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Adi & Praja 110

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 110: Leaving again

She understood only half of what he was telling – she had never seen any of the things he was talking about with her own eyes, and he used many terms she had never heard of, and that even in a strange language. Father also listened. He didn’t say anything. He just looked. After a while he proposed that it was time to have a meal.

(110)

(leaving home again)

For over a year Shano stayed in the valley. He talked much with the school teacher, who learned much from Shano. He was selective though as to what to tell to his friends. On the whole Shano had become a more silent boy, and spent most of the time alone. He often sat outside, staring at the snowy tops above the other side of the valley. All over there seemed so alive.

He stayed at home and around in the valley, his mind full of computers and thousands of other things the people there didn’t know anything about. He met Crish again, he had been in the city a number of times, but not knowing that Shano had been there also, they hadn’t met. Crish even now didn’t know where Shano had been, and immediately started of, saying: “Hey Shan, I got some adventures to tell you. He told a few strong stories and they were about as stupid as before. Shano merely smiled, and in a way he loved Crish because of his haughty innocence and his silent, but not pronounced genuine desire to really know all these things, to experience. His stories he only fancied because he had no opportunity to know what he actually desired so much. They became kind of friends, but Shano with some contempt and Crish with some jealousy. In later years Crish went to live in the city, married and became a business man. Shano’s adventure would go in a very different direction.

When he was seventeen he started to travel again – this time with permission and understanding of his parents. They knew that he had become very independent and could solve every problem for himself. He was no longer a child. They had rather kept him home, but they couldn’t put him on a chain. His desire to go beyond the mountains was so tremendous, that they could not resist. So one day he went. He walked, and walked, trail after trail, always up. At night he could not walk much and had to take some rest also, but he could hardly wait till the next morning: he felt that something was waiting for him, greater horizons would be stretching out behind the snow-capped mountain tops. And so he reached the higher slopes, where no more trees were growing, where the air was thin and clear, and where the colors were more intense. Also their were many ethereal beings all over the fields, but that was no longer his real interest. He just spread kindness for them from his heart. He reached the snow, and sometimes when he had slept in a cave or hut, he found himself enclosed by snow the next morning. There were also small hamlets, where the people would have some bread or balls of barley, and tea and cheese, and woolen cloths and even animal skins to protect themselves against the cold and the fierce winds. It was not so easy to live there. You felt far away form human culture, but a bit closer to ‘God’. Shano carried, apart from the daily necessities – cloths, food and water – a few of the philosophical books he liked most. They told about the unseen worlds were real gods lived, and their wisdom and power. He had never seen real gods, but because he knew something of ‘unseen’ beings, he could well believe that gods really existed. But where? He met people, simple people, wise people, and most of them were very kind in nature, never showing any distrust, and always giving him things without a thought for themselves. He suffered a lot of cold and harsh circumstances, sometimes had to climb steep bare rocky hillsides in stormy winds, and at other times was surrounded by such an absolute silence that nobody here can have an imagination about it. He needed completely different skills now than in the city – of course computers and city comforts existed somewhere in his memory, though he paid little attention. Sometimes a little fear crept inside him that if he ever met the gods, they would also be disappointing. And sometimes he thought that he would never meet any gods, because they only existed in his fancy. But there had been times that the city also existed only in his fancy. And, though very different from what he had expected, it had proved to really exist. Sometimes he asked people whether they had ever met gods. Some said they were meeting them all the time, others said that gods existed only in fantasy, and again others told stories from the times of their great great grandfather who was said to have known somebody who met the gods. These answers didn’t really help him – in fact they added to his silent despair. He traveled for years. Always there was some food and shelter to find. He didn’t need much, and knew enough about herbs and leaves and fruits to keep a healthy balance. He walked over very high mountain passes, and into valleys with thundering rivers. He met people who looked quite different from those he had ever seen before, and spoke languages that had nothing in common with his own language or with English. Very occasionally he met young people who could speak some English – but from their point of view he looked so strange that they were usually only staring at him.

Not always did he feel happy and cheerful. There were long periods with gray skies and hours of rain every day. Sometimes he met with storms. In such stormy weather he climbed up a gray hill with little vegetation beyond hardy scrubs, and it was steep and he didn’t know where the trail would lead him. He got tired and almost had to drag himself uphill, step by step. He became really depressive, and asked himself where he was doing this all for. He was alone, had nobody to talk to, nobody to share his feelings with, let alone his philosophical thoughts, and if at all he met people they spoke a strange language. Uphill were old and gnarled Juniper trees, probably centuries old and formed asymmetrically by the fierce winds always coming from the same side, dressed in a gloomy dark green. He felt that no communication was possible with such trees. The were too old and to much turned inside themselves. They must have had a tremendous stamina or willpower to live for ages on these steep hillsides under such circumstances. They made him even more gloomy. At last he reached a hilltop, the first horizontal place since many hours, and he sat down in the fierce winds and the fast moving fogs. Only small woody shrubs were growing there. He noticed that his tiredness and gloom had suddenly disappeared and he enjoyed the cold storm and the fogs. He felt completely at one with nature. He ate a three biscuits left over from the day before, when he had been in a village. Then he started to descend. Now the trees were beautiful for his eye, and he went to one of them and listened carefully. He seemed to hear a very low tone, almost too low to hear, and it was the character of that tree. He listened again, and it sounded like a soft universal sound, touching something deep in his heart like the beauty of gloom itself. He had forgotten his own gloom and tiredness. An old classical melody – of Johann Sebastian Bach was playing itself inside his memory – and it seemed to merge with the natural environment. The music had so many layers, just as the tree. The tree had big branches, and from them smaller branches, and from them twigs, and finally ending in tiny almost scrub-like dark green leaves, packed upon each other to withstand the climate. This theme repeated itself over and over on the same tree. He wondered whether it would be possible to divide each tone of seven or twelve of an octave again into seven or twelve, so that between, say, c and d on the scale, their would be a subscale of again seven pitches, and whether the human ear would be able to distinguish such tones, or influence him subconsciously. There would be 49 pitches within in a whole-tone scale, or 114 in a regular scale before reaching the next octave. Perhaps even a next subdivision. It was just fantasy. He had no means to try. But his depression had gone.

Behind the highest mountains were forested mountains, and behind the forests were deserts where it could be flaming hot. Hotter than he ever imagined would exist on earth,

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