Monday, February 7, 2011

Lost Wisdom - Chapter 8 - The secret door



Goutham tried hard to retrieve himself from Tilak and Mona's grip, but could not. Mona kept saying

"Let go...She is gone. Just let go"


It took some time for Goutham for the words to sink in him. When he finally understood, he started crying like a small child. Mona threw an angry gaze at Tilak. But if she expected any remorse in his face, she was wrong. Tilak was as calm as ever.


"Don’t you feel anything, Tilak? When did you change so much?"


Tilak did not care to respond. He was removing the last scraps of wax from the tablet. Mona could not control her anger any more. She lunged towards him and grabbed the tablet when he least expected it. She was about to throw it when she noticed that there was something on
the wood. She examined it more closely. At once she realized that it was a map.

Tilak eagerly came forward to take a look at it. On the left side was a huge building, more or less like a palace. On the right was a big temple. There was an underground
tunnel originating from the palace. It lead to another temple, but comparatively a smaller one.

"I think we are standing on top of this bigger temple" said Mona.


"Yes, and remember Riyaz said about some underground tunnel leading to some palace, may be that is where the nine books are hidden"


"But here there have drawn some temple"


Tilak turned towards Goutham.


"Can you play the video in which Riyaz died? I need to check something"


Goutham stared at Tilak for sometime. Then he quietly took the receiver and played the video. Mona and Goutham did not look at the video. It was hard for Tilak too, but he concentrated on the video without looking at Riyaz. When the unknown creature was just few feet away from Riyaz, he could clearly see a small temple behind Riyaz. He turned off the receiver and called Mona and Goutham.


"I could only see a temple behind Riyaz. I wonder why Riyaz said he saw some palace"


"Does it matter?" asked Mona


"Not for now. Anyway I am going down. You two stay here"


"Are you nuts? Did you just see what happened to two of us?" screamed Mona


"I am going anyway" replied Tilak in a casual way.


"It all started after you laid your hands on the wax tablet" saying so, she hurriedly moved to throw the tablet in
the sea. Tilak who predicted this in an instant, slapped her hard and she fell on his bag. Enraged with this sudden behavior change, she searched his bag for something to hit him with. But what she found was a hand flare.

She could not believe her eyes for sometime. It took few seconds for her to come back to normal. But Goutham had recovered sooner. He threw himself at Tilak and started to strangle his neck. But Mona came in between and with great effort split them up. She turned towards Tilak.


"Why?"


Though it was just a single word, there were more than 1000 meanings to it. Tilak remained silent for a moment and then resumed.


"Certain sacrifices are unavoidable. You need to see the bigger picture here"


"Fine. Go ahead and get the nine books. We will light the flare and wait for a rescue boat. When the boat arrives, if you are lucky, you will join us"


Without even thinking for a second, he wore his
diving gear and dived in the sea.

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Mona and Goutham sat for a long time not knowing what to speak. After some time,


"Jessi knew it" whispered Mona


"What?"


"She knew Tilak had the flare. Remember she told him 'You need to light it'?"


"Hmm, even I was thinking of the same thing. She said Riyaz told that in her dream. She also saw spiders swarming around her"


"Aah...naturally..."


"What do you mean?"


"She is arachnophobic. It reflected in her dreams"


"---"


"You don’t think so, do you?"


"I think I know what happened to both Riyaz and Jessi"


"What is that?"


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Tilak was
swimming in the direction of the palace mentioned in the map. As he saw in the video, it was almost destroyed. He searched for the underground tunnel. He found it in one of the corners, next to a pillar which was in a danger of falling down anytime. He went inside the tunnel. Though he was sure about what he was doing, he still did not know how he could convince Mona. Deep in thoughts, he did not notice that someone was following him at quiet a distance. He emerged at the other end of the tunnel and at once was in awe. It was a palace he had never seen before in his life. It was magnificent and mesmerizing. He forgot the purpose of why he came down and stood admiring the palace.

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Goutham had closed his eyes and was nodding his head every now and then. Suddenly he opened his eyes and exclaimed


"Every one of the
puzzle pieces fall in place Mona. It is time one of us have to go down"

"You were the one who was opposing this from the first."


"Yeah, and that is exactly why I am alive now"


"---"


"Let me explain"


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Tilak lost track of time. He wanted to stay there forever. Suddenly someone touched his arm from back. He turned back startled. It was Mona. He opened his mouth to say something. But she signaled him to shut his mouth and asked him to follow her. She led him to the same underground tunnel. Roughly at the middle, she stopped and pulled some knob at the bottom. She turned it, and immediately a door opened at the side wall of the tunnel. She lead him inside, then joined him, and
shut the door.

"Yes Tilak, tell me now what you wanted to ask me?"


"Why did you change your decision? And how do you know this secret room exists? And why the hell did you bring me here?"


"Goutham explained to me everything. Let me not waste any time. I want you to trust me for once and wait here. I will come back in a moment"


She did not wait for his reply. There was a similar knob inside the room. She turned it and the door opened. She went out and before shutting the door, she warned


"Do not open this door for any reason". Having said that she sped off.


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Goutham was moving in the underground tunnel. He knew he did not have enough time. He swam as fast he could. He reached outside the tunnel soon. Once outside, his eyes looked around in search of Tilak. But what he saw was a very small temple. He knew Tilak would have not been able to see it. He searched desperately for Tilak. He was not found anywhere. He called for Tilak and prayed that he should hear it.


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The two men were getting ready for their day out.


"Hey, you are newly married. You can take a day off today"


"And you will feed me?"


"Oh come on, it is just one day. What is the big deal? You should make your wife happy? This is the best chance you have"


"As if it matters. You know, last night she..."



"Wait...just look there. Do you see anything?"

"Ummm....yeah...some light I think"


"It is not some light. It is a distress signal"


"Oh! That looks like the place where we don’t get any fishes at all."


"Yes it is. Who the hell asked them to go there?"


"What do we do now? Shall we get some help?"


"No time buddy. We need to go now. Let us hope they stay alive until we go"


Having said that, the two fishermen set off in a boat in the direction of the flare.


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Tilak felt like it was suffocating. He wanted to get out. But something in Mona's voice made him to obey her. Suddenly he heard a voice. He kept his ears on the door and listened carefully.


"Tiiiiiiilaaakkkkkkkkkkkk"


At once he realized that it was Goutham's voice. He thought for a while if he should listen to Mona or Goutham. Then he made up his mind and opened the door. He swam towards Goutham's voice. He saw Goutham standing facing the palace (small temple) shouting his name. He went towards him and asked


"You too came here? What is going on?"


"What do you mean by 'you too'? Did you see someone else?"


"Yes, Mona came few minutes back and asked me to hide in some secret door. She said she will be back in a moment. But she did not come. I came out hearing your voice"


Goutham stared at him for some time. Then he pulled Tilak close to him and whispered.


"What you saw was not Mona"


"What do you mean?"


"Just listen to me. You said these 9 unknown men had supernatural powers. I believe, using that power they had created a force. It does not have any form for itself, but it can take any form. It has the power to control our thought process, our dreams, our 6 senses, everything. It can control what we see, hear and feel. This morning, Riyaz claimed he saw an extinct fish. He also claimed he saw a palace, whereas what we have here is a temple. Tell me, what do you see?"


"A palace"


"I knew. Riyaz must have seen something that scared the s**t out of him. That was why he asked us to go back. Few hours back, I had a dream. I heard exactly what I was intended to hear. It was Riyaz's voice in Jessi's dream. Jessi saw spiders in her dream. Only when I came to know that she is arachnophobic, did I understand everything"


"I lost you. I just don’t understand anything"


"Let me finish. First the force pulled one of our boats to warn us. When we did not care, it killed Riyaz. But still we did not decide to go back. Later it took the other boat and also killed Jessi. Before doing so, it made her to warn you to light the flare. But even then you did not listen. So now it has taken the form of Mona to get your attention. We cannot predict its next move, but you need to go back"


"But why cant I see the temple. Why do I see just a palace?"


"That is because of your greed. I don’t care about the nine books, so the temple is visible to me"


"Which means, I can never get the books?"


"That is exactly why I am asking you to go back"


"Aren't you coming with me


"I will get the books"


"So now you are becoming greedy"


"Not like that. I think the men intended the books to be reachable for those who are not greedy. So if I can see the temple, I can very well get the books"


"Fine, I will wait here. You get the books"



"It is not safe for you here"

"I am not leaving you here all by yourself"


Goutham briefly smiled and went inside the temple. He did not find any deities or symbols carved on the walls. There was a stone slab in the center. On the slab, nine statues were seated just like the navagraha. But they were all facing the same direction. He turned towards the direction. It was a plain wall. He remembered Tilak mention some secret door. He checked the wall. He did not find anything unusual. He returned to the stone slab. He ran his fingers under the slab. He found something like a knob. He turned it. Immediately, a door opened on the wall. He slipped inside the room. He saw a huge box. At once he knew that it contained the 9 books. It was very heavy. He carried it with great effort and came out.


Tilak came forward and touched the box passionately.


"Let us not waste any more time. Just stay with me. Come on"


"Give me the box, I will carry it"


"I don’t think it is a good idea. I am saying this for your own safety"


Tilak agreed reluctantly. Tilak started first, followed by Goutham. They came out of the tunnel. On the way up, they felt someone following them


"Tilak, just don’t turn back. Keep swimming"


They swam faster. Only few feet was left to reach the surface. And then they heard,


"Tilak, please help"


It was Mona's voice. It was almost a whisper.


"Trust me Tilak. Never turn back. The force will do anything to get your attention. Mona is on the temple terrace holding the flare. Once we go up, we will be safe"
explained Goutham

Tilak suppressed the urge to turn back. They saw someone holding the flare on the terrace. Both became instantly happy. They came out in a few strokes.


"Yessssssssss....We did it Goutham"


Tilak's happiness knew no bounds. He hugged Goutham with all his might, almost crushing his bones. Goutham was equally happy. They reached the terrace, only to receive the shock of their life. The flare was left to hang on a half broken wall in one of the corners. It then occurred to them, that it was indeed Mona who had called Tilak for help.



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Note:

Some of you may wonder if underwater communication is possible or not. Yes, it is possible. There are many ways including two way radios or ultrasound transmitter/receiver which converts voice to ultrasound and back to voice.

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