As Bhibhatsu watched the gathering clouds, he had a vague sense of approaching dread. The restive horses, the scurrying ants and the circling jackals at a distance seemed to portend inauspicious omens. So absorbed was he in his thoughts, that he didn’t notice his best friend, Aniruddha approaching.
“Stop worrying, dear mitr(friend)” muttered Aniruddha in soothing tones as he patted his friend’s shoulder.
“How can I? You know what’s happening. Is that evil prince to inherit the world while we watch helplessly? If so, it must be true that the Age of Legends is indeed coming to an end.”
“Not while we still have living legends like you who are born to remake the world. Who after all can stand against a master bowman like you in battle? Isn’t it true that the wrath of a single righteous man can destroy the world? Hold onto your inner peace. Worry not, you and your family will inherit the earth.”
“But at what cost, Aniruddha?”
“Come with me.”
While Bhibhatsu wondered why his mitr had led him to this desolate place, he instinctively closed his eyes when he saw a sudden flash of bright light. When he reopened his eyes, he saw a boy and a girl holding a blood red stone which looked eerily similar to the Symantak stone that belonged to Aniruddha.
As they came closer, he realised they weren’t as young as he had initially thought. Aniruddha, however, smiled a huge smile of welcome at the youngsters as though he had been expecting them.
As they came closer, the girl’s eyes widened to as big as saucers. The boy prostrated in front of Aniruddha.
The girl composed herself and prepared to speak. Bhibhatsu was faster.
“Who are you? How is it that children like you travel to this place? How did you get Aniruddha’s jewel? Did you steal it?”
The girl scowled at the torrent of questions and said –
“We both are not from here and not even from this time. My Guruji asked us to travel here to meet both of you. He said there was something we both needed to learn and something that will benefit you especially because we are both here.
And of course, we didn’t steal anything. Guruji gave us Symantak for travelling here.”
“Aniruddha, how is this possible? Has someone been able to duplicate the Symantak? Even if they did, how will it help these children to travel? What does the girl mean by time travel?”
“Patience, Bhibhatsu. The stone they hold is the same Symantak that is even now at my home in its special place of worship. These children are from a different time period. They are the future, many thousands of years from now.”
Aniruddha smiled reassuringly at Bhibhatsu before turning to the youngsters.
“Welcome Maya and Hari, I have been expecting you.”
Author’s note: This is the first part of a novella, I will be writing all through April as a part of the Blogchatter#AtoZChallenge.
(1) For those of you who want a bigger introduction to Symantak, the jewel, that will be playing an important role in this novella, I suggest you read this, for a bit more of background and a whole load of fun!
(2) For those of you who have read my published work, “Maya & the Mind Mystics” available on kindle, the time travelling Maya & Har will seem familiar. Stay tuned for more! You can also read sample chapters of “Maya & the Mind Mystics” here.
(3) For those of you who think, this is a rehashing of the same old folklore stories, hold on. PREPARE TO BE SURPRISED.