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Josh Robbins Saves The World
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Josh Robbins Saves The World
Josh's innocent mind is on a mission to save the world...read more!
[944 words]
Vaishali Shroff
[July 2007]
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Josh Robbins Saves The World
Vaishali Shroff

“Tring Tring, Tring Tring.” The phone rang in the hall way, while the sun had barely risen. Josh, who was nicely tucked into bed, woke up. “Who could it be at this hour?” he mumbled.

Still drowsy, he pushed his blanket aside, got off his bed, and trudged towards the phone that was right next to his room door in the hallway.

“Hello, may I know who this is?” still yawning.

“Hey Josh baby, morning! This is Uncle Brown. How are you doing darling?”

“Morning Uncle Brown. I’m doing well. Could you please hold the line while I call mum?”

Just as he turned, he saw his mum standing right behind him.

“Mum, it’s Uncle Brown on the line.”

“You can go back to sleep honey bun while I talk to him.”

Josh didn’t mind that at all.

“Hi Roger, hope all’s well. It’s been a while since we have spoken.”

“That’s true Martha. I was wondering if the three of you could visit my art gallery sooner. All my paintings are up for auction and they are slated to be delivered to the auction house early next week.”

“Oh, is that so? Let me talk to Steve and Josh about this. I think it would be an experience unlike any other for Josh to visit your art gallery. Why don’t we see you this Friday so we could spend the weekend together?”

“Sounds good to me Martha. See you then.”

Martha hung up, eager at the thought of introducing Josh to some of Rogers’ paintings.

Come Friday and the Robbins family left for Green Ville, a small town about 45 miles north of PomPom. Josh carried his sketch book and crayons to learn a thing or two from Uncle Brown.

Green Ville truly represented the countryside, far from the sullied towns and cities. Not many people inhabited it. They derived their energy from solar power and made compost out of their waste products.

“Look Ma, a peacock on the wall, just like the one we saw on TV,” remarked Josh, his gaze still fixed on the peacock that perched on the wall in all its splendor.

Uncle Browns’ art gallery was poles apart compared to the flashy ones back at home. It was an over-sized dwelling made of red mud and had a thatched roof made of dry grass. The entrance was colorful and pleasant, with tassels adorning the door.

Three huge banyan trees loomed large behind the dwelling. Seemed like an umbrella that formed a protective shield over the roof. Josh marveled at their giant sizes.

“This thatched roof and red mud keep the gallery from heating up during summer,” explained Roger.

“Thank you Uncle Brown for having us over,” said Josh, cleverly revealing a part of his sketch book and crayons that he was hiding behind him.

“Ha ha ha, sure darling, we will sketch some in your book together this evening. How about sitting by the mountains and sketching a sunset?”

“Yipppeeeeeeeee!” Josh could not hold his excitement and jumped to express it.

“Martha, why don’t you’ll get some rest from the journey while I arrange for lunch?”

“No, I’d like to see some of your work now. Can’t wait!”

“Oh all right then. This way please.” Roger directed them towards his painting room.

Seemed like he didn’t need the walls after all! Every inch of the four walls was devoured by his paintings. Some of them were really arresting.

“This painting looks like Green Ville, rather your art gallery with the three banyan trees. But what’s this Uncle Brown? There are five of the same type, except that the one on the extreme left has seven trees, then six, then five, four, and two!”

“Oh these, they represent Green Ville across the last ten years. You see, this entire region was studded with huge trees, and hence the name Green Ville. But over the years, the Government has permitted the locals to chop trees to expand their houses and park their cars. It’s a pity that an unpolluted town such as this is also going the city way.”

Josh’s innocent mind could not help but compare the last painting of the series with the three banyan trees. He could not bear the thought of any one of them being chopped off for no good reason.

“I must save this tree,” he mumbled to himself, not knowing how to go about it. He pondered over it while his grey-blue eyes lay on a piece of light brown cardboard and a black paint box that was about to get over, in one corner of the room.

The chirping of birds filled the air on Saturday morning.

“Roger, can we go for a walk. The weather seems really nice outside.”

“Sure, let’s go. I’ll also introduce you to Simon, who takes care of the art gallery and the garden too.”

“Yes, but have you seen Josh? He wasn’t on his bed when I woke up this morning?”

“Don’t worry; he should be somewhere around the place. It’s not difficult to get lost in here” he laughed.

They walked along a small muddy path that was paved alongside the garden. It led to the three banyan trees, which had hammocks tied across them – an ideal place to laze and read a book, thought Martha.

“Josh, what are you doing here?”

He was sitting under the hammock of one of the banyan trees, holding a placard that read:

There was a sad face drawn in one corner. The wet black paint still trickled from the edges of the cardboard.
Mum and Dad were very touched by what Josh did, still unaware of why he did that. It suddenly dawned on Roger that the last painting in the Green Ville series was still incomplete.



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© 2007 Vaishali Shroff
July 2007

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