I would have said that the situation in which Happy, the King Cobra with the broken GPS, and I found myself at that point was distressing, dreadful, or even dire, but words cannot possibly describe the levels of stress (me) and abject terror(him) that both of us had managed to achieve.
But since I have not whitened my Tata Salt-white fur in the sun, I quickly worked out the broad contours of a plan, and told Happy, “The first thing we need to do is find out where those rascals are holding Lavanya.” “Thank you,” replied Happy, his voice oozing sarcasm, “I would never have guessed that. BUT HOW ON EARTH DO WE DO THAT?”
I calmly ignored his snark, and said, “Not on earth, but in the sky. Now look, and learn.” So saying, I whistled sharply twice, and then went quiet, eyes focused towards the sky. Happy kept looking at me like I was a senile octogenarian who had never owned any marbles, forget losing them with age.
But then, suddenly, there was a small sound, a flapping of wings from far off…and within no time, that small sound had converted into a crescendo, with loud flapping enveloping us like Dolby Surround Sound. That forced Happy to finally look up, and he saw what I knew was the single most awesome sight he would have ever seen- thousands of eagles, hovering above us, blocking out the sunlight like a huge brown umbrella, leading to a snake, and a hare, being covered in the eagles’ shadow! I had seen it hundreds of times, of course, but it still never ceased to amaze me.
I called out to the eagles in a loud and firm wise, “O great flying hunters, I call upon our ancient blood pact and beseech thee for help.” One of the eagles, their leader no doubt, broke out of the formation upon hearing this, and said, “Hain? What language is this? We are the Twenty First Century Eagles, so can you please speak to us in a cosmopolitan language like English, Hindi, or Punjabi?”
I shook my head in disgust, and replied, “Hi, can you please help us? This poor snake’s girlfriend is being held hostage by a gang of mongooses. Can you help us find her, and then take us there, for we have time only till noon before they barbeque her.”
The eagles quickly exchanged whispers among themselves, and then, they flew off in different direction, and within two seconds, the sky was clear, and the sun visible once again. And then, before I could even gloat at Happy’s obvious embarrassment at having underestimated me so badly, the sky was dark once again. The umbrella of eagles was back, but this time, they landed on the open ground in front of us.
The leader came out once again, and simply said, “Hop on!” And hop on we did. The umbrella now rose gently into the sky, and then, with a loud whoosh, flew off in an eastward direction. We would have loved to admire the gorgeous scenery from this amazing viewpoint so high in the sky, but unfortunately, we were too busy hanging on for dear life to notice much.
Five minutes later, the eagles stopped, and dropped close to the ground. That was our signal to get off, so we jumped….and landed straight into a massive melee of mangy mongooses…and one lovely she-snake called Lavanya of course.
The mongoose were so disoriented by our sudden appearance in their midst that they took some time to recover, time which we put to extremely good use. I punched, jabbed, and kicked like I had never done before, for a valuable life was at stake. And I kept moving forward towards Lavanya, leaving a bevy of unconscious mongooses with broken arms, twisted legs, and shattered noses in my wake.
Happy was moving too, but AWAY from Lavanya, because of his broken GPS of course. The mongooses who had not yet been rendered unconscious by me got terribly distracted and confused on seeing this, and kept staring at him closely, suspecting a trap. And that made it much more easier for me to overpower them and clear my way to reach the spot where Lavanya was tied up. I looked around me then, and saw that I was the only one still standing on my feet. We can’t count Happy and Lavanya in this, of course, as snakes have no feet, remember?
“You came for me,” cried out Lavanya groggily, and then, as she opened her eyes completely, she exclaimed, “But you’re not Happy.” I replied, “And thank God for small mercies. But don’t worry, it is Happy who brought me here, there he is.”
Lavanya saw him then, slithering aimlessly towards the swamp, looking for her, and then looked at me, and said, “You’re Ninja Chacha, aren’t you?” I replied, “At your service my lady, but to you, I’m just Ninja.” I realized that we should be pushing off before the mongooses regain consciousness and regroup, so I again whistled for my umbrella of eagles.
And within seconds, there they were, landing gently on the ground littered with unconscious mongooses. I could see the sheer awe in Lavanya’s eyes upon seeing this wonder. I pointed towards the top of the umbrella, and said, “After you my lady.”
Lavanya slithered up the eagles’ back, and I hopped on after her. “HAPPY,” I shouted towards him, “Hurry up, we can’t wait here forever.” But before Happy could respond, I felt a gentle tug on my right ear. I turned towards Lavanya, and felt myself falling….into her deep, green, mesmerizing eyes, with which she was gazing at me intently.
“Let him find his way home himself,” she said softly, “We can’t wait here forever, we have a new life to start together!”
And just like that, we were off, to live happily ever after in a new life together.
And what about Happy, you ask? Well, I would like to assure you that he found his way home, and lived happily ever after, but honestly, I cannot be sure of that. For all I know, Happy is still slithering around aimlessly in the forest, looking for his home, his Lavanya, and above all, Ninja Chacha, who betrayed him and stole his lady love!