Chapter-1: Part 1

The night spread far into the horizon stealthily like a black veil over the earth, flowing and flowing. The silence of the night in the country side urges a sense of primal fear and awe, perhaps brought about by its proximity to the mysteries and origin of the old naked earth. Somewhere in the darkness, the crickets sing away all the time in this knowledge. A toad somewhere in the marsh groaned every now and then. And then it seemed that a thousand insects were crying in unison as well. And yet, the night was silent.  Quiet and hushed, like the holding of a breath before the roar of the applause after a great aria.

Two shadows walked in this silence and in this noise, in the darkness of the night, and the flickering light of a distant burning lamp in a misty village far ahead. The field of recently harvested grains, full of yellow bare stalks, shone here and there, as and when the moon peeked in from behind the heavily clouded sky. The wearied face of the younger traveler, a boy of seven, scanned the vast field which seemed to stretch endlessly. He had a small round face, with small puffy eyes, like he was forever waking up from sleep. He wore an old pair of brown half pants, and a pale brown, half-sleeved cotton shirt. His legs were hurting from all the miles left behind, and he looked up at his unobserving elder sister if the pain was shared. Her hair was tied loosely in a bun, and the wind seemed to wipe away the hair strands away from her white face, making it clear and stark. He was disappointed to see her looking as tired as an Olympic athlete ready to race at the boom of the pistol. After what seemed like eternity to him, he nonetheless tugged at her long maroon skirt and spoke softly, “Maini ba, let us rest for sometime. I am so tired, you see…” She began to say something, but then she looked at her brother’s tired face and she nodded her acquiescence. They sat down at a small clearance of soft grass and ate bread and boiled, salted potatoes, from a small bundle which Maini carried with her. After having some water, they laid down in the grass on their weary backs, next to each other, facing the sky above.

The clouds were slowly drifting apart, revealing a bit of clear sky. They both watched the heavenly canvas with unusual interest, as if it was speaking to them, telling them of the secrets of the universe, as the stars shone at them from light years away.

“Maini,” the boy spoke, with bright eyes fixed heavenwards, “those stars are so bright! I wish we could have lived on one of them…”

“Joon, we are living on a star already. Our world is also a star of the universe.”

“But, its so dark here. Those are so bright,” Joon asked, puzzled.

Maini replied after sometime, “Those are happy stars, Joon…”


One Response

  1. Sad…

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