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Adi & Praja 080

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 7

Issue 80: The last great event

Now she was 79, walking with a stick or other support, and it was difficult for her to go out for shopping or other activities. She felt that she might not live long anymore – but even that made her feel happy: she knew that death was not the end, only a new phase, and a very interesting one, and most of the time very happy. She was happy to go when the time would be there, and she knew that in future she could and would serve better than she had done in the last eight decades.


(The last great event of beauty’s life)

Someone knocked on the door. It was a messenger handing her a letter without sender and without addressee. She opened the letter, and inside was written: “An old friend has come to visit you, as he promised.” At first she was puzzled, but then, she thought of Mr. M. Her heart jumped, but at the same time she thought: ‘No, that cannot be true. If still alive he must be too old now to come all the way to this country. She said to the messenger: “Does the visitor need any help? Can he walk on his own, or shall I send for someone to support him?” The messenger did not seem to understand what she was talking about. He merely said: “May he come in?” “Yes, of course,” she said, at the same time losing some hope that it was indeed Mr. M. And the guest came in and said: “My dear Beauty, I have come to fulfill my promise and to have a talk with you. She recognized him immediately, and opened her arms before she realized something: it was indeed Mr. M., but he was still about 40 years old!!! He smiled, and took her outstretched hands and said: “I came to invite you to have a cup of coffee with me at the railway station, and to have a nice chat.” She was crying of happiness, and she immediately joined him, even forgetting her walking stick.

The station had changed, the train, the restaurant, the personnel. Wood had become plastic and service had become soulless duty. But Mr. M. was the same, and so was the coffee.

He said to her: “I am going to tell you about when we met for the first time.” “Yes,” she said happily, because she very well remembered the day when she had seen him talking to the crowd and their eyes had met, and when they had talked soon after at the same railway station. “Yes, I remember that day as the best in my life,” she said smilingly. But he said: “No. you don’t remember.” She sighed: again one of these mysterious remarks of Mr. M. But she was impressed also, because nothing of all the wild emotions and desires and knots and contradictions she had always felt with her clients, or indeed all people she had met in her life as far as she was aware, were to be felt in Mr. M.’s presence. Inside him was complete order, and his only emotion seemed to be complete sympathy – for her, but at the same time for all living beings. And she said: “Please, go ahead. I am listening.” And he told her the story – and again his talking was so exciting that she forgot to drink her coffee.

It was a long time ago,” he said, “or a relatively long time ago. About 14,000 years. Even then I was a member of the same order of which I am still a member. One of my tasks in those days was to find promising souls, and if I found one, to seek connection with that soul. You were living at that time in a small village in the country where I lived most of my last 46 years, since I left you when you were 33.

You were at that time, fourteen millennia ago, a simple woman, who could not read nor write – as almost nobody could in those days. That was work for experts. You had learned the household, cattle-caring and agricultural skills from your mother and grandmother. Your character even then was naturally unselfish – but because you were no philosopher, you did not realize the qualities of your character. You simply lived from your heart, without much complexity. You had hardly been outside your village. But at one time a few of your friends and yourself decided to go on a trip to a bigger village where they were organizing a market, bringing together products from many villages in the wide surroundings. You and your friends, five young women – had to walk at least five days to reach there. It was a major event for each of you. For the first time you saw different types of landscapes, different kinds of crops and met people in cloths you had never seen before. You met people speaking different languages, of the same language with a very different accent. You were most amazed about that, for until then you had taken it for granted that every human being in the whole world was speaking in the same way as you! Once in a while you would see a small temple or shrine along the road, dedicated to local protective deities of the land, or also to the “Unseen Lord.” At one time you came across a small, very old, apparently abandoned temple standing some 50 yards away from the road. Some travelers had told that there was a little temple which was cursed and one should avoid at all cost. “They say it is bewitched and that once you look at the idol inside you can never separate from it anymore. But nobody really knows, because nobody in the last three generations has dared to look even in the direction of that temple.

You and your friends came along that road, and saw that little, half-ruined temple. Your friends immediately looked to the other side of the road. But not you. Something within your character was always curious, more courageous, you always wanted to learn more, you and silently you were always longing for adventure. You were also open-minded, and rational rather than superstitious. Moreover your heart knew – without ever telling it to your brain, to distinguish between what is right and not right; what could be helpful or would bring sorrow.

You saw that temple, and against everyone’s advice you looked at it, you felt attracted to it and went to it before anyone could stop you. You didn’t notice the shocked faces of your friends and passersby.


(the cursed idol)

There was no door, so you looked inside and saw an idol, or rather a formless black stone, entirely desolate, without the flowers and grains or seeds or colored powders or pieces of cloth you see normally at altars and around idols.

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