Thursday, March 25, 2010

Isang Malaking Kabalintunaan

Noong Lunes, pumunta ako sa Festival Mall sa Alabang para kunin ang results ng annual physical exam ko. Kasama ko ang kaibigan kong si Donna nung kinuha ko yung mga results. Maayos naman ang lahat puwera sa katotohanang overweight na ako at kailangan ko nang magpapayat. Masaya kaming naglakad sa mall nang may natanaw akong kakaiba at napakalaking kabalintunaan.

Nang makuha ko na ang aking results ng medical ko, naihi si Donna kaya hinintay ko siya sa labas ng CR. Nakatayo ako sa tapat ng Clipper, isang magandang gift shop, habang naghihintay nang masagi ako ng isang mama. Nung lumingon ako, bulag pala ang mama at patungo siya sa CR. Sinundan ko ng tingin ang mama nang mangyari ang isang aksidente!

Papasok ng maliit na hallway ang mama at palabas naman ang isang tibo mula sa CR. (Sa CR kaya siya ng girls galing?) Mabilis ang lakad ng tibo, at biglang, BLAGSNGKST!!! Nabangga ng tibo ang walking stick ng mamang bulag. Hindi naman natumba o nasaktan ng mamang bulag. Nagsori din ang tibo. Kaya lang, napaka-ironic ng nangyari. 

Para sa akin, malaking kalokohan ang nangyari -- dramatic irony, kung baga.Kung sino pa ang nakakakita, siya pa ang nakabangga ng bulag. Hindi ko makalimutan ang nakita ko. Sa kakaisip, na-realize ko na may moral lesson sa pangyayaring iyon. Siguro nga, dapat lang nating i-appreciate kung ano ang meron tayo. Kaya ako, ang gagawin ko, gagamitin ko ang natitira ko pang paningin (na unti-unti na ring lumalabo) para maiwasan ko ang ganong pangyayari. Nakakahiya. Nakakapraning. Higit sa lahat, napakalaking kalokohan.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Solution, the Wall, and the Collapse of the Circular City

From the Ivory Tower, a crow named Gurulturu headed back to the Round City of Yuvarlak. The crow, the catastrophic beauty, and the circular city would have a solution that will make everybody happy. On the other hand, the Little Boy would have an emissary to the World to spread his knowledge and wisdom once again.
Fatih_Sultan_Mehmet_Han_by_Lectronic Like the Little Boy suggested, the crow flew to the richest suitor of Afet, the catastrophic beauty. Gurulturu picked Devrim, the richest suitor of Afet. In actuality, he is also the pick of Afet to marry since he gives the most expensive gifts of all her suitors. He also was true to his name, which meant “revolutionary.” Every three days, he comes by Afet’s house because he devised an ingenious plan of meeting his servants halfway across the city walls. Instead of taking 6 days to get back to Afet, he managed to cut the travelling time in half. More than that though, the Little Boy suggested him because he lived just on the other side of the wall, right across the house of Afet.
Gurulturu found Devrim on his horse. He was on his way to meet his servants, who were bringing a golden elephant to their meeting point. As crows can move faster than a galloping horse, he managed to land on Devrim’s shoulder.
“Good morning, Devrim!” bellowed the crow. With fright and surprise, Devrim stopped the horse and tried to shoo the crow away. “Wait! Pardon me! I didn’t mean any harm,” said Gurulturu. “I have come to greet and meet the chosen one to be the husband of Afet.”
“What devilry is this? How can you speak?” asked Devrim. As the crow was a gabber, he wasn’t able to stop himself from telling his life’s story. He also went on with the ingenious plan on how to convince Afet’s mother that he was rich enough to bring gifts and crafty enough to do it everyday of the week. Luckily, Devrim believed him and agreed with the plan.
The plan was quite simple, really. With the knowledge of the Little Boy of geometry, he told Gurulturu that the shortest path between two points is a straight line. Instead of going around the city, a suitor living on the West Crescent can just climb over the wall and visit the East Crescent everyday. Since Devrim lived on the other side of the wall, he does not need to travel far; he does not need to also reveal the simplest solution.  
With this knowledge dispensed by the Little Boy, preparations went underway. Devrim had his builders craft a very long ladder that reached up the wall and another one to help him down on the other end. As the plan was simple and effective, he managed to visit Afet 6 consecutive days in a row, goblin_city_by_zersenbringing the most lavish gifts that he can carry over the wall. Afet was happy; finally, she her mother conceded let her marry. Devrim was also happy; at last, his efforts would bear fruit. Most of all, Gurulturu was happy since he’ll have Afet to gossip with, Devrim to discuss manly matters with, and the Ivory Tower’s friendship and advice.
With so much joy, Devrim and Gurulturu decided to celebrate. In his gold leafed mansion, Devrim ordered his servants to prepare food and wine. Because he was rich, the food flowed ever so freely from the kitchen to the table. Devrim and Gurulturu wallowed in wine, words, and loud laughter. “What happiness can cause such a commotion,” thought the other suitors, so they all sneaked up to the windows of the happiest house in Yuvarlak. From their perch, they saw Devrim talking to a crow. They heard Gurulturu speak, which amazed them so much. More than that, they heard through drunk lips and beaks how they can laugh heartily, too!
As the secret spread like sand blown by a storm, the wealthy suitors began to also device ladders and contraptions that allowed them to visit daily. With this new trend in the suitors, Afet’s mother took back her word and made a new rule. Whoever can bring the most abundant amount of gifts would have Afet’s hand in marriage. Now, it was a question of quantity, not frequency, so she made it  known to all the suitors that the judging day was to be on Afet’s birthday.
As Afet’s birthday was a week away, everybody, including Devrim, stopped visiting Afet to muster all their wealth.Others had engineers and designers build contraptions that would allow them to bring the most wealth all in one go. They built stronger, heavier ladders to support the weight of gold, diamonds, and other precious stones. Everyone was desperate to win. Finally, Afet’s birthday came. Everybody on the Western Crescent woke up for each suitor employed each man, woman, and child that can carry something and climb a ladder to maximize the amount of wealth that they can transport to the other side. With big bags, mechanical carts, pulleys, scaffoldings, and carrying cases, they all climbed the dividing wall simultaneously.
With all the excitement, Gurulturu wanted to gossip with Afet because he knew that when all these people reached the other side, she won’t have time for him until after the wedding. He flew over the way and reported in detail how the spectacle looked like. Afet and Gurulturu were so engrossed with their conversation. Devrim and the rest of the suitors were also busy in transporting Destroyed_city_by_luis75their wealth. The citizens reflected the same enthusiasm that their master had. Nobody paid attention to anything, not even the wall that complained and grumbled because of the weight it bore. With a loud crack, a whooshing sound, and a fell downward stroke, the city of Yuvarlak met its destruction. Everybody on the Eastern Crescent was crushed by the wall. Everybody climbing the wall from the Western Crescent fell, broke their necks, and died.
The Little Boy, the Master of the Ivory Tower, didn’t miss this spectacle. On one hand, he was sad for his emissary, Gurulturu, was crushed by the wall. He lost his only way to make his knowledge  known to the world again. On the other hand, the naughtier hand, he was quite amused. “Who would’ve guessed that the wall would collapse? Good thing I didn’t build that wall. Ahahahahahaha!” With that final remark, the Little Boy started laughing uncontrollably. Even if he was on the top of the Ivory Tower on the tallest mountain on the top of the World, his laughter managed to ride the Winds and made all the people in the World to hear the sound of a little boy laughing.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Crow, the Catastrophic Beauty, and the Circular City

In the faint breeze, people all over the world heard the sound of a little boy laughing. From the top of the Ivory Tower, standing tall on the highest mountain on the top of the World, the Winds carried the laughter of the Little Boy, the tower’s master, because of a hilarious tragedy that occurred in a round city, much like the Round City of al-Mansur. As revealed in the Foreshadowing of the Ivory Shards, the Little Boy sent a piece of the Ivory Tower flying towards Heaven in anger. Since this was an act of anger, desecration, and hostility, the Sun protected Heaven by attempting to obliterate the ivory missile. This is the story of how a little piece of ivory brought a rather large and formidable city down into a rumbling, roaring heap of rubble that caused the Little Boy to laugh. 
It all began when a piece of the ivory missile fell on a crow living near the city of Yuvarlak. As the ivory shard had mystical properties, it enlightened the crow’s little brain and gave it the gift of human speech. Instead of its usual “caw, caw” call, it started to say “Good morning,” “good evening,” and learned to gossip. Since the other crows were just normal and were only equipped with a one-word dictionary that contained “caw,” the crow got bored with his friends so he flew all around the city to look for a person that he can gossip with.
After circling the city nine times, the crow saw a girl sitting by herself on a bench in one house on the East Crescent side of the story. Her name was Afet. The name was strikingly apt for this story because it meant “catastrophically beautiful.” She was the most beautiful daughter of a popular merchant in the Round City of Yuvarlak. She had the most peaceful looking eyes -- big, round, and as brilliant as the clear desert sky. Her hair flowed like black water as she sat  fanning herself. With famed beauty, she had to keep herself from perspiring since she expected a long line of suitors to come in the afternoon.
“Good morning!” the crow greeted her.
Startled and amazed, Afet looked for the voice and found the crow perched on the other side of her bench. “Good morning to you, too, little crow,” she replied with amusement. “How can you talk, little crow? This is the first time that I’ve heard a crow talk!” she exclaimed.
“Well, I don’t know really. One day, I was flying in the sky and I felt dizzy. I went home to sleep, and when I woke up, I can talk like you. It’s handy really. Now, I know why that fat lady living at the outskirts of town calls me ‘gurultulu.’ All the while, I thought it was my name; as it turns out, I’m just noisy. It’s a fitting name, actually. I am Gurultulu. My mother didn’t bother to name me so I took it upon myself to pick one. I’m actually thankful to that fat lady since she inspired me to pick that name,” chattered the crow.
“Oh my! You really are noisy,” chided Afet. “My name is Afet. You know, I’d like to talk to you now, but it seems that any moment now, my suitors will be here and I need to attend to them. My mother makes me receive them because they bring such precious gifts! If you’d like, I can give you a shiny trinket if you’d return to me and talk.”
“Alright Afet, my new found friend. I’ll come by tomorrow at an earlier time so we won’t be bothered by your pesky, gift-giving suitors,” said Gurultulu. With a knock on the door, Afet smiled at Gurultulu. He understood what she meant, and he flew away.
The days went on and off. Gurultulu and Afet became even better friends, so one day, Afet confided a secret to Gurultulu. “I’m actually tired of talking to my suitors about pointless things. I’d like to pick one – anyone – so that I can finally settle down and just be a wife. They’re all rich and handsome anyway. However, my mother told me that I can only marry a man that has an infinite amount of wealth. She says that if they take a few days before returning with new gifts, th ey’re not rich enough. The days they are not here means that they are working for the gifts that they’ll bring me. Since the city is round and there’s a big wall dividing the East Crescent and the West Crescent, my suitors can’t come by every day even though they do have the riches. It’s just that they really are that numerous, so everyday, I get visitors. If only one man can come by here everyday, my mother would let me marry him,” lamented Afet. Then, a knock interrupted her next word. “Oh dear, they are already here.” With a sigh, Gurultulu flew away again, thinking that he must have more time to talk to Afet.
With his tiny crow brain, Gurultulu tried to solve Afet’s problems. He flew up into the sky and looked at Yuvarlak. As previously mentioned, Yuvarlak is a round city. More than being round, it was divided into the West and East Crescent by a tall wall that made traveling from one side of the city to the other. Too bad for Afet; the men on her side of the city were poor or not rich enough to come by with gifts on a daily basis. Too bad for the rich men on the other side of town; they need to travel 3 days to reach her and 3 more days to go back home and fetch more gifts. If only one man can solve this problem, he’ll have a married friend with enough time in her hands to just sit and talk all day.
As Gurultulu was flying in a circle around Yuvarlak, he continue to fly higher and higher into the air. After his 9th upward spiral, he broke through the first layer of clouds and saw the Ivory Tower. Since the Ivory Tower and its master were always aware or made it a point to be aware of everything that happens in the World, it didn’t fail to notice Gurulturu, his flight, and the plight of Afet. The Little Boy called out to him, “HeyThe_Crow_by_somk, crow! Come here! I have the solution to your problem.”
With the sound of the word “solution,” Gurulturu flew fast and landed on the Ivory Tower’s window sill. “Hello, Master,” greeted the crow. “Do you really have the answer to my problem?”
The Little Boy said, “Yes, my good crow. I do. I am the Little Boy, the Master of the Ivory Tower, and I have all the answers in the World!”
“Please, Master. Tell me how to solve my problem. Help me help Afet get a husband. If what you say is true, I’ll let it be known to the whole world that you are wise.”
With that, the Little Boy whispered the answer to Gurulturu’s problem.

to be continued... 

Monday, March 1, 2010

An Ivory Shard, Germaine, and a Tennis Racket

Racket_by_jesslovesjazzUp on the Ivory Tower that stood solidly on top of the tallest mountain on the top of the World, the Little Boy was still fuming against Heaven for that painful lesson about gravity in the Foreshadowing of the Ivory Shards when he heard a girl cry in anger. He was clutching the ivory shard that struck him in the head when suddenly, a tennis racket went into view and fell down again, which piqued the interest of the Little Boy. Curious to see who threw it high enough to come into his horizon, the Little Boy investigated and followed the racket’s descent. 
The racket fell back into Germaine’s skilled hands. She was the person who was able to throw a tennis racket so high in the air. She was a high school student of Tokyo Gakkan Urayasu High School. She was part of the school’s tennis varsity team. She was part of the Honors Class. Most of all, she was the almost most popular girl in school with her blonde hair, big, wide eyes, and high grades.
She threw the racket in the air out of frustration with Judy, the most popular girl in school. Judy was also part of the tennis varsity. In fact, she was the captain for the women’s team. She had short sassy hair, a smile that shimmered with stars, and even higher grades than Germaine. Everyone loved her, especially Tezuka, the team captain of the tennis team, the most popular boy in school, and the love of Germaine’s life.
Prince_of_Tennis__Shirota_Yuu_by_Anime_Twin27135It seemed to Germaine that no matter what she did, she always successfully stood second best. In home economics class, she baked a strawberry sponge cake for Tezuka, but he ate Judy’s plain chocolate cake instead. After the finals week of their second year in junior high, she saw her name labeled number 2 in small, black letters while Judy’s name was highlighted in big, red, bold letters. Most of all, she was the best friend of Tezuka; Tezuka’s girlfriend was Judy.
After about 30 minutes of waiting for the tennis racket to land back on her hands, Germaine thought that she should go home, but Judy went into the tennis court. As she was heading towards the court gates, she saw it swing open to reveal Judy, smiling and walking with that swaying, sassy hair of hers. “Yo! Germaine-chan! Would you like to play a game before you go home?” Judy asked. “Uh, but…” Germaine stuttered as Judy dragged her to one side of the court.
With the same tennis racket in her hands, Germaine was forced to play. As luck would have it, Tezuka wandered in the court and offered to referee the match. With the love of her life in sight, Germaine felt fired up. Yes! She would play. Yes! She would show Judy that she can win, even just one unofficial game. Most of all, yes, she will impress Tezuka with her awe-inspiring backhand and forehand smashes, which she thought would be enough for him to dump Judy and ask her to be his girlfriend.
As the whistle wailed across the court, Germaine motioned to serve. Spuck! Spuck! That was the only sound that Germaine could hear. She was so intent to beat Judy, smiling, giggling, and shimmering with stars as she returned each smash that Germaine sent to her. After 20 minutes, Germaine had a point-break opportunity. She only needed to score one more point, and she will beat Judy for the first time in Tokyo Gakkan Urayasu High School’s history.
As the Little Boy, looking down intently from the Ivory Tower, gazed at Germaine’s determination and desperation, he heard Germaine’s thoughts: “If I could just win this match, I’d be happier. God, please, anyone! If you can hear my me, I wish to win this match at any cost.” Because of the desperation, the intensity, and the sincerity of this one wish, the Little Boy felt some compassion for Germaine. He wanted to help the girl who had the ability to grab his interest. As he was still holding the ivory shard, he thought that maybe, he can sabotage Judy and cause her to lose the match. With this thought in mind, he went over to the edge of the balcony of the Ivory Tower. Using his knowledge of vertical motion, gravity, and trajectory, he threw the ivory shard down so that it would land on Judy’s side of the court. He was hoping that Judy would step on it, slip, and fail to return one of Germaine’s smashes.
__SHOE___by_kofflerDown the ivory shard flew. It fell fast and furiously towards the next spot where Judy was supposed to put her foot down. The Little Boy’s aim was true this time; unlike what happened with Amaris and the Paper Airplane Prophecy, his ivory shard struck where it was supposed to strike. However, he failed to figure in the bounce of the turf used in lawn tennis courts. The fake green grass had a bounce to it that made the ivory shard bounce towards Germaine’s next stepping ground. With an inaudible thud, it slipped under Germaine’s tennis shoes, rolled a few centimeters, and overturned her. What a sight it made! As Germaine was turning in midair, one of her shoes came off, flew up in the air, met with the eyes of the Little Boy, and fell back to earth. When the little shoe fell down, almost 30 minutes has already gone by. Germaine was already at the hospital with a broken neck, a fractured dream, and a smashed spirit. The doctors told her that she can never play tennis ever again.
With this new blunder, the Little Boy started to regret helping Germaine. Now, he can never see a tennis racket fly so high up in the air that it could reach the windows of his Ivory Tower. As he lost interest, he turned his gaze away and retired into his tower that was on top of the tallest mountain on the top of the World. 
This story is for Judy, my friend. This is my  birthday gift to her since I only have stories to tell and no money for buying gifts. Belated happy birthday!
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