A Much-needed Replacement

The new entrant at Color World supermarket was quite busy. He’d been introduced as a replacement to the more established entity in the shop. He felt privileged. The workers at the shop fondly called him Nattu.

Nattu seemed to enjoy all the attention. His counterpart, referred to as Pittu, felt sidelined.

It was Pittu who’d always occupied the cash-handling counter. But he was pushed unceremoniously to the rear and Nattu took his position beside the moneybox.

“Not even a day has passed since your arrival and you’re already acting too sassy,” huffed Pittu.

“Ahem! I see that somebody’s getting jealous,” Nattu grinned at his companion.

“Jealous? Nah! Do you think you can eradicate my presence?” spat Pittu.

“How I wish I could do that! But that requires a lot of cooperation from humanity. It also needs a conscious change in their mindset,” replied Nattu dreamily.

“Ha! Don’t give me the utopian picture of the society that you’re visualizing.”

“I’m not dreaming, Pittu. I want to make it a reality. Not just this shop, but I want to enter every part of society, every household, and every human mind to bring about this change.”

“Brother, I’m ubiquitous and immortal. You can’t even level up to me, let alone replace,” remarked Pittu haughtily.

“Immortal? That’s precisely the reason I want you to leave. Your immortality is doing no good. Every being on the planet comes with an expiry date. That’s the Law of Nature. How can you not comply with such a basic rule?”

“That’s the way I’m made. You’ll have to ask mankind- my creator.”

“True. Mankind is its own enemy. I wonder when it will stop being the reason for its downfall,” whispered Nattu, defeated.

“Now you see it? I can’t be blamed for being who I am,” mentioned Pittu truthfully.

“Right! But the human race has woken up from its trance. It’s begun to realize that it’s high time it takes care of the planet that’s given it so much. Or so I believe. That’s why I’m here, signifying the first step of a long journey,” Nattu said aloud.

Pittu admired Nattu’s will to bring about a revolution. He empathized with him.

“I love your spirit, but don’t you think humans would start producing my variants soon and make those available as viable options?”

“Probably. But I only hope that at least your variants come with an expiry,” sighed Nattu.

Meanwhile, a lady at the cash counter asked for a bag to carry her purchase home. The checkout operator picked up the cloth bag, Nattu, and handed it over to her. Nattu was elated.

“Oh! Plastic bag, please?” asked the lady.

“No, ma’am. Not until we’re supplied with biodegradable ones,” replied the operator.

Pittu, the plastic bag, looked up. His curiosity was piqued at the mention of his name. He hoped that his variant wouldn’t be an immortal entity causing havoc to his planet.

Nattu had indeed made a positive impact on his widely proclaimed nemesis.

Lavanya P Kesan

Author’s note:

It’s a request to everyone to carry their own cloth bags for any kind of purchase. Let’s say “No” to plastic. Let’s understand the fact that tons of plastic that we discard into the environment is extremely hazardous to nature and the generations to come. Although biodegradable variants are available, not many stores or small shops provide them. It’s time to make the change and the onus is on us.