Rehman that he would like to meet him alone. Rehman agreed and the two of them met later the same week at midnight.
“Rehman, I am sure you are as sick and tired as I am of this useless fighting and bitter hatred.”
“Yes. Raman you are right. I want to end all this as fast as possible.”
“I have a sugesstion. Since Kaash Meer is the biggest issue let us address it first.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“I suggest that you take custody of Kaash Meer for a year and then I’ll take care of it for the same period. During the time it is in your care whatever fruits it produces will be yours and vice versa. And since you are younger than I am, I invite you to first take charge of Kaash Meer.”
“Okay. I think it is good idea. But what about At Bo and Hy Bo? Should I destroy At Bo?”
“No, no. I have talked to my scientists these monsters can be used both for destructive as well as constructive purposes.”
“With a little bit of treatment their energy can be used to build dams, bridges, for cultivation and lots more.”
“Then can you please get At Bo treated too?”
“Ofcourse. Anything for a friend.”
The two friends embraced each other and parted.
Things went exactly as per plan. Kaash Meer was taken over for a year by Rehman. Hy Bo and At Bo were treated and started working hard to create rather than destroy. Their efforts resulted in a huge growth in cultivation. Gradually they started contributing in producing far more food than they were consuming. Very soon both the kingdoms started prospering.
“O’ king we have seen many elephants and horses coming towards our border. We think King Rehman is planning to attack Rampur.”
Raman’s ministers said, “O’ King since the time has come to hand over Kaash Meer Rehman’s intentions have become clear. He wants to attack Rampur and retain Kaash Meer.”
“I think all of you are wrong. Some one who has tasted the fruits of peace can never hanker after the spoils of war. Come lets go and see.”
As he reached the border Raman found Rehman walking towards him his arms outstretched.
As they embraced Rehman said, “My friend Kaash Meer is yours from today.”
“What is all this?” Raman said staring at the elephants and horses saddles with bags and crates.”
“The bags are filled with the money we have earned by exporting the fruits produced in Kaash Meer during the year. We have not taken a single pie. The crates contain the dry fruits which could be preserved.”
“Bu...but Rehman this is all yours. Your people have worked hard throughout the year and they deserve all this.”
“No my friend. I have treated Kaash Meer merely as your property kept in my custody for a year.”
Raman was too moved to speak. He simply reached out and embraced his friend as the people of the two kingdoms lustily cheered.
Rehman’s noble gesture cemented the bond between the two friends and the people of Rampur and Rahimabad lived in peace and prosperity ever after.
Image under license with gettyimages.com
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