Kaliyuga The Age Of Darkness - 15 in English Novel Episodes by Vicky Trivedi books and stories PDF | Kaliyuga The Age Of Darkness (Chapter 15)

Kaliyuga The Age Of Darkness (Chapter 15)

15

QUESTIONS

[I had a conversation with sage Markandeya before the beginning of the age known as the Kali Yuga. In a passage in the Mahabharata text, it is recorded that I, Vishnu spoke of a time during the darkest period of the Kali Age when human values would deteriorate and falsehood would triumph over truth. I as Vishnu told how I would take a human birth in order to intervene and set the world on a new course.]

For a while, I stand to stare out the window. A faint light is leaking through the curtains. My eyes see ruined houses and buildings and I think about the people who were lived in those buildings and houses. I imagined them sleeping on their beds and sleeping when Pralaya came and killed them all. What they would have felt? The same feeling the girl has felt in the train when the Nirbhaya killed her. I have the answer.

I imagine my hut, with its wooden door shut tight. What is my mother doing now? Was she able to make dinner? Has Daxa managed to force her to eat?

If not Daxa then Krupa would have undoubtedly forced her to eat. Perhaps my mother would be at their house. Though my father is with me, imagining my hut makes me ache with loneliness. I should be at my hut, with my mother. All of us should be in the wall – where we belong. I closed my eyes and imagined this is a nightmare and when I open my eyes, I will be in my hut, with my mother, among my people.

I open my eyes to see myself in the same dumb room. Tears threaten my eyes. This time I don’t fight them back. I’m alone in a room with my father, no one else is watching me if I’m going to cry openly, now is the time to do it.

You shouldn’t cry.” says my father, no effect of the death of a little girl in his voice.

“Why they killed that girl?” I ask as soon as my father says and shut door behind us. The lights hurt my eyes as I wipe the tears – the bulb in the room had too much light for that small place. Perhaps the tears were protecting my eyes from them since I entered the room.

“Sit on the bed,” he says instead of answering my question.

“I don’t want to sit,” I say, in a loud voice. I can’t stop the anger in my voice and the redness that floods my eyes.

“If you make noise they will kill us, too,” he says, softly but his voice sharp, making my senses alert.

“Why they killed her?” I sit on the bed. It’s a hundred times better than our cot, its mattress is five inches thick and the whole bed is made of metal instead of wood. My chest is still tight with emotion.

I take my legs on the bed and wipe my palms off on my trousers. My palms are sweaty, perhaps due to anger or maybe the effect of atmosphere change. I bring my knees to my chest and bury my face in them.

“Don’t be disappointed,” my father says, “it’ll just over in some months. The trip will be over.”

“I can’t wait for the whole thing to be over,” I say, this time in a regular voice.

“I know,” he gets me a glass of water. Here glass isn’t like us but made of the metal, shining metal.

“Drink this,” he says, “you’ve to go through it to the end of it. Every Sunya has to go through it. It’s over fate.”

“I don’t want it.” My throat is so tight it’s hard to talk.

“They are following the rules,” he says, perching on the bed near me, “it’s not killing, its rule.”

He places the glass in my hand, forcefully, “drink this or your throat will swell like a toad.”

          I check, swallowing saliva in my mouth and feel my throat feels swollen.

“What has happened to me?” I ask.

“Nothing,” he says, “the effect of the travelling in train for hours and atmosphere change.”

“Can water heal it?”

“Yes,” he says, giving a reassuring smile.

“How?”

“It has something inside it,”

“What?”

“I don’t know they call them medicine.”

I know what medicine is but don’t say anything. I can feel my mind begin to race. Why do they give us medicine? What do they want? From what would they make it? And how do they make it?

I press air from my lungs, see the water in the glass. It looks a slight blue in colour. I close my eyes and drink the contents of the glass along with the water.

“It’s not water.” I say, “Its taste isn’t like water.” I open my eyes, “it tastes like shit.”

“How you know the test of shit?” my father makes face.

“Father,” I say angrily, “I’m not in the mood of making fun.”

“I’m trying to distract you.”

“You can’t,” I say, my jaw tightens.

“Okay,” he holds his hand up, “It tastes strange due to the medicine inside it.”

“Let we talk about the killing.”

“Haven’t I told you? it wasn’t a killing. It’s a rule.”

“What!” I exclaim, “Not killing?” I fume, “he cut her throat and you say it was a rule?”

“We shouldn’t think over it,” he says.

“Why?” my right-hand clutches pipe of the bed strongly.

“Thinking can do nothing, it only gives pain.”

“So a Sunya can feel pain?” I clear my throat.

“Yes, we all feel pain,” he says, raising his eyebrows at me.

“Oh! I don’t think so.” I say, angrily, “Why no one cried on her death?”

“It’s against the rule.”

I shrug my shoulders.  “Fuck the rule,” I say, again my voice louder.

My father narrows his eyes, “Don’t you want to live?” I hear the anger in his voice, "all I'm doing is trying to keep us alive. For any act of rebellion here, beyond the wall has just one punishment - death."

I pretend that I’m not listening to him.

“Do you have a death wish?” he grips my chin and turns my face to him. “Don’t you want to live?” his voice rings out sharply, hard as a slap.

“Yes, I want to live but not like a Sunya, not like an inanimate emotionless creature,” I say, my voice casual, how? I don’t know.

“We have emotions,” he says, “but we have to suppress them.”

“Why?” I can’t bring myself to calm.

“I think we'll make this whole situation a lot simpler by pretending to be an emotionless and an inanimate creature,” he says. “What do you think?”

“Why should we pretend?” I ask.

My father runs a hand impatiently through his hair, “Every Sunya has to learn to get really good at pretending. Say one thing when he is thinking about something else, act like he is listening when is not, pretend like he believes when he isn’t, and pretend to be calm and happy when really he is freaking out. It's one of the skills a Sunya should perfectly know to keep himself alive, to keep his family alive. A Sunya has to learn to pretend that he isn’t human but something like a machine.” He says, “We pretend because we are weak.”

He goes on, his eyes sparkling. “Once your mother has told me that she feels two separate entities in her, one always is fighting with the other. The one is trying to overweight the other. But she controls that one and keeps the one out who nods when she's supposed to nod and says what she's supposed to say. But she has the one, somewhere in the deeper part of her heart, the one that worries and dreams and wish.”

Here he pauses and fights a smile. “I’d never met the one inside me before I met your mother. I was unaware that I too have two in my body because most of the time they move along and anyone hardly can notice the one inside, but your mother gave me vision how to see that one. Then I started feeling I'm two wholly different people. All Sunya have two different people inside but most of our people rip apart the one and stay always with the other that believes what they say and obeys.”

Now he sounds fair. When my father says its rule, I become fume and wish to punch him on the face if he weren’t my father.

“Then we should make ourselves strong,” I say, though I'm talking to him I suddenly find myself thinking about my mother. How can she know two different entities in her? My heart is pounding and I'm still thinking about my mother.

“We have no way,” he says in a low voice, still it makes me jump out of my thoughts.

“There is always the way, sometimes we see and sometimes we ignore but there is always at least a single one.”

“Then find it and tell Me,” he says.

“So you can go against the rule?” I ask, eager, though I already know the answer, now. I’m feeling happy. My mouth falls open. I ask, too “Many of us if you can convince them there is a way.”

“Sunyas aren’t Sunyas?” I feel a strange feeling in my stomach as though my heart is racing down there, not in my chest.

“They never were,” he says, a sharp pain slashes in his eyes and they grow sad. “We were human before Pralaya and still are but just pretending to be the Sunya. Some of us have become emotionless and inanimate but some are still humans and feel everything.”

One of the knots in my chest loosens. “Why?”

“To keep ourselves alive we need a guard and fake foolishness is our guard,” he says in a breathless rush.

“How can they kill us?” I ask, “We also have weapons, we can use our axes, and spades, and make some bows and arrows from the wood. They can’t kill us in the wall.”

“They can.”

“They have nothing except swords and knives.”

“They have.”

“What?”

“We don’t know but the creator has,” his voice grows slow, our faces are inches apart. “If he wishes he can kill all in the wall in a day.”

“How can he?”

“We don’t know but believe me he can.”

“How can you say that?”

“That’s the reason folk fears of him. Even Nirbhayas bows to him. Do you think these senseless creatures bow anyone if they don’t fear him?

“What should it be?” I feel uneasy. My voice comes out a croaky whisper.

“We don’t know.”

“Then we should know.” My heart starts heating up as I realize really should, for my family, for my people.

“How?” I can sense his eyes have eagerness – a banned characteristic.

I venture a glance up at him, “I will try.”

“They have spies,” he warns me.

There's a momentary pause. “I know,” I admit.

“How?” his face seems surprised.

“Just I know, I can’t tell you how.” I still don’t trust him about my teacher.

“Be careful. They never give a second chance.” My father reaches and passes fingers in my hair. His touch is cool and reassuring and gone as quickly as the lightest stirring of wind.

A look of firmness or fighting flickers across my face, “We don’t need if we succeed in the first.”

“Let’s hope so.”

“Hope,” I whisper.

“Now pretend to be a Sunya,” he says, “healer would come to examine you.”

“Healer?”

“Yes. We have Vaidhyas who give us herbs when we are sick. They have healers who can heal any sickness.”

“How?”

“I don’t know but that’s why the Devatas live longer than us.”

“How long do they live?”

“More than a hundred years.”

“What’s the lifespan of Nirbhayas?”

“They live as long as Devatas if they aren’t killed in the war or the training.”

“In the war?” I ask, in surprise, “Do they have war?”

“Yes,” he says quietly, but his words are laced with strangeness.

“With whom?”

“Not with humans,” he says, in that same strange voice.

“Then with whom?”

“They have war with THE BREED.”

“THE BREED,” the word is completely alien for me.

“Yes, THE BREEDs are beast, they come from Snow Mountains.”

“You mean Himalaya?”

“Yes, there live the breeds that break in territories of the creator and ...”

“And they kill the folk,” I interrupt.

“Death is not horrible. They don’t fear it.”

“Then?”

“The life after…” he hesitates, “after an encounter with them.”

“Encounter?”

“Yes, if you survive after fighting with them.”

“What happens if someone survives?”

“You shouldn’t know?” he whispers.

“I want to know.”

For a minute he pauses here, looking at me. “Survival means nightmare. If a breed bites you or give wound with his limbs but don’t kill you.”

“Tell me, what happens then?”

“It turns you into the breed,” he says quietly but and I can tell he’s struggling not to seem calm.

I share curiosity at him. “How?”

“No one knows for certain,” he says, “but some says they are Yeti while some say they are Rakshas, and if their blood touches with your blood it spoils you and turns you into one of them.”

A jolt of fear shocks through me, shorting out the pain, shorting out all other thoughts besides one: what’s the breed and why they are enemy of the creator.

“Why doesn’t anyone sure?”

“No one is certain because Nirbhaya kills the person who is infected before the person turns into the breed.”

“How?”

“With their swords,” he says and I am suddenly filled, head to toe, with the feeling that I am going to be sick if I know more about the breed.

“How do you know this?”

My father shoots me a look. His expression is clear. Don’t try to know everything. but then he speaks, “During my working days here I have befriended with some folk they have told me.”

My father picks a blanket and gives me, “you are trembling.”

“I’m not,” I say.

“Come on, don’t lie.”

“Okay.” I draw the blanket tighter around my shoulders. “Why you asked the folk?”

He clears her throat. “I wanted to know the weakness of the creator if he has any.”

“Why?”

He shakes his head as though he is puzzled. “If he has we can use it against him.”

I snap. “I am not the first.”

He nods. “You ain’t the last.”

“I’ll be the last. My people won’t need to do all this after me. I’ll end this.” I say, my voice seems firm and I feel something strong in my chest.

“I hope you are the last.” he says, “If you are the avatar as your mother believes you’ll end this,” he says and I feel better than I have after boarding the train.

“I don’t know what I’m but I’ll end this.”

My father’s face relaxes. “Okay, now be a Sunya.”

“For them I am.”

He reaches out and cups my chin, scans my face critically for some seconds. “What’re you in your eyes?”

“Conversant,” I say, my voice seems stronger than I’ve expected.

“A good name.” my father smiles at me, the sparkle of happiness visible in his eyes.

I am about to say something but knock on the door interrupts us.

My father opens the door and a woman enters in, in her hand is a big plate made of shining metal and covered with a white cloth.

She isn’t looking like Nirbhaya women because she has no characteristic of them. Her face was round and plump, her hair tied in a long tail, her blouse is embroidered and her skirt is knee length, revealing her thin long legs.

She places the dish on a three-legged table near the bed and looks at me, her eyes angular and beautiful. It is only when she turns to go back I see a tattoo on the back of her neck. It read – THE CREATOR IS THE GOD.

The words are in the same language which I’m learning from their books.

I want to ask her why she has a tattoo of THE CREATOR IS THE GOD but before it she leaves the room, closing the door behind her.

But I know what it means?

It means she is a slave of the creator.

She is a folk - Mild and coward creature.

My father removes the white cover and I see there are two dishes under it, one over another.

We sit down on the ground, crossing our legs in Asana – our routine position while eating.

I stare at my plate. It is full of food which I haven’t seen before. I feel I can’t wait to taste the food.

I take a bite of the food, which is rich but not overwhelming, deep and dark and flavorful. It is the best thing I have eaten, ever. I wish my mother could have this food, and for a minute I think about saving some of mine for her. But there is no way to take it back to her. It isn’t certain when we’ll go back. The food would start to stink before we go back is certain. And I’m not sure my mother would break the rules to taste eat.

My father have just popped the first bite in my mouth when I ask, “Can we talk while eating?”

“Yes,” my father says. His eyes narrow, “that rule applies only to in the wall,” he smiles, “not beyond the wall.

My father doesn’t break the rules. This is wrong. I was wrong.

I shake my head.

“Samrat,” he says, looking sternly into my eyes, “it’s not a sin to break the rule.”

“Then?” my eyes narrow.

“To be caught after breaking them.” I swallow in surprise, and for a second, I feel an unexpected surge of happiness. I feel the bite tasty more than it is.

So my father is also a human. It losses another knot from my chest and I eat all strange items which taste like rice and wheat and potato, tomato and peas but not of the meat.

“Do you really believe in sins?” I mumble through a mouthful.

“Yes, but not what they say,” He chomps into his own morsel, “but I believe if there is a sin it’s weakness,” he whispers, so softly that only I can hear him, however, there is none except me to hear.

I think he is right.

After another couple of bites, I finally ask the question that has been bothering me. “Why the creator is so cruel? He doesn’t even seem human, how can he be the god?”

He continues eating, “he wants to be a god that’s why he is so cruel. I have heard from the folk every year he forces all to celebrate a festival declaring him the god and that time people offer him their child as Manavbali. He chews the morsel in the mouth and swallows it, “he takes a hundred children to his tower after the festival and the children never return from there.”

“Then why their parents send them?”

“To save the remaining children,” he answers, “if someone denies he kills all the children of that person. “His voice grows sad, “it’s better to lose your one child than all of them,” he replies, finishing off his last bite and taking a long sip of water from the metal glass.

“And what he does with the children?”

“They never come back, no one knows more than it.”

Hearing it I have no guts to inquire more.

Vegetarian food – the phrase passes through my mind. I have read that also in their books.

“It’s time to bed.” my father announces.

“Okay,” I answer, imagining what will I see tomorrow when we will b in the field but I can’t.

I am selfish like traders. I am brave like Nirbhayas. I am human like Devats. I don’t know I’m conversant or not I don’t know I’m the avatar or not but I’m sure I’m not a Sunya.

The tiredness of journey and the sleep make me dizzy then I fall asleep.

***

To be continue.....

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