Archive for October 16th, 2018

Mr Ya Ya Khan on the Brixton Road did not take kindly to the road that faced him every morning. In his work clothes he was called Mr. Leigh C. Bones in the neighborhood. Each day it cut deep to walk through the row of houses and the people that had something to sell or beef about. He ran the gauntlet but his call of duty was wilting under some severe strain. He tried as housing estate agent but prices of the houses seemed to go up more he trudged the streets to drum up custom for his boss. One morning it was all agog and even his boss was in his finery and the one room office had an air of expectancy. Seeing the stare Mr. Khan realized his boss was expecting him to deliver. “Housing prices go up, Mr. Bones,” said his boss Mr. Basu a Bengali and he was on his charm offensive alright. After five minute palaver he added, ” You sell one you shall be swimming like goldfishes on the desk.” Mr. Khan saw the fishes indeed were goggle eyed and kept swimming in circles but it simply killed his morning. “Arre Basu-Ji these fishes are not swimming for any joy but it made connection.” Before his boss took a double take Mr. Khan said, “I want to swim my life away from this foggy pea-soup England”. Lazybones long in hibernation despite many soul searching days finally came on the line. He was through. The name Leigh. C Bones after all sat oddly with his soul’s bent. It was his road to Golgotha and he had to accept his fate. Mr.Ya Ya Khan went directly home to break the news to his wife.
Throwing tantrums around a kitchen sink is unpleasant. Mrs Khan did throw a left hook to say, she wasted her future happiness for a never do-well. But for a man who was at the end of his tether Mr. Khan showed immense restraint that startled his wife first. She was ready to take back her hurtful words but Mr. Khan with last ounce of energy laughed it away and said, “I realized I was a never-do well the day I landed here. The fog has settled in and only way I can beat an early death is to go on traveling around the world”. He sighed and clutched at his sherwani as though he would die then and there. Mrs. Khan kept silent looking sideways if it were real and showed on his face. His heart was in no danger of breaking. She felt concerned though. Now in command he threw his tantrum and said, “Every day I thought novichok showed better on me.” She was dumbfounded. She screamed for explanation. He said, calmly, “The Russian agents should have come here in Brixton and not Salisbury.” His wife shuddered, “How dreadful,” and pleaded,”Please promise me never talk like this. Death by Putin’s order. Too awful” Mr. Khan was enjoying every minute of her reaction. “Lovey,” he said, “Think of fame. All the news hounds beating a line to our door and your picture as large as brinjal splashed on the front page!” After a stormy morning their conjugal life went smoothly for days.

One Spring morning Lazybones (and the label Mr. Leigh C Bones almost forgotten) thought he would take a trip around the world. He did not have money to pay for his passage. Neither had he any idea which places he wanted to see.
He told his wife, “Lovey, I have a wonderful idea!” He told his plan. His wife asked, “Isn’t this day you promised to do some work around the house?”
“Another time,” Mr. Bones promised her. Spring was in the air and he was dying to get out. “So you shall see the world,”she said angrily.
Before she could say another word he was out already.
“Here take this carpet along with you!” She shouted from the window and she threw the old carpet down. He wanted to be away before his wife could throw something else at him. The carpet was heavy and it didn’t move.
There he stood on that morning alone in the street with a large carpet. It was so silly to go around the world with a carpet, which did not want to go anywhere. Somehow he had to put it away.
Lazybones thought of throwing the carpet into the dust bin. But it was too big for the bin. He tried to roll it smaller which was not a success either. No sooner had he rolled than it sprang back. Angrily he scolded the carpet thus, “I have half a mind to dust you. But you have given me enough trouble already. Can’t you just help me out?”
The large carpet with its its muddy colors just lay there. Across a street which was deserted.
Feeling rather annoyed he stomped on it a couple of times. “I would rather be in Africa than dust you!”
To his utter amazement the carpet stirred and lifted itself up! With him standing in the middle! He had the look of a man who was hit by an asteroid! His shock gave way to fear while it rose steadily. He could see people stirring about at distance. “What if they were to see me?” He cursed himself for making a fool of himself. Luckily it rose far beyond the chimney tops and trees. “South of London where I live is at my feet! I could have a given a kick and make the people notice me!” Luckily for them he was far above. He was at the moment trying his best to fold his legs in a proper manner when he as a child heard his father read the Word. He sat down. Every time birds flew about dangerously close it flicked the air with its tasseled corner to give warning.
High above, the carpet collided against some passing cloud but it righted itself.
‘Is it a magic carpet?’He asked himself after his initial shock had worn off. ‘Or a willful carpet which is out to trip me up when I least expect it?’ Lazybones did not know what to make of it.
Mr. Bones was being borne on a magic carpet. Over the land and sea he sailed on a carpet, which was as old as hills. Ahead of him he could see a desert! “Sahara desert,” he exclaimed. He knew his geography. What he did not know was how to navigate a carpet that had a life of its own. He shouted,”I want to see the world! And not travel alone through a desert unprotected!”.
Even as he said this, a dust storm suddenly stirred up into a large column and disappeared. A speck of dust got in his eye. He could see nothing. But he could feel his carpet losing height surprisingly fast. He fell to the ground with a thud.
Because of the impact what irritated his eye came loose. He could once again see. What a relief it was!
He had landed himself in a courtyard, which was a stable of sorts. Never had he seen a filthier place than the one about him. There were some hundred camels tied to the posts. They had been left unattended for weeks. So much was obvious.
In front of him was an old man who was letting out his anger. “Let me get my hands on that no good lazy boy! I will skin him!” He shouted. Seeing him he controlled himself. He explained,” In my absence I left my camels under the care of my nephew. He has obviously bolted!”
Mr. Leigh C Bones had a shock of his life when the stranger told him to clean up the mess. Angrily he replied, “I am a traveller. Not a stable boy!” But the old man said, “I carried you this far. I am the carpet, Mr. Khan, you tripped over once too often! I am come to life.” Before Mr. Leigh C Bones could digest this he added, “It is only fair to expect you return the favor.”
Leigh C Bones said, “A carpet that cannot keep family secrets is a disgrace!” But he had to return a favor come what may. He said, “I shall clean up this once. You have to get me back somehow” and set to work.

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