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THE MAHOUT


The Thrissur District Collector’s aide ran to his boss’s room, huffing and puffing.

“Sir, It seems the tranquilizers will take at least four hours to arrive…. They have to come from Coimbatore.”

“Coimbatore! Can’t wait that long! Order them immediately to shoot the elephant.”

The aide bowed and said, while hurrying out of the room, “Yes sir.”

***

A thin man appeared suddenly in front of the Collector.

“Who are you, eh? Who let you in?” demanded the Collector.

“I am Velayuthan, sir! Just give me one chance to bring the elephant under control. Do not kill it yet, sir, please!”

“What! Are you out of your mind? This huge creature is moving freely, posing a grave threat to our people. And who the hell are you anyway; to succeed where so many have failed, including the elephant’s own mahout?”

“Sir, I beseech you, just one chance, I seek no more. It is a very gentle temple elephant, just fallen in bad times.”

“Ok, I give you 15 minutes, that’s all.”

“Thank you, sir! I need only 5,” Velayuthan said and ran out.

***
Twenty minutes later, the aide rushed in and said, “Sir, the elephant is back in the temple, totally subdued. It took less than 5 minutes!”

“Fantastic news, but where is Velayuthan?”

“That is the puzzling part, sir. Observers say he disappeared mysteriously immediately thereafter.”

The aide added, “They say that there was once a super mahout called Velayuthan, died twenty years ago.”




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