…and should return by the weekend.
You must’ve surmised that the Caricaturist must be on an errand of great importance – only then would she disappear so completely. Imagine. A whole week without a new post. You know that your dear caricaturist would never ever let you down, unless she was called away for a greater purpose – OR unless an unexpected, uncontrollable event took place.
I have to report that it was the latter.
It happened on the 8th of May, 2011. After publishing Gaddafi’s Caricature, I felt extremely tired – It was quite a job scavenging all that information on him, and I didn’t have the US Intelligence working for me. So I decided to make myself a hot cup of tea. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had run out of tea-leaves – an organized, methodical person like me, who uses innumerable diaries, post-its, and other data-capture devices to keep a tab on everything that has a tendency to vanish. I remembered making a note of the task, “Buy Tea-leaves/Tea-bags”, and adding a red circle with VERY IMP. scribbled in red across it – but I missed it completely. I guess it was because I didn’t open that particular diary for a week, and I didn’t open it because I didn’t remember which diary it was!
Any way, before I confuse you completely, let me finish the story.
When I discovered that I had exhausted the supply of tea-leaves/tea-bags, I rushed out to the unfriendly neighborhood grocer to buy some. In my hurry, I didn’t see the open manhole, and before I realized it, I was tumbling through a dark vertical shaft. I tried to look around, but I was falling at a great speed, and the shaft was pitch-dark, so I couldn’t really make out the texture of walls. Worse, I expected to hit the bottom anytime…in other words, I knew that death was imminent.
I closed my eyes and thought about my sweetheart, my parents, my brother, my dog, and my new-found American friend (and her dogs and her favorite dog’s dad…), my other friends, my office, my co-workers, my landlord, my landlord’s sons and daughter-in-laws, my neighbor’s black cat, the squirrels on the terrace, the birds…the list went on…the prime-minister, the US president, the president’s wife, the Queen, Lady Gaga…and the list continued to grow…the Chinese Premier, Hitler, Muammar Gaddafi, Osama bin Laden, my MOTHER-in-LAW!!!!!
That shocked me! I must’ve reached the end of my list, but there was no end to my free-fall. In fact, it was at that point that I fainted.
When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a straw-mat in a cave. Two cavemen, three cave-women, and about a dozen cave-kids were gathered around me. I tried asking them where I was. The good news was that those cave-kids were smart, so one of them picked up what appeared be a fruit of some sort. He used a stone-knife to cut it into two halves, and pointed to the center. So that was it. I had reached the Center of the Earth!
After a lot of cajoling, the kids gave me a laptop that they had recovered from the stuff that kept coming through the man-hole, and I have managed to contact my family. They’ve contacted the Indian Government, and the Indian Government has contacted the Chilean Government – requesting them to send the rescue team that worked on rescuing the Chilean miners, to…well, pull me back to the terra firma.
I should return soon…until then, pray for the Caricaturist’s well-being.
(Credits: Message posted using the Laptop that the cavekids so kindly shared with me. This post wouldn’t have reached you, if it hadn’t been for those cave-kids and their dream of starting a WordPress Blog.)