FOAM

BISWAJIT



Foam-Photo-copyright-K-S-Brooks

Ding-dong!

Around 5 a.m. I was asleep.

Ding-dong—ding-dong—ding-dong
…then door-knocking; louder.

— ‘Son, saw your uncle?’
— ‘No aunty, any problem?’
— ‘He’s missing’
— ‘What! Relax; I think I’ll find him near the lake’
— ‘Please see. Fighting alone against an industry… such a mad he is!’

People often honour an iron determination as insanity.
Uncle Thomas is an ex-serviceman; we are friends. Since retirement he dedicated himself to work for nature. We together frequent the neighbourhood lake. He often reminds me, ‘Young man, if one listens to, nature speaks too’

Months ago, a factory had secretly channelled their waste-water line to our lake. We protested. Uncle called a rally and asked neighbours for support. Only a few responded, sympathized, and then advised, ‘Forgive and forget’
I still stood by him for the sake of kinship.

Back to this morning, I finally discovered uncle in a boat near the bank.
I approached, ‘Hello, what are you doing there?’
Without looking up he replied, ‘See how the foam is spreading. Plankton would die from suffocation. Come join me help them breathe’
I moved bit closer and asked, ‘Who told you about the foaming?’
In a low voice he clarified, ‘Nature spoke to me. It was an urgent summon!’

Media persons came to cover the ‘Story’
A girl insisted him, ‘Sir, could we talk to you, please?’
Uncle calmly replied, ‘Oh sure, let me clean the foam at first’

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Photo: K S Brooks