August 19, 2010 by JalabulaJugs
Disclaimer: The author sincerely apologizes to public figures whose reputation might have been harmed due to the mention of their esteemed names during the course of this story. On the other hand he is happy to be of service to those public figures who actually will become more ‘publicly’ known because of their name being mentioned during the course of this story! Don’t get it? Well, you will… read on…
If the word ‘rivalry’ ever needed an example there would be none more suitable than the long-existing one between 2 nondescript Indian villages along the shores of Mangalore. The loathing that existed between the people of Chokkabettu and Hosabettu was mutual and extremely passionate. It existed between anything and everything; the stones cursed each other; the streetlights faced in opposite directions (that there were no street lights at all was another point of debate altogether); even the sunflowers, disregarding all semblance of normality, faced in opposite directions though the sun shone at exactly the same angle on both the villages; the moons of the two villages (read moon) refused to look at, let alone speak to one another; And the people? Ah! The people! Right from the smallest of children up to the very cornerstone of unquestionable authority-The Village Headmen, there was a feeling of, how shall we put it, a mild annoyance. When we say mild annoyance, we actually mean utter intense downright abhorrence. In fact the story of how both the villages lost their respective headmen within a period of one week is sort of a legend. It happened thus:
The Village headman of one of the villages happened to hear a lot about the job security, perks and lack of work in a government job from many of his acquaintances in the nearby towns. Thus, one day he decided to run away towards greener pastures (though technically he had to just step out of his house to land on one) and secure a government job at all costs. When the Headman of one of the villages learnt about this from his trusted spy in the rival village, he knew that the time had come for him to uphold the honor of his people. He wasted no time in running away, vowing to procure a Government job at the earliest. The following day was one a sight witnessed once in a lifetime. Such was the magnitude of the news of the headmen making headway that people from the two villages freely talked to one another and there was general bonhomie. This was until little Ram, a toddler studying in class 1 suggested that the post of Village Headman was, after all, a government job. Instantly the bonhomie stopped and what ensued is recorded in the annals of history as the spat over the missing heads, with each village accusing the others headman of being the first to run away. Legend has it that it was indeed the headman of the village whose name ended with ‘bettu’ that ran away first.