The Adventures of Minu and Bo: The Rainbow Umbrella

Minu and Bo are two brown squirrels who live in a big tree with purple leaves. The purple tree as it was called, was at the center of a big garden, opposite of an even bigger palace. Visitors often came to see the palace and the two squirrels marveled at them.

“Big camera!” Bo screamed pointing at the girl from the tree. There were a few more people behind who were clicking photographs of the palace. Bo ran as fast as he could, Minu followed.

The girl could see Bo’s nose up close, his messy fur and sharp claws. Bo had jumped in front of her camera and started waving his hand while Minu was pulling him away. Bo wouldn’t budge. The girl clicked a few pictures, Bo kept on waving as Minu looked at everyone nervously.

“Lets go Bo,” she kept on saying.

Minu eventually dragged Bo towards the purple tree. Bo kept waving till they disappeared inside the tree trunk.

That was the usual Bo, always happy to meet the humans. Minu was a little skeptic, but the humans often left them a few nuts, which made them very happy.

“Ohooooo….,” Bo said shivering as they reached inside the trunk.

Minu peeked out of the hole. The sky had suddenly turned dark and the visitors were slowing moving away. She could see a colored umbrella lying on the grass nearby. Bo peeked out.

“Someone must have left it, Bo,” Minu said looking at the umbrella. Bo nodded.

They could feel the drops of rain falling over their heads. Minu moved closer towards the umbrella. She pulled it, but it was too big. She signaled Bo for help. They slowly dragged the umbrella towards the tree. The sky turned darker as the clouds moved closer. They stopped just outside the tree.

“What are we going to do of it?” Bo asked. He paused for a while, and exclaimed with sudden excitement, “Its rainbow colored!”

Bo liked watching the rainbows. Minu always told him about the rainbows that would shine after the dark days filled with rain.

“Help me open it,” Minu said pointing towards the umbrella.

The two little squirrels tried their best. Bo had given up many times, but Minu wouldn’t call it quits. Finally, it opened. They kept the umbrella beside the trunk and arranged for it to stand on its own. Minu went inside and bought two nuts. She gave one to Bo.

“Lets sit under the umbrella and watch the rainfall,” she said. Bo finally understood.

They chewed on their nuts as the rain fell on the ground. The smell of wet earth filled the air. The rain stopped after a while and they decided to close the umbrella and dragged it inside the trunk. A rainbow shone across the sky. Bo was delighted, so was Minu.

“Lets thank the owner if they ever return,” Minu said. Bo agreed.

Minu drew two squirrels over a card and attached it with the umbrella. Bo wrapped some nuts to give its owner. They kept the umbrella back over the place they had found it.

The owner hasn’t returned yet, but they keep the rainbow umbrella over the same place everyday. Bo changes the old nuts and adds fresh ones. He usually eats the old ones before they get bad. Minu keeps drawing over new cards, as they continue to watch the rainfall under the rainbow umbrella waiting for its owner.

(Also published in Kindness Times on August 10, 2017.)

The Journey South

Image by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay
Image by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

‘Mama,’ said the Baby Bear as they dug the pile of garbage for food. ‘Why does it smell so different?’ she asked again.

Mama Bear frowned, she had no answer.

A group of 12 polar bears had left their home in search for food. The older ones were starving, the younger ones were afraid. They had just come across the pile of garbage, where humans, the most superior of beings as marked by God, had left a humongous mountain of waste.

Baby Bear dug dipper, she had found something. It gave off a pungent smell. She realized it was not food. It was a cellphone. She could not eat it.

‘They are coming!’ said one of the elderly bears. The entire group rose up and started moving backwards. The humans had arrived with loud noises. They had crackers along, and a pack of dogs with them. The dogs had already begun barking.

‘Mama, what do they have?’ questioned the Baby Bear.

‘We must move,’ said Mama Bear.

‘But I’m still hungry.’

Mama Bear frowned. Some of the bears continued digging for food. Their pearl white fur had turned brown and black. The smell was unbearable.

A loud noise scared the bears even more. Nearby, the humans had just lit their crackers. The dogs were barking loudly.

‘It’d be better to move,’ said one of the bears. But the pack was very hungry. The bears had not eaten for three days. They had to pick one, fear or hunger. And hunger won the battle. A few moved back, while some continued digging, chewing on whatever their senses allowed them to pass as edible.

Baby Bear found a can of food. It gave off a pungent smell, but she realized she could eat it. She swallowed it in one breath.

A few more crackers went off and the bears retaliated, their hearts stopping for a micro second. The barking had become louder and louder. The dogs were nearing in.

The pack finally decided to backdown and moved further back. They slowly started to disperse. The food hunt had been paused.


A group of polar bears is called ‘Celebration’. But the pack that entered human settlement in the Russian village recently, was not about celebration of any sort. Humans are on top of the food chain so we’ll receive the blow at the end, but the blow is also likely to be final. My heart capsized when I saw the picture of the bears searching for food in the trash. What have we done to bring such magnificent beasts of nature to this point? 

What Quarter Life Crisis Struck Millennials Can Learn from Newt Scamander

Green coat, shy outlook, and his never-ending love for beasts, Newt Scamander (and the very dashing Eddie Redmayne) has won all of our hearts right from the very start of the Fantastic Beasts series. The question is very simple: Can anyone not admire Newt? Not at all.

While the second movie in the Fantastic Beasts series might not have been that great, there’s still hope to believe that the upcoming stories will be better connected and hopefully everything that left us wary now will make sense. And more importantly we will get to see more of Newt Scamander in action.

Accio Spoilers! You have been warned.

Apart from being the very loyal and hardworking Hufflepuff, Newt is a wonderful character in the making.

‘Newt, you’re next,’ says Albus Dumbledore as he stands with his students in the Defense Against The Dark Arts Class. The Boggart suddenly turns into a table filled with piles of paper.
‘That’s an unusual one. What Mr. Scamander fears above everything else is….,’ says Dumbledore.
‘Having to work in an office, Sir,’ Newt immediately answers, a little shaken and confused. The entire class bursts into giggles.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say, a lot of us millennials are like Newt. We fear the cubical and fear the bondage that comes with it. And perhaps we can all, especially us confused, quarter life struck ones learn a few things from the delightfully honest, hilarious and heartwarming Newt Scamander.

Daring to say No
There’s a scene in the second movie when Newt is placed in front of a few officials and his brother Theseus. Apparently it’s his fifth time in that seat. Newt is being offered to work with his brother in an ‘Office’, and he immediately declines and walks away. The price is that his international travel ban continues. And yet, Newt declines. He know’s that’s not what he wants. Well, maybe his complicated status with Leta Lestrange also contributes to it, but either ways, it takes a lot of courage to decline an offer like that. Perhaps we need that to, from time to time.

Appreciating his true self
Okay, Newt is awkward. We all know that, especially when Tina’s around. Not so much of a romantic. But who cares? He’s funny, he is an intelligent wizard, and in the words of Albus Dumbledore, he does not seek power. Newt does what is right because it’s right. And I’ve had the vibes after watching the two movies that Newt does indeed appreciate his true self. He might not be as classy as his brother, he might not have a great job with an office, but he’s okay with it. And that’s already so lovable. (He does end up complimenting Tina with the ‘Eyes like Salamander’ phrase.) Hopefully we can learn to be a little more appreciative of what we have instead of dwelling into comparisons.

Respecting his Dream
‘Newt was expelled from Hogwarts’, says my sister as we sit down to talk about the second movie.
‘But how did he survive then? Financially?’ I ask. A very 20 something year old question at the moment. (Maybe quarter life crisis exists in the magical world too!)
‘He was a researcher! He wrote books,’ exclaims my sister. 
‘But who would buy a book written by an expelled student?’ I ask.
‘It’s probably like engineers working for Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg,’ she says. 

Newt loves his beasts and he follows his passion of knowing and caring for them. And in following his dreams he becomes the best-selling author of Fantastic Beasts, the very title of the series. While Newt did follow his dream, I find it more important that he respected it. He doesn’t think its weird or less than the other fancy jobs wizards and witches take up. We often forget that about our own dreams. Whether we follow it or not is another story, but we should all respect it.

‘You never met a monster you couldn’t love,’ says Leta of Newt.

It’d be a delight to watch Newt’s character develop in the movies further. Since Fantastic Beasts hovers around adult characters, hopefully we’ll see some complex real life decisions to be made and the self discovery process of growing out of ones own shells.

Till then, let this very lovable character remind us that we’ll always be surrounded by great friends, like Jacob, and mentors like Dumbledore, and let Newt remind us of being ourselves!

Hope and Prepare | A Conversation

‘How does one hope for the best and prepare for the worst, Lord Vayu?’ princess Valli asked the Guardian of the Wind.

‘I am not sure, but it is quite an impossible feat I must say.’

‘To be hopeful of the great and still be ready to face the worst, a sting of irony,’ the princess added.

Vayu nodded his head.

‘To be hopeful would mean to let the heart float among the clouds,’ he said as the sky danced in shades of pink. The sun was setting. They were atop a high hill that overlooked the entire valley. ‘And to prepare for the worst would mean to fall straight unto the ground from the clouds.’

‘How can one imagine the two together. To hope for one and to prepare for another?’ Valli questioned as the wind blew her scarf. ‘Doesn’t one prepare for what one hopes?’

‘Indeed,’ replied Vayu. ‘The human life is bogged with the eternal ironies, to have day and night, shadow and light. To have the wind to breathe and to have the same win uproot homes as hurricanes.’

‘Wouldn’t it be better to be able to fly like the birds instead? To soar in the clouds and not have to worry of falling?’ Valli added.

‘But even the birds fear the fall.’

‘Perhaps, they do. And we do too.’