Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Collection of True Stories - Part IV

When I was led by an Unknown Beam of Light – a true story
By Vijay Khosla (Part –IV of the Story)

The tone and my declaration was a plain stupid thing to do. I do not know what got into me that I was behaving so adamantly. Aunt Nirmala was very upset. The shadows of anger and sadness were clearly visible on her somber face. It was almost as if she was on the verge of leaving me for my disgraceful behavior, that something changed her mind and she looked back at me.  

She said very sadly almost in resignation, “Alright son, what will I gain by remaining back when you are unwilling to stay for the night. Don't forget that we started this journey together and we ought to finish it jointly”.

I felt sorry and was uncomfortable upon hearing that. I replied:

“No aunt, please don’t do that. Considering your age, you are already tired. Take rest tonight and start afresh your pilgrimage to Bhairon Nath Temple and other places first thing in the morning tomorrow”.

But she did not agree to my suggestion. Instead, she got up and tied carefully her shawl around her. Then she picked up her staff of bamboo stick and looked inquiringly at me as if asking me to make a move. I was taken aback at this show of strength and will power. There were no visible lines of tiredness on her face and she looked fit enough to take on the return journey as well.

Today, when I think over the whole chain of events, it surprises me to the hilt that how could have I been so naïve and foolish that I did not recognize her for what she was and who she was! What a foolish lad I was and perhaps a man I am, even to this day!

But, as the turn of events and time might have it, I just over looked the things.

Mountain-Trek - Courtesy:
 Well, we commenced our return journey. The dusk was spreading its wings and a very little day light was left. The sun had gone behind the hills and the birds were flying back to their nests. A soft cool breeze was blowing through the hills.

After reaching at the first stone stair-case leading down the slope of hill, I preferred stairs to descend the hill and asked aunt Nirmala to follow the plain pathway. Aunt Nirmala was not pleased and instead offered to follow the stairs along with me. I requested her to reconsider my suggestion but she refused plainly. It pricked a little and made me to think how much strong this old woman is at this age? Rather I praised her for that.

We started descending stairs together. I was ahead and she was a step behind. She had advised me to descend slowly, a step each at a time since it had started getting dark. But my youthful stance was almost a slow trot down the hill in place of a single step each time. I was covering multiple steps and after reaching eight to ten steps ahead of her, I used to halt and wait for her slow but steady descend. When she reached up to my stair level, I used to start my trot again playfully.

At one of the stairs level, when she had reached me and I was about to descend the next step,

Oh God, I slipped!

I had already slipped the step and was on the verge of beginning my fall. Within those micro seconds, it flashed in my mind that I am going to fall and hurt myself. I was afraid and my eyes got closed.

The inevitable fall had begun and my eyes were shut with fear, when a strong hand caught me by the shirt collar and held me! The grip on my collar was rock solid. And slowly she helped me to gain my balance. She called my name repeatedly and shook me as if trying to wake me up. I opened my eyes and stared at my surroundings unbelievingly. I got up and stood shakily on my feet. My body was shivering with fear. Whatever had transpired was just unbelievable!
An old and frail woman had just saved me!!

I was trying to recover when I heard her admonish me and she said,
“This was the reason I was not leaving you alone even on these stair steps. I knew some odd is due, but when and where… never knew”.

Now, listen carefully my boy, once we finish this set of stair steps, follow the plain mountain road. It is almost getting dark and I do not want you slipping again. No more descending through the stairs. Is that clear to you?

It was a stern order and I was already shaken. I did not have the courage to think otherwise. I was like a meek lamb.

I thanked her time and again for saving my life.

                                                                                                                         Cont'd to Part...V

1 comment:

  1. You have a interesting way of telling the story. You can be good writer