When Trust lost Faith and was left with Belief
The Creators sang to the patrons with great gusto and eloquence, complete with sweeping arms and flashing smiles, “Meet Faith and Belief. Together they form Trust. They are the answers to all your prayers and salve to all your wounds. Invest your wealth in Trust and watch agape as Our men and women make your Dreams soar sky high. ”
Many months later and after many transactions, black, off-white and red, the twins started to grow steadily in size and girth, reaching for the skies. Upon careful examination the neurologists foreboded, behind closed doors, “The twins show signs of agnosia….” The Creators pooh-poohed, “Hogwash! The twins swell with the pride of our patrons and the sweat of Our men and women. They shall be looked up to as pinnacles of growth.”
That fateful day, as men and women lined up inside its underbelly to collect their insufficient shares, a quiet rumble resounded inside Faith. Looking down from its sky-high pinnacle for instant gratification, the faces of the men and women, who had toiled for months on end to raise the twins to their promised place in the skies, appeared like well ripened oranges and lemons. With unbridled avarice and one fell swoop, Faith descended on the unsuspecting masses, determined to devour every last bit of them. All hell broke loose, releasing from its evil clasp only torrential Rain and heavy mushroom-shaped clouds of dust and debris, but firmly trapping the men and women within, leaving no signs of life visible to the naked eye. Faith’s downward dash had sealed its fate.
“Let’s blame it on the Rain, shall we? They’ll buy it won’t they?” the Creators sang in nervous fright. The morning coffee-drinkers bought this and other theories afloat all too well as they tut-tutted on cue, “Blasted Rain! Bad Steel! Brackish Water!” Out on the streets people spread word-of-mouth in hushed tones, “Once upon a time there used to be a farm on this ill-fated land, now laid to waste by lofty, broken Dreams” While the patrons of Faith wept terribly for recompense, as they surveyed their Dreams gone kaput, the remaining twin’s patrons shuddered in panic, as Belief stood on. Eerily silent and still, tall as ever, God knows until when.
The count began as the counters carefully took apart the site of carnage, wrenching men, women and their remains out of the evil clasp of deceased-Faith. Men and women had turned into numbers. First 2, then 30, 49…….61 eaten! No names were known, only ever-changing new numbers. After furious sieging and rummaging the counters conclusively wiped the perspiration off their brow, relieved to find that Faith succumbed leaving in its wake 27 uneaten.
The following day kith and kin ran in from far and wide, from Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, and flooded the streets of Moulivakkam, with their anger and agony. Dirges were sung, Breasts were beaten, little knowing who were spared and who were eaten. Out in the sun, outside the mortuary, they stood, left with memories and a photograph or two, of their loved ones. They waited endlessly for announcements to be made in Tamil, Telugu, Oriya and Hindi, for their turn to identify, to fail to recognize, to retch, and to faint in horror. Many cycles of this until their tear ducts had dried and they were rendered empty, hollow and were stripped of hope.
Meanwhile the State in a heroic gesture, not only filed 930 very important pages but also added to the Overflowing Bucket of Promises royal compensations to the families of all the men and women that were eaten, a not-so-royal trifle for those that were chewed up and spit out in mad haste and words of regret to the Patrons, leaving them in the lurch.
2 years have passed since that fateful event, and alas, Belief, in stoic silence, unshaken, unstirred, stares into the vast abyss, where Faith used to stand tall, awaiting bloody execution to be carried out in the not so foreseeable future. A deafening silence looms large over Trust, at least over whatever remains of it, as the rest of the city goes about its daily rituals and rigmarole. More black, off-white and red transactions continue to take place, new Creators and Patrons replace the old, and new Dreams continue to soar sky high.