August 20, 2006

A long, weird entry in the diary...

Kabir had begun to write a diary not long ago. It was mostly full of entries like: today was a good day or today was a bad day.Nothing big. Today, he planned to write a long drawn out story, one he had heard today, one he didnt know whether to believe or let his brain classify as rubbish and throw away. "After all, there is a limit to what a brain can hold, cant fill it with garbage" he thought. He sat at the table...usually he did it in bed but today he was expecting to sit longer, so he chose the table...uncapped the pen, opened his diary to page 20 and began :

" Today was a long day. I had to go to a tiny little village because there is a small branch of our bank in that village. It was a village in the truest sense, but different from other villages in its affluence. Everyone seemed pretty well off and the fields seemed very well cultivated and neat. I went for a cup of tea in the local tea shop where a group of people,mostly old ones,were already sitting.

As the waiter...boy would be more appropriate, placed the cup of tea on the table, I remarked that they had a very nice village. Overhearing this, one of the elders from the other table smiled at me and said that it indeed was, but it was not always like that. My work for the day was finished and there was a good 50 minutes to kill before the bus would arrive , so I was glad because it seemed like the old man was going to tell me a story. I picked up my tea cup and moved to the other table. I was worried that they might take it as an intrusion, but fortunately I was welcomed with smiles and they moved around to make space for me. I asked the old man what he had meant by what he said. He didnt need much of a goading. He was only too ready to part with his story and began immediately:
Sir, there was a time when this village was doomed. The stream running nearby had dried up and the only source of water was a good ten miles away. It was hard enough just to bring water to drink and cook and the fields had begun to go barren. Most of the youth had left the village or were getting ready to. The old would have left too, but some of them were no good for the city life or were too old to move and some had strong ties to the village and said that they would leave it only when God would call them to Him.

One dark evening, in this very village, wandered a monk. He was one of those that believed in going from door to door and seeking alms and living on what people offered them. He knocked on the first house, which belonged to this old man, who lived with his very young daughter.

"Can a poor man get something to drink?" the monk said as the old man opened the door.
"Come in, Sir", said the old man.
" I would rather have a glass of water and then I will be on my way. I have a long way to go." replied the monk.
"There is no water Sir, as the young one has gone to fetch water. She should be here any time soon, so please come inside and rest a while."
The monk wanted to go away but the old man didnt want to send a holy man away from the door without fulfilling his wish, so, he insisted on the monk's staying. Moreover it was beginning to get dark and it was another of those nights. The sky was overcast and lightning illuminated the whole landscape every minute or so. Rain was imminent. But the old man knew better.

“ I think, I will have to spend the night here.” said the monk.

“Sure. It will be our good luck to be your host.”

When some time had passed and there was no sign of the old man's little one getting any water the monk couldnt help but say" I am still very thirsty."
Here the old man became sad.
“ Is anything wrong, Noble sir”

As often happens, people don’t hold back and pour out their hearts to strangers specially holy ones, the old man too narrated the whole unfortunate story of the village. The story in short was that the rain Gods had not blessed the village for twenty years now and the stream next to the village had dried up and the villagers carried on living their miserable lives totally dependent on a small stream ,ten miles away, which itself seemed under threat.

The monk was silent for some time and his face took on an expression of extreme gravity.

“ What if I arrange water for your village ? What are you village people willing to give me in return? I am a monk, my wants are not many but I do want something that is in this village.”

The old man’s jaw dropped. When he had told his story, he had expected only a sympathetic ear. The monk’s response had caught him by surprise and he didn’t know whether to take him seriously or laugh at him. For the time being he decided not to laugh.

“ Many people have tried. Sir, Many wells have been dug but there was no water. We are cursed.”

“What are you willing to give me, is what I am asking.”

The old man now decided that this monk was crazy or was playing a trick on him, But he didn’t care- he was too old for games.

“ Anything you want. Anything.”

At that moment the old man’s daughter came home and the glass of water as asked for by the monk was brought to him. He was fed and they retired for the night.

Next morning, the monk got up went about his daily rutine. The old man thought that the monk had been joking last night and had now forgotten all about it.

As the monk was about to leave, the old man said, with a smile,“ have a nice day, Sir, and don’t forget to give us the water you promised.”

“ Oh ! so you want that. Ok then, but in return I want Aarti”
The old man was shocked...

Aarti was the most beautiful girl in the village and all the younge men that were left in the village were looking forward to the day when it would be known that she was ready for marriage. The old man felt really angry. No wandering monk could talk about a daughter of the village like that.
The old man thought to himslef " This man has crossed his line and holy or not, he needs to be taught a lesson"
"Ok, but if you dont get us the water, we will be free to punish you as we like."
"I accept that. In exactly thirty days from now, at this very spot where I stand a stream of water will emerge from the ground. On that very day I will come to claim Aarti as mine. Be prepared and fare well"
With these lines the monk turned and in no time had disappeared. The old man wasnt sure if what just happened was a dream or reality."

Here the elder had stopped, because there was some commotion on the other side of the street in front of the shop. And my bus was also there and if I didnt take it I would have to stay in that village and on enquiring I found that there was no decent hotel in the village. So reluctantly I boarded the bus and came back. But tomorrow I go back and hear the rest of the story. Good Night diary.

With those lines Kabir shut the diary and capped his pen. And in no time he was sleeping and dreaming about the village with no water, the monk and the beautiful girl Aarti.
to be continued.


readingpeoplesmind said...

just one question dude

is it worthwhile to create all those curiousities or u got tired while typing this stuff????????????????????????

krome.obsession said...

I love your posts, I await the next part to this egarly.

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