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Chapter V: Venture

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Advaita felt that the moonlight would give him enough light to escape from the city. With a bag on one shoulder and a bow on another he reached the outskirts of the city. It was time to venture out into the forest. He decided not to take the path which was meant for the carriages but follow a path parallel to it.

As he went further the forest got thicker and the darkness followed. He decided to climb a tree and rest on a branch for some time. As he waited he ventured into his thoughts.

Advaita was struggling to keep up with his father’s pace. The sword was dripping with blood. He noticed that his father’s left arm was hurt as well. Rajan, his father’s friend came towards them as they reached their house. “Keep guard Rajan,” said Karma, Advaita’s father. As they both went inside Advaita could hear Rajan calling for help from some more people.

The sword from Karma’s hand fell as he locked the door from inside. The house was a mere hut with a single room. Advaita could hear the fight going on outside. He was scared. His father came near him and made Advaita look into his eyes “Listen son, from now on you will be venturing into a new life. I want you to run towards the north and not stop for anyone, especially our people.” Karma said.  

Advaita was struggling to listen. All he could listen was the sounds made by the swords clashing outside and the screams of people. He realized people were dying. Karma took out the hay from the top situated on the opposite end of the door. Advaita saw that his father put his dagger along with some arrows in the bag.  “Advaita concentrate on what i am saying. Take the bow and arrows. Climb the wall and get out, protect yourself, you need to run from here, go north” Karma wanted to say more but time was running out. The sound of fight outside had come to a sudden halt. There was a knock on the door. “Rajan, is that you?” he asked as he turned and walked towards the door.

There was a silence for a few seconds. Suddenly the door was burst open as Karma fell down. He moved for his sword. “Runnn..” he shouted to Advaita. As he climbed the wall Advaita saw that Rajan’s face was covered with blood just outside the door lying on the ground, dead. Couple of people were attacking his father. He dived outside and ran towards the forest. He heard his father’s cry as he ran ahead.  

Advaita woke up from his sleep as he heard a roar from deep inside the forest. He was wide awake now. He wondered whether his father had purposely sent him north with a dagger so that by chance if Thomas or Tip found him they would know he was Rob’s son.

He wanted to trace the steps of Rob and Agnes from where they left. Advaita remembered Bantu tribe people telling him, his face looked familiar, so he decided to go to Bantu first. He walked in the forest cautiously the whole day. Sun was about to set as he reached the Bantu tribe.

Some of the Bantu people were surprised to see Advaita. But it was not new to them as he always used to come in at odd times. They greeted him. He rested for a while and then he went to meet the chief. Advaita greeted the chief of Bantu as he entered the chief’s house. Chief was happy to see him. Advaita found the chief weaker than he had seen him before.

“You know what your specialty is Advaita. You become one of the tribe members when you stay with the tribe and become a vagabond as you venture into the forest until you reach another tribe.” Advaita took that as a compliment from the chief. “What brought you here my friend, I see your eyes and I feel you have questions for this old man” said the chief with a smile.

Advaita without wasting anytime took out the copper sheets and gave it to the chief. “Do you recognize any of them?” Advaita asked. Chief stared at it for a long time. He called his wife and asked her to look at the painting as well. She nodded. Chief said he had seen them as he went on, “Many years ago these two visited us. They were very tired and the lady was hurt. We had made them sit in this very room. It looked like it was their first journey in the forest.” “What happened afterwards?” Advaita asked impatiently.

“They rested here for the day and before we woke up they had left. But my wife had seen them leaving” he said as the Chief’s wife added “Yes. They had left very early. I do not know what had happened but I felt they were arguing over something as they went south into the forest. That was the last we had seen of them.” Advaita thanked them for the information. The only tribe in south after this was Shaka.

Advaita wanted to leave immediately. But they suggested him to stay for the night. Advaita reluctantly agreed. As advaita laid down he wondered whether he would ever win an argument with anyone. He thought of Fear, then Shadow, the two he cared and loved the most.

Now he had to venture into an area he had avoided for so long. He had to go back to Shaka.

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Chapter T: Tale

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The wedding ceremony was the talk of the town for the next few days. The Jester’s act after the wedding made people laugh for a long time. Overall the day was one of the best days the Kingdom ever had. The King and People of Benin had left after a few days and everything was getting back to normal in Heaven.

Advaita learnt that wedding in Heaven or in any other Kingdom for that matter happened during the middle of the day when Sun shone at its brightest. It was a belief that Sun would be spreading its light all over the world, most at that moment and light in the newlywed’s life would stay on forever. He had found that belief interesting.

Now that the days had passed. He wanted to talk to General Thomas about the truth of Rob. When he raised this matter with General Thomas, General said they would sit in the evening for the same. Advaita now was eagerly waiting for sun to set.

General Thomas, Tip Roy and Advaita were again seated in General’s study and General continued the tale from where he had left

Rob was in love. Since he was very close to Prince Aiden he could met Princess Agnes. Rob started to impress her with his visions and thoughts. Slowly even Princess Agnes fell in love with him. Even Prince Aiden didn’t know about them. Rob and Agnes had started spending time in secret. They took our help to do so. When they were sure they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, they decided to tell Aiden about it.

Prince Aiden was initially not very happy but Princess Agnes talked to him. The views of Rob had always impressed him and he finally agreed to talk to King William on the same. On the Parallel Rob wanted to bring change in the kingdom. He wanted to remove the atrocity shown against the poor by rich lords. Poor girls were getting raped and killed. None of the poor supported him as they thought this would make things even worse.  

Meanwhile the love story of him and Princess Agnes reached the King’s ears before Prince Aiden could talk to him.King William ordered the soldiers to get him Rob. They had a discussion where King threatened him. Rob was not ready to listen to any of it. But he stayed silent as he knew he could get killed if he rebelled. The King gave him a final warning and let him go. Prince Aiden tried talking to the King but it went in vain.

One day Princess Agnes wanted to meet Rob. When she tried to sneak out from the Palace to meet him, few soldiers saw her and informed the king. King disguised himself and followed her; he caught her before she could reach Rob’s place. He threatened her that he would burn Rob’s house in front of her if she saw him again. That very night Princess Agnes went to Prince Aiden and told him what had happened. She had said she would die if she doesn’t get Rob. The next day King Summoned Rob’s father Lian and warned him on this as well.

Lian came to this very house to talk to my father. He explained my father the whole scenario and said that he would be leaving the city with the family and try to live somewhere peacefully. My father said he would try talking to King on this matter. I heard their conversation and immediately went to inform Rob about his father’s idea of leaving the town. Prince Aiden was with him at that time. He suggested that Rob and Agnes should escape from the city or else they could never unite.

Prince Aiden himself devised a plan for their getaway. The very next night he got Agnes with him. As I took Rob to the outskirts of the city. We gave them gold coins, food and asked them to be careful in the forest. That was the last we had seen them. Rob’s Parents were killed the very next day and their house was put on fire by an angry King William.” General Thomas ended the tale.

“I saw the dagger in your hand the morning of wedding day when you were asleep. I had given that dagger to Rob the day they left. When I asked Shadow how you had that, she told me it was your father’s. I am sure that you are their son now” he said. Advaita was silent now. “We do not live in a perfect world where fairy tales come true but in a world where life is a struggle for survival and we need to find happiness within it” he now understood why his father had said that.

Seeing Advaita silent Thomas and Tip realised he needed a break. “You take some time son, we will talk further on this later” Tip said. General Thomas left the room. Tip sat there for sometime. When he was about to leave, Advaita said “I need a favour Tip”. Tip said he would do anything. “Can you paint portraits of Rob and Agnes?” Tip agreed and told he would give it to him by tomorrow. Advaita thanked him.

Advaita sat alone in the room deep in his own thoughts. He had called the chief of Shaka tribe his grandfather. His mother called him father as far as he knew. But people in Shaka had called his parents outsiders. Now grandfather had told his father and he were a cheat. Advaita was totally confused.

He decided he had to get to the end of this tale as soon as possible.

 

Chapter S: Showdown

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Advaita was ready to shoot his first arrow. He could sense that all of the kingdom’s eyes were upon him. He shot the first then the second and on he went. Every shot was hitting the bullseye. When the final shot hit the bullseye there was a huge roar from the crowd. King Aiden finally smiled. Advaita’s opponent Commander Alex of Benin seemed impressed too.

Advaita suggested they have a round 2, with two targets placed one above the other and they needing to hit both of them simultaneously. Commander Alex agreed to that. Finally two such sets were arranged. They both took two arrows each ready to shoot their respective targets. The whole arena was silent. When the signal was given both shot the arrows. All four arrows hit the bullseye. The crowd went crazy over their accuracy. Advaita and Commander Alex decided to go two more times. Both the times they hit bullseye.

The Kings were very impressed with Advaita. The crowd was excited to see what would be the next round. Commander Alex suggested adding a third target on top of the two. Advaita agreed to it. He had never done this before but he was very excited.

Now they had to shoot at three targets simultaneously which were one above the other. Even commander Alex had not done this before successfully. “Are you ready for the showdown?” He asked Advaita. “I never thought I would be a part of one in the first place” Advaita replied with wonder. They both laughed. The crowd had gone silent again. “Son, you may feel in this life that you too need some showdown with beasts to feel its real thrill, but in life all you need is to be happy and at peace” Advaita was in a different kind of showdown and he was happy too as he remembered his father.

Advaita looked at Shadow as he got ready with the three arrows as he placed them on his bow. She smiled at him. Both Advaita and Commander Alex had set their arrows ready to shoot. 6 arrows flew towards the target. 4 had hit the bullseye. Advaita had missed the bullseye with a very small margin on the bottom target. Commander Alex missed the top target. The whole crowd went silent as it was decided that whichever arrow was nearer to the bullseye would be declared as winner. Commander Alex came and hugged Advaita “You are already a winner to me, son” He said. Advaita who never got too emotional about these things had tears in his eyes. He thanked Commander Alex.

Advaita’s arrow was nearer to the bullseye than that of Commander Alex’s arrow and was thus declared the winner. The whole crowd went berserk and cheered for Advaita. They had never seen such close archery competition before. King Edward congratulated Advaita for his talent. He turned to King Aiden and said “We have a tie from the games. Shall we conclude this tournament with a final game of longsword duel?” They both decided the best from both kingdoms would fight. King Edward called for his General Lucius as King Aiden called for General Thomas. They were asked to get their respective longsword with armor and step into the arena for the final showdown.

Both the Generals had immense respect for each other. They both greeted each other and took their stance. General Thomas had his longsword pointing to the ground whereas General Lucius was pointing it straight at General Thomas. As the signal was given Lucius attacked with the very first thrust which was very well deflected by Thomas. Thomas made Lucius come to him for every attack. Suddenly Thomas countered which caught Lucius by surprise but he dived over and escaped as the sword brushed past him. Thomas thought the game was all over when he went for a submissive move, but Lucius got away by kicking Thomas. Both fell to the ground; as both got up they were in an aggressive mode. Each thrust was parried by the other. There were counter attacks for each attack. People watched in awe of this duel. Both were matching each other’s strikes. The duel went on for a long time. Though both were tired, the pace of the duel had come down and their never say die attitude endeared them to their captivated audience.

The Kings, soldiers, lords and people were on their toes expecting the unexpected. They had already seen some amazing techniques which were never witnessed before. Both the Generals had been innovative in deflecting each other’s attack trying to outwit each other.  King Edward saw that it was almost midday and looked at King Aiden.

General Thomas waited for General Lucius to attack, as Lucius waited for a bit to get a breath both Kings signaled for the duel to be stopped. The whole crowd stood, cheered and clapped for both the Generals. They declared that it was a tie. The Generals bowed to the Kings, acknowledged the crowd for their support.

“It’s almost midday, we should get the wedding going.” said a happy King Edward. They all made their way to the Palace Church. Princess Margaret had not attended the tournament. She had stayed inside. A soldier was sent to inform her regarding the ceremony. Prince Rufus left the arena to get ready.

King Edward who until now had only hated the Kingdom of Heaven, started respecting them. The passion and support of the people made him feel happy. He saw Princess Sarah and how happily she was talking to her father King Aiden. He had tears in his eyes. King Aiden noticed it and asked Edward if he was ok. As they reached the church, Edward asked him if he could talk with him in private for a moment. Aiden asked everyone to get everything ready and took Edward to one of the chambers in the church.

“I had my daughters killed. I had so much hatred towards this kingdom.” Edward said tears rolling from his eyes now.  He bowed his face in shame. Aiden just stood there. “When I saw you with your daughter right now, it came back haunt.. Haunting” Edward was struggling to speak. Aiden was shocked to see this face of Edward. He went and hugged Edward and said “Whatever happened in past can’t be changed. But you will soon have a daughter”. Edward looked at Aiden and nodded.

Feeling relieved in no time Edward was back to his regular self. “Shall we attend our daughter’s wedding then?” said a delighted King Aiden. They both left the chambers smiling. It was indeed the conclusion of the showdown between the two Kingdoms.

Chapter O: One

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Advaita felt restless, he had not slept well last night. He had to solve the mystery. When he went down everyone had already left the house. As he sat on a chair the one memory which his mind had always blocked for so long slowly started to come to light.

‘Advaita was as usual practicing his archery.  He was becoming very good at it. He had successfully hit the ‘X’ mark on the trees many times now. When he was about to shoot another arrow, his father came running towards him. He saw that his father had a sword covered with blood. “Did you kill a beast father?” he asked innocently. His father grabbed his hand and took him from there. The bow and arrow which Advaita had in his hands fell to the ground as he ran along with his father.’

His thoughts were interrupted by soldier Grant. “Please come with me, General Thomas is looking for you” Grant said. “What is this about?” asked Advaita. “He received a letter and after that he said he wanted to talk to you in person, that’s all I know about” replied Grant. As they walked Advaita wondered what this was all about.

They reached a building. As they went in, Grant showed Advaita the room to which he had to go.  As Advaita entered he could make out that the General was not in the best of moods. He asked him to sit on a chair. As Advaita sat General asked rather accusingly “Who are you?” When Advaita heard that, he felt a little confused. “I have already told you that General, I am not sure what you are trying to get at” he replied.  

“We had our pigeon sent to the Channa tribe to check on you. They knew a guy called Advaita with amazing archery skills. But nobody knows from where you came from?” General said. “I told you I am from the Shaka tribe.” Advaita replied. “That is where it gets interesting kid, I asked my soldiers stationed in Channa tribe to go check on that fact too. The Shaka people did acknowledge that they knew you but said that you and your father were cheats and liars.” replied General. “That is not true. My father is not such a person. My father always said that we are the ones who decide what we are and not someone’s perspective. “

General Thomas laughed. “Soldiers tried to talk about what you and your father did. Nobody were ready to talk regarding the matter. About your father, I am not saying whether he was a bad or a good man but the people who knew him said he was a cheat. I didn’t know him” General said. “I think you knew him” replied Advaita assertively.

“What are you trying to say?” replied General Thomas. He was surprised as he was taken aback by what Advaita was trying to imply. Advaita just sat quietly for some time and replied “We need to go to Tip’s house to know more”. This can only be sorted there. “Tip’s House? Why?” asked General Thomas. “I can’t say anything here, you will know when we get there” replied Advaita. The General looked at Advaita for a while. He had a feeling that this man who sat before was not lying and thus decided to go to Tip’s house.

“Grant we are going out for some time. Make sure everything goes as planned. When Royston comes ask him to take over for me till I am back.” General said to Grant as they left. Advaita thought Royston might be the second in command.

They reached Tip’s house. As they went in, Tip was practicing his art. Tip was surprised to see General Thomas and Advaita together at this hour. “What now, speak up” said General Thomas . “What is happening? Can someone please explain.” asked Tip. Advaita said “We need to go to your Painting room Tip if you don’t mind”. Before Tip could say anything General walked past him and opened the door and led them in.

General Thomas and Tip turned towards each other in surprise as Advaita walked them towards the right wall and said “The one in the left beside the King is my father” pointing towards the Mural.

Chapter H: Heaven

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As the Carriage started moving, they thanked Advaita again. Shadow looked like she was still in shock. Cully looked cool. He was sitting as if it was just another day. Advaita was not sure why he was in that carriage. He wanted to explore the forest.

“I would like to leave now. If you could ask the men outside to stop….” Advaita’s words were cut short by Cully as he said “No way friend, you saved our life, please give us the chance to pay you back. Be with us for a few days and then we will leave you wherever you want to go”. They both argued about it for a bit, then Advaita realised this was a war of words and he could not win. He kept quiet.

Cully saw that Shadow had not spoken once they had moved. He took her hand as he asked “Are you okay?” She nodded. “Where is the Dagger father gave you? Didn’t I tell you to keep it with you?” He asked. She took out the dagger which she had placed below her seat.

As she took out the dagger Advaita noticed that it was similar to the one he had. His father had said the dagger was very special but he never knew why. Advaita wanted to check that dagger, but he said nothing.

“Is that the deer skin you are wearing?” asked Cully, nodded Advaita confirming it. Advaita had never seen the kind of a dress they were wearing but he had heard that rich people wore silk dresses. “So, what were you doing in the forest?” Cully asked. Advaita was not sure what to say. “I am just a wanderer, I move from forest to forest. Wha.. what about you people?” asked Advaita. “Oh, our grandmother is sick, we had gone to visit her. Our father is a Lord and the CHIEF OF ARMY.” Cully said with pride.

“I was wondering why those men attacked you” asked Advaita. Shadow looked at him and turned away, she was still very concerned. “We will question our captive once we get back. I am sure my father will make him speak” said Cully.

“We could have died today, when they took my hand and dragged me. I thought that was it, I will be going to hell. ” Shadow said finally looking at the dagger. She had tears in her eyes. Cully held her hand again. “Being alive is heaven and death is hell. We worry about death so much that we forget the heaven we are in. Live in the moment, this is heaven” said Advaita. Shadow saw him and smiled but she still looked sad. At least his Father’s words made her smile he thought. He didn’t know how to react though; he smiled a bit and looked down.

“Forget about all this, Princess Margaret your best friend is getting married in a few days. Think about the preparation and the events there will be, smile, be happy” said Cully. She nodded. Cully offered her and Advaita some food they had packed. He opened the window and offered some to the soldiers too. Advaita saw that they were out of forest.

After sometime Advaita started to see buildings that made him realise they were almost there. He had heard about the cities in Kingdom, but had never seen any until now. Cullen and Shadow smiled as Advaita was looking out overawed with his eyes wide open. Cully, on seeing the excitement in Advaita’s face started to give him a tour of the city as they moved ahead. The sun was slowly setting down.

They got inside a big wooden gate and then stopped beside a huge house. The open area in front could fit a whole tribe Advaita thought. Cullen took the man that was tied with the soldiers to a small house nearby. He told shadow to take Advaita inside.

“Welcome to our humble house in the city of Heaven” she said as they went in…     

The Innocent One

“How was the movie dear” his mom asked Ram as she buckled him in the back seat of the car. They had just finished watching a Superhero movie.  “It was awesome mom, I will save the world when I grow up” he said beaming with enthusiasm. “I am sure love” she said, smiling back at him as she closed the back door.

Raghuveer, Ram’s father was waiting for his son to settle into his seat as he opened the door for his wife to get in. “So Kausalya, our son will become a superhero now?” he said as she got in. Ram gave a glaring look to his dad as he shouted “Yes dad, I will be the strongest superhero ever!”, “First you need to drink your milk everyday dear” said his mom. Going by the look on his face Kausalya knew he did not like that. “Raghu it’s already 11, let’s hurry up” said Kausalya as she started to get worried about the deserted roads and the long distance they had to cover to get home, “No people, no traffic we can reach quickly” Raghuveer replied nonplussed as he drove on.

Ram started feeling drowsy, the faint noise of music from the radio in the background added to his drowsiness, he was imagining saving people like Lord Rama from the Ramayana, he wanted to tell his dad to continue this story as soon as they reached home as he fell asleep.

Ram was running behind SUBAHU, the Villain, who in turn was baying for the blood of the innocent people of Krishnanagar. Ram started to gain on SUBAHU as he sped up. But SUBAHU was very fast, laughing and taunting him as he closed in on his prey. Ram used his special jumping prowess to jump high in the air. When SUBAHU turned to mock Ram again, he could not find him and got confused. On turning back to his sheer horror he found RAM right in front of him. He panicked but he was not ready to give up. He used his special weapon BOMB which could blast off the person in front of it. Ram had destroyed all his BOMBs in his last mission and was shocked to see one in SUBAHU’s hand. He laughed as he threw it on Ram. SUBAHU was late in realizing that Ram was too close to him, Ram used his special jump again but it was too late. There was a loud thud as Ram yelled as did SUBAHU….

Ram was in shock. His hand was hurting. He thought he was in his bed as it was what would usually happen. He would fall asleep and his mom or dad would put him in bed. His first thought was he had fallen from his bed; He wanted to get up but something was stuck. It was pitch dark as he opened his eyes, he was still seated in the back seat of their car. His belt buckle was stuck and he struggled to remove it. He cried out for his mom as he was hurt.

His vision was blurred and the inside of the car was completely dark. He could see a light far away which was street light he guessed. He somehow managed to open the belt buckle. His side of the door was a little open. His dad’s head was on the steering wheel. He could not make out much. He tried to wake his dad up, he shouted for help but received no response from anywhere. He started crying “mummy, please wake up”. He managed to open the door, got down, and tried opening the front door. But he could not. He was experiencing pain in his knees, elbow and he could not say from where the blood was gushing out. He saw that their car was stuck to a side of the building. He observed that a guy was sleeping in the middle of the road. He was still crying. He wanted to go to his mom’s side and open that door as well. But it was stuck to the building.

He went near the guy who was in middle of the road. He could smell the guy from a distance. He saw that whole area was deserted. Now he had stopped crying. His hero instincts started to trigger in. He wanted to save his parents. He had to find someone to get his parents out. There weren’t many buildings around. Few which were there looked closed.

He stared towards the only street light that was on the deserted street. With all the pain in his body, he started walking towards it. As he reached there, there were 3 directions he could go. He chose left as there were street lights fully on that road.

He could not find any building or people around as he moved ahead. He was having a lot of pain in his head as he looked at various places, trying to find someone. He saw a bike approaching. He shouted “Help, please help!” The guy on the bike saw him, slowed down a little bit, but did not stop and sped off. He could not understand why the person didn’t want to help him. But he had to move and find someone.

Ram was slowing down now. As he took another right turn he saw that there was a small shop and it was open going by the light that was coming out of it. He wanted to run towards it as it was a little far to walk. But as he tried, pain took over and he stopped. He placed his hands on his thighs, took another deep breath and started walking slowly. It was a Tea shop.  Ram shouted for help as he was about to reach the shop.

The Shop’s name was ‘Parmesh Tea Corner’.  Parmesh who usually closed his shop at 12AM was waiting for his friend to arrive. Hearing someone shout at almost 12:30AM was a surprise for him. He came out of his shop to see his visitor.

Ram was in front of the shop now. He saw a guy standing in front of him. “Please help, there has been an accident, my parents are still in the car, please “he said..He held guy’s hand and tried to take him there. The guy stopped him and went inside the shop and took his mobile and dialed some numbers. All Ram could hear was “boy alone, some blood” . He was very tired now and could hardly stand.  The guy came back and offered him some water to drink. Ram said “Please help me, I need to go help my mom and dad”. The guy replied “My name is Parmesh, please drink some water, we will go in a few minutes”. He made Ram sit on a small bench which was beside the shop. He even took some chocolate from his pocket and gave him. As Ram was drinking water, Parmesh got a call and he went inside the shop again.

Three guys came from a narrow pathway near the shop and started towards Ram. They looked scary to him. They were walking towards the shop now. Ram was scared from inside but did not show any signs of fear.  

One of the guys in the group saw a chain on Ram’s neck. He asked “are you alone boy?” Ram stood up “Please help me, we met with an accident, my mom and dad are stuck in the car” as he held the glass which was half full. The three started talking among themselves and were about to make a move towards the kid.

A bike soon approached the shop. Parmesh who was scared looking at the local goons, had a sudden feeling of relief now. He had called the local inspector Yadunandan. The bike stopped in front of them. Seeing the cop the three guys started walking away.

“Hello Inspector, this is the kid I had reported about” said Parmesh pointing towards Ram as he came out of the shop. Yadunandan walked towards Ram. When Ram saw a policeman coming towards him, he said “Help me, my parents are stuck in our car”.

“Hi, I am Inspector Yadunandan. Please tell me what has happened? Can you tell me what you were trying to say to Parmesh” said Yadunandan as he sat on his knees. Ram struggled to recollect what exactly had happened, finally he said “our car has hit a shop and my parents are stuck inside. I tried to wake them up and get them out of car. But I couldn’t”. Yadunandan who just realized the seriousness of the matter asked “Can you take me there?” Ram nodded. He examined Ram and made sure that he had no major injuries. He took out his phone as he held the kid’s hand; He called someone “Possible accident, a male and female stuck inside the car, on my route there. Yes near to the Parmesh tea shop on Shyamnagar circle.”

“Parmesh you come along. Close the shop, quick” said Yadunandan. Yadunandan and Ram left on his bike towards the accident spot with Parmesh following them. As they started “which way Ram?” he asked.  The kid started to guide them. Yadunandan was shocked to see that kid was guiding them very well even in such bad condition. They had diverted 4 times already and gone about a kilometer. Yadunandan was going slowly giving the kid right amount of time to guide. He saw a car crashed to a shop when they took the last right. He accelerated and reached there quickly.

“What’s your name?” he asked the kid as they got down. “Ram” replied the kid. He saw that a guy had fallen in middle of the road. He went to inspect the guy and told Parmesh to check on Ram’s Parents. As he reached near the body it was evident that the guy was drunk.  He took his phone “Accident opposite Kubera Jeweler in Shyamnagar, need immediate attention”. He turned the body and confirmed that the guy was ok and he was just totally drunk.

Parmesh was able to open the Driver’s door as it was facing the road. He slowly removed the buckle and very carefully brought him out. “They might have taken this left turn and as they saw there was a guy in middle of the road, he might have tried to avoid him and crashed into the shop” said Yadunandan after a quick inspection. They heard the ambulance siren and soon an ambulance approached them.

Ram who was seeing and listening to everything that was going on slowly went towards his dad and dozed off as he did not have any strength left in him to stay awake.

Ram was injured badly. His followers had taken him to a nearby hospital. When Ram was fully awake “Where is SUBAHU?” he asked. One of his followers replied “He was injured too, but he escaped”. Ram got up from his bed. Everyone wanted him to rest but Ram took off from there. SUBAHU was injured and Ram wanted a solution to this as quickly as possible. But recently when Ram had gone to seek the guidance of his teacher Vishwamitra, He remembered his master saying “None are born bad, situations in our lives bring out the good or bad in us”. So Ram started to wonder why SUBAHU was bad. With the help of his brother Lakshman he found out that SUBAHU was a scientist and was devoted to his country. But when he came to know that Krishnanagar people had his mother Tataki and brother Maaricha arrested, he turned into a terrorist. Lakshman brought more info on Tataki and Maaricha’s death which proved that they were cheating and harassing people of Krishnanagar. Their death was accidental as well and people had nothing to do with their death. Moreover people were still in doubt of Maaricha’s death as his body was never found.

With all this info Ram goes in search of SUBAHU. When Ram finds SUBAHU, he talks to him with all the facts in hand. But soon Ram realizes that SUBAHU has been taken over by evil and nothing can be undone. Ram calls for Battle of Arrows till death. SUBAHU knew Ram was the best archer in the world but still he agrees to the battle as he had his own cunning plans to defeat Ram.

The battle takes place in Open grounds of Tatakaranya. Ram pleads to Subahu, “SUBAHU please listen to me, I do not want to kill you. You are mistaken about the death of your mother and brother”. SUBAHU interrupts him “Ram stop giving these talks. Do not try to talk about the dos and don’ts as you are here to kill me. This hurts Ram. He was there to fight but deep down he does not want SUBAHU dead but the bad in him. He recognized the power of love that could remove the hatred in people. He remembered the power of good to remove the bad. “Remember Ram everything can be won with good and love” he remembered the words of Vishwamitra.

The Battle started. SUBAHU was striking arrows in regular intervals. The arrows looked different and bigger. Ram realized they might blast. He made a special jump and escaped. As he jumped he sent few arrows towards SUBAHU. People who had come to watch the battle roared as they saw Ram sending arrows towards SUBAHU. Few of the arrows hit SUBAHU. But it did not hurt him at all. He was confused with the outcome, so were people. The battle continued as SUBAHU used various tricky arrows which were easily dodged by Ram. Ram’s arrows hit SUBAHU every time but nothing happened to him from outside. SUBAHU was unhurt from outside, but within something was changing him. He was getting weaker . Soon SUBAHU collapsed as an arrow from Ram hit his heart.

Ram ran towards SUBAHU. “What are you doing to me, why am I feeling as I have been wrong all along?” Ram smiled at him. “What is this feeling?” he continued. People had surrounded Ram now. “That’s love and kindness my friend” said Ram. Hearing the word friend from his enemy made SUBAHU cry. People chanted Ram’s name on seeing his big heartedness.

“Ram, Ram” Ram could hear his mom’s voice. Even though he was conscious now, he was struggling to open his eyes. He felt as his mom leave the room as he slowly opened his eyes. He heard the door open. He saw Inspector Yadunandan come in “Hi I was the inspector who got you and your family here, can you explain the events if you are ok now?” Yadunandan said. Kausalya nodded “we were coming back from theatre. On one of the turns we saw a guy coming right in front of the car. Raghu tried to avoid him and hit the shop nearby. When I woke up I was in bed.” She said. “Ya he was some drunk. He hit his head when he fell on the road. We have got him to the hospital as well. He was completely drunk and in no condition to walk. Your Husband did a great job avoiding him, but I guess he lost control in the process”. “How is Raghu? Did doctors say anything?” she asked. “Yes, he is fine, they are operating on him. Doctors are hoping he will be fine in a few days.” After a pause he continued “Your son is amazing, he walked for about a kilometer to get help in that condition” he said as he turned to see Ram.

Ram smiled as they both turned towards him. He slowly tried to get up. He sat on his bed and said “Mom I want to see Dad“. Kausalya came and sat beside him. “He is in a special room Ram, we can see him later” she said. “Please mom” he said. “Why don’t you walk him out and show around” Yadunandan said. Ram got down from his bed as he saw that his mom was bandaged on her head and hand. He himself was covered with a few bandages of his own. “He needs proper rest inspector” Said Kausalya. “I am fine mom” Ram said as he got down. She shook her head and started walking towards the door as Ram followed her. They went to the corridor.

Ram held his mom’s hand as they walked towards ICU to have a check on his Dad. “Why was that guy so drunk and what was he doing on the road?” asked Ram. Kausalya was about to say something when Yadunandan who was behind said “He is very poor and he is having a lot of issues Ram and these kind of people always think drinking will make their problem disappear.” Ram stopped walking as he turned back and said with a smile “Mom says being good, showing kindness and love towards people will always keep people happy”. Yadunandan smiled at the child’s innocence. Kausalya smiled too.

They reached the ICU door. As Kausalya opened the door and was about to enter, Ram stopped and turned once again towards the inspector to ask “What is the guy’s name?” “Oh! Its Subahu” said Inspector Yadunandan…..    

The Angel

“Daddy why aren’t there any angels in this world anymore?” asked the little girl. “You are an angel, love” Daddy smiled. The girl was in bed; Daddy covered her with the bedspread and kissed her forehead “Good night, my dear”. “I am not sleepy, daddy. Tell me why there are no more angels?” she asked. He was walking towards the door, but turned to see back to see his daughter, with a question on her face.

“I heard you talking to mommy regarding angels, you were saying something stopped angels” she said. Dad smiled and came back to sit beside her. “You heard that?” He asked. She nodded saying yes.

He took a deep breath thinking how to put across the story to his little angel.  He started as the girl waited eagerly holding her bedspread.

“Once upon a time there were millions of being called Grounders. These beings stood on their ground and prayed for the angels to come to earth” Dad began. “Grounder is a funny name daddy?” she interrupted. “Please do not interrupt me. Don’t you want to hear the full story?” She nodded, he continued.

“These Grounders would stand throughout their life, so that other BEINGS would also have a good life.” Dad was explaining with his hand movements and expressions suitable to the words he was putting across. His daughter was enjoying it. “When the time came for the angels to come down, these Grounders would nod and be happy; some would even lose their life!” Girl’s head was moving with the movements of her dad’s hands and her expressions changing with his.

“As the angels came to earth, their touch brought happiness to all the BEINGS. Grounders would pray for a good year ahead and would remember the ones who died. Grounders helped other beings in many other ways as well. Seeing this other BEINGS wanted to take advantage of these Grounders because of their innocence. They wanted to use Grounders for their own benefit. The BEINGS started to kill the Grounders for their own advantage. Grounders were helpless as they never gave up their stand but they didn’t object either. They sacrificed their life with no hesitation or agitation.” Girl could see the pain in her dad’s eyes as he narrated this.

“Angels saw these developments and with the decrease of the Grounders their arrival also became limited. One fine day there were no Grounders left and soon angels stopped coming and the ones who were already here, disappeared. When the BEINGS realized that angels weren’t coming and their survival was also in question, they with the best of their ability tried all they could to get angels back. When they failed to do so, they tried to recreate angels but never came close to. Soon after, they started trying to recreate Grounders as well but the result was the same, failure! So angels never came after that and the BEINGS are still trying to find a solution as their race is on the verge of the extinction.” Dad ended the story.

He made a sad face as he arranged the bedspread properly. “Will angels come again daddy?” the little girl asked as she prepared to sleep. As he was walking towards the door he saw the artificial tree made by his own BEINGS outside the window which would never succeed in getting the water his race needed badly. “I am sure they will, they surely don’t want to miss seeing you my love”. She smiled for that and closed her eyes to fall asleep.

He switched off the lights and gently shut the door as he held the seed he had finally succeeded to create, hoping that it would bring back the angel.
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PS : I hope the above story makes my statement clear and no further words are needed to explain my views.

Grow green, go green.