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|Fat Always Floats to the Top (standard:travel stories, 4150 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Nov 18 2010||Views/Reads: 1584/1108||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A short biographical sketch|
Fat Always Flows to the Top By Subba Rao “Why does fat always float to the top of water, Samantha?” I asked. “I don't know, dad, and I don't care,” she said. “Take your time and think,” I said Then, I went into our kitchen, brought a cup of water and placed a piece of butter into the water. Then I asked my daughter her observations. “Yeap, I see it floats,” she said, in a mater-of-fact way without much interest. “You know why?” “No, and I don't want to know,” she said. That was her style of learning. “Because, fat is lighter than water,” I said. “I don't care if is lighter or not,” she said, watching TV. Our education class ended for that day. With my background in chemistry, I could have given her more details, but she was only ten years old. A piece of fat dropped into water, floating to the surface, was a simple physical phenomenon that could be seen by anybody with good vision. My thoughts traveled back into the past to scan some inexplicable human behavior that did not make sense at that time but later, as time passed, I understood it all fit into the simple phenomenon such as how fat always float to the top. The zoo and botanical garden at Queen's Park in Trinidad was not a great place for amusement or fun. Once, a mentally derailed person jumped into the lion's den at the zoo and offered his food; rice and peas to the animal. The confused lion with its powerful paw knocked the crazy man dead before the zookeeper could save him. The lion left the corpse intact, and withdrew to a corner for somebody to come up and cleanup the mess. This incident was big news and improved the zoo's poor attendance for a while. Once, I visited the botanical gardens to find Raw Beef Plant, named after its deep reddish color bark, for a small sample for my research work. After walking around, I found a few of those trees in the park. The park manager, while sympathetic to my unusual requests for a piece of the bark, refused on the grounds that the tree could be harmed, even by peeling off a few inches of bark. Each tree was almost two feet in diameter and thirty feet high. After my repeated requests were rejected, I came out of his office dejected, since I badly needed the sample for my research. As I walked through the park, an East Indian groundsman came behind me running and said, “Man you can have a small piece of bark, it won't kill the plant.” “Are you sure, your boss said it was against the rules?” “I am an Indian just like you, naah. Look at my hair, straight like yours. Come with me, I will cut a piece for you,” he said. I followed him towards the Raw Beef Plant with hesitation. With a cutlass (or machete, a heavy long knife), he cut a small piece and gave it to me in a brown lunch bag. He refused the lunch money I offered as a gift and just walked away with cutlass in his hand whistling an old Indian melody. I felt so humble by his generosity and kinship. Here was a man who did not know who I was and yet went out of his way. His gesture was based on simple thought process; he identified with me because I came from his ancestral home. Ms. John an old woman of African decent worked as a janitor in the same building where I worked as graduate student. Every morning, her son, a Click here to read the rest of this story (368 more lines)
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