On a recent family trip to an out-of-town golf course, I had been designated as the unofficial photographer, and we had obtained permission for me to go on the golf course, despite not playing myself. I had a golf cart all to myself, and had promised to stay off the course; while my parents shared one and were on the course, playing.
The golf course was vast and picturesque with lush greenery, hilly terrain with its sheer cliffs and steep valleys.
I was busy taking photographs and videos while trailing them in my cart. The entire morning had remained uneventful. My parents continued to play golf. I continued to take photographs. Of the golf course, the flora, the hills, the blue skies and sometimes, if I felt generous, of my parents too.
Once or twice, I observed my father hit an amazing shot, where the ball had soared up high in the sky like an eagle. Indeed, even the eagle must have felt threatened of the mysterious round object flying next to it. Strangely, the ball was bald too and had no wings. The eagle was more than just curious as the ball kept up its flight without flapping any wings. Just as the eagle was about to investigate further, the ball took a descent and disappeared. The eagle, apparently, too astonished to follow him downwards and convinced of its supernatural mind-reading abilities, decided not to pursue it any further. Here, the eagle and I concurred. Having played golf a few times, I had, firsthand, experienced the waywardness of the golf ball. It had a deliberate tendency to go in a direction opposite to the one it had been hit towards.
Anyway, after watching all the amazing shots and scenery, I, a 13th cousin of Christopher Columbus in my previous life, had lost interest in what was already visible and itched to explore further. So further down I went, following the asphalt track.
I was the King of the World (or rather Queen of the World, in my case or maybe General Melagius; I was still undecided) and the golf cart my chariot.
I looked over my shoulder at the army behind me. Tiny tin soldiers stood at attention in neat rows.
Click- Clak-Clad, I could hear the metallic clank of their armour and shoes, as they marched forward. I pedaled down the track until I came to a mud track which, clearly, had rarely been walked upon much less driven over.
Not one to back down by a minor obstacle, “Chaaaarge!” I bellowed, and my soldiers and I raced ahead. It was “do or die” now. At the dead end of the path, I tried turning my so called chariot, but the imaginary horses were too fast and ended up losing their way. The cart shot right off the path, and skidded off into the forested area, beyond which lay a jaw dropping cliff. I tried reeling the horses in but it was of no use. They had already galloped away and banged me and my chariot straight into a tree ahead. “Haaaalt!” I hollered to the army and looked back but there was no one to be seen. Clearly, they weren’t as brave as their commander, I thought unimpressed at them having run for cover.I tried to reverse the cart, but it wouldn’t budge. I got down and inspected the situation. One of the tyres was in the air, as the cart was off the ground from one side. Realizing I needed help, I decided to call in for back-up. “Reassemble!” I commanded to my army. There was a deathly silence all around. Clearly, I would have to win this battle single-handedly. I pushed my cart out but it simply stayed put, in defiance. Just then a shrill bell pierced the deafening silence of the valley. It signaled the return of my army, I assumed until I realized that it did not sound like the blast of a horn but the ringing of a mobile phone.
I fished it out of my pocket and attended my mother’s call enquiring of my whereabouts. I told her that I was nearby and on my way back. Reassured she disconnected, leaving me to contemplate the solution to my predicament. It was World War III, I decided and launched a full-blown attack on the golf cart. I pushed and pulled and shoved with all my might. But, it did nothing except exercise my biceps and triceps. By now, I was genuinely concerned about three things: how to go back, the possibility of damage to the cart, and what explanation to give to my parents. Again, the shrill bell broke my process of rumination. This time, it was my father. Huffing and panting, I briefly narrated the sequence of events to him. He told me to stay where I was so he could get someone to fetch me. Fearing a parental backlash, I began to drum up plausible explanations but came up with none.
As I wearily walked back to the spot my parents had last seen me, I saw a line of black ants at the edge of the path, bowing to me in respect. I regained some of my dignity and nobly returned their gesture with a courtesy. As I bent down, I got a closer look and realized that it was not really a respectful bow. Hundreds and hundreds of ants were pointing at me and laughing hysterically. I was indignant at this insolence. “I can crush you in a second,” I threatened while stomping my foot.
“Oh yeah…. you want a kiss?” One of the ants retorted, waving its tentacles.
“Ever heard of the saying that an ant can make an elephant dance!” challenged another.
“Do you want to dance?” questioned a third one, while jiggling his bottom, sending them into peals of laughter again.
Wizened by the ants’ logic, offended at being called an elephant and humbled by my own defeat, I beat a hasty retreat towards the spot where I had last seen my parents, promising myself never to sit on a golf cart or to threaten the down and trodden again.