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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 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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