A very tiring day indeed. Dr.Rarepland sank into his cushioned recliner. He was too tired doing so many trials and plenty of errors in the lab.
His coat , now blue and violet stained by solvents and solutions had not seen soap and water for several weeks now. Dr RP was brilliant and hardworking. A real genius in plant science ,something more than just botany.
Plant science + money + fame , is what Dr.Rarepland likes.
Ferns ,trees ,water plants and types of crops… there were many researches conducted by the professor on a variety of topics. Dr RP was honoured and respected widely. Genetically modified crops seemed to be his passion. This was how he tried to bring about assured food for millions across the globe.
Resistant to pests and climate changes ‘Sudh ‘ was being expected to revolutionize rice cultivation . RP was the brain that had set up the action plan for developing “ Sudh”. His young energetic assistants had toiled day and night trying to find a source for enough food for the people.
“ In a rising economy like ours rural population starves often .why ? Here many lives go under nourished because just too many mouths to feed with too less grains. “ Dr. RP spoke eloquently about the need for producing more rice so that everyone ‘s stomach is filled . Cameras zoomed on RP’s face. Press quoted his research papers.
“Please excuse the professor. He is very busy. “ His assistant Asmathi.B. made haste. “ Only in our lab first such ear of paddy will be produced which will be having grains as big as mangoes. “Sudh “ will repeatedly yield in all seasons. “
“We are trying to mix the qualities found in rice and mangoes.” B.Asmathi was trying to say that the answer for hunger was emerging in their lab.
All those who had gathered for the talk were welcomed for dinner.
Stray dogs feasted themselves with the huge pile of food wasted at the end of the dinner. Dogs were howling , growling ,barking yelping and in between biting each other and gnawing chicken thighs , bones salads and Spanish delight. Rats demanded rice , rotis and lentils as their share. Some street children duped the dogs and managed to run away with some fruits or their pieces.
Dr.RP and his ill motived team were as busy as the street dogs. Overcome by hunger ,subdued by greed ; for money and fame. Seated across Dr.RP was Dr. Sealdeal , head of Biocrooks a western agency that promised unimaginable rewards for passing the secret formulae developed by some of those people whose brains could be drained by attractive opportunities . For them such offers appear to erase all thoughts of one’s nation , brothers and virtues. Dr.RP now looked like one such.
Country , patriotism these matters were not matters of any soft sentiments for the professor now. Friends colleagues and family will have to be told a convincing story about how a rival team from across the Atlantic had infiltrated germs into the lab and sabotaged the experiments.
“Best traits of both mango and paddy will be put together to create a new variety of rice. Educated people definitely will appreciate my efforts to find a solution for world’s biggest problem – hunger. I will feed starving millions. Thousand times each grain of rice will expand , when boiled. Rice will contain all vitamins and minerals of mangoes. To serve humanity is my mission.” Dr.RP rose from his seat with outstretched right hand pointed towards Dr Sealdeal .
“Thank you Dr.Rarepland , we are extremely delighted to associate the tasks at Biocrook with the research you are heading . Dr.RP , we assure you the best facilities in our labs. Also high paychecks , media publicity , cooperation of master minds from all over the world.
You just have to sign the papers which we will e-mail you in the days to come. Our team of experts will inspect your lab to evaluate each step in developing ‘Sudh’. We will take care of licenses , approvals , registrations , trade marks patents everything. Plenty of cash and recognition and powerful positions in high offices of UN that deals with food for the world. Our gratitude will be enormous.” Said Dr.Sealdeal firmly shaking RP’s hand.
However Dr.Sealdeal was directing a drama , the climax of which only he knew . Dr.RP was falling into the trap like an ant into sugar syrup. When a few dollars began to be credited in his bank account that Sealdeal had opened for him at Rawberri island, RP became convinced that his lucky stars had begun to shine.
True to his word RP worked hard , releasing details of his experiments to Biocrook regularly. He read and researched , experimented and got models programmed on computer , made lengthy calculations and drew diagrams, mixed chemicals , burnt holes on his coat and broke test tubes . His personal life suffered too.
He put on weight without any exercise . His grey beard became very long . He forgot to change his clothes and slept for only a few hours. His wife left.
Biocrook’s experts visited the lab at regular intervals returning with data copied onto storage devices. But the professor did not pay any attention on this. He was busy conducting experiments one after another. Dr. RP dreamed of becoming rich and receiving awards . He felt that he will be honored by the entire world.
In a very delicate trap Dr.Sealdeal had now entangled Dr .RP . Like a fly caught in a spider’s web RP was trapped by greed for money and fame. The drums of celebrations were roaring in RP’s ears which he had mistaken for the crashing thud of his dreams. The doorbell rang . A cook opened the door through which uniformed officers spread into different rooms of RP’s lab which had recently become his residence too. They had got information about RP’s bank transactions in the Rawberri island.
RP was devastated.
RP’s lab was sealed and watched constantly by guards. RP went to prison for amassing too much wealth. His career and reputation was gone. Media enjoyed generating breaking news . social media created posts which went viral. The public was eager to finish off Dr.RP whom they had held in high esteem till the previous week.
The world just runs after winners. It celebrates their every new day. Right now TV screens flashed the day’s breaking news . Reporters struggled to get near the news maker .
Winner of this year’s “CROP SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD “ award ,Dr.Sealdeal !
“ Dr.Sealdeal develops a super crop that will make nutritious meal for millions .” Reporting details of Dr.Sealdeal’s magic crop “MANGRI” set all channel’s viewers glued to their television screens and smart gadgets.
Right from the gate of the arrival terminal of the airport a huge gathering waited to welcome Dr.Sealdeal to India. It is were Dr.sealdeal was going to set up an experimental farm to plant a thousand saplings of Mangri. He was garlanded by ministers , leaders and public figures. Beautiful girls in colorful traditional clothes danced. Band played. Caparisoned elephants , grand horses and various art forms filled the road from the airport to “ The national hall ’
“Open your new life style. Eat Mangri ! Be healthy. We are deeply indebted to the people of this great nation for your trust in us and our grain variant Mangri “ . Dr.Sealdal continued amidst long periods of loud applause. The national guest seemed to promise a bright future with a hunger free world.
Removing his spectacles Dr. RP sighed heavily as he tossed the news paper to a fellow prisoner.
“Why do you look so crestfallen? Oh! Learned professor! What happened to you? Was there any terrible news in the newspaper today? Every day you would search for news on some rice which resembles mangoes “ said Redy Meel a fellow prisoner as he glanced at the newspaper.
RP was lost in thoughts. It was most unbearable for him. He was cheated , trapped , his dreams shattered , career ruined and family gone. But only he was to be blamed for his down fall. Tears welled up in his eyes. Nobody heard him whisper to himself .
“I wish i could go back in time”
Others had risen to queue up for food. Not feeling hungry, RP chose to remain where he sat. Redy Meel had brought a laddoo after lunch . He offered it to RP. “ Take this sir. It is national celebration sweet. someone has invented some rice that tastes like mango. Whatever crop is cultivated ; whichever grain is harvested we always get to eat to our fill here. I always finish off whatever I get. I used to steal for food but now I get food so I need not steal.
Eat this sir ! You are really weak. Saying this Redy waited for the professor to respond. RP turned his face towards the wall and waved his hand back and forth asking Redy to leave him alone.
Redy shrugged his shoulders and popped the sweet into his own mouth.
“Now tell me Oh! learned person, do we eat to live or live to eat ?
The food is the star.
Without which we will be no more
Reason of every war
To get only the share
Be it food or water
We need no hunger.”
Redy walked away singing.