Once upon a time, in a not too fictitious kingdom named Pasupujokerlapadu, there lived a little prince named Babu Baddam. A good fellow he was until his youth. Then a severe bout of jaundice impaired his judgement forever. He began seeing the world with a yellow tint and OCD kept him glued to his cycle. Along with his cycle, he also peddled lies and false hopes. He convinced his little yellow kingdom that he is their messiah and the harbinger of development. Globetrotting with his distinguished sidekicks, he went to the far East countries, ogled at their yellow skin and promised to model his little yellow kingdom after them. Adept at peddling false hopes, he poured more drinks to his already inebriated scribes who instantly began singing his praises. Together they decided to call their beloved Pasupujokerlapadu, Sing-and-pour. They resolved to eliminate poverty from their land. In their stupor, the concluded that if there were no poor people, there would be no poverty. And so, they snatched the livelihoods of the poor and let their souls wither in the droughts that always accompanied them.

A long time notorious sidekick of Babu Baddam was Fire Fox. Always scowling, he got his name from the vernacular Thodelu Vankara Slime, loosely translated as the crooked fox. Since he always breathes fire, the jokers of Pasupujokerlapadu call him the Fire Fox. In the past, during the days of the kingdom’s patriarch, Fire Fox was the minister for public safety. He did a stellar job of eliminating road accidents. The secret to his success was his brilliant idea of ensuring all cars were locked up in the garage so that there is no scope for any accidents. As a bonus, he also eliminated all rivals and critics of Pasupujokerlapadu. Every time a poor man was devastated and felt the ground beneath his feet slip away, it was Fire Fox who was snatching away the land. The inebriated scribes scribbled more praises—both cars and poor were eliminated.

Every time life got too harsh for the jokers of Pasupujokerlapadu, they looked up to their patriarch, the stalwart and deity of their little yellow kingdom. They often demanded that he be made a star in the political firmament, but all he could manage to be was become a destructive meteorite. A heavenly body so heavy that even the heavens dropped him onto Earth. He lingers on as a yellow statue in many street corners of Pasupujokerapadu. In the more innocent days of the little yellow kingdom, when jokers were desperate for entertainment, the patriarch Rambo Rao inspired a chuckle or two. These days his antics are cast in stone earning him the moniker Rockstar Rambo Rao. He comes in rocks of all shapes and sizes. He still serves a purpose for Babu Baddam as he uses the Rockstar Rambo Rao’s statue as a scabbard for his dagger, with which he slays truth and reality. Once Babu Baddam eliminates truth, he quickly (as his wont dictates) prostrates in front of Rockstar Rambo Rao. The jokers of Pasupujokerlapadu join in the prostrations along with the yellow journalists, sheltered by the shade of the bubble-bellied statue of Rambo Rao.

These days however, the jokers have a new deity, fresh out of his cozy cocoon, the god of jokers—Jokesh. Like many deities, Jokesh is flanked on either side by two well-meaning but distress causing damsels—Shraddha and Anjali. And so, Jokesh and Shraddanjali are inseparable.

The people of Pasupujokerlapadu are sworn enemies of the neighbouring kingdom of FanGaliMatlaPuram, the regent of which juggles between prison, allies, enemies, frenemies and Daddy’s fading dreams. The shrewd and impatient regent owns an electric fan shop named after him—Jaggu the Juggler. Not only does he juggle, he is also known to be ruthless with his enemies and when he bites, he goes for the jugular vein, doubly justifying his moniker!

Both Babu Baddam and Jaggu the Juggler have above them an equally notorious comedian. The comedian is ruthless and notorious because the jokes are always on unsuspecting people. When he speaks and promises the moon to the people of every kingdom he visits, a laugh riot ensues. Riot Raja is the current federal regent, who is seldom known to use his thinking faculties. He depends on his man Friday to do his thinking and planning, who’s like his helmet. And since he too belongs to the clan of jokers, he’s known to all as Helmet Shahaha.

Together they unite to divide… to be contd.

PS: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or dead, (or lingering on as a statue) is purely coincidental. However, it may also be a manifestation of your guilt conscience should you be an unfortunate subject of the above stated kingdoms. You have our deepest sympathies.

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