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Seeds of Optimism

About Rakesh

Rakesh Pandey is an engineer by qualification and a Manager with Microsoft by profession. Basically from the holy city of Benaras, he’s settled in Bombay. He is not much of a talker and being an introvert, he is usually lost within himself.

When things become sour, he either picks up his flute, pen or fists, in that order. Music, writing and boxing are his Guardian Angels, who always rescue him and prevent any sort of mischief, which is his wont to indulge.

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Prologue:

This story unfolds during those times, when the gods were young and ruled the Earth. 70% of the planet was covered by oceans and 30% by jungles. The mountains were aflame with beautiful flowers and the meadows were covered with a green and velvety carpet. In spite of this natural extravaganza, all this beauty was unsung, because man, the nature’s poet, was not yet born.

The plants, trees and flowers lived happily with the myriad fauna, who frolicked amongst the dense greenery. Reproduction of the flora was a simple matter of shedding a tiny leaflet on the ground, which grew to maturity instantly. The flowers simply jumped from one branch to another, leaving a smiling bloom on their previous base. Seasons were mild, nature a young and laughing maiden, and life was beautiful.

Then one fine day…

Part 1

Young Thor and Loki were playing hide and seek around the gates of Valhalla, whooping childish war cries whenever they spied each other. Odin was building the grand Valhalla as a hall for warriors slain in battles. The fiery Valkyries were watching over the playing brothers with affectionate indulgence, though a bit wary of Loki, The Mischievous. The children had strict orders by Odin to not to enter the gates of Valhalla, so that the builders are not disturbed.

Thor was the elder son of Odin and a very mild, handsome and strong child. He was considered a model kid by all the gods in the pantheon and liked by everyone. Loki, on the other hand was despised by everyone for his nasty practical jokes and cruel humor. He never heeded anyone and was like a stubborn and headstrong stallion. Odin had granted Thor the control over thunder and clouds, but didn’t grant any celestial powers to Loki, as he didn’t want his peaceful world to be disrupted. Loki was naturally disgruntled about this and viewed the decision of Odin as a partiality and favoritism.

It was the turn of Loki to hide. He ran inside the gates of Valhalla and entered into the grand domed hall. He spun some of his inherent magic and conjured up a battle scene. Loki was a shape-shifter. He took the form of Frigg, their mother and the wife of Odin, and lied on the ground bleeding and dying. When Thor saw his mother lying in a pool of blood and calling for help, he desperately smashed his hammer on the ground, summoning the powers of the universe to his help.

The skies turned black and dark menacing clouds thundered in anger. A huge lightening bolt struck the dome of Valhalla with a deafening clap, shattering it into a thousand pieces. A monstrous whirlwind from Freyr, the fair goddess of weather buffeted the walls of Valhalla and reduced it to dust. When the dust settled, Thor was shocked to see Loki rolling on the ground, laughing uncontrollably. Thor was appalled at the destruction he had caused and was afraid of the anger of his fearsome father Odin, the god of death and battle.

When Odin came to know of this destruction, he flew in a rage and immediately reached at the scene of accident with his Valkyries. He realized instantly the reason for this havoc and banished Loki from Valhalla. The discredited child god was punished to live in the remote and inhospitable planet Earth till Odin summoned him back.

Gods, in spite of their infinite wisdom do err at times. Odin condemned the helpless Earth with the fiery and evil Loki without considering the after-effects. In spite of the pleading and begging of the compassionate Thor to forgive his younger brother, Loki found himself hurled in the dark space towards the bluish-green planet.

 

Part 2

O reader, the Earth now you live in is post the visit of Loki. He is single-handedly responsible for all the negativity, hatred, violence and mischiefs you witness daily. The Earth prior to his visit was nothing like you can imagine. It was a peaceful garden, with birds twittering pleasantly and little flowers smiling their tiny heads off. The oceans, assisted by the romantic opal moon, flirted incessantly with those arrogant and haughty mountains, whispering sweet nothings, tickling their deep planted feet and trying to seduce them. Romance and happiness ruled. The wind played with flora and fauna indiscriminately, but her favorite were those little flowers. She caressed them lovingly and stole their fragrance, then flew laughing beyond those impregnable mountains, spraying them with the sweetness and fragrance, bringing reluctant smiles on those stony lips.

Loki was unaffected by all this beauty and was walking with his head bowed down in self-pity. He was cursing his father and brother inwardly for this injustice when he heard a faint laughter. He looked around in anger. It was the playful wind tickling the beautiful flowers in a meadow. Was this fair that his father had scattered so much happiness on this desolate rock and doesn’t have a smile for him? Loki’s ugly eyes glinted with mischief. He boiled at this unfairness and summoned the evil spirits from the halls of Jotnar, the enemy of gods. The evil has this affinity of congregation, which the good in the world doesn’t. The evil spirits swooped down on the Earth under the leadership of Loki. A wild conflagration consumed the helpless planet.

The residents of the Earth had lived too long in peace and were unaware of how to defend themselves, let alone counter attack the assailants. The plants tried to hide back in the Earth, but were unable to and perished. The delicate flowers, with whom even the wind was gentle, lest she bruise them, couldn’t face those hell-sent flames and started to wither in mute agony. Suddenly one of the wise old oaks got an idea. He created millions of tiny armored shields and hid each little flower in them. The shields were buried in the ground, protecting those tiny and helpless beauties while the world was slowly decimated. The fire roared for 30 days and 30 nights till it consumed every living thing on the planet and was finally sated. Loki danced happily among the chaos and ruins.

Odin was sitting on his throne in Valhalla, when he felt the acrid smoke and piercing heat. As the hell wasn’t built yet, he wondered about the origin of the fire. Then, suddenly he remembered Loki and jumped off his throne to look out of the window. He couldn’t locate the beautiful planet Earth, which was his pride. The bluish-green planet was charred black now. Odin screamed in rage and looked closely. The velvety blankets of the fields were covered with dirty gray ashes. The lyrical and romantic ocean had shrunk back in abhorrence and had left huge expanses of arid deserts. The mountains were stripped bare of their green gowns and stood like brown naked beggars outside a modern day temple. Desolation reigned where beauty used to laugh.

Odin’s heart broke and he cried. It was an anguish from the depth of a soul, which is shook by the cruel mauling of something beautiful. It was the howl of a tempest, which is triggered by the insane massacre of innocents. It was a heartfelt cry. A soulful cry emanated from his heart, “I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. I wish I could rescind my order and repair my folly! I wish I could revert the destruction and restore the lost beauty!”

There are things, which are beyond the powers of gods. Restoration of wilfully destroyed beauty is one of them. Tears flowed from the eyes of the warrior of thousand battles at his helplessness and were soaked in his flowing beards. They dripped from his beards. Thor saw the grief of his father and swung his hammer. Dark clouds materialized from nowhere and absorbed those heavenly tears. They raced towards the ailing Earth and drenched it with the grief of the compassionate god. The ominous and grave clouds thundered in majesty, causing Loki to quake and hide. It rained for seven days and seven nights. The char and ashes were washed clean. Although the divine elixir washed away the traces of the cruelty, it couldn’t restore the beauty as all the plants were dead. Odin watched morosely from his seat in heaven. The elixir reached one of the armoured cases, causing it to crack open. A tiny spray of colors peeked out in the desolate brown world. The first life burgeoned from the first seed, demonstrating the undying spirit of optimism. The gray-brown fields became vibrant with millions of colorful and smiling flowers. The mountains were covered again with their satin velvety garb. The oceans inched closer to them amorously. Odin laughed happily.

Now he summoned Loki and cursed him to remain till eternity on the planet he destroyed. He stripped him of all of his magical powers and rendered him a weak human. He cursed him to depend on the clouds bringing the life giving elixir – water. He tied the existence of the clouds with the trees, so that for his survival, Loki will have to nurture what he destroyed, or perish with thirst due to lack of water.

We, the descendants of the mischievous banished god, still try to correct his deeds for our survival!

**********

Disclaimer by the author:

I’ve spun this tale around Norse gods, as I always was intrigued by the Nordic mythology. The Vikings may be a bloodthirsty race, but their gods were quite interesting.

It is a work of fiction and has got nothing to do with Thor, Loki, Odin, Jotnar, Fenrir or any other living or dead villainous Nordic gods. Any resemblance to them is purely coincidental and unintentional. So if those gods are reading it, I request them to go a bit easy on it and read in a sporting spirit, and not to hold any grudge against me. After all, I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to find a couple of Valkyries breathing on me in vengeance.

Dashed annoying creatures, these Valkyries!

This story unfolds during those times, when the gods were young and ruled the Earth. 70% of the planet was covered by oceans and 30% by jungles. The mountains were aflame with beautiful flowers and the meadows were covered with a green and velvety carpet. In spite of this natural extravaganza, all this beauty was unsung, because man, the nature’s poet, was not yet born.

The plants, trees and flowers lived happily with the myriad fauna, who frolicked amongst the dense greenery. Reproduction of the flora was a simple matter of shedding a tiny leaflet on the ground, which grew to maturity instantly. The flowers simply jumped from one branch to another, leaving a smiling bloom on their previous base. Seasons were mild, nature a young and laughing maiden, and life was beautiful.

Then one fine day…

Young Thor and Loki were playing hide and seek around the gates of Valhalla, whooping childish war cries whenever they spied each other. Odin was building the grand Valhalla as a hall for warriors slain in battles. The fiery Valkyries were watching over the playing brothers with affectionate indulgence, though a bit wary of Loki, The Mischievous. The children had strict orders by Odin to not to enter the gates of Valhalla, so that the builders are not disturbed.

Thor was the elder son of Odin and a very mild, handsome and strong child. He was considered a model kid by all the gods in the pantheon and liked by everyone. Loki, on the other hand was despised by everyone for his nasty practical jokes and cruel humor. He never heeded anyone and was like a stubborn and headstrong stallion. Odin had granted Thor the control over thunder and clouds, but didn’t grant any celestial powers to Loki, as he didn’t want his peaceful world to be disrupted. Loki was naturally disgruntled about this and viewed the decision of Odin as a partiality and favoritism.

It was the turn of Loki to hide. He ran inside the gates of Valhalla and entered into the grand domed hall. He spun some of his inherent magic and conjured up a battle scene. Loki was a shape-shifter. He took the form of Frigg, their mother and the wife of Odin, and lied on the ground bleeding and dying. When Thor saw his mother lying in a pool of blood and calling for help, he desperately smashed his hammer on the ground, summoning the powers of the universe to his help.

The skies turned black and dark menacing clouds thundered in anger. A huge lightening bolt struck the dome of Valhalla with a deafening clap, shattering it into a thousand pieces. A monstrous whirlwind from Freyr, the fair goddess of weather buffeted the walls of Valhalla and reduced it to dust. When the dust settled, Thor was shocked to see Loki rolling on the ground, laughing uncontrollably. Thor was appalled at the destruction he had caused and was afraid of the anger of his fearsome father Odin, the god of death and battle.

When Odin came to know of this destruction, he flew in a rage and immediately reached at the scene of accident with his Valkyries. He realized instantly the reason for this havoc and banished Loki from Valhalla. The discredited child god was punished to live in the remote and inhospitable planet Earth till Odin summoned him back.

Gods, in spite of their infinite wisdom do err at times. Odin condemned the helpless Earth with the fiery and evil Loki without considering the after-effects. In spite of the pleading and begging of the compassionate Thor to forgive his younger brother, Loki found himself hurled in the dark space towards the bluish-green planet.

To Be Continued in Part 2..

O reader, the Earth now you live in is post the visit of Loki. He is single-handedly responsible for all the negativity, hatred, violence and mischiefs you witness daily. The Earth prior to his visit was nothing like you can imagine. It was a peaceful garden, with birds twittering pleasantly and little flowers smiling their tiny heads off. The oceans, assisted by the romantic opal moon, flirted incessantly with those arrogant and haughty mountains, whispering sweet nothings, tickling their deep planted feet and trying to seduce them. Romance and happiness ruled. The wind played with flora and fauna indiscriminately, but her favorite were those little flowers. She caressed them lovingly and stole their fragrance, then flew laughing beyond those impregnable mountains, spraying them with the sweetness and fragrance, bringing reluctant smiles on those stony lips.

Loki was unaffected by all this beauty and was walking with his head bowed down in self-pity. He was cursing his father and brother inwardly for this injustice when he heard a faint laughter. He looked around in anger. It was the playful wind tickling the beautiful flowers in a meadow. Was this fair that his father had scattered so much happiness on this desolate rock and doesn’t have a smile for him? Loki’s ugly eyes glinted with mischief. He boiled at this unfairness and summoned the evil spirits from the halls of Jotnar, the enemy of gods. The evil has this affinity of congregation, which the good in the world doesn’t. The evil spirits swooped down on the Earth under the leadership of Loki. A wild conflagration consumed the helpless planet.

The residents of the Earth had lived too long in peace and were unaware of how to defend themselves, let alone counter attack the assailants. The plants tried to hide back in the Earth, but were unable to and perished. The delicate flowers, with whom even the wind was gentle, lest she bruise them, couldn’t face those hell-sent flames and started to wither in mute agony. Suddenly one of the wise old oaks got an idea. He created millions of tiny armored shields and hid each little flower in them. The shields were buried in the ground, protecting those tiny and helpless beauties while the world was slowly decimated. The fire roared for 30 days and 30 nights till it consumed every living thing on the planet and was finally sated. Loki danced happily among the chaos and ruins.

Odin was sitting on his throne in Valhalla, when he felt the acrid smoke and piercing heat. As the hell wasn’t built yet, he wondered about the origin of the fire. Then, suddenly he remembered Loki and jumped off his throne to look out of the window. He couldn’t locate the beautiful planet Earth, which was his pride. The bluish-green planet was charred black now. Odin screamed in rage and looked closely. The velvety blankets of the fields were covered with dirty gray ashes. The lyrical and romantic ocean had shrunk back in abhorrence and had left huge expanses of arid deserts. The mountains were stripped bare of their green gowns and stood like brown naked beggars outside a modern day temple. Desolation reigned where beauty used to laugh.

Odin’s heart broke and he cried. It was an anguish from the depth of a soul, which is shook by the cruel mauling of something beautiful. It was the howl of a tempest, which is triggered by the insane massacre of innocents. It was a heartfelt cry. A soulful cry emanated from his heart, “I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. I wish I could rescind my order and repair my folly! I wish I could revert the destruction and restore the lost beauty!”

There are things, which are beyond the powers of gods. Restoration of wilfully destroyed beauty is one of them. Tears flowed from the eyes of the warrior of thousand battles at his helplessness and were soaked in his flowing beards. They dripped from his beards. Thor saw the grief of his father and swung his hammer. Dark clouds materialized from nowhere and absorbed those heavenly tears. They raced towards the ailing Earth and drenched it with the grief of the compassionate god. The ominous and grave clouds thundered in majesty, causing Loki to quake and hide. It rained for seven days and seven nights. The char and ashes were washed clean. Although the divine elixir washed away the traces of the cruelty, it couldn’t restore the beauty as all the plants were dead. Odin watched morosely from his seat in heaven. The elixir reached one of the armoured cases, causing it to crack open. A tiny spray of colors peeked out in the desolate brown world. The first life burgeoned from the first seed, demonstrating the undying spirit of optimism. The gray-brown fields became vibrant with millions of colorful and smiling flowers. The mountains were covered again with their satin velvety garb. The oceans inched closer to them amorously. Odin laughed happily.

Now he summoned Loki and cursed him to remain till eternity on the planet he destroyed. He stripped him of all of his magical powers and rendered him a weak human. He cursed him to depend on the clouds bringing the life giving elixir – water. He tied the existence of the clouds with the trees, so that for his survival, Loki will have to nurture what he destroyed, or perish with thirst due to lack of water.

We, the descendants of the mischievous banished god, still try to correct his deeds for our survival!

**********

Disclaimer by the author:

I’ve spun this tale around Norse gods, as I always was intrigued by the Nordic mythology. The Vikings may be a bloodthirsty race, but their gods were quite interesting.

It is a work of fiction and has got nothing to do with Thor, Loki, Odin, Jotnar, Fenrir or any other living or dead villainous Nordic gods. Any resemblance to them is purely coincidental and unintentional. So if those gods are reading it, I request them to go a bit easy on it and read in a sporting spirit, and not to hold any grudge against me. After all, I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to find a couple of Valkyries breathing on me in vengeance.

Dashed annoying creatures, these Valkyries!

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