‘WE THE PLANETEERS'


‘WE THE PLANETEERS’………………..




“Get that wood”,” we need some more wood and some more nails here; “Get that rope’ Sweeya,’ what are you staring at?”

“Is this even called rope?” you guys are total waste. Look at this it is as thin as vasanth’s hair; ha ha. It won’t even hold”

“You just shut up and give the rope here alright”. “We need some more concrete for the base”. “Tie that rope over that bark”.
                            

                                 It is our tree house – the secret place for us THE PLANETEERS.  Yeah we are the PLANETEERS and we are out there to save the world. Our amateur house is all geared up and getting readied. It all started on summer holidays with summer heat tinting up and we, the best holidays buddies in the neighborhood been inspired by CAPTAIN PLANET cartoon series decided to go on a venture to save the planet.  Me -Raja, Sweeya, vasanth and subbu are the PLANETEERS.
                                
 

                                Those were the most care-free and incandescent days of life. The innocent, fearless days when we cared just about that moment, the times when we never bothered what religion or what caste my friend is. The days when we four together would relish a single ten rupee and a single pav bhaji that it could buy us. We never had special powers or power embedded rings, but we never believed we didn’t have one. We never had captain Planet to call for rescue, but we never worried. Our geo-cruiser is wheeled with two, it may not fly. But we actually flew.

“I am earth, he is fire, he is heart and she is wind”
“No, I am earth; you are fire.”
“Guys, actually there’s a planeteer missing here! We need a china –girl to handle water!”
“Then we shall call Mariam, Raja.”
“But she is no china-girl, genius, Subbu.”
“But she looks like one”.
And “yes”, the poor ‘Mariam’ joined us and that’s how the planeteer club was formed.
‘Kids were we’ but really, are we?

We set our goals –preserve the eco – clean the streets, plant trees, go against plastics, save power.

“Che, this current; so long the power-cuts are these days “, mumbled my sister missing her favorite TV show.
But yeah we have our goals -‘save power’ and we cut down the main!  Anyway, “why do you need power on a holiday morning?”

Plant trees, plant plants - plant that blooms, plant that shivers on touch, all those in yellow, green and blue.  We planted those that gave us smiles as they bloomed but all it gave our parents were anger, for we meddled too much with sand.

Pick the waste, clean the street, clean that ground. And all those boys big and small with cricket bats in hand looked at as weird. Our villains –The milkman’, ‘The Maligai kadai paatti ‘( The grocery store –old woman), ‘The tea kadai ( tea shop) dark man’, for they supplied plastics, and they produced garbage.

Approach the villains – issue a warning first. Subjugate and warn. If they didn’t heed then attack was our plan. We gave them notice and it did include please – “Please don’t use plastics”, it read.

Some agreed for kids plead at a noble cause but some didn’t. Poor milkman what can he do when the government ask him to supply.

‘Villains’Aren’t they?” – The government who supplied and the people who consumed.
                    
                      We the Planeteers banned plastics – But who is to obey that? We never knew!

Geo- cruisers, goals, work -plan and even villains we have – now it’s time to pack some gear. For we are out to save this planet and it is no easy job, for we shall face the toughest enemies of all time!
                     
                       Water filled balloons, smoke from Agarabathi’s captured in empty tins – the ‘water bomb’ and ’smoke bomb’ is ready. ‘Air guns’ and yeah our ‘secret weapon - the local poison ivy’ that itches you to death!, days  went by and we actually believed we are the ones who kept the system in check. Early morning and late evening we raided the neighborhood.  And ya we did believe we saved the earth. Afternoons and nights we had our secret meets and plans.
                    
            And then there he was our CAPTAIN PLANET – HE, HIMSELF.
 



                     Every-morning and every evening, he picked garbage and kept the planet clean – they called him ‘Bhoot Babba’; they called him ‘Mad ‘and ‘Rag picker’. But those petty souls never knew he was the hero in disguise. We managed a t- shirt with the planeteer logo and gave it to our hero. He kissed and blessed for we found out his secret. Every –morning and every –evening he picked garbage; but now, with the Planeteer t-shirt we gave. Happy was he and happy were those days.

Pull that rope here”. 

“Tie it there.”  “What you girls are staking about? Lend some help here”
                             
                       Our planeteers' house is all ready; but we never know for sure if it will hold. Then came our CAPTAIN PLANET, with his silence and smile to speak he built that house. He brought more wood, he brought more ropes. We stacked them, nailed them and put them into place. One and two the days passed and finally our PLANETEER house was all ready.  He smiled and blessed and went on as usual. He is our hero – the real hero.
                 
                      Happy were those days – and happy it passed - the summer and the holidays. Schools and schedule put us down. But every Sunday we did have our secret meets. Soon came winter and along the winter holidays.

“They are planning on construction project in the marsh”
“But why will they?”
“Because it will fetch them lot of money”
“But then cricket ground nearby- will it be gone?”
“If so, where will the kids play?”

Then guys, what about our tree house – THE PLANETEER HOUSE?”
“IT WILL BE GONE TOO.”

“But it is where the kollidam supplies it canal – the canal that flows to supply the fertile lands”
“Hey raja, it supplied once the fertile lands – now the so called fertile lands is where we live.”
“It holds no meaning now, the marsh or the ‘little fall’ near-by or even the canal – the canal just flows, just to flow and connect to River Cauveri”
“If we can set a neighbor-hood in the fertile lands – then the marsh can be converted to settlement too”

"But what about all the trees, the birds and animals that live up there?"
“All trees, all animals, all birds and even this mighty banyan standing for over 200 yrs will be gone .And yeah even our planeteer house will be gone with the mighty banyan.”
“But guys – This shouldn’t happen.”

“We are Planeteers and we ought to do something about it”

Bits of paper, bits of paper – on some we wrote, on some we typed. We gave them all to children in grounds telling them their play ground will be lost.

Bits of paper, bits of paper - we gave that all to uncles and aunties around - to preserve the Eco, the birds and the trees.

Bits of paper, bits of paper - proved of value in capturing our parents’ anger and grounding us in home.
                   
                         Planeteers can’t fail. They can’t fail in preserving the Eco-system. We worshiped ‘Gaia’ for her help. And where is this ‘CAPTAIN PLANET’, - he is nowhere to be found. We were kids - and kids of 11 and 12. But yes, it is in our hands to save those birds and little creatures. The plan for now is a secret meeting in the ‘Planeteer house’.  I sneaked out at midnight with some bread, Kissan Jam and Candles.  ‘Sweeya’ was already outside her house with some fruits and cakes, ready to elope. We drove and picked up others too.

Four of us gathered in the Planeteer house – for our meet.

“Have you been followed Subbu?”

“No “

“Then you better come in.” ”you can trust no-one; especially no-one on the mainstream”

“What about the photos of the company Subbu?”
“I got some and here I got this picture. He is the owner – ‘MR. KULAESEKARA VARMAN’.”
“And he is just Kulesekaran, he has added varman only for a touch”
“Weird isn’t it?”

"Now, what shall we do guys” – “Vasanth, what’s from your side?.”
“I informed all my neighborhood kids, even my brother and his friends. They are all ready to help.”

“Secret attack and warning the company –how it sounds?”

“Do you even think it will work?”
“The attack must be so severe that they should understand.”

We are in midst of heated discussion when it started raining and it rained heavy. For 2 days it was raining heavy and it continued so.

Vasanth tuned in his radio and played some old tunes. We started working - smoke bombs and water bombs were all ready.

The plan is to cut down the main power supply at night, use the smoke as diversion enter the office building and write in the office walls – “Leave the project or you will suffer more” – yeah we did plan it and we actually thought of doing it.

“And if we are caught – use the ‘IVY’ –it will help”

“Sinister we are na?”
But that’s how else to play the villains of earth. We played around, sang around and slept. And forgot that we actually have to go back home!



The sun has already risen well above and was smiling broad with his piercing rays.  There was some clattering hustle and that woke us up.

Hey, look my bicycle is floating”
“Hey, look mine is floating too”

We were in an island now – ‘a island tree’ – with a tree house at-top and the entire marsh has flooded.

“My god what to do now?”

“It is all your idea”, Mariam complained.

And some-one started crying.

“We were PLANETEERS” - Are we?
               
                    We are no-more PLANETEERS, we were just kids. Poor little kids thinking to be super heroes with super powers now lost in flood. By now our parents would have found us missing.We tuned in the radio – and that familiar voice read. “Trichy has been affected by worst of floods and the Vayaular –kumaran nagar area is totally flooded.”
               
                    Cauveri has flooded and all its subsidiaries has flooded, and worst the rain hasn’t stopped. I knew it is wrong, no-one knew of this PLANETEER STUFF except us and no-one knew of this house except us. Our parents would have been surrounded in flood too and they will not know where to look. 'Help', it will come only after days – I knew it. And all these kids will start to blame me one by one soon. We sat looking away from each-other. 

To break the silence I said, “Guys we are PLANETEERS and we shouldn’t be like this”
                   
 I just got back killer’s looks. Vasanth took the bread applied some kissan and gave us some slices. Hungry were we and we ate it in silence. He then took a rod put on a thread and hook and went down the bark.

 


“I am going for fishing”, he said. I went there and sat beside him. For long we sat but nothing we caught. And then something pulled up

“We caught it”. "We caught it" and we pulled a fish.
Smiles bloomed in faces around and Mariam shouted “Put that fish back into water.” “I control water remember??”

We are back, back as one and back as planeteers.

                         Days and nights passed. It passed with fun and adventure. Climbing that large banyan that stood like Vadora, watching those snakes swirling fast in water, with those fishes big and small jumping around, watching that water flow with a force so great that no-one and nothing can withstand. Even that temple by the fall is drenched and gone.

It is an adventure indeed – the little snails climbed the tree in pace of their own. And all that birds blue, brown and black settled around in that huge banyan.

All little secrets of nature unveiled and it was more colorful than ‘Monalisa’ herself.

                      Nights were tough to pass with insects squealing and chirping. And yeah - Sweeya, she started crying again. I hugged her and kissed her and promised to take her safe.

“Hey you love birds –not you both - the ones outside", Subbu grinned and giggled.

Two days and two nights passed and the rains did stop. Choppers flew around maybe with ‘Ministers’ inspecting the flooded zone. The foods perished and hope of rescue too.

“I am going down”,Subbu said
“Going down where? - into the flowing water”
“You just will be lost and flooded in flood.”
“But I am going down. Whether you guys are willing to come are not”

I was OK with this and I made others agree. After some hustle I climbed down first followed by the girls and then the other guys. Slowly I step foot in the flowing water and it is not that deep for the water has already started to drain.

“It is not that deep”.
“I told you so.”
                      
                 A step and a two is all that I made, I hit something and I fell. Soon I was carried with force in that water. All I could feel was my tearing-skin and all I could hear was my shouting- friends. I don’t know what happened and what actually is going to happen. I believed my days are over. Faintly I saw someone swimming and some-one coming towards me. He dragged and pushed me back to the bark. He kissed and smiled again.

               No-one knew about our planeteer stuff, no-one knew about our secret house – no one knew but our ‘CAPTAIN PLANET’. HE IS OUR HERO –THE REAL HERO. And he has come down for his little fellas. 

                 He smiled took a rope tied it in his back and tied the length in all our backs. He did break some bark and asked us to hold them as support sticks. He lead and I was the last to follow. Slowly and steadily he led the way – through the marsh and through the water and finally into the neighbor-hood. People atop the roofs looked at us amazed for we walked right through the flowing water. He took us till my house and carried us to safety. My mom rushed in, gave a slap and then a kiss. We went to roof and looked down.

CAPTAIN PLANET’ kissed and waved at us. He started moving for he has many more to rescue.

Days after, the flood did drain and so was our planeteers club.
The company dissolved the project because no-one wants a plot in the flooding lands.

“We laughed as only we knew -
The Flood is nothing but GAIA’s plan
We the Planeteers did save the planet.
And when we have CAPTAIN himself
Why should we worry?
For-gone are the villains and their vicious plan”

Days passed and years did roll -  friends departed to far-away lands and CAPTAIN PLANET we never saw him again.

“Beautiful were those days.
 For we cared less,
 For we worried less,
 For we actually smiled.

Beautiful were those days.
For we are true,
For we are innocent
For we are more a human then.

Beautiful were those days
The days we thought we are heroes
The days – we thought we are out TO SAVE THE PLANET.
The days we actually believed in.

With a tinge of wicked naughtiness,
With a tinge of adventurous nature,
And with tinge of belief
Those were the days in heaven.

With loads of fun,
With loads of love,
With loads of will,
Those were the days in heaven.

Long will those days be cherished,
Long will those days be remembered,
For then we are saviors of planet
And now nothing but villains for the same!”




12 YEARS AND 3 MONTHS AFTER……. Now, I stand on the same marsh. It is here we ran as Planeteers with a venture to save the planet.  Not many trees are standing there…. In a distance, not far some construction has started! The banyan, the temple and the canal – still stands. But for how long I really don’t know.

I took my camera and took a snap of that mighty banyan. I then took that sapling nearby and put in a bottle.I took them;  for one day I might need them – need them to show my grand and great grand-sons that this is what a Plant means. And yeah we breathed something called oxygen.

Hey you reading this you took take a snap and preserve a plant so you can show your Grands with pride too. For those poor guys may read it only in books………………………………..



( THIS STORY IS WOVEN BASED ON MY REAL CHILD -HOOD EXPERIENCES, OUR PLANETEERS CLUB IS ALL DISSOLVED WITH EACH ONE DEPARTING TO VARIOUS CORNERS OF COUNTRY. I HOPE THE VENTURE TO SAVE THE PLANET STILLS LIES DEEP SOMEWHERE WITHIN US)




written for

Indiblogger - KISSAN 100% Real blogger contest

 

Comments

  1. Nicely written....Can see the innocent childhood in the characters..
    sometimes, I used to wonder as how far things have changed as most of us have become selfish in destroying the nature, which is really our saviour....
    Life is not the same anymore and v r struck in a rat race, where we forgot to understand that even if we win the race, we are still a rat...Will this situation change anyday??
    As you rightly pointed out, down the line, plants might become an antique piece or an item in the the museum. this is the condition of trees and plants today. I can really understand that there is a need to cut down trees for some greater good. But, Isn't it possible to grow the same tree or plant in some other area??? Why are everyone obsessed with destruction???
    Who knows as where is the CAPTAIN PALNET of our time??
    All the best for ur entry...keep writing and keep evoking thoughts!!!!

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