Monday, February 7, 2011

Lost Wisdom - Chapter 9 - The search ends



Tilak and Goutham stood still for a moment. Tilak felt like the whole World stood still. But he recovered pretty soon.

"Monaaaaaaaa" he shouted.


Instantly Goutham resumed from the shock. He shut Tilak's mouth with his hands and warned


"One more word and she will die"


20 minutes back


Mona could still not believe what Goutham had told her. He had told about some unknown force taking different forms that could control their thought process, senses, etc. It was all too much for her. She definitely did not sign up for something like this. But there was something else bothering her even more - Tilak's behavioral change. The Tilak she once knew was someone who was always there for her, who would do anything for her happiness, who could be trusted, more than anyone else. Even today morning how much she had compared him with her dad. But now it was like he was infected by some virus, only it could not be cured by medicines. Her mind was overflowing with so many emotions. Suddenly she heard some one call her.


"Mona..."


She looked around to check if Tilak or Goutham had come out. But she did not
find anyone. Immediately she remembered what Goutham had told her.

"No matter what you hear, see or feel, do not come down"


He was convinced only after she gave her word on it. But he was not done yet. He continued


"If
the boat comes before we come out, you should leave us without giving it any second thought"

It was harder for Goutham to convince Mona for this. But his persistence won.


Mona did not know what to do now.


"Is this that unknown force's trick?" she asked herself and then she heard it again.


"It is me Mona. Tilak is hurt. I need you to carry him. Come here soon"


She recognized that it was Goutham's voice.


Though she had read Ramayana a dozen times, at that instant, when she heard that
her love was hurt, she forgot everything Goutham had told her and dived in the sea.

Now


Tilak stared at Goutham with disbelief. He did want
the nine books more than anything, but definitely not at the cost of Mona's life. Goutham removed his hands from Tilak's mouth and continued

"The other day when Sarala mam told us about this expedition, do you remember what she said about Ashoka"


Tilak nodded his head.


"I want to hear it from you"


"She...she said that Ashoka possessed a stone that could rule the World and we had to find it"


"That is it?"


"No....she also told that...ummm...he hid it safely to prevent it from falling in evil hands"


"Aah...there you go. Now, do you realize how you have been behaving for the past few hours?"


"---"


"Yes you know. But you fool yourself saying it is for the better, don't you?"


Tilak remained silent.


"All of us have a good mind and a bad mind Tilak. Whichever mind we listen to decides our life. You chose the good mind till yesterday. But now the bad mind has taken control. That is why you do not feel anything for the loss of Riyaz or Jessi. Now you have a choice..."


Tilak was listening with rapt attention.


"You could go on in the rescue boat that would come, carrying the guilt of what you did to Mona for the rest of your life. Or you could just throw the books in the sea and go back as the old Tilak. The ball is now in your court"


"And remember one more thing. If someone like you could change in one day, I shudder to imagine what would happen if it reached the outside World. They are not yet ready Tilak" finished Goutham.


Tilak thought for a while eyes closed. Then he gazed at the sea. He could sense Goutham watching him waiting for his next move. He knelt
down and touched the box passionately. His fingers ran through all over the box.

Just then it occurred to him. He had been weighing Mona's life against a box with nine books.


"Will she ever forgive me?" he thought. He felt ashamed for his behavior. And then he made up his mind. He took the box and threw it in the sea with all his might. At once he felt light. His heart had been so heavy for the past few hours, but now he felt he was free. He fell down and started crying his heart out for Riyaz, Jessi and Mona.


Goutham allowed him to cry. He knew Tilak needed it. He left him and moved towards the edge of the temple terrace. He looked around for any sign of Mona. He was sure that she will come back alive if Tilak threw the books in the sea. But it looked like he was wrong. Just then he heard some one calling out.


"Is anyone there?"


It was a voice he had never heard before. He felt like someone was coming towards them. He rubbed his eyes thinking it was his imagination. But then he heard it again.


"Anyone there?"


And then he saw them.
Two men were rowing a boat towards them.

His voice choked. Tears started rolling down his cheeks. He waved his hands frantically at them and shouted.


"
We are here"

He turned towards Tilak and shouted


"We are saved"


Tilak had stopped crying. He was lying on the ground still.


The men had come near them now. One of them called out


"Get in quick. This place is not safe"


"Yea sure" replied Goutham.


But Tilak interrupted.


"No we can't. There is one more down there. She would come out anytime now"


"I think she is gone. She is not coming back. We need to go" whispered Goutham.


"And how do you know that?" replied an angry Tilak. He got wild and moved towards the sea.


"What more do you want?"


The fishermen were looking at them with a suspicious look.


"These two sound crazy. Coming here was a mistake" said one to the other.


Goutham tried to shut Tilak's mouth but could not. Tilak continued


"I threw the books. What more do I have? Please give back my Mona" he started angrily and finished crying.


And then he remembered. He hurriedly moved towards his bag. He took out the wax tablet and without giving a second thought, threw it far away in the water.


Just then Mona emerged from the sea. She swam fast and reached the terrace. She ran to Tilak and hugged him. Tilak opened his mouth to explain. But Mona shut his mouth.


"I know. I heard it all. I knew you would never quit on me" she cried


And then silence prevailed.


No one had anything to speak anymore. They had learned their lesson.



============================THE END===========================




Epilogue


Several years later


The room was dark except for the light coming from the TV. A movie was being played. It was taken from arial view. It was some sea, and a small piece of land was visible in the middle of the sea.


A group of 7 were seated as in a round table conference. An old man in his early 70s was standing next to the TV. There were all watching the video with rapt attention. When the movie finished, the old man started speaking in a calm yet stern voice.


"What you saw is a very old temple that belongs to Ghoripur, a city that was washed away by
Tsunami. I have reasons to believe that this area has some ancient secret burried deep. Of all the teams, I believe this is the best team for such an important expedition. So are you ready?"

A young man in his late 20s was far more eager than anyone. He promptly replied


“Action speaks better than words Sir. So when do we start?”

2 comments:

  1. This was a really nice series! You have used the legend well in your story :-) Really enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks a lot Debosmita. Glad to know you enjoyed it :)

    ReplyDelete