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Chapter 86
"Richard Parker, a ship!"I had the pleasure of shouting that once. I was overwhelmedwith happiness. All hurt and frustration fell away and Ipositively blazed with joy.
"We've made it! We're saved! Do you understand,Richard Parker? WE'RE SAVED! Ha, ha, ha, ha!"I tried to control my excitement. What if the ship passed toofar away to see us? Should I launch a rocket flare? Nonsense!
"It's coming right towards us, Richard Parker! Oh, I thankyou, Lord Ganesha! Blessed be you in all your manifestations,Allah-Brahman!"It couldn't miss us. Can there be any happiness greater thanthe happiness of salvation? The answer – believe me – is No.
I got to my feet, the first time in a long time I had madesuch an effort.
"Can you believe it, Richard Parker? People, food, a bed. Lifeis ours once again. Oh, what bliss!"The ship came closer still. It looked like an oil tanker. Theshape of its bow was becoming distinct. Salvation wore a robeof black metal with white trim.
"And what if…?"I did not dare say the words. But might there not be achance that Father and Mother and Ravi were still alive? TheTsimtsum had had a number of lifeboats. Perhaps they hadreached Canada weeks ago and were anxiously waiting fornews from me. Perhaps I was the only person from the wreckunaccounted for.
"My God, oil tankers are big!"It was a mountain creeping up on us.
"Perhaps they're already in Winnipeg. I wonder what ourhouse looks like. Do you suppose, Richard Parker, thatCanadian houses have inner courtyards in the traditional Tamilstyle? Probably not. I suppose they would fill up with snow inwinter. Pity. There's no peace like the peace of an innercourtyard on a sunny day. I wonder what spices grow inManitoba?"The ship was very close. The crew better be stopping shortor turning sharply soon.
"Yes, what spices…? Oh my God!"I realized with horror that the tanker was not simply comingour way – it was in fact bearing down on us. The bow was avast wall of metal that was getting wider every second. A hugewave girdling it was advancing towards us relentlessly. RichardParker finally sensed the looming juggernaut. He turned andwent "W............
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