Making of the Children: Dharmpal Mahendra Jain

Dharmpal Mahendra Jain

Translated from Hindi by Deepa Kumawat


Many moons ago, when the planet Earth no longer existed, Lord Indra pondered on how to flourish his empire. He called for an important plenary meeting, and almost all the sycophants from every nook and cranny graced the meeting. These sycophants were there to get some daily slice in the garb of a "yes man," to chime "yes sir, yes" only. Since Indra was looking forward to prospering the Earth, he had transferred thousands of heavenly residents to serve the purpose. But, as you know, the ordered ones weren't heirless. Playing all possible cards, they got their transfers canceled. Only Manu, the helpless one, had no approach, nor could he bear a sack of moneybag to feed someone's appetite. So, he got kicked to the curb into the pitfall of the earth straight through the "parachute."

Deepa Kumawat
The meeting commenced, and the home minister requested, "God's deputies shouldn't be misemployed for the earth's blossoming." Homely hands should enrich the earth. "I mean, its inhabitants should sweat to get the fruit." The courtiers got happy and joyfully shingled the drums. The creator suggested that they could get the contract to mold some million humans. "In this way, they'll chant the praises of our lord Indra on Earth too." Witnessing such a proposal, the public contractors got highly strung. They proposed that they could invent something more astounding than a human. Moreover, they created such a model of the proposed man that could yield humans automatically. This way, they escaped the complications of creating thousands of men. In order to keep nurturing their sovereignty, the creator put forth the staffing of eunuchs to kill men on Earth.

Amidst all the wrangling, one boastful clown-like deputy was feeling neglected. Patting on the drum to catch everyone's attention, he posited, "My lord, we shouldn't mold a complete human at one stretch. Rather, it should be modeled little by little from one palm span to two and three and so on. It should grow in bits and pieces. It'll be great fun, my lord. And yes, this way humans will differ from deputies, the deities. If my plea is considered, I'll proffer my beard at the pious feet of the Goddess, lord."

Meanwhile, one energized deputy took up the stage and suggested, "Until a decade, a man would be a child; a juvenile then; and at seventeen, youthfulness may embrace him, and then...he'll be a youth of use to cast his vote. Some men would be perennially young; some would be kept out. He hoped for twin groups represented by man and child; one in favor and an opponent group on the other side." Here, Lord Indra mediated and said, "Children would irritate man round the clock. They won't let men be in peace. And they'll forever be in a quandary." Hearing Indra, the opponents blew tom-toms and reacted, "This is rightly needed. The Man should be distress-stricken. He should have children around." Suddenly, a royal mustache deputy suggested, "Children shouldn't get mustaches." While a robust deputy opined, "Children should be thin and feeble so that they can have a fear of elders. And elders can beat them up or knock down their heads at the doorsteps." The election commissioner put out, "Yes, if children are there, there will be mass cavalcades on roads, a crowd free of cost, will be ready to listen to the speeches. Children can blow trumpets in election canvassing. Man can take advantage in the name of children. And there'll be utter chaos in law and order because of children."

The atmosphere became heated and tense. Now, the IG proposed, "To disrupt the peace of humans, we will create some demonic men. They will kidnap children and ask for ransom. They'll turn them lame, blind, or worthless, to force them into begging or thievery." Hence, men will be the victims of their own children forever. "I know catching the right culprit or thief isn't the officials of police's cup of tea," continued the IG. The House welcomed the IG's proposal with torrential applause.

Now, the labor minister, who seemed to disagree with the concept, objected and clarified, "I propose that men shouldn't have children. As in heaven, all deities equally take charge of all kinds of duties, men too should do the same. If children were there, men's labor would get shared amongst children. For instance, children would line up in front of ration shops, help buy groceries, household goods, milk, and even make tea for unwelcome guests at home. Children would entertain guests well. Moreover, a poor child would be absorbed in cleaning utensils at restaurants to add to family earnings. Oh! If there were children, men would swell like ruling kings." The labor minister's remarks were also recorded as proceedings of the House.

The logistic minister, who just wanted to be covered by the media, argued pointlessly, "Men on Earth would have to toil to produce crops. We shall teach them the significance of Lord Indra continually. Men shall witness heavy rains as well as droughts. Though men will beget children in the name of God, they won't be able to nurture them well."

The aimless wanderer in politics, the hapless education minister, who also chairs a Goodwill Mission, spoke out now, "If there are children, we may have the cause to open more schools. Teachers will get recruited to outperform all the baseless political agendas on priority. They'll behave like politicians across the villages to benefit regional politicians. Politicians will get help in looting government grants for schools. They'll raise and add a plus to the party fund. You know, children are important. For if they're not there, there'd be no politics. If children are there, teachers will train them to seek donations so that growing up, they can bag grants in foreign currency. And yes! During vacations, adults will make floor mats, while younger ones will learn to weed out farms. Children will be the grand asset of the nation. I recommend the proposal of making children."

And amidst the assembly of Lord Indra, the draft of "Making of the Children" was approved with a resonating voice.
***


(DR. DEEPA KUMAWAT is an Assistant Professor in English. She has extensively translated short stories from Hindi. Her research work is on the linguistic aspects of translation.)

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