There was something in Sushant’s voice, a strand of compelling truth, a sense of finality. The Crocodile now looked bewildered, waited for a while then let go of his leg, said
‘I know Sushant, you are wise and very able but how can you be so sure that I will die in three days? You may as well know your own fate then. Did it occur to you that your own end could come in just a few moments! When do you think you will die?’
‘Chief, I cannot know my own fate, it will set the nature’s equilibrium off balance, unleash uncontrollable resonance resulting in destruction of human kind. Can you imagine where the knowledge of their invincibility will lead humans?’
‘But you just said I will die in exact three days!’
‘Yes you will!
‘So what is the deal?’
‘What deal, Chief?’
‘Surely you must have something in offer. After all consuming you may not be such a huge reward to me if I have only three day left to live but letting you off is a huge reward for you?’
‘Yes, indeed. Wise Chief, I have something in return for your kind act. I will reveal three secrets of life to you one on each of your remaining days so that when time comes to depart there will be no regret. Today I will reveal the first secret. But before that we will have to walk over to the tree yonder.’
So they walked about hundred meters upstream of the river where on the bank was a lone Jamun tree, withered, lifeless. Once under its shadow Sushant said,
‘Chief, first secret of life is that we have to live it’
‘But this is no secret Sushant, we all live life?’ said the incredulous crocodile.
‘Really, Chief? Do we live life or we simply preserve it? All through the drift of life our actions are focused on preserving life while many windows pass by, we don’t even look through them. You see this Jamun tree withered and apparently lifeless yet attached to its dry and juiceless trunk there is a thriving evergreen Peepul living life to the fullest. Think about it, tomorrow I will let you into another secret of life.’