View Full Version : The Fossil

August 13, 2004, 04:07 PM
As it goes, once upon a time, once quite a long time ago that is, this guy was coming back home from the market. He had little shoppings to do. I mean he had, but when he had reached the marketplace, something came up and he almost got oblivious about the details of what he had to shop. Well, in fact, by that time, he had already bought the first thing that his better half had asked for. A statue. A statue of a widely revered
goddess, made of stone.

He had to cross a yard when he was going to a different section of the marketplace. He was humming some old day tune, a tune that only olden people hums, not the young ones. Suddenly, he saw a big ox rushing towards his direction. He stopped short and observed keenly, and figured out that The ox actually was rushing towards a lady who was wearing lavishly decorated brilliant red clothes. Though he just could see her profile, as she was talking to a peddlar facing the opposite direction to which he was facing, he got dumbstruck to see her beauty. And for a moment he went blank. But it wasn't very long before he reckoned that the ox was heading towards that lady. Though ox are known to be colorblind, there might be thousands of other reasons why a ox may run into a red-clad face-back beautiful woman.

As soon as he recovered from the reverie, he rushed towards the lady. In fact he did a calculation in his subconscious mind (even then, that is, before freud, people used to have subconscious and unconscious mind) as how far the ox would reach on its way to the lady, if he
tried to reach it. So he took a slanted path and just before the ox could reach the lady, he lifted the statue with both his hands and brought down on the ox, roughly aiming to its face. There were
some major clanks and cracks due to the statue-horn clash. The ox was apparently digressed and let its fury a way, which was multiplied several times by this time, on our protagonist. And as this was not a fairy tale, neither our guy was no Hector, the ox killed the man. He was trampled into a mush as the ox jumped on the man and struck him with its bleeding horns.

The man had a death of love. Becuase he loved that woman for that moment. And he couldn't recover from that momentary love, because he just didn't get enough time for that. This is a love that everybody experiences in their lives, but not everybody dies on account of that love and more importantly being in that love. The ox left the field slowly, content for being able to get his bovine fury a way. And the beautiful lady left the marketplace, untouched.

Our story starts here. While struggling with the ox, or probably when he struck the ox with the statue, the right hand of the statue broke, and as the ox was jumping fiercly on the man the broken statue-hand got its way into the soft ground. The other parts of the statue was gathered later and the marketplace janitor disposed them. But that hand was left intact under the soil, protected, for another few hundred, or even thousand years.

This place was situated as if in a still point of the great wave of geological changes. Though in the still point, the minimal denudation and recipitation played with this area. After a long time, that is in the modern time, when the place, after going through a number of phases, was currently enjoying a status of a deforesting land, the old and love-and-blood-stained hand of the olden and forgotten goddess unearthed. And that happened very slowly. the elbow tip was the first part to be seen, not something of a great interest. It laid there for years, or may even be a few decades. The passers-by got so used to it, that its soil-color did not catch anyone attention.

Then oneday, a science-whizz schoolboy-geek drooped over the hand, now almost everything in view, and broke his thick pair of glasses in awe, as it came off from his protruded ears, and due to the astonishment with which he was looking at the hand, he forgot to catch the falling glass. As he was recently delving into some anthropolgical studies on his own, it happened to him that it was
nothing less than some fossilized hand of an ancient lady.

The thing didn't turn out to be any better due to his over-enthsiastic language teacher, who was the main source of inspiration for him about science. Things kept happening at a waist-break speed. This language-guy arranged a press conference and the sub-national dailies headlined the discovery of a million years old fossil. The locality came to national recognition for something other than flood. And the other schoolteachers also found something to occassionally shake their colloars for. Lots of hullaballus went on. But all came to a half-hearted stop due to a more prudent intervention of an anthropology professor from the closest university. The delay was more due to the fact that none of the school-teachers (including the headmaster, who was an arabic major) had no idea about whom to go for the authentication, until the discoverer himself
allowed him to show the impudence to his highbrow teachers by letting them know that it was an anthropologist that they should go to.

Sure enough, it wasn't very long before the fossil theory was dismissed. But by the time a special showcase was made for the 'fossil' to keep in front of the headmaster's office. An inscription of an articulated history of the 'fossil', composed by the enthusiast language-teacher, was also
attached on the glass top. And even when the verdict came, due to a unanimous decision from the teachers and the school-committe, the showcase was left where it was, everyone taking some pride from it for years to come.

August 13, 2004, 08:48 PM
An interesting short story. I enjoyed reading it.

August 16, 2004, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by cricketfan
An interesting short story. I enjoyed reading it.

Thanks cricketfan. Though it eventually turned out to be an independent short story, I had something else in my mind too when I wrote this piece. Something to metaphorize some behavior in this forum.