Are you a Boy or a Girl?

The question is not always so simple, not least because most people are neither. In fact, it's unlikely anyone would ask such a question, but I suppose that if one were lost, it could be difficult to tell. Boys, as they are often called, are dug out of the ground by miners and masons in the employ of such groups as Praveen Nair's Expert Stonecutters Company. Really, any folks who handle rocks and minerals and gemstones would be at least passingly familiar with the existence of Boys.

Rambunctious little stone figures, they scarcely have the dirt wiped from their eyes before they begin bellowing and thrashing! Oho, what rascals! It may be frightening at first, but their raucous laughter is often enough to discourage any thieves who may find themselves inclined to rob miners or jewelrymakers or gemcutters.

And Girls, might I say, are often just as excitable! They are assembled from sturdy hardwoods by such craftsmen as those associated with R.S. Rajeshwari's Furniture Company. The screaming of their large circular saws and the clinking of their heavy chains and towing hooks can make it difficult to understand them, but they are universally beloved by woodworkers.

However, I will note that it is not so simple a delineation as that! Some Boy-like creatures proudly perform woodcutting, as noted upon my most recent trip to the Honorable Rajeshwari's furniture workshop. I met a little stone figure who held an incredible blade and had a sharp, menacing smile. The woodcutter erupted into excited shrieks and proudly introduced itself as Akhila before driving the flat blade – and its own body – across a length of wood to produce a perfect plane. And likewise, a great many Girl-like creatures are employed as guards! I have heard many a story of robbers bringing a mere wooden shield to rebuff a fast-tumbling Boy, only to be beaten and shredded and minced by one with chains and a saw.

In fact, most would not know how to answer the question of whether they would be a Boy or a Girl. You are more likely to hear that they are a dragon, a diver, a courier, a street goblin, a paper wraith, a lamplighter, a cello player, a screamer, a shouter, a yelper, a hero, a villain, a pen-maker or a pencil pusher or a penny polisher – all manner of things, in each their own way commonplace, perhaps. But never ordinary or normal or “just” anything.