I went back to the days when tigers used to smoke. Even ‘Time’ had a tiresome journey travelling back when I asked it to. It went back to the days right when anarchy was prevalent and when the civilizations were being fashioned. It was the very beginning of governance. Sages, then known as Rishis lived and people followed what these scholarly people mentioned. Those were the days when there were a lot of mavericks in the society, unlike today where the governance had taken control over man. A village-at-don’t-know-where was led by a tribal head. People in that village were satisfied with what they were and what they had. The village priest enlightened them with the divine wisdom( divine- according to him) over years and people obediently followed. He could persuade tribal men into worshipping the lord ‘Sun’ and they followed because the priest told them. He was then explaining them the two mind spaces; heaven and hell which would ostensibly exist afterlife.
“Heaven is the most beautiful mind space while hell brings fear in the faces of the toughest of men. Pray hard not to go to hell or else get ready to get tormented“, he mentioned.
A small boy of the village listened to it contemplating whatever understood. He was a seemingly odd looking boy not belonging to this time and definitely not the village. He roamed the streets of the village as a freelancer doing odd jobs. He was a quick learner and a cynic. No one could convince him of things so easily. He was stubborn and learnt things with his own reasons. He prayed the ‘sun’ god not because the priest told him but because he understood the fact the sun helps in the growth. He observed that the metabolic rate on earth during nights was less. It was not that he observed too much of the outside world. He observed himself, went deep within to comprehend his own ability to think. The rate of his thoughts declined at nights. He had this regular habit of drawing shapes of whatever he saw in the sky on the soil. The great priest once told that the earth was flat.
“Why is it?“, the boy asked.
People easily accepted with what the priest said but this guy had other notions. One day, it was the day’s sad end, the end which he never wanted because every day was fun, and these days, he was observing the stars. The stars, moon, clouds formed various patterns and shapes which he replicated on the ground while he slept. Next morning when he observed it, he found that the moon was missing in the various shapes he made.
“oi, i missed it“, he thought.
He wondered where the moon went. Like this, he observed that moon’s shape changed intermittently and it disappeared regularly. He was a genuine storyteller too. He once explained to the priest’s children how fast the sun moves and how it visits every nook and corner of the world. The priest went furious over his insane theories and told him to stop creating his own theories.
“YOU!, son of a ****.Get away from here or keep shut your mouth shut.”, the priest accused the boy of his blasphemous theories.
The boy was wondering if his conception was wrong. The boy saw that the light illuminated not only beautiful places of his village but also lit the contaminated, foul stained places. He wondered if sun loved earth so much that it visited every nook and corner of it daily.
As every uncouth civilization which ended because of plague or because of man’s foolish wants, even this civilization had its tough times. All the surrounding villages were hit by a disease. Our village was busy trying not to get infected. The boy was busy too but with his dreams. He started sleeping more than ever as dreams connected him to a distant place. He was blind in his dreams it was dark which guided him in it. The people of the village started praying. All the ceremonies and rituals were performed but the death rate wasn’t diminishing. People started blaming the high priest and hence god. They called the earth as the INFERNO. The priest then understood how dumbfounded these people were. Some of the villages started chasing the High priest and the boy came to his rescue claiming that nothing is gonna happen and earth is a beautiful place. But the deaths didn’t stop. The death ate whatever came in its way. It looked as if there was no way to stop it. The boy didn’t understand why the death was unabatedly taking everyone with her. There was no pattern. Every single time he got doubts if the earth was hell, he got dreams which said he was wrong. The boy was no different for death as death didn’t know him so well and so it finally ate him too.
The boy was astounded at the fact that he died but more than that he was surprised by seeing the doorkeepers who appeared before him. The doorkeepers of Yama summoned all the dead which included the boy to Yama-dharma Raju. The path was indeed enthralling. He could feel all the excitement but realised the fact that it would end soon. The hall in which everyone was summoned was nothing special. It had 2 doors. Yama started checking everyone who came there. It was strange that Yama wasn’t checking their accounts. He felt uneasy when he looked at the boy. The boy’s confident looks in front of Yama’s intimidating frame surprised Yama. He saw something puzzling on the boy’s face, something dark and therefore, he was put in a conundrum. Yama believed that a child can never be dark. Also, the dark force brought in the light on the child’s face.
As everytime, Yama asked people to choose a door and people made their choice thinking one was hell and one was heaven. People went behind their leaders like sheep. Chitragupta had a vicious smile as always. This boy however chose a different road. He told yama that he wanted to get back to earth. Yama looked amazed looking at how different the boy was. Not a conventional thing this guy is, he thought. He asked the guy for a proper logical reason and if convincing , he would send the guy back.
The boy told, “Earth is the most beautiful place and the only heaven left“.
Yama asked for a reason.
The boy told,” I pray the lord sun. Sun visits earth every day and travels all through the earth, every nook and corner. He walks through not only the beautiful places but also the contaminated ones. so, i thought the earth is the only heaven as the sun visits it daily.”
Yama looked paralysed and was temporarily out of the words.
“Is it because of responsibility or love that my dad(sun) visits earth daily?“, Yama thought.
A small boy made Yama ponder over things which he never thought in life. Yama wondered if the dark force, which he saw in the boy and which terrified him gave the boy such wisdom.
“How is it possible? How can dark show path? Isn’t the path only shown by my father, the sun? Can there be someone else? Can the dark show path?” Questions flooded all over“, and he smiled.
“Life was much beautiful before,” he chuckled.
Chitragupta was amazed and Yama made up his mind. He sent the boy back. People then wondered if the boy was right! Had the boy been right, what are the 2 doors and what is the choice made by them. The people went through the doors according to their choices. They got terrified within their doors seeing how people were brutally tortured. Finally, as they walked all through till the end, they finally met the ones who entered the second door. They finally realised that the two doors were the 2 points in a circular hell path.
“The boy was right,” they thought and looked disappointed.
Yama now started wondering what the boy had; the dark. what was it? What was the boy’s dream all about? Is it the dark who is showing him the path? Is it shiva? May be it is.
“One hell of a day for me,” he rolled laughing,
and the boy lived forever, the boy who actually lived. The boy was named MARKANDEYA by Yama and kala later made that possible playing his games again..
“THE DARK PROTECTS US”
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markandeya( to know who markandeya was)