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Thursday, 05 March 2015 08:49

"Don't color me Black and Red" Featured

Meghna Gupta Written by 
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Silence prevailed . The only occasional sound heard in the still darkness was that of a croak or a hiss . Nothing else dared to break the monotony of the night . Even the stars seemed to be trespassing the barbed site , of the ominous GISA Chemical Laboratory ; and shimmered in a subdued manner from a safe distance . The very throttling air , assumingly , had taken a permit to pervade around ...

The shock of an ice-cold water bucket , suddenly drenching her , made her roar in agony ! She shrieked as she chased her pack of monstrous friends ! The rainbows seemed to have been gigantic ice-creams , ( left unrefrigerated overnight ) ; and thus melted in the compounds of a color-strewn Nation . Hues of blue , orange , green , yellow , purple, pink and yes black and red too , were puddling the roads .

It was Holi ! The time of the year when not just toddlers , who used color-crayons at kindergarten , but even the adults forgot their worries and emerged themselves in color-jets , spurting from water-guns and hands smearing color powders on eachother . People suddenly turned unrecognisable in their colored scales , and the dreary exteriors of the towns and cities made lively .

A train of teenagers wobbled like a very wet caterpillar , as they queued up by the common tap for a refill , keeping eye in the meanwhile , on a lookout - lest attack came from unprecedented corners ! ( Little did anyone suspect where the attack had been planned and was well on it's way too ...)

Someone sneezed . No one noticed . Was it such a big deal if you had been playing with water since morning , and now the whole afternoon ? No it wasn't . And no one actually cared today . They were busy chasing each other in water fights . But people did take notice when someone suddenly lost balance, just like that , and collapsed .

The hospitals were a new addition this Holi , to the colorful festivities - they were overrun by patients midway of their color-playing activities . Nurses bandaged at their noses and mouths , seemed to be recuperating themselves , as they attended to the swarming " Out Patients " wards , dodging panicked queries and following routine check-ups .

A sinister smile lit his eyes as he watched the only window in the room , reflecting running images of the hospitals flooded with the new case . He picked up a toy chocolate bar and spoke into it , " This is just the beginning . " But he didn't seem to be taking a bite of it ...

The Medical Department had called in their smartest Assessment Officer from the Public Health Ministry , Mrs. Geeta Sharma , to help take stock of the endemic . She arrived promptly , her curt and slight eyes shifting non-stop from point to point . She wore a mask and went directly to the medical stock and supplies floor , assessing the whole situation . She was in very deep thought . It was the time to harness the flood .

As the thoughts seemed to be playing color too in her compact mind , she didn't miss the common factor , nor fail to notice that most of the patients admitted had red on them , well yes literally ! She got up with an alarm and ran downstairs , not waiting for the long turn at the elevators - she wasn't taking any chances . " Dr. Mitra ! Fast ! I need you right away ! " she ordered in an urgent voice , even as he was inspecting a patient's nerve .

After their private animated discussion , Dr. Mitra couldn't imagine what to do next ? There was red all over the place ! Just as he was contemplating solutions and was lost , a six-year old who was just brought in spurted color at him playfully with his still-loaded water gun " sploosh" , and then laughed while coughing , as the nurse wheeled him away .

They were busy packing the packets - covered from head to toe in an armor-like protective suit that prevented any contact with the virus . Another batch , further away down the line , was pasting the labels on them-  " Happy Holi " it read , and had the image of innocent children spraying each other with colors . Their cold-bloodedness saw no innocence , nor heard the wails of relatives who lost their children thus ...

" Geeta ! See this , this should do it ! " The doctors checked the samples from the patients' colored clothes . Their worst fears had come true ; the Nation was sent reeling on a suicide mission unawares , as they basked themselves in the virus infected powders , unwittingly and without doubting what the packets contained . The Center was immediately alerted and media given updates.

All were asked to immediately stop the colorful festivities . The virus had been transmitted very cleverly to a Nation that believed " on Holi , even the enemies should be forgiven and embraced." Geeta had proven her worth yet once again , as the country was saved , just at the nick of time and the medical fraternity got to work in fighting the virus . ( The flu symptoms were fully understood and ears pricked now at the smallest sneeze. )

A pair of eyes gleamed restlessly in the dark , as another conspiracy was foiled . The Laboratory stood dark tonight ; even the stars had fled vacating the sky above it



5 MARCH, 2015 .

Read 2922 times Last modified on Friday, 22 May 2015 11:48
Meghna Gupta

Meghna Gupta Jogani ,born in Mumbai ,has a Masters degree in English from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thakersey University,Mumbai.The studies on Feminism greatly influenced her art in writing. Her...
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