A Tale of Two Women

On Saturday the 20th, 7 friends set out on a bike ride at 3 AM. All of them, except for two blokes, didn’t catch a wink of sleep the night before, and all of them, except for one mademoiselle, were comfortably clad in jackets and their heads were neatly covered with either earphones or helmets. The cool wind of the midnight sun blew past them and the traffic was calm, which unassailably let them sail forward in peace.

Excited, they all rode straight upto Madikeri, paying just a single heed to the nature’s call. As the clock peddled forward 2.5 hours, they came at a junction on highway 88, where they took a right turn and entered a road that led them either to Mandalpatti or Abbey Falls.


Abbey, in her youth, was splendid and gorgeous. People from all fours would come to see her and marvel at her spectacular beauty.

Abbey had silvery mane and slender long legs. She had the voice of an opera singer and the soul of a goddess. The dame was full of vigor and she never ceased to feast the thirst for beauty of her admirers.

On the other hand, Mandali was a lonely woman. She was capacious and very quiet. Her body was hoarse and she lacked vigor. However, she was really cool and she did always soothe the minds of people.

For some reason, however, lesser number of people chose to see her, for the path that was to be traipsed to reach her was hard, bumpy, rocky and tiring. It was like a rose with more thorns than the pleasing petals.


Abbey spoke a lot, she always dampened the voice of everyone and she stood over them, majestically, and gleamed with extreme pride. She was comfortably cradled by richness all around her and she was greatly pampered and trophied by her captors, who tyrannically decided to cage her, to show her off to people in exchange for money, to exploit her beauty and to soak out the most money of her as possible.


On the other side, Mandali was free. She was neither caged nor was she extorted or used for any commercial purpose. She was allowed to welcome anyone into her life and to make her own choices and grow independently on any turf of her preference. She was a woman with much to offer, only to those people though who saw that which to other lesser minds appeared to be void or a fantastic collection of nothingness.


People soon grew greedy and tried to corrupt Abbey. She tried to fight her way out with her inner strength and zealously flushed down all the debris that tried to pollute her. However, her captors, who once tried to preserve her beauty and show her off to the world, grew edacious and started paying more heed to the money than they did for her sanctity. They eventually deserted her for want of more economic gains and left her at the mercy of those who came to eye her. Sure there were many a people with honest thirst for beauty and with no intent to defile her, but many took her for granted and polluted her.


Mandali didn’t need preserving, because her beauty wasn’t one that people would or even could pollute. Her beauty dwelled on the inside, in the mind of the beholder, not the eyes. Her beauty wasn’t one that offered instant pleasure, but one that had to be earned after hardship and effort.


Abbey is now all lost and covered in filth, however still, people who dwell on the stories of her past glory frequent her. Is it to boast? Is it for just namesake? Is it for want of making it better? Or is it still to corrupt her more than she already is?

Those who realized that Abbey is a lost cause now turn towards Mandali. She too is being commercialized, little by little, just like Abbey was, but she will fight to keep her freedom, as will her admirers who like her for who she is, for her spirit and for her sanctity.


Help preserve the natural beauty of India. Help preserve our natural resources and help preserve the soul of this country. You really needn’t do much. Just don’t throw garbage wherever, just don’t spit wherever, just don’t break whatever, don’t pollute and see nature as people and not as objects that are yours to enjoy and defile.

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