A thousand and one stories #7 Perhaps

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There was a village called Perhaps and it fell on the Maybe road. You had to take the probability bus and ride till eventually, you reached the place. But that wasn’t the case Always. Because there were dacoits that fell on the way. And they’d take people away to Sometimes camp. Often the road would diverge to Neverland and Eternalville and the driver would stop before choosing the way. The wait always turned out to be longer than expected and passengers kept getting off the bus and choosing to walk the way instead. Some would take one path, some another. But in the end, they would rarely make it to Perhaps village.

But everyone wanted to.

So more and more people would go ride the bus despite the danger. And more and more people would get off the bus despite the risk. Except for one day when a little boy who was travelling on the bus with his mom got lost alone.

His mom told him to stay on the bus while she got off and checked what should be the safer path.  But she didn’t expect the Inevitablesours to surround her. They pecked at her body till there was nothing left of it.

The boy kept waiting for a long time because his mother had told him to stay on the bus and while he was on the bus that was moving nowhere, he kept thinking.

 What’s so great about this village that everyone wants to go there and are willing to take all risks and leave things behind and make so much effort for it?

He did think about why his mother hadn’t come back.

But the bus had been still for so long, he couldn’t help but look out the window. Most of the passengers had already left. Only one old lady remained in the bus on the back seat. And the confused driver of course.

Some confused souls were still wandering out but he couldn’t see his mother anywhere. He heard a little girl cry and followed the sound of the noise.

Though he was a kid himself, he wanted to help. He didn’t think before stepping off the bus, though his mother had warned him not to. But now she was nowhere to be found and the girl just kept weeping so loudly. What could he do but get off?

He kept following the noise through some off-path trails in the jungle and he got scared sometimes when he heard a noise in the bushes.

He got second thoughts when he thought of the people back there losing trails even when they were on the road. And here he was on an off-beat path.

But he kept hearing the sound and following it. And suddenly the noise stopped. He felt as if his heart stopped too. Here he was, stuck in the middle of nowhere, walking for no other reason than a gut instinct and an allure of the girl’s shrieks and cries.

But now it had stopped so what was he to do?

And it hit him, all of it. The house he had left behind. His sister and father in it.

The way he had lost his mom on the way, and he didn’t even know if she was truly lost because she just left and didn’t come back. He didn’t even know what had happened to her. And he thought if it would’ve been better to stay with that old lady in that bus.

Because now he had nothing, in the middle of nowhere and so he began to sob.

Wiping off one tear after the other, trying to make it stop when it wouldn’t, he heard a noise from the bushes and got scared. But it was just a heavenhog.

And it was so pretty, the boy couldn’t help but walk towards him.

He just had to take that first step before the heavenhog jumped at him and covered him all over with rainbows and glitter and the boy laughed so loudly it echoed in the jungle. He was surprised at the sound that echoed back because it felt like it was so long since he had even smiled.

The heavenhog didn’t stop there

He tried the chase.

He ran and ran through the jungles, stopping just to see if the boy was following.

And the boy did. Because how could he not?

So he also ran and ran through the jungles, not even noticing the flowers or the thorns. Not being afraid of all the creatures that laid in wait. Not stopping to see the cut he had gotten from his skin brushing the rocks harshly.

Because there was something to follow here and he was happy.

When the heavenhog finally stopped and the boy did too, they both heard a slow noise of the little girl sniffling. She was still crying, just less loudly now. And the boy and the heavenhog noticed from a distance.

The boy took the first step and it was all he had to do. The heavenhog smiled and jumped on her this time. She got a bit scared. She didn’t know what the creature wanted. But she was covered in glitter now and kinda annoyed about it.

So she tried walking away but the heavenhog wouldn’t let her. It ran in circled around her wagging her tail and every time she tried to leave, he’d drool rainbows all over her. She kept wiping it away. And telling it to stop till the boy finally came and said that it couldn’t.

It sensed the sadness that came off of people and it did what it could to try to change that. The girl was all furious because the guy was being ‘all-knowing’ and it was so stupid. What could glitter and drool do?

And here were two people trying to bother her again but she forgot one thing. In the annoyance, irritation and anger. She had stopped crying

The girl noticed how battered the boy looked from the run through the jungle and the wounds he wore on his skin like sleeves.

She asked him to follow her, to a better place. But when they all reached, a small hut near the river. None of them realised, it was the Perhaps village

You don’t get there by efforts.

You don’t get there by risk.

You don’t get there by being confused or not making the leap.

You get there by following the gut instinct that comes from inside, and running through the forests and letting yourself cry.

You get there with a companion whom you can follow blindly or maybe alone if someone guides you unknowingly.

But when you get there and know this, you’ll get there, in the end, do try to feed yourself and take care of the wounds. Everything else will mend.

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Meet the person who inspired these Vardhan Chronicles @SidharthVardhan

 

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