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In the Kingdom of Bola

  • Published at 12:00 am January 9th, 2019
The mythical land of Bola BIGSTOCK

The land where the soil was blue

The Kingdom of Bola was blessed with fertile land, lots of rivers, and tropical sunny weather. But Bola was always known for all the wrong reasons -- it had too many people, lots of people, and some more people. 

Many years ago, the rulers of the region were struck with a serious madness. The land was big and wide, with much more fertile land and rivers and lakes. But mad kings got upset with each other -- built big walls -- not wanting to talk to one another. One big land became the Kingdom of Ina and the Land of Pako. The Bolans got a piece too.

Bola had kings and queens but it was no easy land to govern. The people in the cities had eyes on top of their heads while people in the villages had eyes on their knees. The villagers were concerned about the land while the city folks could only see the sky. They were also a fashion conscious population and everyone wore glasses mainly of three different colours -- yellow, red, and green. This was considered to be the norm. 

However, there were too many problems within Bola -- more problems than people. One genius mathematician came to Bola to count these problems. But he lost his mind and declared that there weren’t enough numbers to count the problems and life went on, as it always does, in Bola. 

The kings and queens of the land were chosen through a grand game called the “Ballot Cups.” The tournament was modelled after richer countries around the world. But in Bola, every Ballot Cup was time for trouble. 

The kings and queens and their knights would engage in different sports. The final arm wrestle would decide who would rule the country. The key to winning these games was the use of packs of hyenas. The hyenas would tug and pull and circle around them as they wrestled. Whoever had more packs, generally won. 

After every Ballot Cup, the citizens complained that the use of animals should be banned in the tournament. Some said that the new queen was no good. They liked their old queen better. 

But the new queen had had many achievements in the past years. But some citizens complained about the animals but the new queen’s supporters did not waste any time to remind everyone about the use of animals in previous Ballot Cups too. 

The new Queen had the sympathy of many wise men. Despite the hyenas, many things were getting done. But they advised the new queen to tame the hyenas. 

The queen agreed, even though she could not say it in public. Bola was a natural breeding ground for hyenas and they were always a problem. Her advisers said they must draw up a plan to train and tame these animals. 

Meanwhile, the water in Bola was starting to look like rotten wine, the soil was turning blue, and the rivers were filling up with snakes and no fish. A scientist observed: “Bola had been doing much better. But the soil is turning blue. This is a very bad sign.” 

The scientist was in the city and asked his city friends what exactly was causing the land to turn blue. They did not know what he was talking about. But then they put their head between their knees to see the ground. 

The concerned scientist convened a meeting and they all sat down together and polished their glasses before starting the conversation. They sat in three different groups according to the colour of their glasses. The Bolans felt more comfortable this way. 

Citizens who supported the new queen said that the soil is OK and everything will be better now that they have the new queen. Another group of Bolans complained that the Ballot Cup was not adequate competition. They insisted that there must be another Ballot Cup. 

The third group of participants also complained about the Ballot Cup and highlighted that in far-away richer kingdoms Ballot Cups were much more entertaining and had many more rounds of competitions. This group was mainly young Bolans who went abroad to ride high horses and now they were back home. Along with the Ballot Cup, they also complained that the horses in Bola were not high enough. 

The scientist was frustrated. He said: “But what about the soil? It is blue! This will be a problem to yield food!” The Bolans wanted to help the scientist come up with an answer. But they wondered what he was complaining about. 

Some of them said the land was green and that is the way it should be. Some said it was purple and that is probably fine too. Others said it was lusher and a very deep green, which was an excellent sign. 

The soil remained blue in the Kingdom of Bola. 

Dwitiya Jawher Neethi is a freelance writer.

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