Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Short Story : Alamu's journey into the world of Ramayana - Part 2

Here is the second part of this series

Alamu's Journey into the World of Ramayana - Part 2

by Vatsala Dorairajan

Story so far...

Alamu, a young girl, begins yet another journey in her dreamland. This time She is transported to a strange place where squirrels speak and young boys run errands and collect firewood for their Guru. She is hiding from the view of the squirrels and the boys, and listening into a rather intriguing conversation --

"What a tiring day! Let us quickly take rest under this tree. Would you like to have some fruits?" said the elder of the two boys. The other one replied in affirmative, and both started munching the fruits from their cloth bag. There was that wonderful glow on their face that one couldn't take their eyes off them even if they wanted to. Alamu was no exception to this. She watched them without batting an eyelid.

 "Bhraata, hurry up, we need to collect firewood and firesticks and return to prepare for tomorrow's lessons as well" said the younger one to the other. "Sure, I have almost finished my fruit, just give me a few more minutes" said the elder. The two boys had distinctly different complexions, the elder a little darker and the younger one a little fairer, inspite of them clearly being brothers. "Ok-kay bhraata!" beamed the younger
one, "what was it that Acharya mentioned today? It was a very interesting comparison, isn't it?" he continued. "Indeed" came the reply again. The younger one was clearly the more talkative of the two thought Alamu.

 "But although we just learnt it, I am not able to recollect it clearly. What was it about Tamasa river, that Acharya mentioned?". With an affectionate smile on his face, the older of the two boys said, "After Devarishi Narada told him about the story of Rama, Acharya came to the banks of our Tamasa. And he was so struck by its clear waters, it reminded him of the minds of good ad noble people and he said --
 "Akardamam idam teertham Bharadwaaja Nishaamaya |
 Ramaneeyam prasannambu sanmanushyamanoyatha || "

"Wow, Tamasa was so clear at that time Bhraata? Like the clear minds of good people? Such a nice comparison!! I will definitely tell Amma about it." said the yonger one. "Tamasa is as clear and beautiful even today, my dear. And recounting to Amma is possible when we reach back home, so hop along my brother!", so saying, both of them quickly got up and left.

 Alamu's concentration on the subject of the conversation was broken by the commotion from above her and before she could realise, the squirrels almost ran over her to the spot next to the tree to grab the left overs from the boys' snack. She watched them pick up the nuts and left over fruits, and just then something happened. One of the squirrels snapped its paws and that tree started to turn. Instinctively clinging onto the nearest branch, Alamu saw the two squirrels make a lunge to the nearest reachable branch of the tree as it started spinning fast. Speaking squirrels, spinning trees, some river called Tamasa, Alamu was thoroughly perplexed where this was all leading to. Was this a dream? or reality? And not to mention the headache that she was developing due to spinning along with the tree. Just when she was about to cry out in pain, it all stopped. The tree had stopped spinning, and was now stationary near a stable of cows.

To be continued...

You can read Part 1 of this short story here.