Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Resurrection Of Ms. Piggy

" Do you know what my little one is up to these days? " Although Pradeep's voice was deceptively innocent, I thought I heard a trace of repressed laughter and suspected that my karmic sibling was about to deal a blow to my self-esteem.I was right. "She keeps stalking my father trying to tell him the story of the three little pigs. The only problem is that she can't get past the first line and keeps repeating - There were three little pigs: Rekha Piggy, Shaki Piggy and ETA piggy- over and over again "
This was indeed a blow. I had become an oinking porker, courtesy my little niece ETA, and I had only myself to blame.

It all started one Sunday evening, a few weeks ago, when Dsk and I had gone over to Pradeep's place for drinks and dinner. A few cranberry Breezers later, I succumbed to his elder daughter's pleas for a bedtime story and a historical one at that. So when the clock struck 10, we snuggled together on her bed and I tried to narrate the story of Elizabeth I without divulging much about the lurid details . I had barely progressed to Anne Boleyn's pregnancy when our little cuddle bunny ETA clambered on board and wedged herself firmly between her elder sister and me. Quite naturally, the circumstances surrounding the birth of Queen E was far too complex for ETA's baby mind and before long, she was clamouring for a simpler tale. It wasn't an easy switch to make and the only one which sprang to my mind at such short notice was that of the Three Little Pigs. You know, the Three Little Pigs who went to the woods to build houses of hay, sticks and bricks and was pursued by the big bad wolf who gobbled up two porkers after blowing down their houses, but eventually was outwitted by the third who was shacked up in the brick house. This was how I had heard it as a child and when my mother read it out to me, it did not occur to me to do anything more than listen with rapt attention. But ETA being ETA was not the one to accept my tales quietly.
" Once upon a time, there were three little piggys"
" piigyysss? who?"
" Well, the 3 pigs were Rekha Piggy, Shaki Piggy and ETA Piggy" I am rewarded by a gurgle of laughter. ETA, obviously, approves of my choice of names. " The 3 piggies went to the forest"
" Why?"
" They did not have houses to live in and wanted to build houses for themselves." In the darkness, I could make out faint creases of the frown that wrinkled her little forehead. But before she could ask me what happened to the parent piggies or the house she lived in, I hurried on " They sang and danced in the forest. And suddenly came across a pile of hay. Rekha piggy who was a lazy piggy decided to make a house of hay and live in it."
Now I am normally not so self effacing but something told me that if Rekha Piggy did not lead the way in the story, her two little charges in real live would be sleepily squabbling late into the night. Besides, the call of the Breezers was rather strong and I was dying to get back to my drink. Shaki piggy and ETA piggy went further into the forest until they found a pile of sticks. Shaki thought a stick house would be strong and decided to make one to live in. But little ETA piggy who was much much smarter decided to find something stronger to make her house. So she bravely went on by herself till she found a pile of bricks and built herself a brick house. One day, a big bad wolf came..."
" Wolf? what?"
" Wolf...errr...."
" She does not know what a wolf is...tell her lion or dog" That was Vishaka a.k.a Shaki piggy who had come to my rescue
" OK, one day, a big bad dog came to the hay house and wanted to eat Rekha piggy. He asked her to come out but Rekha piggy thought her house was strong and said no to him. She made rude piggy faces which made the dog very very angry. And so he huffed and puffed and blew down her house....and gobbled her up" Beside me, I could sense movement. ETA was on her haunches, patting me all over to check for missing fingers, hands or feet. " ETA, I am OK...nothing's happened to me....this is only a story" Not satisfied, ETA settled herself into my arms ostensibly to chase away any doggy that might appear to swallow me whole. "The bad dog then went to Shaki piggy's house and asked her to come out. But Shaki piggy was smart. She asked the bad dog to count to ten and then ran out of the back door all the way to ETA piggy's house. So, the angry dog huffed and puffed and blew down the stick house, but found no one to eat."
I figured one dead piggy provided sufficient violence for a modern day fairy tale. And besides, I did not fancy being sued by my niece many years later for psychological trauma caused by me consigning her to a fictitious dog's rumbling belly!!
" Rekha, you also come to my house"
" Errrr"
I wasn't so sure about introducing resurrection into the story but Shaki piggy once again interjected
' You better go to her house. Otherwise she will argue with us all night and we will never finish. I want to hear about Elizabeth I after this. "
" When the hay house was blown down, Rekha piggy ran to Shaki piggy's house. And..."
" Rekha, you come my house"
" All right, so Rekha piggy ran straight to ETA piggy's house..."
The look of pure joy that lit up ETA's face would have put a Christmas tree to shame. I almost hated myself for reintroducing the dog and bursting her bubble, but ETA the self proclaimed piggy warrior was raring to go.
" And for some time, the three piggies lived happily in the brick house. One day, when they were drinking tea, the big bad dog came to the brick house....He growled at the piggies and asked them to come out so that he could eat them....Rekha and Shaki were scared....."
In my arms, the ferocious little warrior princess flailed her limbs to drive home the message. As I was at the receiving end, I had no choice but to concur, hoping all the while that I would not be taken to task by some over zealous animal activist.
" Yes ETA, you beat the dog and he ran away...never to come back again...And the 3 piggies lived happily in their house"
" And papa and mama"
" Yes, with papa and mama"
And I thought that was the end of the tale.
So you can imagine my surprise when Pradeep enlightened me about my little PR agent, who was enthusiastically spreading the word that I was a pig!!! This must have been how Victor Frankenstein felt when he beheld his Creature.
As my sibling dissolved in helpless laughter, I made a mental note to try Cinderella the next time....And No prizes for guessing who the protagonist is going to be.
Rekharella...rolls well off the tongue, doesn't it?


shail said...

Rekharella sounds even better than Cinderella!! :-)))

Miaow!!! said...

LOLS Shail...Let's hope it does not transform to ETArella... :P :P

Roopa said...

you know what? these days, none of the piggies die. i have at least three versions of the story here, and all of them live happily ever after in the end. also we have versions where the wolf in red riding hood does not die but is just scared away by the hunter, and chicken little and her friends are not eaten by the fox. i love today's fables :)

Miaow!!! said...

Now you tell me, Roopa? :P :P
Doesn't the optimism of Gen Next warm you to the cockles of your heart? Lolz

Ganga Dhanesh said...

lovely post, rekz!

Miaow!!! said...

Thanks Ganga....One can devote a whole blog on ETA....:)