Chapter 25: Yaksha’s penance
When Maya and Hari stood in front of an apartment block in Hong Kong, this time it was Hari who took the lead. He ignored the elevator and bounded up the stairs with what looked to Maya like an insane enthusiasm. Of course, given the time he had spent in captivity, she supposed he would be full of beans for the next few days. Being in Hong Kong brought back memories of her mother and her aunt, Akshara. She badly wanted to see them immediately and feel their arms around her but she also knew it to be an impossibility. Her mother was still in the unwaking coma for whose cure she had started on this insane quest. Her aunt already had her hands full looking after her mother and worrying over her. She didn’t want to show up in front of Aks without Chwanprash, the only thing with Lord Krishna and sage Chyavana which would cure her mother.
Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t notice which apartment Hari had entered. As she stood hesitantly wondering which way to go, Hari stuck his head out of an apartment at the far end of the corridor.
“What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation? Come on in.”
Maya quickly walked to the apartment door from where Hari had beckoned. Hari pulled her inside and shut the door. Maya discovered herself in a small apartment with a single bedroom. Books were scattered all over the place right from sofas to the dining table to even the top of the water dispenser. When a reedy voice welcomed her, she gasped in slight surprise. She had entirely missed the small, dapper man sitting in one of the chairs.
“Come here my, my dear. I know who you are of course. Hari has been jabbering about you all these years after all. From the expressions the pair of you have coupled with the fact that Hari’s father had difficulty in detailing his whereabouts when I asked him, I suspect this is not a social visit. How can I help you both?”
Hari once again took the lead in explaining an abbreviated version of their journey so far and the ultimate object of their quest: the lightning bolt.
The professor’s expression strangely brightened towards the end of Hari’s narration.
“You want to take the bolt from that old geezer?”
“Is it too difficult?”
“It’s for you my boy but not for me or her. Dear girl, you have no idea how long I have been waiting for you.”
“How did you know I will come here?”
“You are here to fulfill my destiny not yours. Know me to be Yaksha Nalakuvera who has been cursed to be on this earth until Indra’s fearsome Vajrayudh is whole again. It was split into two in the last yuga. I will help you in finding this bolt.”
“Oh. How do we get it?”
“Simple. We go to war with Zeus.”
It was Hari who interceded now.
“Uncle… errr…. sir, Zeus is supposed to be the lord of all gods in the greek version. Atleast that’s what you told me. How can we go to war with him and win?”
“Who said anything about winning?”
(1) Never heard of Nalakuvera? Here is his back story.
(2) Last but not the least, you can read more of Maya and Hari’s original background here in the sample chapters for my earlier publication, Maya & the Mind Mystics.