Blog Archives

Chapter Z: Zero

<— Previous Chapter

Advaita said “My father yearned for Power.” He fell on Shadow’s lap as tears started streaming from his eyes. She held him for some time as he finally got up recomposing himself. Shadow felt that he looked calmer and more focused now. “Me and the Shaka Chief had a very long conversation” said Advaita. “What happened between the two of you?” she asked. Advaita finally decided to reveal what had happened in Shaka after he had knocked on the door of the Chief’s house the day, it was early morning, the very same day when Cully and shadow were planning to go find him.

His Grandmother, Chief’s wife opened the door and they went inside. Grandfather didn’t want to talk to Advaita initially. When Advaita asked him why he had called his father a cheat, he came to know that Advaita didn’t know his father. Advaita told him Rob and Princess Agnes’s journey from Heaven to Bantu and all he knew was that Rob was Karma, his father. He opened the copper sheet and showed it to his grandfather. His Grandfather laughed and said “you have missed the most important part and she is not your mother. I will tell you the Karma we knew initially”. Valguka the Chief of Shaka finally started the story.

“We Shaka people lived in the Zulu kingdom. My brother was the chief then. We were both young at that time. One day due to a devastating earthquake we lost almost everything. We wanted to move north towards the border of Heaven seeking a place to live again. But my brother wanted to go to the City of Zulu. When nobody was ready, he along with his friend abandoned us and left for Zulu the very night. The next day they made me the chief and we moved here with great difficulties and started our life from zero.

I met my brother sometime later when I visited the City of Zulu a couple of times, I invited him to our new home, to come stay with us but he never came. Years passed and we became old. One day a man from Zulu came to talk to me, he informed me that my brother was sick and was on his deathbed. So your grandmother and I went to see him against the wishes of the tribe. By the time we reached he was already dead. We came to know he had a daughter Kiya. She was a young lady and all alone as her mother had passed away during her birth. Since we never had a child we took her as our own. We asked her to come with us and she readily agreed.

We were not sure how to tell this to our tribe as everyone had hated my brother. So we decided to say we met her on the way back and helped her as she was an orphan. But when we were about to reach Shaka we met a guy. He introduced himself as Karma. He looked tired and exhausted. Your Grandmother suggested we take him too. Thus they came to Shaka as two orphans. I took Kiya as my daughter, that very day I named her Akira in front of the Shaka people. Later Karma and Akira fell in love and they were married. You were born and all was good in their life. But one fine day your mother fell sick. She told your grandmother Karma’s story and made her promise not to tell this to anyone before her death.”

“What is this story” asked Advaita to his grandmother. His Grandmother continued from where his grandfather left,

“I kept Karma’s secret for a very long time. You had grown up into a young boy. If you remember Advaita the day before your father was attacked, I was sick. I got scared nobody would know Karma’s truth and your grandfather had decided to make Karma his successor but he had not yet shared his views with anyone. So that night I told him what Akira had told me”

Advaita was curious and nervous to know. He had not heard about Princess Agnes anywhere in the story so far, He wondered what happened to her. Grandmother finally stated what was told her the second time.

Akira and Karma had a baby boy. Karma was very happy on becoming a father. Slowly Karma had started loving his wife and child. He confessed one night to Akira that he had not loved her initially but married her to become the chief of the tribe. But he was a changed man now and he deeply loved her and their son.

Akira was shocked to hear that. He told her about his life before Shaka and that his actual name was Rob. He told her his story in the city. He explained her how lords humiliated and robbed them in every way possible. He wanted to assume power to change that. He said he was zero back then and somehow he had to reach a position where he was someone. He wanted everyone to pay for their harassment. So he had used Princess Agnes to do so. Karma told how he made Agnes fall in love with him and how they had run away. In Bantu they had exchanged the rings they had. Karma showed Akira, Princess Agnes’s ring which he had hidden all this long.

Akira realised that Karma had made her fall in love with him the same way too. But she kept quiet. Karma continued his story after Bantu.

As Rob and Agnes moved south from Bantu, Rob expressed his wish to go back to the city. Agnes said she did not want that life and all she wanted was to be with him. Rob who had hidden his real intentions so far, could not do this any longer. He was angry. He shouted at her, he said “How do you think we can live here. You are already hurt”. Agnes thought he was shouting because of love. She came near him and said “I am sure our love will find a way.” He pushed her away and said” Stop living in a fairy world. I do not love you. I used you so that I could get some status and power.” She fell on the ground feeling shocked and heartbroken. “We have nothing, zero now. I was a zero then, and after all my hard work I am back to zero” he said in anger and frustration turning away from her. She was still lying on the ground.

From nowhere a beast had jumped on Princess Agnes. Rob was shocked but instead of helping her, he saved himself. He climbed a tree and watched as Princess Agnes shouted with pain and breathed her last. Rob had not felt any remorse that moment. He was so blind with hatred towards the rich that he had lost the human inside him.

From there Rob had moved ahead with caution and came across the Shaka Chief and had introduced himself as Karma.

When Akira heard the story she was in shock. Her husband who she thought was such a good person was actually a power hungry emotionless demon. She remained silent. Karma said “I have realised how wrong I was in the past few days. You and our son brought back the lost soul in me. I have been repenting for my mistakes. I am in love with you both; I want us to be happy and nothing else anymore”. Akira nodded, but she was in shock. She came to know the two sides of her husband.

Akira could not cope with the truth she heard from her husband. She suddenly started to feel ill and could not eat anything properly anymore. Her health deteriorated badly, she decided to tell her mother everything about her husband. Akira realised that her father won’t let Karma live if he came to know the truth and her love for Karma made her ask for a promise from her mother.

“Now you know why I made people attack your father” said the chief.  “I never told the story to anyone here; all I said was that he was planning to take over as chief forcefully. And they attacked your father as I expected them to. But your father had a few supporters as well. It was like a war here when you ran away” he said.

Advaita was in shock. He had never known his father was that kind of a person. There was complete silence in the house. Sourav from the tribe knocked the door but was sent back by the chief.  “Don’t you think my father had changed after mother’s death?” asked Advaita. “He had, my child, but he had to pay for his past life” said his grandfather. Advaita nodded. “He loved my mother. I had seen him cry a lot of times remembering her” Advaita said.

Advaita who had worshipped his father and his teachings all his life was sad and distraught now. His grandmother noticed it. She came and hugged him. “You will always be my grandson” she said. They both cried.

Advaita finally told them his journey after the run. “So, are lords still harassing the poor in the city?” asked his grandfather when he finished his story. Advaita nodded.His Grandfather thought for a very long time. “Apart from us three nobody knows who your mother actually is. Give me your sheet” said the chief. He wrote something on it and put his seal. When Advaita saw this “This is wrong, Grandfather” he said. “You yourself said how lords are still behaving; there should be some people who can change that. I am sure Cully your friend can help you as well with It.” replied Grandfather. “But I may need to face the court to prove this, King himself had said that” said Advaita. His grandfather asked his wife to get that ring “Your mother kept Princess Agnes’ ring and she had given it to your grandmother before her death” he said to Advaita.

They both discussed on how the court session could go, finally as they were about to go out “Remember you need to start from zero again. Never lose your path as your father did. I have belief in you that you will be a better man.” the Chief of Shaka said.

When Advaita finished the story he turned towards Shadow. He could see even she was a little disturbed. He went near her, held her hand. He took Princess Agnes’ ring and said “I know my father was not a good man. He lost his way while he tried to bring a change in poor’s life here. But I promise you as I start from zero, I will be a good man, a good husband and a good father in the future to come. I will always be truthful and take your guidance in every step of our life as I fight for a better society, if you are willing to marry me. Will you marry me Shadow White?” She had tears in her eyes as she said Yes.

She knew how much he loved her. He placed the ring on her finger. They went out of the room for the new beginning that was going to come.


THE END

Advertisements

Chapter Y: Yearn

<— Previous Chapter                                                                                            Next Chapter —>

Advaita was standing in front of the mirror. He was wearing a pair of new clothes given by Shadow. He asked to himself “What do you yearn for?” the first thing that came to his mind was mother’s love. Then he thought about his father.

Advaita was back in their hut, he found his father crying, holding his mother’s clothes. Advaita asked him “Why are you crying father?”, “When you yearn for someone who can never be with you that makes you sad, son” his father had replied.

Advaita saw himself in the mirror again. He took his father’s Dagger and placed it in his bag. He wore the ring given by his grandmother, the Shaka Chief’s wife in his right little finger. He took the copper sheet which was drawn by Tip and kept in his bag. Cully came in, asking whether he was ready for the court. Advaita placed the bag on his shoulder as he said he was good to go. Shadow wished Advaita good luck as they left for the Palace.

They had come back to Heaven a couple of days ago. General Thomas had informed King Aiden that Advaita had got the required proof to prove who his parents were. The day had finally come when he would be presenting the court with those proofs. He was yearning to prove himself in front of the very court where he had been nervous before.

He was in front of the court now. King Aiden directly came to the matter at hand and asked Advaita to present his proof to the court. Advaita took out the painting and asked the King whether he knew who the two people who were present in the painting. King Aiden said “It’s my sister Agnes and my once best friend Rob.” Advaita thanked King Aiden for his confirmation. Then he turned the copper sheet and read what was written by the Shaka Chief and the Bantu Chief.

Advaita had asked the Bantu chief to write on the sheet, what he knew about Rob and Princess Agnes once he was back from Shaka with Cully and Shadow. When he had finished reading there were a lot of murmurs. Many of the court officials agreed to the proof. But few were still dissatisfied. They were not happy with it.

One of the ministers said “As far as we know anyone can write this, what is the proof that it was written by the Chiefs?” Advaita replied “They have put their tribal seals along with the writing.” The sheet was investigated by a few ministers and they confirmed its authenticity. Another minister said “We hear you are close with all the tribes around. How do we know that they are not lying for you?”

Advaita smiled as he heard that. His Grandfather, the Shaka chief had expected it. He took out the dagger from the bag and lifted it with his left hand, showing it to the court. “This dagger belonged to my father. General Thomas, do you know this dagger?” asked Advaita “Yes that was the dagger I had given to Rob, a long time ago” replied General Thomas. King Aiden asked for the dagger, looked at it and confirmed the General’s statement.

King Aiden was sure now that Advaita was indeed his nephew. But he wanted all in his court to agree on that too and so remained silent. “So you are Rob’s son that does not make you the son of our beloved Princess Agnes” said one of the ministers and couple of others supported that. Only three ministers were against Advaita now.

Advaita lifted his right hand with a smile. Everything had gone as his grandfather had stated. All looked puzzled. “Your Highness, this ring in my hand belonged to my mother. I am sure you know it.” Advaita moved towards the throne to show it to the king. As King Aiden checked the ring his eyes lit up, “It’s my sister’s” he said as he choked back the tears swelling his eyes. Advaita turned to face the ministers.

The whole court was silent now. No one said a word. After a while King Aiden spoke “I believe he is my nephew, does anyone have any questions?” The court remained silent. Finally a minister said he believed the king. The rest of the ministers followed suit. “Welcome to the family, Advaita” said the King. General Thomas and King Aiden had a discussion within themselves. General Thomas asked Advaita to follow him off the court as the court moved to next issue in hand.

General Thomas said Advaita to return back to the house for now and King Aiden would talk to him in the coming days on what needed to be done. Advaita nodded as he had already planned to stay in the city.

Advaita was back in the General’s house. He was in his thoughts when Shadow touched him on shoulder. Advaita smiled but she could see sadness in his face. She took him to her room and made him sit on her bed. She sat next to him and rested her head on his shoulders. She did not say anything but waited for him to talk.

“What do you yearn for?” He asked her. “For love and respect” she replied. He went silent again. She realised it was something to do with his father. “Did the chief of Shaka say anything about your father?” she finally asked. He turned to look at her, she saw him. “You know what my father yearned for the most?” he said.

She was shocked and surprised when Advaita said teary eyed “My father yearned for Power”.

Chapter X: ‘X’

<— Previous Chapter                                                                                            Next Chapter —>

Advaita woke up early. He went straight to the Shaka Chief’s house. He stood in front of the door. He had to face them, he had to know what was unknown to him. As he stood there his thoughts moved back to the days when he had just started learning archery.

Advaita had chosen archery over everything else at a very young age. His father had made him a wooden bow and given him some arrows. His father put an ‘X’ mark on the nearby tree and made him stand a few meters away from it. “You see that cross mark I have created son” he said, Advaita nodded “You need to hit the middle of it, if you want be a great archer” his father said. Advaita learnt the basics from his father and tried to shoot his first arrow. As the arrow left the bow Advaita was excited. The arrow did hit a tree but not the tree where ‘X’ was marked. Advaita was disappointed with himself.

He tried a few more times and failed every single time. He was very disappointed. He said he did not want to learn this anymore. His father came to him and said “Son, everything in life won’t come to you easily. You need to practice. That mark is your target. To aim the arrow and make it reach that target should be your goal. You need to work hard Advaita”. Advaita had replied he would do his best and now he was one of the best.

Now he had aimed to reach back to his grandfather and he was here now. He knocked the door. His grandmother opened the door. “Advaita!” she said. She had recognized him right away. She asked him to come inside as she closed the door behind him.

A Couple of Shaka people had seen the stranger from previous night go to chief’s house. It was almost midday and nobody had come out. They had heard some argument happening inside but could not make out what was happening. Finally Sourav a member of Shaka and successor to the Chief knocked the Chief’s door. Chief sent him back saying all was ok.

Afterwards, sometime later Chief and Advaita came out. Both looked quite sad. All the people were curious to know what had happened. Chief said to everyone that he would address them later in the night and for now all should get back to their work. Advaita asked Chief “Grandfather are you sure, you don’t want to join me?” Chief replied “This is home my child, I want to spend rest of my life here and not somewhere else.” Advaita respected his decision. He folded the copper sheet which he had taken along.

Few recognized Advaita. Chief again controlled the situation as Advaita collected rest of his stuff and bid his final goodbyes to his grandparents. Chief’s wife, his Grandmother gave him some food for his journey. They wanted him to stay for one more night but Advaita suggested he would rather leave because of the tension that was created once due to his father.

Advaita was in deep thoughts as he entered forest. He was not sure how he wanted to take his story forward. It was in his hands. Though he and his grandparents agreed on many things. He was not sure whether he should go by it. Finally he decided what his next target was. Then he decided to concentrate on his way back to Bantu tribe as he wanted to reach there before it was too late in the night.

As he moved ahead, he could hear some suspicious movements. He moved with caution, a bow and arrow in hand, ready to shoot. Advaita was very good at being invisible in forest. He saw a couple of city soldiers which surprised him. Then he saw Shadow and Cully. They were walking the horses along with them as it was very difficult to ride in this thick forest.

He was about to reveal himself when a beast jumped from nowhere to kill a horse. The other horses dispersed because of the attack. Advaita noticed the scar on the back of the beast, it was Fear. Cully covered his sister as he drove the sword. The two soldiers had fallen to the ground. Even they were getting ready to defend their General’s Children. The beast roared and grabbed the throat of horse with its jaws. The horse breathed its last.

Advaita came out of his hiding. He shouted “Fear…” The Beast which had just choked the horse with its Jaws, looked towards Advaita. Others turned towards Advaita as well. Another female beast came beside Fear. Fear controlled it. Advaita slowly moved towards Fear. “Do you remember me Kid” He said as he came near it.

It was a tense moment for everyone. Advaita moved his hands around its back as he used to. Fear acknowledged it as it closed its eyes. All put their swords back in their sheath. “Looks like you have got yourself a girl” Advaita said smiling. Everyone laughed. The female beast looked uncomfortably around them. It took the horse that was dead with its jaws and dragged it to the bushes.

“You know this Beast?” asked Cully. “We survived together for years in this forest, his name is Fear.” Advaita replied. “So this is Fear!” said Shadow who knew about Advaita’s life in forest and continued “I have never seen a beast with white and black stripes.”  “Even I was surprised when I had first seen him, they are usually in Yellow with black stripes” replied Advaita.

Advaita asked them why they were here. Shadow said they had come looking for him. Cully said “I heard what happened in court, have you found any proof?” he asked. Advaita took the copper sheet he had and gave it to Cully.

“I Valguka, the chief of Shaka acknowledge that the painting of the people in this are indeed Parents of Advaita. They had come to me by the name Karma and Akira together long time ago. I pledge that whatever is written here is the truth. “

X (Seal of Shaka Chief)

Cully read it out loud. He had a huge smile on his face when he finished it. Shadow noticed that Advaita was not very comfortable when he heard it. Advaita said “we should head back to Bantu now before the night falls.”

He and Fear walked together like old times. Shadow had her doubts but she kept it to herself. She saw a calm Advaita who was walking along with a beast. Cully was very happy with the news.

They almost reached the outskirts of Bantu. Fear stopped its walk. Advaita understood it had to go back. He gave it a last hug as tears rolled down his eyes. It ran back with a huge roar.  “Hope we will meet again, my friend” said Advaita as they moved towards Bantu.

Chapter W: Wait

<— Previous Chapter                                                                                            Next Chapter —>

Advaita had woken up early and was ready to leave Bantu. Chief had already left the house and he was about to go in search of the chief. Chief’s wife asked him to wait for some time as she would provide him some food to carry. Advaita said he would talk to chief and come back.

Advaita saw that the chief was in discussion with a couple of people. He joined them and asked “Chief, is everything ok?” Chief said “Oh Advaita it’s you. This is Biko and Keni. They have found a couple of location where the Spotted Hyenas which are killing our sheep and cattle can be found. We are planning to kill them today.” Advaita nodded. “Will you join and help us. Your marksmanship is the best we have ever seen. It would be of great help if you could join us” Chief asked.

Advaita wanted to leave but Bantu people had always helped him. He agreed to help. “We will leave as the sun comes up a little. They will be less active then” Chief said.

Advaita remembered the days when his father used to take him for hunting. They had waited for a long time. “Son, the more you wait greater is the prize” his father had said. Here the wait was for Truth. He felt he could wait for a day when he had waited for so many years. Biko touched his shoulders and said it’s time to go. Advaita took his bow and had around 15 arrows.  There were 8 guys going for the kill including him. They said they were happy that Advaita had joined them.

As they went inside the forest, Biko and Keni split into a team of 4 and decided to head for different locations. Advaita joined Biko’s team. Some even challenged that they would get more kills. As the four moved they went to a higher ground and Biko showed them the path where he and Keni felt those hyenas would rest. They moved ahead cautiously. As they came near the spot they started to hear the noises of Hyenas. Advaita said he would climb a tree to get a clear view to shoot. They agreed on that.

As Advaita climbed he saw that it was a very small open area. There were about 10 hyenas. He went down and said he could see 10 of them. They said they will attack first and asked Advaita to shoot accordingly from top. Advaita asked for a few minutes to find a spot to shoot.

After sometime the three charged towards the area with their swords. Hyenas who were resting were surprised by the sudden attack. Three Hyenas were immediately killed. Advaita shot 2 more which were trying to escape. One of the Hyena attacked Biko but he tackled and killed it with one slash. Remaining four had started running. Advaita could get only two more as the rest disappeared into the forest. Advaita came down as the others chased the remaining two. They got one and one hyena escaped.

They came back to the tribe with their hunt. Keni and team were yet to come. Chief thanked Advaita for his assist. Advaita said he had to leave for Shaka as it was already midday. Chief’s wife gave him some food for travel and he left towards the south to get to Shaka.

As he moved in the forest, he remembered the days when he was on the run. He wondered whether he could see Fear again. He came to the area near the cave where he had encountered the Beast, mother of Fear. The sun was setting in as he moved ahead. It was dark as he reached the outskirts of Shaka.

Advaita could not wait any longer as he decided to go on. Only a few were outside their houses as many were already sleeping. Nobody recognized him, he felt relieved. Maybe the darkness was hiding his identity he wondered.

Advaita requested to meet the chief to one of them. They enquired what the matter was. Advaita insisted that he would only talk to the Chief. They said the Chief was sleeping and he would have to wait until morning. They gave him a place to rest.

One more night Advaita said to himself as he slowly fell asleep.  

Chapter T: Tale

<— Previous Chapter                                                                                            Next Chapter —>

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

<— Previous Chapter                                                                                            Next Chapter —>

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 A: Arrows

                                                                                                                        Next Chapter —>

In the game of arrows it’s always the bow that makes a winning decision! In life we people are arrows. The more the bow string is pulled, greater the distance covered by the arrow to reach the desired target”.  Advaita remembered his dad’s words as he started running again from the arrows in his life. As he was running, he had seen that he was followed by maybe 6 or 7 guys. In his 13 years of life he had not come across a situation like this.

His father was killed and he had managed to escape from the chaos. Since then he was on the run. He was covering an unknown distance without a target. The only intention now was to live.

He had escaped with his Dad’s bow, dagger and a few arrows in a bag. He had only two arrows left with him now. It was a very dense forest. He stopped again and hid behind the bushes when he heard a roaring sound nearby. It had come from the side where he was moving towards. He could still feel the arrows pointed towards him from behind. He made his mind to move towards the sound.

As he ran a little ahead he saw that there was a little open area and just after that a cave. He hid himself again before the open area and tried to think what needed to be done.

He slowly moved towards the cave. Making sure each of his footsteps could be seen going to the cave. He could feel something being there inside the cave. He started to retrace the same step backwards and jumped to his left towards the bushes. He started to silently climb a nearby tree. As he climbed he could hear the steps coming towards open area. He froze and waited. He was well hidden for anyone to been seen unless thoroughly investigated. Advaita saw them as they reached the open area.

One of them showed the footsteps to another. The other guy nodded. He told two of them to wait outside, as he and the others moved towards the cave.

There was a smile on the face of Advaita as his trick worked. He was in two minds now. Whether to move ahead from there or wait and watch.  He decided to wait. He waited there for some time. The tiredness was getting on him. He slowly slipped but was able to grab the branch and stay at the place.

The rustling noise from the tree got the attention of the two guarding outside. “Go check that Kiri” said one to another. Kiri slowly moved towards the tree. He could see something  atop of the tree but could not make out what it was. He moved his bow pointing the arrow towards that direction. He pulled the arrow to shoot. As he was about to shoot they heard a huge roar from the cave…..

THE PERFECT ONE

When he was born his cry was perfect. His cry gave away smiles in the hospital like never before. The Nurses who saw him called him the perfect one. His father’s joy knew no bounds when he held him for the first time. His mother smiled like never before when she set her eyes on him. From the day he came into this world, he was termed as Perfect.

Parents found it very difficult to name him. He grew more handsome and showed intelligence that belied his age. His walk was perfect. Finally they named him Krishna after Lord Krishna the Hindu God.

He grew up doing everything perfectly. He excelled in every field. Though he was getting tired of everyone telling him how perfect he was, he started to get arrogant about it by the time he was 16. Krishna’s friends envied him but still acted as if they were his best friends. He knew this but could not care less.

As he grew old he became lonely. When he was 20 his so called friends started to feel so insecure that they tried to avoid him. Everyone started to have girlfriends. Each girl wanted to be his girlfriend but because of insecurity they avoided him too. Moreover he was looking for a perfect girl to match his perfection.

At the age of 26 he started working for his dad, helping him with the family business. His parents had started looking for a suitable bride. He had rejected a few proposals and he got rejected by a few of them as they felt insecure. One night Krishna went to his dad “Dad, I would like to take care of the other site we have. I badly need a break from this city.” The site was in the other end of the country. His Dad considered for long and reluctantly agreed.

When he was in the plane that would take him to his new place, he saw the clouds, plains below. He was amazed by their naturally perfect beauty. “Everybody wanted to be him. All would just look at him as if he was next to God. But is there a need to be perfect? People don’t realize they are perfect in their own way. They really don’t realize it. Every child’s first cry is perfect not just his. A little one fighting for that extra piece of chocolate is perfect. A young student studying hard to attain success is perfect. A sportsperson working hard to reach his goal is perfect. A person trying to keep his family happy is perfect. A crow sitting on the branch of a tree and gazing around is perfect! It all depends on the view a person has.” Flight attendant woke him up as it was time to land. He never realized he was asleep. The thoughts were still strong in his mind. It changed his whole perspective on life.

He had come to a new city now. The look on everyone’s faces when they saw him were the same as before but now he saw perfection in them too, whether it was the auto driver arguing for extra money from his customer or the elder sister taking care of her brother while crossing the road.

Krishna was riding his new bike that was presented by his parents. As he rode, he found perfections in imperfections. He was indeed perfect now!

As he turned round the corner, another bike came from nowhere in front of him. As they tried to avoid each other they collided. Krishna fell and his head hit the road,it was just a minor fall as he just had a small cut on his face. He was worried about the other person.

“Oh my bike! I had got it ready perfectly” Krishna heard a voice. As he stood up.. “Oh No… my bike, OMG look at my face…” she said looking in the mirror. As Krishna faced to look at her, He saw a tag hanging around her neck, It had ‘Radha’ on it. He had a bruise on his face but it did not matter to him. He was not even hearing what she was telling anymore, just staring at her.

Radha was still shouting at him. As soon as she saw him, she stood still. Both were looking at each other as if they had eyes only for the other. A smile flashed across their faces as Krishna said “Perfect”.

THE END

Life we live is perfect. Every moment in our life is important as each of this moment becomes memory the very next second. Make every memory a Perfect One… Take care.

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.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

PS : I hope the above story makes my statement clear and no further words are needed to explain my views.

Grow green, go green.

A story for Valentine’s Day…

A day made for love when we love everyday!

A short love story for Valentine’s Day.

The Poem

It was a Saturday. One of my days off; I had promised my manager a poem for the next issue of the Office magazine. The submission was 5 days away and I had not started working on it yet. I was still in bed thinking about it when I heard Mom calling me for breakfast. I thought it was for Sandhya, my sister. She is studying in her final year of engineering and has classes only on Friday and Saturday and rest of the days for project work which I was helping her out with.

I got up from bed finished my morning chores.  I felt like taking a bath, took my towel and went to the bathroom. I heard the bell ring as I went inside the bathroom. I was still in bath towel around my waist when I came out of bathroom. I heard a knock and next moment I saw Sandhya coming in “Bro need that Chetan Bhagat Book” she turned around as her friend too came in, “which one Pooja?” she continued. I ran into bathroom bellowing “For god sake wait for my permission to come into the room!”. Sandhya had a big laugh about it. I asked them to come after a few min.

After 15 min they both came in, Sandhya was still laughing. “You in seeing condition!” . I was totally pissed. I had a crush on Pooja and was wondering what she was thinking. “So which book?’i asked,  “I wanted Five point someone” replied Pooja. “It’s a good book”I replied to her with a smile.

I had a whole rack filled with books. I thought it was among top two shelves but it wasn’t there. I realized it might be in the bags from my engineering days as I had read it at that time. Mom interrupted “Raghu ,come have your breakfast its getting cold.”

“your classes start by 11 right?” I asked, they both nodded saying yes. “It’s almost 9 now, will find and give it you before you guys leave” I told to Pooja. “ok, fine” replied Sandhya. Pooja smiled as she closed the door behind her. Her eyes were gorgeous…

A poem was already ringing in my head. I took a sheet and pen along with me to the dining table. Started writing as mom brought the breakfast. “So what did you think of the conversation we had yesterday?” I am 27 and parents have been chasing me to get married. I was trying my best to avoid. Seeing my silence she continued “If you have someone in mind let us know.”

I continued my silence and finished my breakfast as soon as possible. Saw Sandhya and Pooja coming towards the dining room . “I will find it and give it to you” I smiled. Sandhya made a face as Pooja smiled. Few more words fell out of my head!

I wrote them in the sheet after I came back to room. I opened couple of my college bags and found the book. As it was already late, I heard Sandhya shouting “Are you sleeping again?”, I went out of my room and handed it to Pooja. She kept it inside her bag and then they both left.

I finished my poem, kept it over the desk. Had lunch and then left to see friends. Around 7PM I got a call from Mom. I could hear her smiling as I answered. “why didn’t you tell me you like Pooja in the morning itself? Her parents are here to talk about the marriage. It seems even they saw the poem you wrote for her. Dad and I are both ok about it, So chill. Come home they will be staying for dinner.” She cut the call.

I could not believe what just had happened. I said bye to my friends and just left from there. They looked puzzled but I was more puzzled than them to explain anything! I got to the bike trying to still make sense of what just happened. I rode back to home. As I was riding I realized what had happened. I reached my home. Sandhya was talking on mobile in the corridor. She cut the call seeing me. “You could have at least told me Bro, I can’t believe…” before she would continue I placed my hand covering her face and said ”Listen I agree I have a Crush on her..” I told her what I had realized on the way. ”Oh, shit. What are we gonna do?” she replied. “I need to talk to her, Sandy, alone “I replied. “ Bro she likes you and now thinking about it, you two would look good together” she smiled. “I need to talk to her “I said and we both went in.

Pooja’s parents were sitting along with my parents completely immersed in discussions. All looked happy. As soon as I came in Pooja saw me, she had shyness in her face and she looked very cute with the smile. Her father said “Raghu, your poem was fantastic”. I couldn’t believe that were the first words from her Dad! Everybody laughed. All I could manage was “Thank you”.

They gave a lecture about life, love in general. They said they were cool with what had happened. As both knew each other’s family they readily agreed for the marriage. I was silent the whole time. After a lot of thinking “Can I speak to Pooja alone?” I asked. They all laughed at me. “Sure. Is that why you were silent the whole time? Shy to speak to your girl in front of us, only through letters huh!!” my mom said. Everybody started to laugh again. I didn’t know how to react to that. I saw Pooja, got up from my chair and started walking towards my room, she followed.

Once we were In I took a deep breath. She sat on my chair beside the desk and turned facing me. Before I could say anything “That poem was amazing, I loved each and every line of it. After reading that poem I fell completely for you. My parents….” She stopped and looked at me. I don’t know what expression I was giving, she said “sorry, you wanted to say something” she said.

At that moment i realized i liked to listen to her. I smiled and said “ go on complete what you want to say”. “My parents took that letter as I was reading it. Once they came to know it was you who had written it, they just talked to your parents and we are all here now. My mom likes you. She readily agreed to get me married off to you.” She said with her face down smiling.

“Listen, I wanted to say something” she faced me again.Her smile made it hard for me to say, but I had to “That poem it was not about you. I was close to a girl when I was doing engineering. I had written it for her. When I gave it to her, She asked me what it was, I told her it was my love letter for her. She threw the sheet without even looking at it. I didn’t even listen what she was saying after that. I Just took the letter and ran from there. I was hurt very bad. I had placed the letter in the book and didn’t remember it was actually there!”.Pooja was shocked, I could make out from her face. She stood there. She had tears on her face. I don’t know why but it hurt me seeing her like that.

Pooja slowly started moving towards the door. She was about to open the door. I held her hand , she froze.

I have no idea from where I got that courage. I made her look back at me. “Look at me. That’s past. I had forgotten about it. I do have a crush on you. But now I feel it’s something more as well” she looked at me, but this time it was different.  I took her hand and brought it near to my heart “If you are ok with my past, I would love to spend my future with you.. I think I am falling in love with you”.

She fell to my chest. I hugged her tight. She Looked at me and said softly “I want a poem first, will you write one just for me.”

“I already have written one for you!” I showed the letter that was on the desk….

 THE END

Enjoy the life with your love not just the day but the whole year… Take care