"The Situation" II - Kodagu (India)

...Karuna is the Sanskrit word for mercy...

Kavery Nambisan is a surgeon of four-decade vintage, working in a rural town in southern India. She is also a novelist who finds herself drawn towards lesser-known corners of the country. And perhaps the mind. 


Dear Karuna--

Salutations to the king who wears the crown and bears power! Karuna the Merciful!  

All great kings are merciful. 

Enemies we have many. We beat them back every time, and understood many things: the smaller the body-size of the enemy, the more dangerous, he. Yes?  

At this point of time, you are on top of the game. Our dykes are broken, ramparts crumbled, weapons rusted and chipped from overuse. Those of us who helped you jump across national borders, cross seas and traverse the earth recognize your power.  

(We also know the rules for protecting ourselves.) 

Dear Karuna, you need us to thrive. There has been a huge mis-reading of the human race by your good self. The entire jing-band lot of us are not your enemy, no! Some of us, some of us are your friends!  

Here are the three or maybe four broad categories in the enemy ranks:  

The daily-wage earning multitudes.  

The old gizzards. 

People of a certain community. 

Stupid, up-in-the-clouds, pseudo-compassionate Good Samaritans (I break into a cold sweat of fury just trying to define this last, despicable class). 

The wage-earning servant class think we need them! When AI becomes established, we will send them all off on an unceasing holiday! The old people are getting to be a nuisance, living on and on. We can keep a small number in circulation – grandmas and grandpas to send affectionate cards to. As for that certain community – they eat different, dress different, pray different and when pushed to the wall, turn to bite our heads off. And about the last group who dream of saving all of humankind, the less said the better. The rascals.  

This is a good moment to mop them all up.  

At this dramatic moment of history, we are thankful for the guidance of world leaders – in Brazil, Philippines, North Korea, the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. India. Blazing lights. Super-brains of statesmanship, propaganda and posturing. 

So…. Here’s the thing. An invitation to join us at the negotiating table. What? Who told you we are not trustworthy? Rumors, I assure you. We are hundred percent committed to staying alive. We will not hide any cards beneath the table as the saying goes (your clever invisible self would find that out in no time, ha-ha.)  

Here is the top-secret blueprint of our proposed agenda. What I am saying is …exactly. Go ahead and make your homes in the bodies of all those who belong to those above-mentioned egregious groups. Decimate, kindly. 

The rest of us will distance, sanitise and hide behind masks.   

Dear Karuna…. Have mercy. 


*Karuna is the Sanskrit word for mercy, and common to most Indian languages currently in use.