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The Lone Orphan – Part 10 ( Last Part)

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction (Love to also add that childlike imagination ;-))

Please read Part 9 here: http://shineofdawn.com/?p=181

“You mean to say that I am descendant of this tribe who can read these scripts?” I ask him. “Yes, there are different levels of access for these scripts. For any other person who looks at them they are just blank scripts however if you touch them, the words will appear “he replies. “Is this some kind of joke? Are you people trying to fool us? “I shout at him. Many gasp for my rude behavior towards their guru. Atchyutha lifts his hand, silences everybody and continues “I know it hard for you to believe. It was same for you mother too as she was unable to accept the destiny to give your life as sacrifice to carry forward the legacy,” he says. “Mother,” I whisper to myself. A sweet feeling passes through me as I realise finally I came to a place where my mother had lived.sivalingam

Atchyutha walks away from us and sits on the rock near the Maha Siva linga. Chandesvara approaches me and continues, “Out of many evil groups who tried to get these scripts from us, the main opposition to us are the Dhushikas who from centuries have been trying to get those scripts. They have very bad intentions of misusing the scripts and gain authority all over the world.  Even if they get hands on few scripts, they will recreate another war like Mahabharata,” he says.

I shudder at the thought of another war like Mahabharata. “A prophecy was made when you were born that you are the protector of our tribe. Your father, a brave warrior was overjoyed to hear that,” says Chandesvara as I listen to him as if I am in trance.

“The head of Dhushikas, called Andhaka killed many people over the years to get to know how to read the scripts.  When he came to know about the prophecy, he tried to abduct you but your parents fought him bravely before losing their lives for you. A friend of your mother, Prasuti carried you off to far land to save you and we never heard from her again”, says Chandesvara.

Tears roll through my eyes. My parents didn’t abandon me. They sacrificed their lives for me so that I can live. I am not an orphan. I know where my parents lived. This truth is enough for me to live my life.

“Who can escape destiny, our guru Atchyutha always said you will come back here one day. We all waited for this day,” says Chandesvara. His voice breaks my thought process and brings me back to reality.  “This man’s grandfather was the only person with whom we had contact to outside world. He helped us by passing information on the happenings from outside world,” he says pointing to Arjuna and continues, “Even his grandfather was killed by Dhushikas to extract information.”

I am in shock on this whole situation. When I look back it seems I have traveled a great deal from the day I moved out of the orphanage. Many people got hurt in these events. Professor is in hospital, Prasuti madam got killed, Arjuna’s grandfather got killed and don’t know how many lives are in danger. I look at Shankar; he is standing bit far away from me and looking at me. He is the only person left in my life who has come this far with me in spite of all dangers. Just then we hear a loud sound of several branches breaking and several knifes fly in air towards us.

“Move,” shouts Chandesvara and shields me from the attacks. “We are under attack, get ready with the weapons,” he shouts to the entire tribe. Atchyutha gets up from the rock and starts murmuring under his breath while he circles the Siva linga. Old ladies in the tribe take the children away towards the huts. Every man and Women run towards the Siva linga and forms a circle around it as standing guard. By then Shankar joins me and Arjuna ushers us away from the group towards the backside of Siva linga. Several people dressed in black with strange tattoos on their hands start attacking the Rudra Ganas. Without mercy they start slaying anyone who comes in their way. ”Where is the girl?” a shrill voice shouts. “You are doing a big mistake by attacking us directly here Andhaka,” shouts Chandesvara. I peep from behind the tree to see this evil man who killed my parents.

In center of the commotion stands a huge man, over 6 feet tall, completely dressed in black with a huge tattoo on his left arm. He looks so menacing and has hatred written all over his face. I hate him instantly. This is the man who killed my parents and any person who is related to me. Few Dushika men hold Chandesvara tightly on his spot. Terrible war is going on between other members.battle_of_the_french-indian_war

Just then a young Rudra Gana man jumps in front of Andhaka and attacks him with a knife. “You fool! Do you think you can kill me?” shouts Andhaka angrily and slays him. The young man dies instantly and falls to ground. Before I realise screams escape my mouth as I witness this cruel event. “There you are,” says Andhaka and walks toward me. Few of his men hold Shankar tightly while Arjuna manages to escape from there.

Terror seizes me as he approaches. He drags me by my hair near to Siva linga as I wither with pain. By then Atchyutha has drawn a circle around the Siva Linga and is sitting in front of Siva linga murmuring ferociously under his breath. “Get the scripts and read it out to me,” he says. “Do not do that and do not touch it with your hand,” shouts Chandesvara. Andhaka slaps me hard and I almost faint for the pain. “Touch the scripts,” he says while forcing my hand towards them. I resist touching the scripts. He slashes my hand and I scream loudly in pain. “I will torture you but not kill you until you do this for us,” he says. He lifts his knife to slash me again, just then Arjuna comes from nowhere and pushes Andhaka’s hand away.

“How dare you,” shouts Andhaka, his eyes shine with anger. He tries to push Arjun away and comes to get me again. Arjun does not give up and fights with Andhaka. “I will not spare anyone who comes in my way,” shouts Andhaka, his face bulging with anger. He slashes Arjuna with his weapon. “Arjuna!” I shout unable to digest what happened in front of my eyes. “Do not give up for these people,” Arjuna says and his motion less body collapses to ground. “Arjuna!” I cry unable to speak.” I enjoyed killing your friend,” says Andhaka to me, his eyes glowing with pride, he bends down and whispers,” the same way I enjoyed killing your parents.”

Hatred and anger fills in me. “You are evil,” I shout at him shivering from head to toe. Andhaka laughs at me. “You are evil,” I repeat crying. I take a stone and hit him hard. “Arghh!” he shouts in pain. “I will teach you a lesson,” shouts Andhaka and tries to lift me. Just before he can lift, I roll towards the Siva linga. Andhaka comes after me with more vengeance. “I have enjoyed killing your parents, your care taker and now your friend. I will kill anyone who comes in my way,” he says and moves towards me. I feel so much anger that I just want to hurt this man so badly so that he can never recover. My hand falls on the Trisul infront of the Siva linga, I take it and throw it on Andhaka.

Andhaka screams on top of his voice, blood starts streaming from his stomach. The man who was unstoppable till now starts to collapse. “Our leader is hurt,” shouts one of the Dhushikas. All of them come running towards him. “Take me away from here,” screams Andhaka,”This girl has hurt me with the sacred Trisul,” he says. Dhushikas gather around Andhaka and few of them lift him. By then the Rudra ganas taking advantage of the situation, start to attack the Dhushikas. Following a terrible fight, Dushikas escape with Andhaka from there. I watch all this helplessly, unable to get up on my feet.

“They all ran away, please gather around,” shouts Chandesvara. I see so many dead bodies lying around me. I have never seen so much blood in my life. I look at Arjuna’s motion less body. “Arjuna,” I cry as I lose my conscious. The last thing I remember is Shankar running towards me to hold me.

I open my eyes, once my eyes adjust to the darkness, I see Shankar, Chandesvara and Atchyutha around my bed. “How are you feeling? Shankar asks. “I am alright,” I say to him. I remember all the bloodshed that happened here and also death of Arjuna. I shut my eyes as if that will help me to forget things.” I want to leave,” I announce to them. “You cannot leave, you have mission to fulfill. You need to save the scripts else these Dhushikas will continue to create havoc and we don’t know how many will lose their lives,” says Chandesvara. ”Exactly that is my point. I came here just to know about my parents, now I know about them and I do not want to go any further. I do not want to involve myself in all these and I do not want my dear people to lose their lives saving me,” I reply with lot of agony in my voice.

Shankar and I prepare to leave. Chandesvara tried to convince me but Atchyutha stopped him and asked him not to force me. They arrange for protection and help us to reach Delhi. All the way back we do not speak much.

“You can still change your mind, “Shankar says to me over the phone. I am in airport to fly out of country as I got seat in a college abroad to pursue my studies. As I will be leaving country in some time, I have called Shankar to say bye one last time. “I do not want you to fall in trouble because of me. Also I do not want to involve in any such things. I guess if I move out of country, everything will settle down,” I say to him. While I am on call with Shankar, I observe that two huge men dressed in black occupy seats near me in the departure lounge. They look bit out of place. I observe that they have symbol of Dhushikas on their hand. I experience a sudden surge of voltage in my body. These people will not leave me or any one related to me.

“There are two people similar to Dhusikas in the lounge,” I tell Shankar. “Chandesvara told me last words of your father,” Shankar says. “How is that related now?’ I ask him. “Your father said, my daughter is not a coward, She is and will be a descendent of true warrior,” says Shankar. I cut the call and think about the situation. I have a choice to make here. Either I have to run all my life and die like a coward or value my parents sacrifice and fight bravely.  My blood curl when I think about my parents, Prasuti madam, Arjuna and all those innocent people who lost their lives. I will not run away like this. I will face them, make my parents proud and live my destiny. I get up from my seat and go out of the airport determined.” Nobody can escape destiny,” Atchyutha’s words echo in my ears.umagana

My name is Uma Gana and this is the beginning of my story.

 

                THE END

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The Lone Orphan Part 9

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction (Love to also add that childlike imagination ;-))

Read Part 8 here: http://shineofdawn.com/?p=171

I look around confused trying to understand what is going on around me. All the tribal people are shouting and crying just then a voice booms over all the noise, “Have you all lost your minds? Why are you making so much noise?” By hearing this everybody becomes silent and bend their heads in respect avoiding eye contact with each other. I turn to look in the direction of the voice, curious to see the owner of such booming voice. As people give way, a very short old man with a hunched back walks towards me with help of a walking stick. His face is so wrinkled that I can hardly make out his face features.

As he approaches me, his pace slows down and his expression changes instantly.  “Ah!! So you came back after all. Who can escape destiny?”  He says with smile on his face.  I recognise that they all are speaking in the script language which we used to decode in professor’s office. “I am in search of my birth secret where once incident lead to another and I am here today,” I say to the old man, “Who are you people and what is all this about?”  I ask him. The tribal chief comes forward and takes the red shawl from me. He points to the symbol on the shawl and signs me to look behind the huge Siva Linga. I gasp when I look there as the same symbol is craved on a huge rock behind the Siva Linga.

“You are not here by accident my child, your destiny has brought you here,” says the tribal chief.  “What are you talking about?” I ask him.  “My name is Chandesvara and I am the head of our tribe, the Rudra Ganas ,” he says and then points to the old man , “This is our guru Atchyutha . Nobody knows how old he is as he is there with us from centuries,” he says and bows to Atchyutha. All this while Atchyutha is looking at me seriously, lost in his thoughts. “It is true then that Rudra Ganas really exist,” says Arjun who has reached to my side now. “My grandfather used to always talk about a tribe who resides in the far away mountains, guarding some secrets,” says Arjun. “We do exist dear boy and I know your grandfather too. He has died for a good cause. He is a true warrior” says Atchyutha with gleaming eyes.

“Please will somebody explain me what is all this about?” I shout unable to bear the tension. “Our tribe was originally from Kamyaka forest and our ancestors migrated to this region with a divine responsibility,” says Chandesvara, he takes a deep breath and continues “During the Pandavas’ exile time, many learned saints and gods visited Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandava to discuss various things. During this time many scripts about immortality, science and human development were written. “

Atchyutha clears his voice and says “Once Arjuna was granted the boon of divine weapons by lord Shiva, there were scriptures written on how to make nuclear weapons.  These weapons were used in the war of Kurukshetra, in which many lost their lives and loved ones. Kurukshetra war has seen such bloodshed that once it was over nobody was left with any happiness. Loved ones gone, kingdoms destroyed, women widowed, kids crippled. It seemed as if the happiness was removed from the face of earth,” he says with pain in his eyes as if he lived in those difficult times.Abhimanyu Battlefield

“All this has left the eldest Pandava, Yudhisthira heart broken. He gave our tribe the most honourable responsibility of preserving the scripts of immortality, nuclear weapons and many more. He asked us to take them away so that this knowledge is not available to anyone and bloodshed should not repeat again, “says Atchyutha.tribal

I am in some kind of trance as if I have time travelled to those days. I can feel the despair that war has created. I can feel the pain of people who lost their loved ones, the helplessness Yudhisthira would have faced as he created those scripts which was misused instead for welfare of the human kind.

“Over the centuries, many people tried to obtain them but got killed by our tribe,” says Chandesvara “But these scripts cannot be read by any one.” Unable to understand what he said, I ask him,” What do you mean by these scripts cannot be read?” He smiles and says, “An ancient magic and a divine spell was cast on these scripts so that these cannot be misused. The scripts which right now lay under the Maha Linga in front of your eyes, cannot be read by anyone,” he pauses, looks at me and continues ,” Only a blessed descendent born once in a century, in our tribe can see and read them.”

Atchyutha walks near to me and whispers loud enough to be heard by all “only blood of such descendent, born once in a century illuminates this place.” I am completely shocked by this new revelation.

 

To be continued …

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The Lone Orphan – Part 8

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction (Love to also add that childlike imagination ;-))

Read Part 7: http://shineofdawn.com/?p=162

I open my eyes and the only thing I see around me are huge tall trees. I try to move my legs and hands which are bruised due to strenuous travel. I get up from my place and see that Arjun is sitting guard for us. I search for Shankar and find him just few feet away, engrossed in deep sleep. It has been more than two weeks since we started our journey into the forest, Arjun in our lead. It has been the most gruesome travel till date in my life.Amazon_Manaus_forest

During the day we travel and in the nights we camp in a place where Arjun marks as safe to rest. We take turns to guard our resting place while others rest. I swear we are only able to survive due to the medicines which Arjun has prepared.

I stretch my legs and hands, stand up from my place and walk towards Arjun. “You seem to be lost in thoughts,” I tell him and sit beside him. “We are nearby to the location which we marked but we have not come across anything,” he says. Even I started losing my hope as day after day we are just going after something which is not clear to us. Arjun looks as if he is hesitating to say something. “What is it Arjun?” I ask him. ” Do you remember I told you that some wild animal killed my grand father?” asks Arjun. I nod my head. “He was brutally murdered by someone and I was never able to find out who did
that,” says Arjun. I look at him, shocked by this sudden revelation.

“He is not my real grand father,” Arjun continues,”I mean, I am not related to him in any way. My parents died in land slide when I was very young. My whole village was destroyed. Myself and few others survived. We walked for days and people started dying in front of my eyes,” Arjun pauses and shuts his eyes tight as if seeing a bad dream. “One day I became unconscious and people left me behind thinking I was dead. Grand father was passing through the forest, found me and took me home along with him,” Arjun says. I nod encouragingly at him and he continues,”He took care of me since then, taught me all the secrets of the forest.I owe my life to him,” says Arjun, placing his right hand on his heart. “However he was always secretive about something. He said he will tell me when time comes.During his last days he lost mind and used to be scared about something. One
dreadful day, I found him brutally murdered near the river. I felt I will find answers here but I started to lose hope now,” he says and tears fill his eyes.

We both just sit in silence lost in our own thoughts. In a way both of us came in search of answers but we seem to be in a dead end. I open my sling bag, take my red shawl out of it and wrap around me.”Arrhh!!” screams Shankar.We both get up from our place to see what has happened. An arrow comes from behind and hits Arjun, he falls down unconscious. I look at Shankar and see that he is also unconscious. A group of strangely dressed men surround us. “Please do not kill us,” I shout on top of my voice and raise my hand. My shawl, which I had wrapped around me falls down. Suddenly all of them drop their weapons as they focus on me. one man comes forward, drags me towards the group.

He shouts orders to others, they drag Arjun and Shankar towards them.They tie blind folds to us and take us with them.After what seemed like hours, they push us to ground. I can hear voices around me. Someone opens my blind fold and my eyes seems to be out of focus.

By the time my eyes adjust to surroundings, I observe that we are in a clearing which has small huts in circle and in the center is a huge Shiva Linga. An elderly person who looks like their head, also dressed in similar clothes like other men is performing some kind of ritual in front of the Linga. I am still confused as why I was not made unconscious. One of the men approaches the head, whispers something in head’s ear. He stops his prayer and looks at the man with strange expression on his face.

The tribal head rushes towards me with a surprise look, he pulls me towards the Shiva Linga and makes a cut on my hand just enough to create a design with droplets of my blood on the floor. Suddenly the entire floor illuminates and the head cries in delight. The entire tribe is now bowing to me and crying. I look around bewildered. I turn around to see that Arjun and Shankar have gained conscious. They also look equally shocked.

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The Lone Orphan Part 7

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction (Love to also add that childlike imagination ;-))

Read Part 6: http://shineofdawn.com/?p=157

Before I could respond, our driver interrupts us. “Sir, I will take your leave now. I have to go back a long way,” he says to Shankar. ”Thanks for helping us to reach here,” Shankar says and pays him money. We carry our luggage and follow Arjun towards the valley. “What is the plan? When are we going to the location?” I ask Arjun. “We will start our journey towards the location tomorrow. For today, we will camp near the valley,” says Arjun. We just walk in silence behind him. The surroundings are so beautiful that I just could not take my eyes off. There is a small stream flowing towards our right side with crystal clear water. Far away, standing tall are the snow-capped mountains with large trees at their foot. I can only see greenery all around me. Involuntary my mind travels back to the busy city traffic and I sigh.

The-Lost-Forest

“Your friend requested me so much that is the reason I agreed to be your guide otherwise I have stopped going into forest long back,” Arjun says. We are sitting around camp fire and helping Arjun in preparing some medicines. Morning after we arrived, we rested in the tents already set up by him. While we rested, Arjun disappeared for few hours and later came back with lot of different kinds of roots, leaves and some dried tree barks which he said will use to make some medicines which will be useful for us during our journey in the forest.

“Why have you stopped going into forest now,” Shankar asks him while helping him to powder the dried tree barks. Arjun does not answer but continues to mix the powders. “Sorry If I have asked you something wrong,” says Shankar. Arjun hesitates for a moment and says, “Forests hold many secrets and I realized it is better to keep away from them.” Shankar asks “What Kind of secrets?”  Arjun gets up from his place as if to indicate end of conversation. “Please get some rest now. From tomorrow you need every ounce of energy. Good night,” he says and walks way towards his tent. “What is he so secretive about?”  I say out aloud.

I shiver as the early morning cold wave passes through my spine. The time has come for us to start our journey. I am standing in front of the tents while Shankar and Arjun are packing the stuff. Both of them finish the packing and walk towards me. “Now I have to brief you both the important instructions for our travel. If everything goes according to plan and we face no issues, it takes 10 days for us to reach the place nearest to your location, from there we have to trek a mountain and travel to your location,” says Arjun. “How many days it will take to our exact location?” asks Shankar. Arjun remains thoughtful for a moment and says “Even I am not aware where this exact location is as nobody from my tribe has ever dared to travel so far.  But my grandfather used to mention about his expeditions to that far away land but eventually he stopped mentioning.”

“Oh! Then can we ask your grandfather for guidance?”  I ask him. “That is not possible as my grandfather is no more. Few years ago we found him dead near the stream.  During his last days he lost his mind and always shouted warnings to keep away from forests.  We assume on one of his hysterical days, he wandered off to stream where some wild animal killed him,” says Arjun. “I am sorry,” I say. “That’s alright,” says Arjun and continues “If I am not wrong, you are here for a personal reason but not for a research because nobody will risk life for this kind of journey.”

I stare at him with loss of words and he stares back at me as if trying to read my mind. “Is that a problem for you?” asks Shankar breaking the silence. Arjun does not answer him and continues to stare at me for some time. Shankar clears his throat to indicate his presence. “I trust you people,” Says Arjun breaking his stare,” I believe each of us are born to fulfil our destiny and each of us have a role in the game played by the supreme power,” he says looking at far away mountains.

He opens his bag and passes each of us a sling bag made of cloth. I observe mine is green in colour and Shankar’s is red in colour. “These bags contain important things which we need during our journey. Please keep them hung around you all the time. Even if we lose our luggage we should not lose it,” says Arjun. I open my bag and see that it has various small containers packed neatly, a map with directions, a torch light with back up batteries, a gun kind of object but not exactly a gun, few round black colour balls, a small bottle with a transparent liquid, a knife set and some bottles with lotions.

“We have to remain together all the time and stick to each other. In case if any of you is lost or in danger, then fill the shooter with black ball and pull the trigger. This will generate red flames to the sky so that others know where to find the lost person,” says Arjun. “What is this liquid for?” I take the small bottle in hand and ask him. “You should take a sip of this liquid when it is your turn to guard in the night while others take rest. This will enable you to stay awake.  The forest is filled with wild animals, poisonous insects and poisoning trees too. The lotions here has to applied to entire body as we go deep into forests to save us from insect bites. All the other containers have medicines which can be used in emergency and I have labelled each of them. I think we are good to go now,” says Arjun.

I take my red shawl, dump it in the cloth bag too and hang it around myself. We all carry our luggage and stand to face the forest entrance. “Hara Hara Maha Deva!” Shouts Arjun. The entire area reverberates with his voice. The tree branches shake violently due to sudden cold wind. We begin our journey to the location, Arjun in our lead.

To be continued….

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The Lone Orphan – Part 6

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction (Love to also add that childlike imagination ;-))

Read Part 5 : http://shineofdawn.com/?p=153

“But how does it relate to Pandavas exile?” I ask Shankar’s friend. He remains thoughtful for a while and says “During the exile, for few years, Arjuna travelled to the Himalayas to worship Lord Shiva and gain some divine weapons. That is how Himalayas is related to Pandava’s exile.” We all remain silent for a moment lost in thoughts. Shankar breaks the silence and says “Our investigation on the script started in Kamyaka forest and ended in Himalayas. This seems to be a dead end now. I guess we should leave it here.”

“I feel it is not a dead end but just a loose end that we need to connect. I have come so close to finding about my family and also how the attacks are related. I cannot leave all these at this stage. If I do not find out now, I can never be peaceful all my life,” I say and before I can control my eyes are filled with tears. “It is just that we do not know how to proceed now. All we have is symbol and few directions. You have applied for your advanced studies also outside India and can expect admission anytime now. Why do you want to spoil your life with all these things,” says Shankar. “I will carry on my quest with or without you Shankar,” I say determinedly. Shankar looks at me, takes a deep breath before he says, “Very well! If you have made up your mind then I will also support you. We have to decide what should be our next step.”

“The script talks about the exile and also directs us to the location near Himalayas. As per my analysis, the location is somewhere deep in the forest near Himalayas. You have to mark the locations and proceed according to the map,” says Shankar’s friend. “We have no idea about those forests or how to survive there. Is there a possibility that we might get any help?” I ask him. “I know a guide there who know the forest very well. I can give you his contact.  He used to work for our base camp when we were stationed there,” says Shankar’s friend.

“Thanks so much for your help friend,” says Shankar. “No problem Shankar. Just a word of caution, do not reveal about the symbol or your motive even to the guide. Just tell anyone you meet on the way that you are proceeding for research work. You carry your ID always with you. All the best,” he says. We thank him and cut the call.

“Let us make all necessary arrangements as we do not know how many days we might require,” says Shankar. We start doing the arrangements for our trip to Himalayas. “Let us make a checklist and divide the work among us,” says Shankar.  As we are going to unknown place, I pack everything we might require from battery backups to medicines and first aid box. The day of our travel has finally arrived. I feel a sense of excitement and anticipation of what to expect in our search.

I reach airport and see Shankar already waiting for me there. “Let us proceed to check in,” says Shankar. We stand in the line and Shankar updates me, “I have arranged for vehicle to pick us up from airport and drop near to the village. The guide will meet us there and take us further from there. I have made the maps as well on how to proceed.” I feel a sense of gratitude rush inside me and tears fill my eyes. I realise that relations are not always blood but also through heart. Unable to voice my feelings I just hold Shankar’s hand and he turns to look at me. I just look at him and try to say thanks but my throat is chocked. He nods his head as if he understood my feelings. Sometimes silence can express feelings better than words.

Flight lands in our destination airport without any hiccups. We walk to the baggage counter and collect our baggage. As we proceed to gate, we see a driver holding a card with Shankar’s name on it. “Hi, I am Shankar,” says Shankar to the driver. “Hello sir, Please come,” says the driver cheerfully. He has a wide smile and appears to be in his forties. We load the luggage into the car and settle ourselves in the back seat. “The drive is long sir. The temperatures drop as we go further so I suggest you keep your warm clothing with you. Usually we never get any booking this far. But our manager said you are important people so he sent me as I am experienced with this kind of journeys,” driver says.  He still keeps talking but I doze off and before I close my eyes I hear Shankar making a conversation with him.

I feel I cannot breath and somebody is trying to kill me. I gasp for breath and wake up in a jolt.  Shankar looks worriedly at me and says, “Are you alright? I was trying to wake you up. You have slept for long time and dint eat your food too. Do you want anything?” I try to relax my cramped neck and stretch my hands. “No, I am fine. I will have just juice,” I say and open the Juice bottle from my bag. I take a swig and watch out of the window. Sun is raising and I can see the orange light spread across the mountains. There are no words to describe the scenic beauty. Road is surrounded by lush green valley one side and snow-capped mountains on other side. Fresh morning air hits my face through widow and I fill my lungs with this fresh air. “We have arrived our destination,” says driver. I force myself back to reality and get down the car.himalayas

Shankar got down before me and he is talking to a tall, well-built man. I walk towards them and he turns to face me. He appears to be in early fifties. He has many scars on his face and hands as if he lived with wild animals.

“Hello, I am Arjun and I am your guide,” he says to me.

 

To be continued….

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The Lone Orphan Part 5

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction (Love to also add that childlike imagination ;-))

Read Part 4 here: http://shineofdawn.com/?p=147

“What?” I say in disbelief, the cotton in my hand falls down from my hand. “Yes, Kamyaka forest no longer exists,” Shankar repeats himself. “I heard that Shankar but all this is hard to believe. How can a forest not exist? What about this river Saraswati?” I say impatiently.The-Lost-Forest

Shankar adjusts his seating position and continues “Saraswati River does not exist in present India. But it is mentioned in many ancient scripts including Rig Veda.” “Where was this river according to scripts?” I ask Shankar. “It is believed that Saraswati River was between the Yamuna in the east and the Sutlej in the west,” says Shankar. I shake my head in disbelief. “What happened to the river now if it existed in the ancient times?” I ask Shankar. “The later scripts indicated that the river dried up in a desert,” Says Shankar. “There must be some geographical evidence about this then,” I say still trying to digest this information. “Many historians even believe that the river was a sleeping river. There are lot of arguments around these details. Professor used to mention that there are lot of secrets that are hidden which once unveiled will cause major unrest,” says Shankar.

Shankar packs the first aid box. He seems to be relaxed now. In our discussion, I have not realised how much time has passed. I look around and see that the area around park is deserted. “I am still unable to understand why you were attacked for these scripts. Why Prasuthi madam is killed?” I say.

Shankar remains silent as if lost in thoughts and finally says “Time should answer your questions.” We both started walking from the park and reach the main road. “My head is aching with all these thoughts let us have some Tea,” says Shankar. We walk into a small road side shop. Shankar looks around to see that nobody is following us and makes sure that we sit in a corner table away from the crowd. Once we are settled, Shankar says “Should we inform police regarding this? By now they would have got to know that Prasuthi Madam was waiting for you.” I hesitate for a moment and say “Shankar, A thought is troubling me from morning, how is the symbol in scripts same as the one in my shawl? Prasuthi madam is also not alive to give me information. Let us not inform them about your attack and let us try to gather information on this by ourselves.”

Shankar does not answer me and just sips his tea in silence. I wait for some time but he does not respond. “I know you might not want to be involved in this considering that you are attacked today. No problem I will deal this on my own,” I say to him unable to cover my anger. Shankar looks at me, smiles and says “You ladies always try to read between the lines is it? I was not hesitating to gather information. I was just thinking on how we can do this.” Even I relax, “So what can we do now?” I ask Shankar.

“Let us go back to my home, go through the documents and then decide where to start,” he says. We both leave the tea stall and take an auto to Shankar’s house but we stop the auto in the end of street only. Shankar looks around to make sure there is no one following us. “Let us go through the back side garden gate just to avoid any attention,” he says. We enter the house through garden gate. Once we are inside the hall, we see that Shankar house is not ransacked. “Looks like they do not know where I live. May be they just saw when I went to professor house,” says Shankar. He opens the documents and reads the script and the translation many times. “As these scripts are related to Saraswati River and talk about exile, my guess is that it is related to Pandavas exile,” he pauses thoughtfully and continues, “I have an idea, one of my friends works in the archaeology team near Kurukshetra. Let us call him and ask if he has any idea regarding this symbol.”

While Shankar is talking on phone to his friend, I go through the notes which professor had made on the scripts and I spot there are some longitudinal directions which are scribbled at end of the page. “Shankar, Look at these directions here do they make any sense?” I ask him. Shankar holds the phone for a moment looks at them and says, “My friend is asking to fax him the script. Let me also send these longitudinal directions to him.” I settle myself on the sofa and lean back. Today has been such a hectic day. My eyes droop just then Shankar comes back to hall. “I have sent him the fax, now let us wait for his reply,” he says.

Time seems to pass heavily as we wait for his friend’s call. I make some coffee for both of us and we just sit on the sofa in silence. Phone rings and Shankar picks it up in first instance. “Put the phone on speaker,” I say to him. “Shankar, I have gone through whatever you have given, your guess is right these scripts relates to Pandava’s time,” his friend says. “Do you have any idea about this symbol?” Shankar asks him. “I do not have any information on the symbol but I have found that the longitudinal directions and the place referred in the script you sent me do not match. However, I know location to which it matches,” he says. “Which location?” we both ask at same time.

“They match a location near the Himalayas”, he says. I look at Shankar and he is equally as surprised as me.

To be continued…

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The Lone Orphan – Part 4

Read Part three here: The Lone orphan Part 3: http://shineofdawn.com/?p=144

“Let us get away from here,” he holds my hand and leads me away. “Shankar, let me go inside and check what has happened,” I tell him still in shock. “The police are investigating and not allowing anyone inside. You seem to need rest first. Let me drop you in hostel for now. In evening we will go to police station together,” says Shankar and leads me away from the orphanage.

part4picIt is night already. Shankar has not contacted me till now. I keep trying his phone but it is switched off. My impatience gets better hold of and I start pacing around my room. It seems as though it was ages ago that I found the symbol even though it was just yesterday. Just then my phone rings and I see Shankar’s name on display. I pick the phone and before I say hello, he says, “Are you alright where are you?” My worry comes out as anger and I shout at him “Where the hell have you been?”

“I was attacked by some unknown people but I managed to escape. I am hiding in the park near MG Circle!” Shankar says and I can sense the panic in his voice. “What happened?” I question him, with a sense of increased apprehension. ”Please meet me in the park. I cannot tell you over the phone. While you come please get the script papers and first aid box”, he says and cuts the call. Something is seriously wrong, my heart tells me so. I take first aid box, scripts and stuff them in my bag and rush to the park.

“I went to professor’s house after dropping you in hostel today morning. I felt there is some relation between the incidents that has over folded and the scripts on which we are working,” says Shankar while applying the antiseptic I have given him. We are in the park now and I am helping Shankar clean his wounds. Shankar cringes as the antiseptic lotion touches his wounds.

“Let us go to a doctor,” I say seeing his pain. “No, that is not important now and anyways I feel alright. Let me finish what I was saying,” he says rather impatiently. I nod my head in agreement and he continues, “I thought we can get Idea by going through the scripts and notes. As professor is in hospital, I have used my spare key to access professor study. Once I collected the documents, I started to your hostel but on the way I was attacked by two people,” he pauses for moment to adjust his seating position. I hold my breath and wait for him to continue. “They were talking in a strange language and were trying to snatch the documents. They were also questioning me about something which I did not understand. But I was able to hear a few words related to the papers we were translating,” says Shankar.

“I am surprised that there is so much of coincidence that has happened in the past two days. The symbol on my shawl and the script matches, professor attached, Prasuti madam dead and now your attack too,” I say still trying to connect the dots. “There is some connection between these scripts, the attacks and you because there cannot be so much of coincidence,” Shankar confirms my fear.

He continues, “Professor and I were working on evidences about the existence of Saraswati River which was considered sacred river during ancient times. During the course of time, this river became extinct. This river was considered to have many healing properties and is mentioned in many ancient scripts. ”

He reads the script many times loudly and says thoughtfully, “The script which you translated talks about a forest. It seems to emphasise that it is a forest of exile. As our research is related to Saraswati River and based on the timelines to which the script belongs, I think the script is talking about Pandavas’ years in exile.”

“Let us then find the details about that forest of exile. I have a strong feeling that there we might find some information related to my parents,” I say to Shankar.”Pandavas spent their exile in Kamyaka forest situated on the banks of the Saraswati River but, this does not help us and we cannot go to Kamyaka forest,” says Shankar. “Why?” I ask him. “Because, Kamyaka forest no longer exists”, he says.

 

To be continued ….

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The Lone Orphan – Part 3

Read Part 2 here: http://shineofdawn.com/?p=139

I rush to my cupboard and take my red shawl, the one in which I was wrapped and left in front of the orphanage. The same symbol is stitched in the corner of the shawl. I hurriedly translate the text in the script and read it aloud.

Deep in the forest of exile we dwelled, treasures of nature we protect

Close to the heart of lord now we reside, law of the lord we abide

Trespassers be aware, wrath of lord is what you will invite

I cannot comprehend what it means. I read the text many times but cannot understand how it is related to the symbol and to me. Suddenly, I think of Shankar, he might have an idea. I call Shankar and he picks up the phone instantly.

“Hello, are you alright?” he asks me. “I have something very important to discuss”, I tell him and brief him about what I have just seen. “This sounds strange,” he says, pauses for a moment and continues “You find a symbol stitched on your shawl in the scripts which is very strange .Let us meet in the cafe at 10 AM tomorrow to discuss,” and he cuts the call. I try to sleep but cannot, being in a state of shock due to the events that have unfolded today. I wrap my red shawl around me. It is raining heavily outside and my mind is also in same way disturbed by thoughts. With a jolt, I remember Prasuti madam. She had joined the orphanage as a care taker in the same year when I was left there. May be she will know anything about this. I see it is very late in the night but still I go ahead and call her.

After a few rings, I hear her voice. “Hello!” she says. “Hello madam”, I say and before I continue she interrupts me. “I expected your call, but not this soon”, she says calmly. “What do you mean madam?” I ask her obviously surprised by her statement. “Meet me in my office tomorrow at 11 AM. We cannot discuss on phone”, she says and cuts the call before I can say anything.

I am waiting in the cafe for Shankar; it is already 10:45 AM. He has promised he will be here by 10:00AM. There is no sign of Shankar yet. I will be late to meet Prasuti madam. I feel restless as I have to meet Prasuti madam at 11 AM. Just then I see Shankar walking towards the cafe. I observe him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…”

I always count in reverse when I am in tension. This helps me calm down. “Sorry I am late. I went to the professor’s house, requested the police and got the remaining papers so that we can work it out”, he says. I cut him short before he continues and tell him “I have called Prasuti madam after I spoke to you yesterday night as she joined the orphanage in same year when I was left there and I always felt her behaviour bit strange towards me. My guess was correct. As soon as I called her she told she was expecting my call.” Shankar looks confused and says “What? She said she is expecting your call? But why would she say that? “I shake my head and say “I have no idea why she said that. She asked me to meet her at 11 AM. Let us just rush to orphanage, meet her and later discuss our details,” I say to Shankar.

“The papers I have brought have some more texts and longitudinal directions”, says Shankar. “Let us talk about the papers after meeting madam as we might get some information”, I cut him short. I am already late; it is 11:30 AM now. I see a lot of crowd in front of the orphanage. “What happened?” asks Shankar to a person standing nearby. “Prasuti madam was found killed in her office today”, the man replies.

I stumble with shock and Shankar holds me.

To be continued…

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The Lone Orphan Part 2

Read First Part here: Part1 : http://shineofdawn.com/?p=135

Part2:

“Welcome young lady, I am glad to have you in my team,” says professor Nandikeshvar. Professor is a medium built man in his late fifties with a warm smile and fatherly approach. He is well renowned in his field. After moving out of orphanage, I shifted to a hostel near my college. Even though I get scholarship and free books, I still have to work part time to support myself. As I aspire to be historian, I have joined as part time assistant in professor Nandikeshvar’s team. Professor is unmarried and stays alone in his 4 bedroom duplex house. His house is situated in the outskirts of the city and also has a lovely garden. Ground floor of the house is used for Professor’s study and research work.

“Meet this young man, his name is Shankar and he works as my research assistant”, professor introduces me to another man. Shankar looks few years older to me and has a very sweet smile. Shankar and I instantly hit off as friends. After college, I spend my evenings and Saturdays in the professor’s house sorting out the papers, taking notes, copying and arranging his research files.

acinet_image“Shankar, what are these symbols?” I ask out of my curiosity. It is a warm Saturday afternoon and we both are working in professor’s study. “These are related to an ancient language scripts found in professor’s research,” says Shankar, taking the papers from my hand, “I have prepared linguistic references for it. I can teach you how to decode it,” he says, “Here see this linguistic reference, using this we can match the symbols and write down the notes,” he hands over the reference papers to me. ” You can also learn how to decode but please do not tell professor I showed them to you. Off late he has become very restless regarding this research and I feel he is hiding something from me” says Shankar. I take the papers from Shankar and slip them into my bag and say “Don’t worry my lips are sealed. I am just curious that’s all.”

Somebody is trying to kill me, I cannot breath. I am struggling to escape and suddenly I am awake from my sleep gasping for breath. I see that my phone is ringing loudly which I why I have woken up from sleep. I calm myself and pick the phone. “Where are you?” asks Shankar. “I am in hostel today. I did not come as I was not keeping well. Is anything wrong?” I question him sensing the urgency in his voice. “There was an attack on professor today in his house and they have admitted him in the hospital. His condition is very serious. It seems the whole house has been ransacked,” says Shankar. “Oh my god!!” I say in shock, “Is he alright? Where were you when the attack happened?” I ask him still trying to digest the information he has given me. ”I was out of town on personal work and when I got back I came to know,” he says still sounding panicked. “Tell me which hospital, I will start right away,” I say to him. “He is admitted in city hospital. I will see you there,” Shankar says and cuts the call. I get ready and rush to city hospital.

“Professor is in ICU and we can see him only through glass door,” says Shankar as soon as I go near him in hospital. He looks strained and visible shaken due to this incident. We watch professor through the glass door. “Today you were supposed to be there right?” asks Shankar breaking the silence. I nod my head and a shiver passes through my spine to think of what would have happened to me if I was not on leave today.

“There is nothing much we can do rather than wait for professor to recover. It is already late night; I think you should go back to hostel. I will call you if anything is needed,” says Shankar.

I am back from the hospital and enter my room. All the linguistic reference papers on the table have scattered due to gust of wind. While I start re-arranging the papers, I notice a strange symbol on one of them. There is a text below. I feel I have seen this symbol somewhere. It seems very familiar. I take the paper into my hand and observe deeply. Shock hits me and my jaw drop open. I know where I saw this symbol.

To be continued….

 

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The Lone Orphan Part -1

tat1Part 1

I cannot breath. I can feel the blood rushing to my face. Some hand is squeezing my neck. I cannot see the attacker as my vision is blurring. I try to push that hand away but the hold is very strong. I need to get out of here at any cost. I do not want to die. I feel somebody is shaking me continuously. I open my eyes gasping for breath and sweating profusely. It takes a moment before I realise that I was dreaming.

A pair of eyes is looking at me worriedly. Slowly my vision returns to normal and I become aware of my surroundings. “Are you alright?” asks Prasuti madam looking worriedly at me. “I was passing through the corridor past your room and heard your screams so I came to check. You were screaming badly and trying to fight someone. Is that a bad dream?” she asks. I nod my head, at a loss for words. This dream keeps repeating and whenever it visits, I am left breathless.

While I am still composing myself, she walks towards the window and stands there in silence staring outside, lost in her thoughts. Several minutes pass and I feel awkward due to this silence. As if she has sensed my awkwardness, she suddenly turns and says “Get ready fast and do not be late for the prayer,” she leaves the room without looking at me. Taken back by her strange behaviour, I get out of my bed to start my day. It is mandatory to attend the prayer every morning in our Ganga orphanage for Girls.

I was left at the orphanage door when I was few days old, wrapped in a red shawl. My orphanage took care of me since then. Nobody ever knew who left me here or nobody ever came to take me from here. People around me always said I look very pretty with bright brown eyes, long hair, and dimple on my cheek. I always wondered if I look like my mother or my father. In childhood, I used to dream a lot of how one day I will be taken from here and how I would have a family of my own.

As a bright student, I studied in school outside my orphanage which offered me free education. One day there was a fire accident in our school and all the children of my class escaped a very big danger. Once we were bought to safe assemble area, I was shivering with fear. I saw how parents ran to their kids, hugged them and assured them that everything is fine. Nobody came for me. I just stood there watching all other kids with their parents. lonelygirl_5bsqhej1

My little heart cried for someone to hold me, comfort me and just assure me that everything is fine but nobody came. I cried my heart out that day and after that almost every night until my tears dried out. Even though life made me a strong girl, inside I am vulnerable child who craves for affection. How I wish I knew who my parents are. My thoughts are disturbed by a knock on the door.

“I see you have packed,” says Prasuti madam, standing near my room door. I complete twenty years today here and as per the orphanage policy, I have to move out. “Yes madam, I will be leaving now,” I respond to her while I pull my suitcase out of my room. “Have you found your part time job?” she asks me. “Yes, I have found a part time job to assist a history professor in documentation and organize his research papers”, I answer. “All the best,” she says, pauses for a moment and says “Stay safe and trust nobody”. Before I can respond, she walks away from me.

“I take my suitcase and come outside the orphanage. I hold my red shawl in my hand. This is the only thing with me related to my birth. Even this place from today will not be my home anymore. As I walk outside the orphanage, I feel a prickle on my neck as if somebody is watching me. I turn back to look at the orphanage and see Prasuti madam watching me with a strange expression from her room’s window and I can see that she is muttering something furiously under her breath. I take few steps ahead, turn back again to look and she is gone.

To be continued…..

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