By Kumar Shaurya Singh
Minni was friends with Poppins, and Dori, Ori were sister and brother who knew Bitwit and Bobbins, and together, they were called The Companions. They lived in a place where every human being had a Cloud Being to themselves. These clouds hovered above them and were as alive as the humans they were part of.
The Companions spent all their summer vacation playing in their favourite field, and their clouds played with them such that the place came to life because of their daily meetings. After the summer vacation, though, Mr Nibbles (their Prime Tutor) called Minni to his office and his cloud, called Iki-Zu, looked greyish and silver that day, and it was enormous - almost like a beanbag. When Minni entered the room, with her own cloud (called Kopi-ku), she felt a little insecure, for Mr Nibbles had a strict poker face, and her little cloud shrunk and became very tiny. “Miss Minni,” Mr Nibbles spoke with a soft voice, “I have some bad news for you.” And upon hearing that, the light greyness of Iki-Zu drifted and painted Kopi-Ku with the same colour, and Minni felt very sad and dreadful and anticipated terrible things. “I am sorry to inform you that the playground in which all of you play...it has been taken away from us. A certain Lord Shaktru has put barbed wires all around it, and he is going to fence the entire place with cemented walls. It has been turned into a mobile restaurant courtyard, and soon food trucks will populate that place...they already sold fried chilli momos yesterday. I am very sorry, my child. This Lord Shaktru is a little vehement, and our authority was unable to remove him from there. He's even brought his double-decker black tourist bus and stays there all the time. I'm afraid to tell you that it is dangerous for you to go there. Now...you cannot play there.”
Minni was devastated to hear those words, and she felt very sad indeed. In fact, her Cloud Kopi-Ku became very black and heavy upon hearing it, as if it had absorbed a lot of water as a cotton ball does, and thus it began to weigh a lot on Minni’s body. Then she managed to say in her squeaky voice: “Can nothing be done, O Mr Nibbles? Are we to remain without play?”
And as she said this, a tiny streak of orange ray shot forth from Kopi-Ku and smeared Mr Nibblel’s cloud with a bit of colour. Then Mr Nibbles felt a little light, and he recalled a wonderful thing. So he said: “Well, young one. Of course, you won’t remain without play. Those who stop playing can never understand how to work. Thus, we won’t let your play-games be interrupted.” And his cloud began to lose some of its greyness as the orange splash was soaked by the cloud such that it began to spread. “So will you remove this Lord Shaktru from the ground?” said Minni as she bobbled on her feet and her cloud too began to grow bigger, becoming more orange and green. Mr Nibbles fidgeted and said nervously, “Oh, no-no. Not me. This Lord can only be properly dealt with by Mister Ulwin and his cloud called Lil Bubbles (El-B). They will help you. So I’d request you to send a letter or a voice note to him, and your problems will fade away!” “Wow, Mr Nibbles ! That sounds wonderful”. And her cloud Kopi-Ku too felt very light, and it began to float up, and a small ray of sunshine came from it and bathed Minni in it.
A message was sent on the walkie-talkies. All the six companions were to meet at Bobbins house, for he had a lovely courtyard with a beautiful Golden Rain Tree, and they all loved making plans under its shade. Bobbins was already present, and his cloud (called Pi-Ku) hovered above his head. It was golden and greenish in colour, and today it felt quite light and soft. Such was so because Bobbins also felt very light and relaxed as he had finished all his homework, had watched his favourite fantasy movie and had enjoyed his preferred snack (chocolate cornflakes). Thus he was humming cheerfully and eagerly anticipated the others. First to come was Minni, and Kopi-Ku hovered above her. The moment she came to the garden, it also took up the golden and greenish hue and became very light, and likewise, Pi-Ku absorbed the orangish hue and became even more colourful.
The friends greeted each other and enjoyed some snacks as they waited for the others. Soon, in just 5 minutes, all others came, one right after the other, and the garden was filled with floating clouds that happily mixed with one another and became so colourful that it looked like a little rainbow had appeared right there in the garden. Poppins, Minni, Ori, Dori, and Bobbins had already come, and they were waiting for Bitwit to come before they could begin their meeting. But when Bitwit came, the aura changed immediately, for his cloud was very heavy that day, and it looked as black as coal. Bitwit came to the garden with slow-heavy steps and tried to greet them with his usual cheery smile, but they knew that he was feeling down that day. And even though he tried to pretend that everything was alright, they wouldn’t hear anything of it, for they could see his black cloud as plainly as people like you and I can see each other’s eyes, and thus Bitwit couldn’t deceive them. In fact, a little blackness from Bitwit’s cloud (Shi-Ru) drifted into the clouds of others, and the little rainbow that had appeared began to fade away. Dark Greyness began to spread a little. But Bobbins said, “What’s the matter, Bit! Why are you so down today? Share your grief with us.”
“Yeah !” Poppins joined, “Tell us your tale! What’s pulling you down, Bit?” Initially, Biwtit hesitated, but as his Shi-Ru got colours from other clouds, he felt lighter and revealed:
“I am very sad today. It’s because I have found out something that I cannot get out of my head.”
“What is it, what is it? Let us know as well, and we will help you.” squeaked Ori, and Dori nodded in agreement. “Well...you know how we all planned to meet up here, and on the walkie-talkie, we decided that we would send a letter or a voice note to Ulwin and Little Bubbles...Well, my parents are friends with Ulwin, and they revealed to me that Ulwin wouldn’t be able to help us even if he wanted to, for he ate fried chilli momos yesterday and upset his stomach. Now he is very sick and won’t be able to help anyone. My father said that his cloud, Little Bubbles, had shrivelled up to a size of a walnut and it was as heavy as a dumbbell. So, you see, our plan to seize back our playground has turned upside down. Now we are doomed.” And as he ended his speech, he burst into tears and wailed so loudly that his cloud Shi-Ru became very black and murky, and it started to rain big blobs of mud. Then Minni said, “You know. It doesn’t matter. It’s not in our control...these things. We will still send a note to Ulwin, for such is our duty, and then we will go all by ourselves to our playground, and we will request this Lord Shaktru to kindly vacate the premise. If he doesn’t, then we will have no option but to stand up for ourselves!” And determination sprang upon her face such that energetic thunder sparks erupted from her cloud, and the thrilling vibes were channelled to all others, as their clouds also absorbed the vibrations, and Shi-Ru stopped raining mud on Bitwit and became a little lighter and brighter. The 6 Compansions then sent a voice note to Ulwin urging him to join the battle, and then they decided to challenge Lord Shoktra the next day, and in such wise, the meeting came to an end.
Now, at night, when all friends were sleeping peacefully in the comforts of their beds, their clouds became a little free, and they began to drift out towards the night sky. Kopi-ku, Shi-Ru, and Pi-Ku met each other, and they signalled to the other three clouds, and soon Mimi-ness, Yuyu-ri, and Li-ly had also joined the party.
The six clouds met at the top of a tall terrace, and there they whispered and hissed and buzzed with each other. At one point, a bolt of big electric lightning shot off from one of them, and the others became dark and thunderous, until one of them became as white and pure as a pearl, and all of them finally reached a conclusion to the council. Then they sent cloud messages to their friend and awaited the coming of the 7th cloud. And upon meeting it, they called their meeting a success and decided to end the debate. Thus, happily, they greeted each other ‘Good Night’ (In cloud language, of course) and drifted back to their respective owners. Meanwhile, The seven humans to whom these clouds were attached all dreamt of terraces and thunders and sparks, and their dreams were quite vivid. Then the darkness faded, and the new day dawned, and it was time to put all thoughts, plans, and dreams into action.
Lord Shaktru stood at the roof of his dark double-decker bus. It was a terrible day, and his cloud (called Dangz-Trok) was ugly and black and very big as like a forest pond. It was murky and slimy but looked so deadly that it appeared like a dragon hovering about Lord Shaktru. Lord Shaktru gave a cruel grin as he watched the six kids creeping towards his castle, and then he spoke in a heavy and thick voice: “Get thee gone from here. You kids are not welcome here. Flee from this garden lest I smite thee down in anger.” And as he said this, a terrible bolt of lightning smote the six little clouds of the kids, and all of them fell down on their bums, and their clouds became black and heavy like cubes of marble, and they trembled in dread. But Minni maintained her composure, and likewise, Kopi-Ku retained its orangeness even after the lightning attack. Then, seeing that the kids would not run off like cowards, Lord Shaktru made angry noises from his throat and mouth and spoke dirty words in a very loud voice: ‘A##7@L!!’, and Dangz Trok became like a big thunder cloud and grumbled loudly as the sound of explosion rumbled across the ground.
“Don’t be afraid,” said Minni to the others, and an electric feeling coursed in her body as she found herself free from fear, “He is just trying hard to scare us. He’s using our fear to win this battle; otherwise, he himself will lose. Don’t be afraid. Let’s face him.” The others gathered courage from her, and the six clouds also absorbed the epic vibrations, and they began to grow big and bigger until they were as big as trees, and they buzzed with heroic energy. And as the six clouds became big and mighty, they were suddenly joined by another great white cloud; it was powerful, like an oak tree and reverberated with passionate electric energy. It sparked and buzzed with beams and vibrations, and even as the kids watched, the mighty white cloud discharged a brilliant streak of light, orange as the dawn, and that bolt smote Dangz Trok in its belly, who was burned by it and became less slimy. The children marvelled and felt a stream of power and energy course through their bodies. They looked left and right to find whose presence had created such heroic vibes, until from behind them came a strong voice, and they turned and glared in marvel, for there under the shining light of the sun stood Ulwin, and he looked tall and strong, and electric energy erupted from his white cloud, called Little Bubbles. Ulwin glared at Lord Shaktru, and in a loud voice, he said, “Your Momos are so bad that they’ll be banned even from the gates of hell. Now, dare you trouble these children with your stupid antics? Get thee gone away from here, or I’ll abolish your entire existence.” Lord Shaktru trembled with fear and rage, and spit flew from his mouth as he commanded Dangz Trok to charge at them. But Ulwin laughed, and Little Bubbles shot a great bolt of lightning once again, and the fire of that blow was so fierce that Dangz Trok burst into a million pieces and fell down to the ground, and the real cloud of Lord Shoktra was revealed to be a very tiny looking and green. Pea, it was called, and it floated miserably as the disguise was destroyed.
Then Lord Shaktru lost all his pride and removed the dark double-decker bus, and the children were very happy, and they all thanked Ulwin as they celebrated their victory. The six clouds with Little Bubbles joined the celebration, and they became so light that day that the children felt like they were floating, and they laughed very hard until their tummies began to ache and made funny rhythms and danced on the big green ground and were as happy as sunlight.
By Kumar Shaurya Singh