Hari was mystified.
“Uncle… er… Yakshaji.. I don’t understand. We, that is, Maya and I need to take the lightning bolt back for Lord Aniruddha (a.k.a Lord Krishna) to complete the quest we started and get the Chwanprash for Maya’s mom. How can we do that without winning Zeus?”
“Son, this type of thinking is why you need me. Ponder over what I said. We need to make war with Zeus. But we don’t need to win. And we’ll still get what we set out for. Understand?”
Maya suddenly clapped her hands but looked somber.
The Yaksha smiled at her.
“So at least we have one true genius here. It take a true genius to recognise me (ahem…. another genius). This is not something I can explain more. Let’s start. Maya, why don’t you hold the Symantak in your right hand and hold me on your left? I’ll bring Hari along. Remember, you only need to hold the gem, this time, I will direct where we want to go. Understood?”
Maya nodded and followed his instructions to the letter.
This time when the three of them appeared in a huge throne room with a 30 ft tall manly figure alone on the throne, Maya was better prepared than her other journeys, on what to expect. But the Yaksha was faster than her.
“Greetings, great god Zeus.”
Zeus looked surprised for a moment before he replied.
“I see the spark of divinity that runs through your veins but you are clearly from a different lineage. The boy and the girl seem mundane. Normally I would burn anyone who dropped unannounced on me to ashes, but I am feeling benevolent today. Why are you here?”
“Oh, great god, I want a boon that only you can give me.”
“What is that?”
“Promise me that you will deliver the boon and I will tell you.”
“I have a feeling that I am going to regret this but I grant you the boon. But be warned, if it turns out to be something I particularly dislike, I will grant you the boon and immediately fight you besides. Now, tell me what is it that you ask of me.”
“My lord, I want you to give your lightning bolt to Maya here.”
Zeus suddenly roared in rage before spitting out a few words.
“I was right earlier. You are here to trick me. Beware of pressing for your boon as I will personally make sure of your end. Change your request to something reasonable.”
“No, my lord. I will not change my request. Please grant me the boon. I don’t care about the consequences.”
Zeus frowned mightily but closed his eyes to summon his bolt. It suddenly appeared in Maya’s hand with a crackle of electricity that zinged and hummed like a live being.
The Yaksha turned to Maya to mouth – “Now” before turning to face the apoplectic Zeus.
Maya looked at the stunned Hari who was watching Zeus draw closer to the Yaksha with a murderous intent.
Maya quickly palmed the Symantak and pulled at Hari’s hand as the throne room vanished in front of their eyes, but not before they watched the smiling Nalakuvera go up in flames at Zeus’ wrath.
Maya and Hari appeared in front of a beaming Lord Aniruddha and a serenely smiling sage Chyavana who hadn’t moved an inch since they last left. It looked like they had arrived back in time seconds after they had originally left on the quest.
Hari was looking around in a dazed horror as Maya pulled her hand from his grip and walked over to the sage.
“Maharishi, here is the lightning bolt as promised. I will call Thor’s hammer in a sec. Please be ready to receive it.”
The sage nodded.
The only indicator of the arrival of Thor’s hammer was a whoosh of the wind as it landed on the sage’s waiting hands.
“What happens now?” queried an anxious Maya.
Lord Aniruddha laughed at her expression before replying.
“You have succeeded on the quest we sent you and you have given us the things we asked you for. Maharishi, I suggest you now give Maya, Chwanprash to cure her mother.”
As the sage once again nodded and handed over a bowl of what looked like the most delicious multicoloured soup in the world, Hari bristled.
“So that’s it, Lord? No thank you and no well done? What about Bhibhatsu? Should Maya and I just leave without meeting him again?”
Turning to Maya, he said – “I can’t believe you are so cold hearted. You just left Nalakuvera to die! Have you no humanity?”
Lord Aniruddha smiled cryptically before saying –
“Son, be honoured that both Maya and you were a part of the supreme lord’s plan. Your work here is done. Be off, now.”
Before Hari could say another word, both the Lord and the sage had vanished.
Maya gently placed an arm on Hari and noting his red-rimmed eyes said – “Hari, you forgot what Nalakuvera told you himself. He was destined to fight with Zeus for enabling us to get the bolt but he was not destined to win. He is now free of his penance or his curse, which ever way you want to look at it and back to the heavenly abode he came from. Stop worrying.”
May 1st, 2018
Maya’s mother Sunny sang to the songs being played in a loop in their music system, while Akshara and she set the table for dinner.
The outside door banged. Maya and Hari came in smiling accompanied by Hari’s adopted parents.
All was well.
Separated by the vast expanse of many millennia of time, Lord Aniruddha pictured the cozy scene in his mind and smiled.
Author’s note: Thank you for accompanying me and Maya on this journey. My journey this month was almost akin to Maya’s trying to juggle so many things at the same time as well as being expected to complete this incredibly challenging writing journey. I wish to thank all my awesome blogger friends as well as #blogchatterA2Z for all their support.
Till I meet you again on my next writing quest, as Lord Aniruddha told Maya, Off you go now. The journey is complete.