The Descendants of Indra
In hindu mythology there is a story about Jupiter, the guru of Devas. Once he visited the court of Indra unannounced, at that time Indra was fully engrossed in watching the dance of Ramba and Urvashi(The court dancers).Indra failed to notice the arrival of Jupiter and did not pay the due respects to him .An angry Jupiter put a curse on Indra and his court, the next moment the glowing golden light in the world of Indra vanished and darkness enveloped everywhere. Jupiter also said that he will never visit the world of Indra again and left there. Indra realized his mistake, but it was too late, his golden body changed into dark black .Sages advised him to go to Naga forest in the earth and do penance there before the Shiva Linga near the ’Sanjeevani’ lake . Indra came to Naga forest and searched for the Shiva Linga everywhere and at last finds it with much difficulty. He did his penance there for many years. One day while he was taking his bath in the ‘Sanjeevani’ lake, Lord Shiva appeared before him, blessed him and removed his curse. Immediately his body returned to its original form .To see Indra the mystic trees from the world of Indra came to Naga forest, seeing them Indra asked them to stay in the Naga forest as a memory of his revival.
Sheela’s scream made Sivakumar panic.
He came running and asked her “What happened Sheelu?”
Sheela pointed to the door way shivering.
In the direction she pointed, someone was standing there, with his head wrapped in a black veil and he said,
“Good Morning Sir.”
.When he said that, only part of his face was visible. The other part was covered with that veil.
Sasi looked at Sheela and said,
“What Sheelu, you screamed for seeing this man…?”
"Oh, dear, take a good look at his face," said Sheela in a trembling voice.
Sasi stared at the man’s face . The man removed his veil which was hiding his face. The next second Sivakumar's face darkened with shock and fear.
The veiled person who stood in front of him …
Had a half fleshless face!
His tooth rows were fully visible. Sheela turned her face away in disgust.
Sasi started questioning him!
"Who are you?"
"Sir, I am Vasu your cook."
“My cook? But I didn’t ask for one. ”
"I was the cook for Jacob Sir. That's why I came to meet you "
“But Jacob didn’t tell anything about you?"
“I’m from the foothills of this forest ,Sir. I was attacked by a wild bear in the forest and my face became like this. One Siddha Doctor Raman Kutty and the tribes came in time and saved my life.”
“I am not lucky Sir , seeing my face no one is giving me any work. They are all afraid of me. But Jacob Sir was very kind and appointed me as his cook. Wherever he goes in the forest, I used to accompany him as his guide as I know this forest well from my childhood.."
When he finished telling this story, Sasi looked at Sheela as if ‘What next?’.
The disgust still lingered in her face.
"Tell him to clear out!," she shouted, turning away in disgust.
Sasi looked at Vasu and said,
"Okay, Vasu you go now and meet me tomorrow morning by then I will decide and tell you."
"Sir, please give me some work. If you have not come here, I would not have lost my job ."Vasu pleaded with Sasi.
“I told you to come tomorrow,” said Sasi in a stern voice . Vasu covered his face with the veil and started to move from there .Suddenly he stopped and said,
“Sir, there is one thing…”
“In the backyard of this house, there is an elephant herd about a kilometer away. There are ten or fifteen elephants staying there. Some elephants from there may climb and come here. If they come here, they will not be idle they will make a terrible noise and will create lot of problems. If that happens don’t panic just, burst some crackers and they will run away. Don’t even by mistake give them anything like rice or jaggery to eat. Then they will make it a habit and will come back here again and again, Remember! ”
Vasu’s words shook Sheela even more.
"What Sheelu, Why are you so scared?" Sasi sat on the bamboo chair in the hall.
"I’m not afraid, I’m just disgusted by seeing his face"
"Poor fellow, shall we give him some work to do?"
"Dear, please ,I don’t want to see his face again."
"Don’t be afraid Sheelu, his face become like that because of an accident. You will get used to it. Please understand why I'm saying this. We are new to this forest and It's good to have someone who knows this forest well with us."
"If that is the case, I’ll request that tribal girl. She looks good.”
"Ok dear decide something but fast" When Sasi finished saying this,
Neelan and Neeli came with the goat milk. They brought it in a mud pot seeing it, Sheela’s eyes lit up.
"Wow…you were so fast.”
"Oh, this is not a big thing for us. Sometimes it's hard to catch the goat, that's all. Once we catch it, we can get the milk for sure.”
"Neela, can you bring milk like this daily?"
"Yes but No!!"
“What do you mean?”
“We can do anything in this forest in an emergency to help others but if we continue to do it then, ‘Aghori Baba’ will punish us. "
"’Aghori Baba? Who is he?"
"He is a living god who walks around this forest carrying a corpse on his shoulder! If we are honest and do good things he will never appear before us. But if we do something wrong, he’ll come in front of us with the corpse on his shoulder. Then what will happen is he will drop that corpse on his shoulder, kill will us and will carry us on his shoulder!.”
It was a great shock for Sasi. He just remembered what Jacob told him at the time of his departure. Sheela, who was already in fear from top to bottom after seeing Vasu, on hearing this went to the edge of unconsciousness.
"What happened Ji ? Jacob Ji might have already told you about ‘Aghori Baba’ right?"
"Hmm, I know. But I don’t think ‘Aghori Baba’ is a living god as you people think . He may be a criminal hiding in the forest!”
"Oh, please don't talk like that Ji. If you do, Baba will come here and will kill you!"
"Oh, is it? Then let him come and kill me!”
"Ji, please, let us stop talking about it.”
Neelan looked at Neeli while expressing this with fear. She also nodded and agreed with him.
"Don’t be afraid, Neela, you are illiterate people ,you do not know how to approach these kind of things. That’s why you think that killer is a living god. Ok, leave this ‘Aghori Baba’ matter to me. By the by, I need a favour from you Neela.. ”
"Tell me Ji, what can I do for you?"
“Can you help my wife in the household works, both of you can stay here, right? "
Sasi came straight to the point …
The tribal couples looked at each other without knowing what to answer.
"What are you thinking?"
"No, Ji, it is not possible."
“Why Neela? Don’t worry, I will give you a good salary and you two can eat here also. ”
"Ji, money is not a matter for us. In this forest we are not supposed to do anything without the permission of our Moopan. We have here a leader called Baddamaran(Moopan),We also have a lot of rules, regulations and customs to follow. Our Moopan says we are the descendants of the Indra dynasty. So, we should not stay outside this forest or work for or under any outsiders. We believe this forest will look after us. ”
There was a lot of information in what Neelan said.
"Then you will not work for me."
"It's not like that Ji, I can’t do it. It’s the custom in our tribe.”
"What rules and customs? Well, what is the name of your leader? Ah...Baddamaran ,right?"
"Yes, Ji, he is more than 100 years old. But even today he can climb the trees and pick fruits. "
"Hundred years old?"
"Oh, leave that Ji, We have another old woman in our tribe who is 120 years old, her name is Javani .She hasn’t lost any of her teeth and still peels the coconut with her teeth. Our bodies are all strong. We give ‘Triphala ‘to our new born babies!"
"Yes Ji, When we go to see a new born baby, we take mango, jackfruit and banana with us and we’ll mush all the three together mixing honey with it, then we will feed a small portion of it to the new born baby! This is a custom in our tribe."
As Neelan was saying this, Sasi and Sheela looked at him with amazement!
"Ji, It’s time for us to return to our hut. We have to reach there before it gets dark and that also is part of our custom .You look so tired please go and have a cup of coffee and take rest, we’ll come tomorrow."
Neelan said this and left the place with Neeli. Sheela stood there watching them going until they disappeared from her eyes.
"What Sheelu ,it seems like that you have changed your mind and now you feel that this forest is mystic and scary?”
“No...it is not like that ,I feel like that I’m in a whole new dream world!"
"Did that ‘Aghori Baba’ subject scared you?"
"No, not at all ,only sinners need to be afraid of that."
"Look dear... I'm telling you that he is not a god. It seems like that you have already developed some sort of belief in him. "
"You can research on whether he is a god or not. But I strongly feel that this forest will give us a solution for our childlessness!."
When Sheela said this Sasi stood there speechless. His heart pained a little .He remembered that they have been remaining like this with only expectations for more than a decade.
Sasi’s mobile ringed …
At the other end it was his brother Sanal!
"Yeah...It's me. Bro ,hope you have taken charge and has settled there smoothly! "
"Bro , I'm planning to come over there soon. How's that Forest? Is there any scope for me to make a reel?"
"You’re asking? If you come here, you will never leave this forest man. Sheela also loves it. But this forest seems to be very mystic!”