Here is the 2nd half of my own version of Life of Pi. I hope you enjoy it!
I was dying of thirst. I had to get some water quickly, or I would die. I was sure that there must’ve been some food onboard. I decided to have a quick search around the lifeboat before Richard Parker and the hyena wakes up. I weakly got up from the tarpaulin. I realised the only place on the lifeboat I hadn’t checked was the most dangerous, Richard Parkers “den” underneath the tarpaulin. I arose and slowly creeped down from above the tarpaulin, as quietly as I could. I peeked under. I noticed a triangular cut on the side of the boat. Was it a cabinet? I had to try and find out. I unrolled a bit of the tarpaulin above us. I could see more clearly now with a bit of light. It was a closet on the side of the door. My heart was thumping frantically. I felt it. There was a handle. Oh thank you lord Ganesha. I opened it slowly as it creaked. Richard Parker snarled in his sleep. I froze. He moved around and silently went back to sleep. I returned to my mission. I put my hand through. I felt packages and cans. I was saved! I took as many as I could back up on top of the tarpaulin. I looked at the bright golden cans and cartons in the morning light. They said “Drinking Water” on all of them. I laughed with joy. I couldn’t believe it! I had to stop blubbering and drink water now. I examined the cans. How would I open them? I had to find a can opener. I didn’t want to go down there again so I decided to use a built in to the side of the boat to open the water cans. I tried to hinge off the lid. It was working! It was coming off. Finally, after a few attempts, the lid popped off and pearl clean fresh crystalline water came gushing out. I licked the sides. It tasted so fresh and lovely. I poured it down my throat like never before. My joints moved much easier. My heart was pounding with joy. I felt alive again.
Now my tummy was filled with lovely clean liquid, it still felt a bit empty. I needed food. I noticed lots of emergency ration cartons behind a stack of golden cans. I ripped open the carton and filled my belly with one kilo of it. I looked at what else I had. MMMM! I noticed a packet of masala dosa with coconut chutney on the side! My favourite Indian dish. OHH YUMMM!! Uttapam! Even better: IDLI! I grabbed everything and shoved it all into my demanding mouth. It was DELICIOUS! I have to say, I did eat a bit like a pig, but it wasn’t my fault if I hadn’t eaten or drank anything in three days! Once my tummy was full with all of these unexpected treasures, I decided to go and find what else was in the cabinet. I creeped back down and brought everything that was there up above the tarpaulin. Later that day, I made a list of what I had:
* 192 tablets of anti-seasickness medicine
* 124 golden tin cans of drinking water, each containing 500 millilitres (62 litres in total)
* 32 plastic vomit bags
* 31 cartons of emergency rations, 500 grams each (15.5 kilos in total)
* 16 wool blankets
* 12 solar stills
* 10 or so life jackets each with whistles
* 6 morphine ampoule syringes
* 6 hand flares
* 5 oars
* 4 rocket parachute flares
* 3 tough transparent bags each with a capacity of about 50 litres
* 3 can openers
* 3 glass beakers for drinking
* 2 boxes of waterproof matches
* 2 buoyant orange smoke signals
* 2 orange plastic buckets
* 2 buoyant orange plastic bailing cups
* 2 plastic containers
* 2 yellow rectangular sponges
* 2 buoyant synthetic ropes, each 50 metres long
* 2 non – buoyant synthetic ropes, each approximately 30 metres long
* 2 fishing kits with hooks, lines and sinkers
* 2 gaffs with very sharp barbed hooks
* 2 sea anchors
* 2 hatchets
* 2 rain catchers
* 2 black ink ballpoint pens
* 1 nylon cargo net
* 1 life buoy with a rope attached to it
* A large hunting knife with two ends, one is a sharp blade and the other a sawtoothed blade.
* 1 sewing kit
* 1 first aid kit in a waterproof plastic case
* 1 signalling mirror
* 1 pack of filter tipped Chinese cigarettes
* 1 large bar of dark chocolate
* 1 survival manual
* 1 compass
* 1 notebook with 98 lined pages
* 1 boy with a lost shoe
* 1 African spotted hyena
* 1 Royale Bengal tiger
* 1 lifeboat
* 1 Ocean
* 1 God
With the life buoy around my waist, I silently fell back asleep for the rest of the morning.
I woke up at around midday. I was starting to get hungry again. I looked around. The sea was still calm although I wasn’t. I had to move quickly otherwise I would be eaten alive. Now I was in good form and I was fed enough for now, I had no excuse. I had an idea that I had been thinking through all day. I would make a strong and sturdy raft to live on. I could use the oars and tie them all up together to make the raft base and I could spend the rest of my days there. I would attach a rope linking the lifeboat to the raft. If Richard Parker really wanted to eat me, he would have to jump into the sea and swim over to the raft. After all, he is a cat and cats detest water. The hyena was awake. It was screaming, probably warming up its mouth before eating me. I had to do it quickly. I got up and peeked under the tarpaulin. Richard Parker was sleeping and I weakly reached for the oars. I stared at the huge beast as I nervously pulled out the oars. The life jackets were stacked all around him. There were lots of – wait a minute, Lifejackets? Where had they came from? They must’ve been in Richard Parkers den the whole time! I thought that I could use that in addition to the buoyant rope and oars to make sure the raft floated well and was fully balanced. I took all the oars up onto the tarpaulin and reached down to grab some orange life jackets. Once I had all my construction materials on the top of the tarpaulin, I started to build my raft. It took all afternoon, and after securing knots and tying life jackets onto the 5 oar base, my raft was finally complete. It wasn’t perfect, but at least I knew for sure that it was secure (after knotting each end of the oars together 10 times). As I was gathering up all my stuff from the tarpaulin, I was just about to swim back to the raft when I turned around and…
“Jesus, Mary, Muhammadu and Christ!”
There, in the lifeboat was Richard Parker standing up with his giant head turning around and growling at the hyena. The African beast was still shrieking loudly and feared the royal Bengal tiger as much as I did. I could never erase this picture of Richard Parker from my memory. His head was as big as the life buoy itself. His canines were as long as bread knives, only much more sharp, and his growl was as loud as an orchestra. He was truly ginormous. I felt so weak against him. I began to tremble uncontrollably. Richard Parker looked at the hyena. As soon as the tiger had fixed his eyes upon the hyena he fell completely silent. His death was one of the most quiet animal deaths I had ever witnessed. Not one word came out of the hyenas mouth as he fell to his end. After ripping off enormous chunks of flesh, Richard Parker stared at me. I could not describe to you what happened next. I could maybe describe to you what I saw, but never what I felt. It was… speechless. I stood on the tarpaulin and looked down at the beast below. He started to walked my way, growling at me. He pawed at the tarpaulin. He didn’t seem to enjoy its soft, bounciness. He didn’t like the exposure to the sun as well, or the rocking of the boat either. He hesitated for a minute. Was I in luck? Just then, a brown rat ran out from nowhere. It noticed that there was a carnivore man – eating tiger on the boat and like me, froze with fear. Then, looking around at me, it scuttled up my leg, onto my chest and on top of my head. I was an even bigger target for Richard Parker now. He looked at me, probably licking his chops inside. My legs collapsed beneath me. I was worried that he would pounce any second. Before my end, I still had one last plan in mind. I grabbed the squealing rat from on top of my head and threw it to Richard Parker. The tiger didn’t move its eyes off the little rat, even when it was flying through the air. It landed with a crunch inside Richard Parkers mouth like a soccer ball caught in a goalkeepers gloves. I felt sorry for the poor rat, but at least I had a few more minutes to live. I had probably made a new world record of ‘longest survival in a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no protection whatsoever and a adult male Bengal tiger watching you 24/7.
Richard Parker seemed pleased with his offering and turned away. Now was my chance. I pulled the rope attached to the raft in and grabbed a few life jackets. I filled as many gaps as I could and clambered onto my precious construction. I was safe.
Night was approaching. It was starting to rain. Big wasteful drops fell into the water around me. I pulled the rope towards the boat. The closer I was to the lifeboat, the less I pulled. I reached the side of the boat. I peeked over the side. Richard Parker was not in view. He was nicely protected under the waterproof tarpaulin. I wanted to get some things out of the locker. I climbed aboard and opened the locker. I grabbed a rain catcher, a fifty litre plastic bag, a blanket and the survival manual. I slammed the locker lid shut. I didn’t mean to slam it – only that I didn’t want all my precious goods to get wet. That was a very bad mistake. Richard Parker emerged from his den under the tarpaulin. His mouth was covered in the hyenas dry blood and he snarled. Most animals do not like to be disturbed when they are eating, especially tigers. I took the things and jumped onto my raft. Richard Parker disappeared under the tarpaulin.
It rained all night until early morning. It was very hard to sleep. I woke up at least five times that night. I felt so sick thinking about where I am now in the middle of nowhere all pitch black in a tiny raft with rain falling on my head whereas I could be in dear Pondicherry with mother, father and Ravi all cosy in my bed with at least a roof on top of my head. The rain catcher made an awfully loud drumming noise. The blanket was soaking wet and made me even more cold wearing it. I didn’t read the survival manual in case the pages got wet and anyway – It was such a stupid idea bringing it in the first place because I didn’t even hade a light. The plastic bag helped my feet a bit from getting wet. But apart from that, all was miserable that night.
During the time I was awake that night, I thought of some plans to get rid of Richard Parker.
1. Push him off the lifeboat
How could I? Even if I managed to push off 450 pounds off the boat, what use would it be? Tigers are extremely fast and especially good swimmers. If I pushed him overboard, he could easily climb back onboard and get his revenge for my treacherous plan.
2. Kill him with 6 morphine syringes
He would never let me get close to him. Even if I tried to prick him with which looked to him like a miniature sewing needle, he would claw off my face with one big scratch.
3. Attack him with any available weaponry
How was I to do that? What, would I come running up to him on the lifeboat like some mad hooligan with knives in my hands and a hatchet between my teeth. If you think of it, he has those weapons naturally on him.
4. Choke him
I had a rope. I was very talented in lassoing. I could easily choke him to death, but I would have to be very strong. A very well thought out plan, that could maybe work.
5. Poison him, electrocute him, set him on fire, blast his head off with a rocket flare
How? With what? Am I going mad?
6. Let him die of thirst and hunger
A very well thought out plan. It wouldn’t require any physical energy but to let him die of hunger and especially thirst. I know that if he was getting to hungry he would start to try and eat me, but for thirst I was not a target.
And so I had a very clever and nasty plan, all I had to do now is wait.
I awoke very late the next morning. Unfortunately, I had left my watch on my bedside table in the tsimtsum, but I could still tell if it was late or not without it.
The raft was a joke. It was no other than a few sticks held together by string and orange corks filling the holes. The raft might’ve been good for a swimming pool or maybe even a lake, but definitely not for the Pacific Ocean.
My fellow companion awoke as well. He lied there and went back to sleep. An echo whispered in my head: ” Plan number 6, plan number 6, plan number 6″. But what was plan number 6 again? Oh yes, the war of attrition. The waiting game. But suddenly, another voice popped into my head at once: “You idiot! You skinny dimwit! What are you thinking! You have made the most wrong decisions! First you invite an adult Bengal tiger onto your lifeboat and as he is climbing aboard and you realise that you are going to be together, man and tiger, in a tiny lifeboat together in the centre of hell. And now you are waking up to the fact that your plan is the dumbest plan of all! He will jump off the lifeboat if he has to and eat all the fish he can to fill his belly! Have you forgot that tigers from the Sundarbans drink saline water! Oh you brainless baboon! You will die! Do you understand! YOU WILL DIE!
Here I was with a plan that has totally failed. Richard Parker arose and looked at me straight in the eyes. I recognised this stare. It wasn’t the stare of an angry hungry tiger. It was the opposite. Suddenly, he made a noise. I pricked up my ears. He did it a second time. Prusten?
Animals make lots of different noises as you may know. Cats make so many noises that mean different things. Purring is a sign of affection and you can also identify tigers and cats by their purrs as well (tiger only purr when they breathe out and small pussy cats breath both ways). Growling and snarling is a sign of hunger. Prusten is a sign of peace and care. It is the quietest noises that a tiger can make through by puffing gently through its nose. Father had once heard it before when he visited the Mysore Zoo when a young male was treated of pneumonia. I decided to tame Richard Parker. It was a crazy idea, but if we were going to live about 20 feet away from each other for however long, he was my only hope. I noticed a whistle attached the a life jacket on the raft. I de-attached the whistle and climbed back up to above the tarpaulin. Richard Parker did not move his eyes off me at all. I started the lesson.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, hurry to your seats! The show is about to begin! Don’t be late. Get comfortable in your seats and pay close attention as I present to you, THE INDO-CANADIAN FLOATING CIRCUSSSSSSSSSSS!!!”
With that, I blew as hard as I could into the whistle until my cheeks puffed up like bright red balloons.
“TRRREEEEEE! TRRREEEEEE! TRRREEEEEE!”
Richard Parker reacted as soon as he heard the first tweet of the whistle. He sprang up and clawed the air. I thought he would kill me. But he didn’t. Instead, he growled and walked back to his sheltered den. It had worked. It was a success.
And so it came to be:
Plan number 7: Keep him alive
I pulled out the survival manual. It was written by a British Royal Navy Commander. At the very beginning, it had a few tips on how to survive after a shipwreck.
* Always read instructions carefully.
* Do not drink urine. Or bird blood. Or sea water.
* Do not eat jellyfish. Or fish that are armed with spikes. Or that puff up like balloons. Or that have parrot like beaks.
* Pressing the eyes of fish will paralyse them.
* Put up your feet at least five minutes every hour.
* Green water is shallower than blue water.
* Do not go swimming. It wastes energy and awares other dangerous sea life of your presence. If it is too hot, simply dip your clothes in the sea instead.
* So long as no excessive water is lost through perspiration, the body can survive up to fourteen days without water. If you are thirsty, suck a button.
* Turtles are an easy catch and make very nutritious meals. Their blood is drinkable and their flesh is very tasty. Their shells also make excellent food bowls. Mind the beak and claws.
I looked at the empty Ocean. I had to stop counting on a ship to rescue me. I was all alone. I burst into tears. All I had now was hope.
I was getting hungry again. I pulled the rope towards the boat and climbed aboard. Richard Parker was under his den. I took food out of the locker. I had some emergency ration and a can of water. I looked at the solar stills. Maybe I could use them later. After I had eaten, I climbed back onto the raft. Just then, I had the most fabulous idea. I thought of making a mast for my raft. That way, we would sail more quickly. I got to work straight away. I took one of the five masts and unattached it from the rest of the raft base. I then stood it up in the middle and fixed it there with a piece of rope. I then took the knife and with the sawtooth blade cut a dent going halfway through the top of the mast. Then, with the normal blade, I made three holes going right through the flat side of the oar. I then took a big piece of rope and attached them all to the dent at the top of the mast and attached the ropes to each end of the base of the raft. Finally, I attached the blanket to the mast and threw it over the ropes. I checked all the knots and after a long day of construction, my raft was finally finished. It was a marvel. It worked really well. Instead of the lifeboat pulling me along, I was pulling the lifeboat along. I read a few steps of navigation in my manual and silently went to bed.
The next morning I was feeling ready and in good form. I went to the lifeboat again. I was going to try fishing today. It wasn’t going to be for me, but for Richard Parker. His breath was smelling really bad and I could even smell it from the raft. It was not a good sign. The adult lions and tigers at the zoo eat on average 10 pounds of meat per day. I had never fished before in my life, so I was really excited to give it a try. I climbed aboard and got a fishing rod, a bucket and a knife out of the locker. Richard Parker was probably still sleeping in his little sheltered den. I had only one problem. I didn’t have any bait. I decide to use my leather shoe. I only had one left as the other one was lost when the ship sunk. I cut chunks of leather out of it and stacked them up in a pile. I tied a piece of it to the hook and dropped the hook down into the sea. After a few minutes, I felt a small tug on the rod. I pulled the hook in, but all I got was an empty hook without the leather chunk. I tried and failed until all the chunks were gone. I tried the shoelaces. They would make good impressions of earthworms. I attached them to the hook. This time, I got bigger tugs on the line from bigger fish such as dorado sand huge trouts. But every fish escaped. I even tried the sole, but again I was defeated. I only had one thing left that I could use as bait. Richard Parkers dead animals. He hadn’t finished the hyena yet and there was still a tiny bit of zebra flesh left that would serve us at least 10 fish. But I didn’t want to risk it. He didn’t know that what I was doing was for him. Richard Parker arose from his den.
He stared at me. He half snorted half sneezed through his nose. Prusten again. What an amazing creature. I now understand why they call them Royale tigers. He was on the other side of the boat, behind the zebra. How had I not noticed him? What a stunning cat. Suddenly as I was admiring him, a big claw hit me hard in the face. It was Richard Parker. He was going to kill me. My life came to an end. My face was so painful it had turned numb. I opened my eyes. Richard Parker was at the stem of the boat, still sitting behind the zebra. I heard a flap. It was coming from the open locker. It was a fish. A flying fish to be exact. I couldn’t believe my luck. Richard Parker growled as he approached the fish. I threw it to him. He caught it in his strong drooling jaws. This was the way to tame him! More fish followed some flew onto Richard Parker and some flew onto me it was really painful. I took a fish off the floor. I decided I was going to kill it to provide it from escaping over the boat like most of the others did. I put a handkerchief over its body. I raised the hatchet laying beside me. I brought it up above my head. I couldn’t do this. It was to hard for a sixteen year old vegetarian to kill a sole. I couldn’t. I knew I had to. The longer I waited the longer the fish suffered. I grabbed the fish with both hands and bent its neck. I heard a snap. The wriggling spirit had immediately stopped. The fish was dead. I took the blanket off and found the head separated from the body. Here I was, a religious Muslim, Catholic, Hindu boy with blood on my hands. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I pray for the sole everyday.
I was covered in cuts and bruises. Richard Parker had a great feast. My reward for all the pain was 6 fish in the locker and plenty more on the boat. What luck!
Later that day I tried fishing again. I had realised that all the fish were to small for the hook and just nibbled bits of the bait away. Finally. I had caught a dorado. It was huge, at least 3 foot long. I pulled it in. I didn’t think I could manage. I tugged for five minutes until the dorado finally gave up. This time it wasn’t so hard to kill it. But the fish did the most extraordinary thing when it died. It started glowing different colours, from blue to green to purple to yellow, all sorts of magnificent shades. I flung its body onto the lifeboat and Richard Parker sprang to his feet. I watched him as he ate and blew the whistle a few times to remind him who this gracious gift was from. I went to bed under the thought of the amazing chameleon – like colour changing dorado.
Butchering a turtle was hard work. I remember my first was a hawksbill. A small 4 foot male. I caught its hind flippers. It made a frantic flapping of its flippers. With one hand on its shell and the other holding its hind flippers together, I pulled it over on top of the raft. I heaved. It was too heavy. I would either have to let it go, or kill it aboard the lifeboat. The raft could not hold so much weight. I held it above the water with one hand and pulled the rope towards the lifeboat with the other. I heaved it overboard. It was so huge! I pushed it onto its back to it couldn’t escape. It still made attempts to roll back over as its flippers flapped around frantically in the air. I let it go as I grabbed a hatchet. I held the turtle in one hand as I brought the hatchet up above my head with the other. The survival manual requested to cut off the neck. I looked at the wriggling hawksbill. There was no neck. It had taken refuge inside its shell after it saw the hatchet. What a clever animal. I tried to get the top of the head that was sticking out a bit and hit it a few times. But I didn’t manage to kill it. Suddenly, the turtles head popped out of its shell and snapped its beak at me. I jumped back and as soon as I had left, the turtles flippers popped out as well. I ran back to it and cut off its head. Bright – red blood gushed out of its neck. I reached for a beaker and filled it up to the top. I drank all the blood. I have to say, it was very nice. Salt-free and simply delicious. The only unpleasant thing was that the turtles chopped off head was still snapping and eyes were blinking. I pushed it into the sea. Richard Parker suddenly came alert of the turtle. I fled to the raft.
Weeks and weeks passed. I tried to tame Richard Parker every few days. I would stand on the edge of the lifeboat and blow my whistle to try and mark my territory. I used the turtle shell as a shield. I made a pretty strong shield, only that I would’ve liked it if it was less heavy as I could barely hold it up. Richard Parker came charging at me from the other side of the boat. With one big claw, he sent me overboard. I was terrified, now of Richard Parker, but also of the sharks. I swam as fast as I could to the raft. Luckily, there were no sharks. I made it.
Four times I tried to tame Richard Parker this way. Four times did he send me overboard. The fifth shield has lasted me the rest of my journey.
I wish I had a book. A never ending book. Even a never ending book series. I had a diary that I wrote in time to time, but that only described my emotions of my family and where I was now with taming Richard Parker. I wrote in very small print as I was worried the pages would run out.
My raft was wearing out. The life jackets were crumbling apart. The oars aware growing seaweed on them. There were crabs scuttling on the raft. And sea worms as well.
My body was also falling apart. My feet were swollen and ankles twice the size they should be. My skin was crumpled from being in the water. The salt made my hair all knotted. I was constantly seasick. My legs were so weak I couldn’t stand anymore.
This story has a happy ending.
– This is an extra chapter I made up myself. I hope you enjoy it! –
It was a cloudy day when I was checking the knots on the raft. I had a few ropes that I was going to add to make it more stable. It was quiet early in the morning and Richard Parker was sleeping and the sharks were out. Suddenly, a huge adult mako shark came up to the raft. He jumped out of the water and lunged at me. I was so scared. I then remembered reading in the survival manual that sharks usually come out to feed at sunrise and sunset. I jumped onto my knees. I was trembling with fear. Suddenly an idea popped into my head. I tied the end of one of the ropes I was going to use for the raft into a loop so it looked like a noose on a lasso. I swung it around my head. I aimed for the mako shark. He was still swimming quite fast around the raft and the lifeboat. This was my chance. As he came the lunge at me again on the raft. I swung my lasso onto him. It worked! I never knew I was so talented in lassoing! I had caught the shark around its body. It was swimming very quickly (at least at 30 miles per hour) and made sharp turns to escape from the rope. I tightened the noose so that it was securely fastened around the sharks waist. I was going to use it as an extra sail! I had the compass by my side, and I could navigate the shark to go towards the west. I tugged on the rope. The shark immediately leaped out of the water. He was so ginormous! Finally, after a long fight, I had managed to navigate him to swim towards west, so that we could reach America more quickly. The shark was swimming away from the raft which meant it was pulling us along. The raft was going at such a speed that it looked like the raft was a speedboat. I attached the bit of the rope I was holding to the oars on the base and knotted it carefully. What a fine boost the shark made. It even had the strength to pull on the lifeboat behind the raft. After nearly an hour I would say, Richard Parker awoke with the strong wind blowing in his face and noticed the shark. He growled and looked like he needed breakfast. As the shark got tired, I stuck a knife into its eyes and threw it to the lifeboat. Richard Parker was delighted, and for the first time in weeks, so was I.
I caught a number of sharks on the boat. Some were other makos, but most were blue sharks. I caught the pups as the adults were to large and heavy to carry onboard. I remember a particular shark though to whom I had delivered to Richard Parker one day.
It was late in the afternoon and I had made a very nice catch on the fishing rod. It was a baby mako, nearly 2 foot long with huge terrifying teeth and death black eyes. I brought it onto the lifeboat. Richard Parker was aware already. He was pawing at the tarpaulin, wanting his afternoon tea. I took the shark off the hook and threw it to him. He caught it and let it go on the floor. His paws had already cuts and bruises as the sharks skin was as rusty as sandpaper. Abruptly, Richard Parker put his paw into the sharks mouth. Of course, the only line of defence the shark had was to close his mouth. His knife-like teeth snapped between Richard Parker’s fine, stripy paws. A huge, bone rattling roar shook the boat. I screamed. Richard Parker was bleeding all over his paws. With one sharp bite he killed the shark and ate it in pain. I fled to the lifeboat before the poor tiger could get any angrier.
On the day I thought it was mothers birthday, I sang happy birthday to her out loud.
We also saw a number of whales during our journey. We saw lots of humpbacks and one day we even saw an adult blue whale. The first whale we saw was breaching in the distance. It then glided closer and closer to the boat. It was a female humpback. What a stunning creature. I even think that Richard Parker was a bit scared. She came straight up to the boat and turned onto her side. Her eye gazed at me. I gazed at her. It was an amazing feeling. She left and glided away in the distance.
Months passed. It felt like years, even decades. I was truly alone. I lied there on the tarpaulin, as weak as ever. I couldn’t move. These were the last pages of my diary.
I am alone. Today I saw a huge shark. It was a tiger shark.
Very dangerous. R.P as weak as ever. So am I. I touched him today.
He didn’t have the strength to kill me.
I know I will die. I don’t have any food.
I am to weak to fish. It feels like there are no more fish in the sea.
I will die.
Those were the last words of my diary.
A ship came. I yelled with all my strength.
“Richard Parker!! A ship! Look! A SHIP! Aren’t you happy?! We will be saved! Oh thank you lord Ganesha! We are saved!”
I waved at the grand oil tanker. It was truly ginormous. The noises of the ship stunned me. We were saved. It was coming really close to us. It better stop or it would crash into us. I yelled and blew as hard as I could on the whistle. They didn’t stop. They were going to crash into us.
“Richard Parker! They are going to crash into us! We will drown! They haven’t seen us! Here, grab an oar! Paddle, Paddle! Come on! Humph! Humph!”
The grand ship missed the boat by metres. I cried. We would never reach land. We would die.
I had gone blind. The salt had worn my eyes out. I couldn’t see. There was nothing to see anyway except from total blue. That’s when I was wrong.
“Is somebody there?” A voice called out from the distance.
“Hello?! Did I hear someone?!” I called
“Yes! Oh my God! Are you there?” The American voice called out again.
“Yes! Come to me brother! Oh Vishnu, thank you!”
“Where are you?”
“I am here!”
The faint sound of paddling oars came towards the boat. Another boat was nearby.
“I’m sorry, I can’t see you as I am blind” I said.
“I am also blind.”
“I’m sorry, it’s the salt.”
“I have a story” I said.
” Lets here it!”
“Once there was a banana that fell from a tree. Then, somebody walked by and ate it”
“Bravo!” Said my brother clapping.” Tears are in my eyes!”
“Thank you. Do you have any food? I haven’t eaten in days!”
“No. Do you have any bananas?”
“An orang-utan distracted me.”
“It’s a long story.”
“No, I ate them.”
“You ate cigarettes!”
“I still have the filters”
“What on earth am I going to do with the filters?”
“What on earth were you going to do with the cigarettes?”
“How on earth did I think that I would meet someone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that would trade me with cigarettes? What do you have to trade anyway?”
“A lovely fine leather boot.”
“Lovely worn leather, smooth to the touch”
“Like lovely fine leather”
“Mmmm! It does sound tempting! I could trade it for something else!”
“There’s only one problem”
“I ate the boot”
“You ate the boot?!”
“Can I board your boat?”
“Brother, there is only one thing I forgot to mention.”
I heard a faint growl from the other side of the boat.
“Wait, brother no! Don’t go there!”
Before I could say the word ‘alone’, I was alone again.
I rummaged around his boat. I found that he had lied to me. He had a little turtle meat, a dorado head and a few biscuit crumbs. It all went down my throat as I released his boat.
My vision came back after two days. I looked at the boat. It was a total mess. The here was blood on the floor and it stunk of bones and organs. There was my brothers body lying infront of Richard Parkers den. Had never got to see who my brother was as Richard Parker had eaten his face off.
We had reached land. It was a small tropical island. After months at sea, we had reached land. I was so delighted when we were rowing towards the island at first that I fell off the boat. I felt truly alive again. Richard Parker disappeared in the island as we hit shore. I cried “I love you Richard Parker. I really do. I wouldn’t have made it without you! I love you!”
The island was full of meerkats. I killed some and ate them. Simply delicious. Fresh water springs all over the small island. Fascinating small carnivorous meat-eating trees. But I couldn’t go on living my life like this. I wanted to talk to humans again. I wanted to interact with people. I sailed to the big island a few miles away. It turned out to be Mexico. Benito Juárez, Mexico to be exact. Local people of the village took me in. They gave me a bath. They scrubbed me so hard that I had to explain that I was naturally dark-skinned and that I wasn’t a very dirty teenager. They put me to bed in a lovely room. To these people I give my love and thanks. The next morning, the police car took me to the hospital where I had an interview that morning with the two Japanese men Mr. Tomohiro Okamoto and his junior colleague Mr. Atsuro Chiba from the Maritime Department in the Japanese Ministry of Transport where they questioned me on how a sixteen year old boy has survived for 227 days in a solitary lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, a female Borneo orang-utan and a 450 pound adult male Royale Bengal tiger.
(To be continued …)