A quest for nothing

This is a short drama story, hope you get edified by it.

“When rationality fails, begins a quest for nothing …

The early morning sunshine caressed Mangu once again. But he no longer felt the bliss attached to it. Mangu had found his tree with a little effort. He was proud of finding a tree which was always green irrespective of seasons. It could support him till the end of his life unless a younger monkey displaced him in his old age, the probability of which was pretty low given the numerous trees in the vicinity. However, after experiencing hundred rays of early morning sunshine the ecstasy of achievement had worn out of Mangu. Little trivialities which had given him lot of joy in the past hundred cycles of sun and moon now seemed repetitive. He was now forcing himself to enjoy the morning sunshine as though it was his duty. Mangu hardly understood that joy can only be relished and cannot be engendered.

Sun moved from one horizon to the other. Mangu as usual went about eating, pooping and cleaning his fur. He always jumped between the branches for no reason. He did it just because he was capable of doing it. Very uncharacteristically he didn’t jump between branches after the morning sunshine. He was absent mindedly cleaning his dirt-free fur for the third time when he caught a glimpse of another monkey on ground which was jumping towards a barren looking tree. Intrigued by the scene, Mangu raised his neck as much as he could but he couldn’t locate the tip of that tree. In fact he had noticed this tree in the past but he had never bothered to look up because of the intense pride of achievement that filled his heart.

Mangu kept watching the other tree for a long time after the other monkey climbed high enough to disappear from Mangu’s sight. Mangu expected the other monkey to come down but after a complete cycle of sun and moon there was no sign of it. Now Mangu started to closely study the tip-less, withered looking tree more. He found that the tree was very much alive and in fact it has fruits and branches at every hundred odd jumps enough to shelter a monkey for a couple of cycles of sun and moon . He knew that fruits at greater heights always tasted better and the branches became softer for sleeping. But he was limited by the capacity of his sight to look beyond a certain height.

Weighing the options by theorizing about the two possible paths of his life didn’t help Mangu. He wished for two lives to explore both the alternatives but he had only one. So he had to either live his life in the present tree or forego his tree in order to climb the tip-less tree. After a long period of intensive contemplation and vacillation he realized that he will never be able to decide. He just had to pick one path, very much like a flower that decides to turn into a fruit or remain a flower. Mangu climbed down his tree and moved towards the tip-less tree, as though in a stupor.

Mangu climbed the tip-less tree for many seasons. He had lost count of number of seasons he had been climbing. His mind was so occupied in climbing, searching for fruits and branches that he didn’t even have time to think whether he made a right decision. Initially he wanted to reach the tip but now all he wanted to do was to jump and climb. He enjoyed the tastier fruits which he had never tasted before. He found softer branches to sleep. But sometimes he had to starve when he couldn’t find fruits and sometimes he had to go through sleepless nights if he couldn’t find good branches. He even wondered if starving was making the fruits tastier or if the fruits were truly tasty.

Well into his old age, Mangu had to bear two straight sleepless nights without food which made him feel the dwindling strength in his  fragile limbs. The long lost thought of reaching the tip resurged. But he didn’t feel the urge to see the tip anymore. He always thought one day his limbs will defy his minds order and he would fall but now he decided to write his own fate instead of leaving it to his body. Mangu left the hold of the tree and started to fall. The longer he fell, the happier he felt because the passing time reminded him of the great altitude he had climbed. He knew he had made the right decision. He knew this is how his life was meant to be. He had written his own fate and finally had chosen time of his own end. Nothing mattered any more. He closed his eyes and his mind was completely blank, devoid of any thoughts for the first time in his life.

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