Daniel, a painter born and raised in Manipur, roams Imphal on his bicycle. It offers…..
A frog jumps up on the wall and gives a speech to other frogs down in the well. He declares the well to be the best place in the world and the ultimate truth of the universe, “we love this well to the utmost and this spirit is called Frogism. If you love this well, please join my cause and swear in as a Frogist”.
Lord of the Frogs – A Maskwaith Ahsan Short Story
Posted by Ongshumali অংশুমালী on Sunday, May 26, 2019
Murmurs of “Long Live Frogism” are heard down below. But one protests, “During one full moon when the water level in this well rose to the brim, I was swept away by a flash flood. It was a chance to see the outer world and I can tell you that this well is not the best place, there are better places to see and many new things to discover.”
The leader of Frogism shouts, “shut up you traitor. Love this well or leave”.
Blind Frogists attack the protestor, beat him up for “belittling our spirit of Frogism” and his anti-Frogist behavior.
The entire well sinks into the fear of Frogism and its followers become judges of Frogist loyalty. They uphold the true spirit of their frog community so well that the leader rewards them with the right to devour small insects and other insignificant creatures hiding inside the well.
Hence Frogists become fat and the rest of the frogs thinner. Becoming a fat frog turns into the biggest dream inside the well. Every day the fat ones test the loyalty of thin frogs, recruit a few of them and hunt down the others.
“Kill the beasts and eat them”, they shout.
One fat frog sings about the beauty and happiness inside the well. He becomes a celebrity.
A thin one sings about the miseries within the well where many have been killed and eaten up by Frogists. Through his song he questions whether it is frogism or fatism; a spirit that gives the license to kill and eat. He becomes silently popular.
The celebrity fat frog gets the favor of the leader and requests him to ban songs that hurt frog sentiments. After some consultation a ban is enforced. To justify this censorship, a justifier starts preaching about the uniqueness of Frogism. He conjures up dinosaur conspiracies, that when all frogs go to sleep, a dinosaur comes near the well and provokes the anti-Frogism force into revolting against their holy ideology.
Optimum fear reigns within the nooks and crannies of the well, until one day news spreads that the thin anti-Frogist singer is dead. One Frogist shouts victoriously, “He morally died when he derailed from the spirit of Frogism. Today he died only physically. Let’s eat the dead body of the traitor.”
A fat frog while chewing the left leg of the dead singer says ecstatically, “this tastes like the leg roast of a dinosaur.” The quote spreads and every Frogist starts believing that in eating the leg of a dead anti-Frogist they are actually eating roasted dinosaur leg.
This euphoria turns into a holy belief that killing an anti-Frogist serves as a betterment for the well. The fat singer sings,
“Kill the enemy frog that’s a dinosaur in disguise,
To create heaven here, that is the holy price.”