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Gajandra and the Problem with Sanoor


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"Ssldfjkwoiejj ggggggoiffffnhttthgoirjlkfjg oifjdglk pplskdfjgiiiiennrrkkkkkjj" comes the soft palate murmur in the palatial estate. Someone is in turmoil'd sleep.

"First Hundaa, First Hundaa!"

"What? What is it, child?"

"It is the gurgling sound again!"

"Wee, at this time of the nighttime time!"

"Yes, First Hundaa--all of the household is complaining about it--no one is able to sink into sleep."

"Yes, Geena, I know. Tomorrow I will consult the Head Attendant."

"Sir Jutu!"

"Yes, First Hundaa."

"It is the foul sa-noor-spirit again, infesting Young Master while he battles the demons of the non-waking world."

"Yes, First Hundaa, I fear that I have heard her cloying groans as well."

"I trust you will attend to this demon, Good Jutu?"

"Yes, First Hundaa, as steadfastly as always."

What first seemed to be a giant bluish boulder was closing in on me. "Halt, Demon!" I cried, but the dome-like beast only increased its speed. I had seen similar beasts in other journeys, but they seemed older, more classic, somehow more austere, and with the engine in the rear instead of the back.

"What is 'injun,' master?"

"Oh--I don't know--terminology supplied by the dream itself. As the shiny boulder approached, it began to taunt me, with meaningless phrases: 'Less Flower, More Power' and 'Hug It? Drive It? Hug It? Drive It?' "Ye shall not earn a hug from me, Beast!" I shouted. And I shall drive you out of the land!!"

"And then?"

"Something about quick recall, and then I awakened."

"And you believe that it was during this chase that sa-noor began to seize your throat?"

"Yes, wise Jutu."

"The wizened old man leaned back slightly in his squat, looked upwards for a few seconds, closed his eyes, and mumbled to himself for a while."

Gajandra knew well from past experience not to disturb Jutu when he was doing his 'figuring.' To do so was tantamount to, say, a malfunction on an orbiting communications device that would cut off the functionality of 32 million pocket-sized oracles.

Gajandra watched patiently as Jutu mumbled, eyes closed, and then, when the mumbling ended, Jutu fell silent. For a while. For a good long time.

"Jutu?" ventured the troubled prince. It was then that he heard the subtle rasp of the spirit Sa-noor invading Jutu's throat.

"Begone, Annoying Spirit!" shouted Gajandra, taking handle of a nearby earthenware jug and sloshing cold water upon the afflicted old man.

"AIIEIEEEEEE! What in Hell do you do!" cried Jutu.

"I am sorry, Jutu, but the insidious Sa-noor was afflicting you even as you meditated on how to banish her from mine own throat!"

"Yes, master," he said, swabbing his drenched skin with a nearby towel. And fortunately, I have found a way to purge her from your nightly voyages.

"Good. Speak, Jutu."

"What, am I a dog?"

"I will ignore that."

"But first, we must feast!! And a grand feast was called, with mountains of fresh boiled blue crab and traditional Northeast Indian Po' Boys and carafes of wine and the ancient beverage called Zatarain's root-beere. All of the people of the village and the surrounding kingdoms were invited."

And when the traditional pre-Hindi Zydeco music faded out, late in the twilight of the summer night, Gajandra asked Jutu, "What now? Shall we retire to a chamber distant from the surrounding dozing revelers, such that Sa-noor would not be confused as we battle her?"

"Sit," instructed the somewhat sotted mentor, and then a little of the spirit of Pha-hart escaped from his post-eating-path vortex. "Let me tell you a story."

"A story," sighed Gajandra, in respectfully subdued impatience.

"Once, when I was a little boy," began the old man, "there was a very old man in the village. The village. He was the oldest man anyone at all had ever seen in all of the village. And Gajandra, little preppie-fart, mind you well...

Jutu leaned over and cupped his hands to Gajandra's ear.


"Is that it?"

"No-no-no-no-no-no--that was just my pre-story story. Here is the real story:"

Many years ago, long before your grandfather's grandfather was born, there was trouble in the town. Two hundred people had died of old-age in the preceding twenty years, and there seemed to be no end of it.

"Jutu. . . "

Don't interrupt! Housewifes were forced to clean houses, men with bulging muscles were compelled to do manual labour, and all manor of persons with musical talents were cursed with the indignity of singing songs and playing musical instruments. Have you ever heard a long song-epic played on the sitar? Not as long as you think long is! I remember when a long song took a l-o-o-o-o-ong time. Not like the tidy little blasts of music-fluid of today. Do you think this pleases Sarasvita? Or Ganesh, even?

Jutu went on in such manner at great length. Minutes extended into tens of minutes; Tens of minutes devolved into half-hours; Half-hours into hours. Gajandra struggled with all his princely might to find the wisdom in Jutu's words. More than ever before, he fought to distill the hidden metaphors and allegories--anything--a simile even would've helped--but the old man's drunken yammering simply bopped back and forth like a curious 9-year-old taken to the marketplace for the first time. Gajandra's eyelids took on new levels of gravitas. He felt the beckoning of the god that the Hellenists call Morpheus, and with time, he entered into his night-world.

Gajandra looked around him and saw the same scene he had seen before entering into sleep.

But I thought I had fallen, he said.

"You have," came the familiar voice of Jutu, now floating 3 cubits above Gajandra's head, and having taken the form a large purple dinosaur. "Look around you, Gajandra."   [page 1 of 3]

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