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Adi & Praja 106

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 106: Robbed

he still hoped that the director would give him a computer for his ‘grandparents.’ But it never happened.



In the little over four months that he had been in the city, he had made many friends, and they were of all classes and types, poor and rich, educated and non-educated, having big houses with private swimming pools (which he loved of course – though good swimming was a thing he also had to learn), as well as people having no house at all and slept along the roadside at night. He found that there were good and kind and sympathetic and bad and unkind and unsympathetic people everywhere, and for that it seemed to make no difference whether they were rich of poor. Some were happy, even had they had only one set of cloths to wear, some were unhappy, even if they had 12 computers, cars, flying cars, and new cloths every single day. So that difference in wealth did not really exist for Shano. He didn’t consider it very important. Nevertheless he wanted to help everyone who had whatever problem. He never thought of going back to his valley. He wanted to learn, to absorb everything, he wanted to help everyone, but his greatest discovery was the city library. Once he had been there he spent almost all his free time reading. Even though 95% of the books were available on small computer chips only, there was still a considerable section of books printed on paper also, which he could take home. As soon as he would have a foldaway book reading computer, he would read the other ones. Now he learned much about the world of which he had never read in the valley, not even in school books. He learned about technology and cities, and also of wars and violence and hatred. He could not understand why anyone would ever want to kill anyone else for freedom, because the one who was killed could never enjoy that freedom when it came. Shano simply could not imagine that someone would want to destroy someone else’s happiness, and then even enjoyed it. He also could not understand why people were fighting over territory, because the universe was never going to be bigger or smaller by fighting. Moreover the universe was much, much bigger than the earth alone. Even less he could understand why people would fight over idea’s or ideals. What was true could never become more true by fighting or disputing, nor could anything that was not true become true by winning a fight. Moreover, if you killed the people you wanted to convince of your ideas, then they couldn’t use these ideas anyway. Moreover, he thought, whatever people conquer and steal from others, when they die they will lose it again, and – as far as he knew – every living being died. It was absolutely incomprehensible for Shano why someone would wish anything else than what was good for other people. Then all of them would be happy, and no-one would ever want to cause pain to anyone. Also he thought that making war was wasting a lot of time, because when you were fighting you had no time to learn anything and you couldn’t read books. This very fact of the two-sidedness in character, good and evil in the human world, grew into a real psychological problem for Shano. He wasn’t that cheerful anymore. He also was more tired, because he hadn’t been breathing natural air for a long time, and often was eating junk food at lunch breaks because nothing else was available at affordable rate. Now, when he was alone, his thoughts were often full of sadness, of not understanding, of wanting to understand, but at the same time not wanting to understand why people could be evil. Though one evening he remembered the adventure with the twelfth sheep. Yes, he thought, now I understand why his supposed friend wanted to kill that sheep. He just had the type of heart that many people in the city had. So evil was everywhere, even in his own valley.

Next month he was paid again, the same amount. He cashed his money at an ATM, and then walked in the dark in the direction of where most of the poor children lived. Suddenly he found himself surrounded by some eight boys, bigger than himself. They asked Shano: “Where are you going?” “To the poor children,” he answered. “I have money to buy some candies for them.” The leader of the eight boys said: “These children do not need candies. They are poor because it is their karma.” Shano had read about ‘karma’ as meaning ‘justice’, the great divine and intelligent energy that was there to correct people if they had wandered away form harmony, so that they would be guided, if they wished so, in a better and happier direction. “So,” he answered to the boys: “How can there be justice that is good, when it deprives people of everything? These boys can not learn, cannot buy anything, and every opportunity is barred for them.” “But we’ll take your money anyway, whatever you say. You think that you are a philosopher?” They came closer and pushed Shano against the wall in the narrow street. Nobody else was there. One boy took out a knife, and put it on Shano’s throat. “Give your money or we’ll kill you.” Shano said firmly: “Okay, you can have the money, if you promise you will bring it to the poor children.” All the boys laughed loudly – one even seemed almost unable to stop laughing, and almost chocked. But the leader boy said: “Okay, we’ll promise. Give me the money. A rather shy boy in the group wanted to say something in protest, but even before he had pronounced his first word, the bigger boy hit him on his teeth, so that he was severely bleeding, one of his teeth broken. The boy didn’t say anything anymore, just cried. Now two boys took hold of Shano’s arms, and the leader boy emptied his pockets. “That’s almost nothing,” he shouted and hit Shano on his face. “You liar. You told us that you had just taken all your month’s earning from the ATM to go to these stupid boys down there, who do not earn to be given candies or whatever.” They hit Shano a few more times, he sank on the floor, and the boys left, scolding Shano, and leaving him alone. He sat there for more than an hour. Two or three people passed, and looked either disgusted or worried at him sitting there, but went on to where they were going. Two drunk boys came, and said to Shano: “You have taken too much, my boy. Let’s see if you have some money left in your pocket, because we need some. Our evening isn’t over yet.” But they found nothing of course, kicked him, and left. It was not that Shano could not get up. Though his face was hurting and bleeding, he had not broken any bones, and he knew that he could walk home. But his mind was scattered. He thought of the children who he had promised to bring candies again as soon as he had received money. He could not understand what kind of creatures were inside the bodies of the eight boys who had robbed him. Where they humans? Or were they some other creatures who had stolen human bodies somewhere for this purpose. May be they had killed the real people to which these bodies belonged!? He felt pity for the thieves as well as for the poor children. For the first time Shano asked himself whether he actually wanted to know everything about the city and its cars and computers. Finally he got up went home. His grandparents were extremely shocked, and the woman was even crying. “Never go there and give them candies.” It was silent. Than ‘grandfather’ said: “At least certainly not in the evening, not in the dark.” That Shano accepted.

The highlight of the year were the motor competitions. Weeks in advance every boy was talking about it and about nothing else. The motor bikes of these days were very strong and fast

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