There were two very poor peasants in western Rajasthan. What, you ask? Peasants, and in Western Rajasthan! Why not? Calamity does not ask for permission before breaking down the door to give your misfortunes an easy entry into your life.

Their misery was compunded by their not being on friendly terms (and I am being euphemistic here for they were sworn enemies) with each other. They had adjacent pieces of land, and if they had been on amiable terms the whole exercise of Robert Frost in writing that famous poem would have been rendered useless.

So, like the two protagonists in the poem, they start building a wall between their lands. It was scorching hot, with the desert sun showing no mercy at the hapless souls. They started at sunrise. By noon, their bodies glistened with sweat. In fact, if you were to look around their knees you would see do many drops of water pouring down that you would be inclined to think that it was a case of localised precipitation. They worked hard, all day, and most of the night. Their skin colour darkened by a few shades. And with that also lessened their chances of finding for themselves a bride.

As they saw their family tree's growth stunting, they saw the wall growing. Could fate have been more cruel? But, as we have all come to know, just when you think nothing can go wrong it inadvertently does. One of them takes ill. It is now left to the other to make up for lost time, for sowing season was just around the corner. He toils hard, very hard. It what you though was precipitation earlier, this could only be termed a cloud burst. Alas! He, too, takes ill. On the bright side, though, if there could be one to this gloomy picture, his neighbour gains his health.

He works with all earnest but takes care not to exert himself too hard. The work was demanding, and he was glad when a few days later his comrade was well enough to work. They now work with a renewed vigour. It was as if a dying man had been given a new soul. Soon, they reached a stage where only one brick remained to put in place.

They decided to do it together. Very carefully, the sun-dried brick (of course, it was not baked in the oven - it never rained there to warrant that) was placed in its designated place. They rejoiced, and for the first time in their lives hugged each other.

But, if everything was hunky-dory this would not be an art film. The sky suddenly darkened and the heavens opened. The Gods wept, and with their tears came down the wall. And, these poor farmers were left to their misery again, only poorer by so many bricks.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: Keep the Faith