When the Pebble became a Hermit (Part 3 of the Lofty Hermit Series)

And then the altruistic hermit said, “A pebble’s life isn’t for me. Human life has come too far, a pebble for me to be. We are almost masters of the universe and I shall do more, for that to pass.”

So once again he set atop the mountain top, basking in its familiarity. Once again meditating for days and months, for years and eons, no water crossed his throat, no food reached his stomach, just chants from deep within his soul. He stood up on the tips of his tippy toes and froze for years and then some more. (For more details on his modus operandi, see part one written previously).

And finally, happy with his devotion, the Lord of Eons appeared and asked, “Valiant monk, what would you like as a boon before you swoon? Very happy I am with your dedication”.

And the hermit replied, “Make the human species immortal”.

“Thats not possible.” Said the Power that be, “That can only be me”.

So then the wise ascetic replied “May we never be destroyed by anything we can see, no bomb no meteor…no floods, no tsunami, neither earth quakes nor hot global bakes, no alien invasion, no symptomatic disease (He still wanted his probiotics, you see, so he let the asymptomatic be). May we not be destroyed by the living or non-living!” And then he screamed, “MAY WE FORGET WE ARE MORTAL FOR AS LONG AS CAN BE!!!!

“So let it be” said the Power that be, smiling stealthily. And that’s how it all came to be.

And so they forgot they were mortal, you see.

Buildings were built to scrape the skies, markets brimmed with produce and rice. People travelled to Nice and Venice. Parties were held, elections were rigged, rumors were spread, and in mirth they lived.

They forgot they were mortal, you see.

They obsessed with looks and spent on goods. They thought this life was all there was. Of the before and after, they never gave a thought. Wealth defined all and intellect took a lower rung. Life ebbed on, emotionally strung. So engrossed were they in their own saga, that naught did they see the upcoming drama.

They forgot they were mortal, you see.

And then came the jolt of mortality, rather inevitably.

Not in a bomb or a meteor. Not in a global bake or news that was fake. No earthquake, no tsunami, not a bacteria or a parasite, or even an alien might. Just a virus, on the fringe of living and non-living, it crept in asymptomatically, you see. It landed unliving on the unsuspecting living, replicating without interrupting. Shedding its coat, outside the door, it inserted its core and of itself made many many more. The unsuspecting human went mirthing on, with nary a cough or even a fever on. And while some lamented death of generosity, the virus multiplied copiously, spreading into young, old and all.

Yet they partied on. Let the old die, they first said and the infirm as well. And then crashed a tsunami on the economy. Markets crashed, firms closed. Produce ran out, hunger got a foothold. The young starved along with the old. Doors closed.

Even the pebble became a hermit.

Fear took hold.

We are still mortal afterall, you see.

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