Friday, 28 March 2014

Punctuate, for comma's sake!

Once there lived a comma, a full stop, a question mark and an exclamatory mark. They were good friends and laughed and played together.

“Where are we going to play today?” asked the question mark.

“I am not sure. Let us ask comma” said full stop.

“I can suggest an idea, but I am not sure if it will be exciting,” said comma pausing for a second.

I can suggest an idea, but..paused the comma

“How marvellous would it be if we could create an imaginary world and reside there!” exclaimed the exclamatory mark.

Exclamatory mark’s idea appealed to the rest. They urged her to initiate the game and all of them would join in.

Exclamatory mark's idea appealed to the rest...

She began by traveling into an unknown kingdom, which was ruled by capital letters. They felt very important and listened to none. The subjects of the kingdom were in a deep predicament.

Their voices were falling on deaf ears as the capital letters stood tall and out of ear-shot of the smaller letters.

The smaller letters had to find someone as tall as them to talk to the capitals. But who wanted to speak to the arrogant rulers and earn their wrath?

“Though I am tall, I do not have a strong foundation. If the rulers blow at me, I will fly away,” said the double quotes.

“If such is the case of the ‘double’, imagine what will happen to me,” said the single quote.

The discussion continued for many days and these days rolled into months. No solution seemed to emerge and the capitals were enjoying their rule, though the same could not be said of the subjects.

Distraught, they decided to get together and march in protest against their erring leaders.

On seeing so many punctuation marks marching in unison, a pair of parentheses that was new to the area, wanted to know the reason for the protest. In turn the others briefed him about the on-going situation.

After patiently listening to their situation, the parentheses offered to mediate. “I am tall and I can reach them. Well, I can even enclose them within me. But assure me that once they become reasonable you will be willing to live with them happily,” counseled the wise ‘parent’heses.

The rest of them happily agreed.

The parentheses then asked the other punctuation marks to march in unison and attract the attention of the capital letters.

The group made loud noise and raised slogans as they marched ahead.

“Capitals, down, down!” they all shouted together.

On hearing unusual sounds, the capital letters came out of their palace rooms and gathered together. asking each other what the matter was.

When they saw their subjects marching together and heard their slogans, they were enraged.

“Who gave them the audacity to talk against us?” screamed capital A.

“How dare they?” capital D almost lost his head.

“Let us show them who we are!” roared capital S.

But before the power-drunk capital letters could do anything the parentheses enclosed them.


The parentheses pushed them closer together...

They tried moving but ended up hitting against each other. Soon they were hurting each other as the parentheses pushed them closer together.

“Don’t push me,” said capital P to capital O.

“Oh, and look at what you are doing to me,” said capital O.

“You are choking me,” cried capital C to capital B.

“But I did nothing,” said capital B, rather helplessly.

As the chaos between the parentheses increased, the marchers stopped and watched what unfolded before them with amusement.

Suddenly and in a coordinated move the parentheses moved away. All the capital letters fell to the ground, moaning and groaning.

The parentheses asked the on-lookers to go forward and help the fallen letters.

As they had promised, the rest of them went in between the fallen letters, and helped them to their feet.

With the smaller letters pooling together to pick each of the capital letters up, a beautiful pattern emerged.

The world of imagination turned into reality and comma, full stop, question mark and exclamatory mark joined the party.

Parentheses clicked the picture of the happy family that came to be known as language.
“Isn’t it wonderful to see the capital letters in between their smaller relatives, protecting them and taking care of them?” asked the right parentheses to the left one. 

The tall capitals shouldered their responsibilities well. They allowed the smaller letters to laugh and play, while they called out to their mates across the words to discuss matters of governance of the language kingdom. The comma and full stop brought in the much needed pause and break in relationships at the right time.

In the end they all realised, how important it was to give space to each other in every relationship!