A tribute
Posted on December 29th, 2018

Laksiri Warnakula

All of them are about to retire and you could see the tell-tale signs of aging. Once bright and healthy colours have now faded to an unhealthy sallow and most of them are emaciated to paper-thin bodies, a far cry from what they were some moons ago. Some of them have been wounded in the course of their duty and you would also see the sheer abuse many of them were subjected to; parched, pinched and poked at from all sides, for no reason. And they were taking it all with total submission and without even the slightest rebellion.

For many centuries humans have been depending on them for many reasons. Even though they have a long and somewhat colourful history, they never talk about it.

As much as they are generally loved and cared for by many of us, there are some out there, who would not dare look in their faces. They may avoid them like plague for fear of being reminded of things that they wish, would never come. School children, who have spent more hours outdoors and less amongst books is a good example. As the thoughts of exams come to their minds, some of them wish that they were never there. And the one, who has borrowed money with compound interest would rather not go anywhere near them as they always remind him of that dreaded encounter with Shylock the money lender.

It is a species with lots of variety in size, colour and shape. Some of them show us the natural beauty of our country, our past glory and proud heritage and the beauty of the world beyond too.

And then, there are a few very extraordinary ones too.

The one I happened to come across few years back amused me no end, when I saw what it had to offer. It was something to do with the finalists of a very unique competition held in Brazil and all the contestants were almost in their full natural glory too.

They help us keep track of time in a different way than some of the other more exotic-looking types. They are always at our beck and call, keeping a year-long day-in and day-out vigil, and all this without any demand, whatsoever. It seems that they do not have any unions to fight for their rights, a rather strange circumstance these days!

And this is the most appropriate time to pay a little tribute to them, whose services are taken for granted and never appreciated by us for what they do for us. And let us also welcome the new recruits, who I am sure are as eager to serve us as their now retiring elders once were.

Before I end this, please permit me to raise a toast to say a word of ‘thank you’ to Julian and Gregory, without whom, we probably wouldn’t be having these dutiful servants that we are lucky to have alongside us today.

Laksiri Warnakula

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