Potpourri

The Pirates

Circa 1715, Captain Edward Teach (1680 - 1718), better known as Blackbeard, a pirate who plundered the coasts of the West Indies, North Carolina and Virginia. His hair is woven with flaming fuses to increase his fearsome appearance. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Manas Pal

Agartala, May 10, 2019: Pirates are always fascinating …always.

Well, of course, I do not include those cheap sea hijackers from that Godless, lawless Puntland , they all go by the name ..Somalian. ..in my list —-“Those in Peril” -(Wilbur Smith)..or grass chewing crazy ‘Muse’ you see pointing gun at Captain ‘Tom hanks’ Philips of Maersk Alabama..

I am talking about Classy characters of the high seas…..

I always find the Pirates are great characters and they sure enough command a warm and decent welcome in our own dreamland, in our own lazy fantasy … after all is not it that, as they say, many n otherwise law abiding person will feel a tinge of pride if someone tells him his great, great grandfather was a ‘great pirate’.. who sailed under a Black Flag.. Cross Bones and a Skull..’Jolly Roger’, they say..with a flintlock hanging from the waist .??

Photo: Internet

But, often, I think my soft corner for the Pirates, is also perhaps, for their indomitable Rum infused ‘Spirit’ and courage to tolerate terribly Boring sea…for months and months together….. braving all that searing heat and thunders, huge and deadly storms and all those supernatural shadows and bloody hungry and always trailing sharks…Ahh..they were there ..Black Beard flowing …sailing up to islands -some of whose are named so weird–say, “Dead Men’s Chest”…

(“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest..Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum !!!!! Drink and the Devil had done for the rest…..Yo ho ho… and a bottle of rum !!!!)………….

And, since my childhood, I felt good ol’ Cap’n Long John Silver is the best of ’em all………

“Aww, Jim. ….Smollet sails by rules and laws. That’s what being a captain is all abt. Me.. I sails by the stars…. ” …..and then .. “A treaty is only good until you find a chance to break them, matey “…
Very persuasive and very confident ..and yes intelligent too…Cap’n Long John Silver…
But of late …..I am a bit confused….with the appearance of only and one of his kind in the annals of Pirates……. Captain Jack Sparrow…

“You seem somewhat familiar. Have I threatened you before?” …
Very cool a Pirate, indeed…..Yet… eccentric ? Yes, definitely Cap’n Sparrow is eccentric..-who even admits, he deserved a ‘slap’ from a girl… behold !! he even mistook a Spanish Convent for a brothel…’Honestly”, he did confess about it too.

Sparrow is certainly a strong contender for Silver… but somehow, I think I would still vote for the Pirate whose one leg was blown overboard by a ‘smart’ (as paint) French gunner…..Shadow of childhood, you may say, still looms large..
..
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For those who have become old and forgotten…I just picked it for you…from Treasure Island….

“If sailor tales to sailor tunes, 
Storm and adventure, heat and cold, 
If schooners, islands, and maroons, 
And buccaneers, and buried gold, 
And all the old romance, retold 
Exactly in the ancient way, 
Can please, as me they pleased of old, 
The wiser youngsters of today:

— So be it, and fall on! If not, 
If studious youth no longer crave, 
His ancient appetites forgot, 
Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave, 
Or Cooper of the wood and wave: 
So be it, also! And may I 
And all my pirates share the grave 
Where these and their creations lie!”

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