Behind the Bush
Indra was pleased to see the mystic trees standing before him. The trees said, "Lord, we want to stay with you in this forest; please permit us." But Indra told them, "Soon I will come out of this curse and will be back in my kingdom. So you can return to our world now. This world is one of the 14 worlds where humans are taking birth, live, and die. Humans retake birth due to their karmas. Feelings like desire and attachments play a vital role in their life. So this world will not suit you. Human beings will bug you like anything and will not give you any peace. So you may go back to our kingdom."
They agreed to this but requested Indra," Lord, we came to know that this forest has an exceptional tree known as Tryambaka. We understand that this tree is not found anywhere in this world. We consider this forest as an abode of the trinities. Kindly permit us to visit this forest and worship the Tryambaka tree as our mother and when we wish. We assure you that we will keep our visits very confidential, and no one will know about it."
Indra happily agreed to this.
Even today, the tribal people of the forest believe that the Kalpavriksha and Parijatha trees are walking around this forest. Some very fortunate Siddhas have witnessed the beauty of the Kalpavriksha tree walking in the woods just as the humans walk with their feet.
Tribal people in the Naga forest believe that the tree moves around on full moon days during the night.
In an old palm leaf which is with the Moopan, it reads as follows …
The history of the Naga forest
"In this forest, Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma are there in the form of trees. In addition, Kalpavriksha trees are roaming around in this forest during the full moon nights... "
They believe that the Kalpavriksha is roaming around in this forest. So they are waiting to get a glimpse of it and if they see it..."
When Sasi said that the forest is mystic…
"Very interesting, bro... How long should I continue to make these unsavory documentaries? I will come there immediately. Let those mystic scenes be a treat for my camera eyes! " said Sanal.
"No, Bro, don't come here now. First, let us settle down here. By then, I will also make an in-depth study of what is going on here!" Sasi said.
"Bro, Don't worry, you concentrate on your work. I'm not a child either. I am 32 now. If I got married in time, my boy or girl would have completed schooling by now! Understand?" He ended the conversation abruptly.
But Sanal's words pained Sasi a lot. Still, he remembered the three proposals which came for him. The first girl said that she was already in love with someone. The second girl was ready, but unfortunately, she died in an accident before marriage. Finally, the third girl said that she did not like Sanal for some reason. Sasi searched for a good girl for him even after all these, but Sanal requested him to stop.
"Sorry, Bro, I feel that marriage is not on my cards!"
Even after disconnecting Sanal's call, all these thoughts revolved in his mind. Then, he became very silent all of a sudden. Sheela, who was coming with the coffee prepared from the goat's milk, soon guessed what had happened by looking at Sasi's face.
"Here is your coffee, dear. Is that Sanal on the phone?"
"Is he planning to come here ?"
"I heard you said no to him. But, please dear, let him come. Sometimes something good may happen to him in this forest. Who knows?"
Sasi was a little shocked to hear Sheela's words.
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Dear, I already told you that this forest is a mysterious one. But still, you think this is a holy pilgrimage place," He sipped his coffee and said.
"Yes, I know all about this forest from a 'YouTube' video. That is why I forced you to apply for a transfer to this place!"
"Are you crazy? Jacob has already told so many stories about this forest. I'm of the view that some criminal activities are going on in this forest. Even that Aghori Baba may be a criminal. But you do not try to understand anything in a good sense. "
"I don't think so. Two months back, a priest came from Varanasi to the Ganesha temple near our house. He told me the whole story about the Naga forest. In this forest, Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma are all three there in the form of trees, and a wish-fulfilling tree' Kalpavriksha 'is roaming around in this forest on full moon nights. Moreover, there is a lake in this forest named 'Sanjeevani.' If we take a bath in that lake, all our diseases are cured. Hearing all this, do you know how I felt?" when Sheela finished saying this, Sasi glared at her.
By now, he has almost finished the coffee in his hand.
"Dear, please finish that coffee. It's getting cold."
"Shits...what nonsense are you talking? Do not support such superstitions. It's not good. "The tone of his voice suddenly changed.
"Dear, the tree, the lake can be a lie but the 'Sky Men' I believe that they are there for sure! The world can call them by any name' Sky Men' or whatever they like, but to me, they are all Siddhas. One day I am going to meet them, and they will bless me with a child!"
Sheela was so strong in expressing herself. At that moment, Sasi was confused about whether he should be happy for her views or laugh at her baseless theories on 'Sky Men' as Siddhas. No one ever in the forest department has submitted a report about 'Sky Men.' When Sasi departed from the city office, his Chief instructed him to prepare a detailed report on the' Sky Men' now that came to his mind and disturbed him very much.
That minibus stopped before the board that read, "Welcome to Naga Forest." Krishnan got down from the bus with a shoulder bag, and he was wearing a black sweater; a dirty towel was there on his shoulder!
On his forehead were holy ash, sindoor, black tantric paste, and turmeric. He was strolling, thinking about something, and chewing betel leaves.
Krishnan wasn't that much tall. If you measure him with an inch tape, he will come around only one hundred and twenty inches. Yet, he covered almost all 'Nadu' in the Naga forest to sell his bangles, ribbons, powder, and eyeliners.
His shoulder bag was packed with almost all items that the tribal girls love. So when he enters the forest playing an old Malayalam retro song from his tape recorder, which was hanging on his other shoulder, even the animals and birds in the woods will look at him from top to bottom with a question in their mind 'who is this clown?'
To the tribal people, they saw him as a bit of a clown. When he entered the forest, they murmur, 'He always comes every week just to spoil our girls.' Some tribals will stop him and will check his bag to find what is inside. Krishnan was a regular smoker. Although smoking is prohibited in the forest, he would hide behind some bush and enjoy his time. Unfortunately, many a time, the smoke will show him out. By the passage of time, the tribals who warned him, in the beginning, became his friends, and they too started to smoke!
Krishnan, the bangle seller, got off the bus. He has to walk from there nearly ten kilometers to reach the Naga forest. The tribal people refer to their place of domicile as 'Nadu.' They divided Nadu into 'Thekku Nadu,' Madhya Nadu,' 'Vadakku Nadu,' etc. He has to go around all these' Nadu' to sell bangles. It'll be a big thing if he can do business for at least a few hundred rupees. But Krishnan's fundamental objective behind coming to Naga forest was quite different! He firmly believed in the rumors about the wish-fulfilling Kalpavriksha tree roaming around in the woods, and he was in the extreme hope of seeing it one day. On seeing it, he wanted to ask for a boon, which is for a very luxurious life!
Usually, outsiders were not permitted to stay overnight in the forest. If you want to stay overnight, the condition is that you have to become one among the tribes. The only shortcut for this, which Krishnan found out, was to woo any tribal woman in Naga forest and tie a knot with her. If that happens, no one could prevent him from staying in the woods, including the Moopan. Krishnan has come to Naga forest as a bangle seller only with this in his mind. Soon his dream blossomed with vivid colors. A tribal girl named Kurumatti fell in love with him.
Now Kurumatti was coming just opposite to him. When he saw her, he felt like thousand butterflies flying inside his stomach. Kurumatti looked so awesome. She had a little extra growth in her curves. She has tied her hair like a traditional tribal woman. On her waist was a bamboo basket. On seeing Krishnan, a smile flowered in her rosy lips. They went and hid behind a thick bush. Krishnan opened his bag and showed her a rose powder tin.
"Do you know what this is?"
"Rose Powder, If you apply this, your face will glow like a beautiful rose!"
"Come close, and I'll apply it on your face."
"Oh, No…please don't touch me. If Moopan knows about this, then that will be the end of everything!"
"Darling, how can we love without touching each other? Do you know our love strengthens with each touch!"
"Sorry, dear, I am not interested."
"Kuru, if male and female do not touch each other, there will not be any life in this world."
"No, It's wrong. God will punish us."
"God won't punish us if we have already agreed to marry each other."
Krishnan tried hard to change her mind. At that time, they heard a rustling sound nearby. Both of them were slightly shivering out of fear! Then, thud, thud, thud, It sounded like someone was walking very fast.
"Aw, someone's coming!" a shivering Kurumatti said. Krishnan's heart began to beat fast in the panic he had. He got up without making the slightest noise and peeped through a small hole in the bush in the direction where the sound came from and what he saw was Aghori Baba was going with a corpse on his shoulder.
Krishnan and Kurumatti stood there like statues out of shock!