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Adi & Praja 098

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 98: Where Shano was born this time

Chapter 9

Shano’s greatest adventure

Where Shano was born this time


(Where Shano was born this time)


Where Shano was born this time

There were other rebirths of Shano, as of all people, and one more I will tell you at this moment. It was somewhat in the future, seen from the moment that this was written, in 2011, perhaps a century or at least seven of eight decades. I don’t know exactly when in the future it was. This time Shano was born in a jolly roundish house, not very big, build of piled up stones inside, what you didn’t see because they had been covered with a thick layer of mud which was made smooth by hand and then died naturally. The lower half of had been painted brown red, and the upper half chalk white. The roof consisted of dry plants put on wooden beams, and was thoroughly water tight, because Shano’s father was a perfectionist, and if something might not be in order he would immediately repair it even better than it was. The house was built on a small flat surface on an otherwise rather steep mountainside, and there was a foot path some eighty yards above the house, running from village to village, almost from house to house. The mountainside was too steep for any transportation on wheels, so everything had to be carried, mostly by people, but some stretches of the path were fit for donkeys as well. So carriers would pass on the road above Shano’s house the whole day long, and sometimes they would make a stop and have a chat with his father who he liked to sit at the roadside. Shano himself was too small to talk, and could not say much more than ta-ta and ma-ma and try a few other words. Around the house was a small space, only as large as the steepness of the hillside allowed for – that was not more than a few yards. Shano had one sister who was only one year old, and in the following three years three more sisters would come. His mother was young and cheerful and was wearing long thick colorful dresses, mostly dark red, in which little Shano could hide himself whenever he felt like he needed protection and affection.

The hill side – actually the side of a big mountain – outside the trail was too steep to walk on normally – one could only climb up and down on all fours on most places, and one could make quite a slide also, especially after it had been raining or when it was exceedingly dry. But the people had solved that problem by making steps of flat stones and making horizontal terraces uphill, and all the way down almost to the river, deep down in the valley. Edges were made of earth around every little terrace, which was often no more than five or ten meters long, and perhaps only one yard wide. In between on the edges were narrow mud trails and one-stone bridges to connect them, making it easy for people to walk on bare feet between the many terraces. On these terraces grew all kinds of crops. Where Shano lived the climate was too cold for growing good rice – that was done by other people in lower valleys. So that is why they interchanged products from valley to mountain and mountain to valley – and it was a busy and hard job to be a carrier in that landscape. On some hillsides, especially the steeper ones where people could not live, were forests. After the winter, around May, these forests would come in to full flower, mostly rhododendrons of various colors. Shano loved it. When he became a little bit older and could stand safely on his feet he used to jump down from one terrace to another, and then climb up again, and he also made friends, who competed in daring by choosing ever higher terraces to jump down. It wasn’t really dangerous – it the worst case you would loose control and slip down to a next lower terrace, but then everyone else would be laughing. So if that happened you had to try again, until the art was mastered. Thus they trained their muscles, breathed the strong pure air, and the smells of the earth, of the water on the terraces if it had rained, and of a variety of plants. Sometime you could smell the snow when the wind came down from up high. On some distant mountain peaks you could see snow the whole year around, even when at Shano’s place it was sweating hot.

Again a little bigger, the boys helped their fathers on the land, and the girls their mothers around the house. Shano liked to carry around with big piles of hay in which he himself would almost disappear – and when he happened to fall over, he would disappear entirely and enjoy staying in that position for a minute or two. So Shano’s life was full of jumping, climbing, enjoying, and even swimming, down in the rapid and dangerous and cold river down in the valley. It was all full of health and challenge.

It may seem strange to you that such a simple and old way of life might exist in perhaps the 22nd century or 2080. What had happened is that the western civilization, which was based on hi-tech, but also on greed and vanity, loosing sight of the subtleties of nature and the human heart, had taken over almost the whole world. There was hardly any place which was not dominated by technology and the life-style which belonged to it. Many millions of people were happy, because their was a solution for almost every problem, medical knowledge big enough to cure almost all diseases of the body, and there was an endless amount of gadgets for entertainment. People simply had no time to sit idle and reflect on deeper things. Also, because they did not experience any hardship that could have made them strong of body and give them an experience of mind, they did not take on real challenges – but their scientific and analytical mind was top. Schools were entirely directed to teaching all boys and girls technology, and there was no normal person who was not connected by internet and other means to friends and acquaintances all over the world. Traveling was just a matter of choosing the fastest means to transport your body, and extremely quick. One could go from America to Asia, or Europe to Australia in just a few hours. In the country where I am speaking of, and where Shano was born this time, there was an old saying: these people in the civilized world have many, many things, but they are not so happy as we are. And at one point, making use of the fact that they were living in a very remote area in the mountains, people had decided that they would discard all this, keep themselves as much as possible isolated, and they wanted to have nothing to do with that civilized world with its gadgets, its meanness, its selfish unkindness between people, and its heartless government officials. The people living there now had come from many nations and races, and most where pretty intelligent and civilized in the good sense of the word. On average they were more intelligent, active and energetic than the original people in the surrounding areas. There weren’t many of these left though, because most had gone to the city generations ago. The ‘new’ people had intermarried of course, and the later generations showed interesting mixtures of features of all races. Shano was an exceedingly beautiful child, and later adolescent, showing what seemed to be the best mixture of all race features in perfect harmony. One would think that if God had created men in His image, He would be very happy with this specimen. Shano had a medium brown skin, waving shining hairs peaking to all sides like the rays of the sun, and he was tall, perfectly built, straight back and had a high forehead, and one could not imagine a child with more charming eyes – which, miraculously, were dark blue. At the same time his face seemed always cheerful and his smile was captivating for all mothers of the place.

The people had decided that it was better to live in the old ways, as more natural peoples had done happily for thousands of years. They trusted the gods and the forces of nature, and the inherent compassion and goodness in the universe. At times, governments and companies had wanted to build roads and airstrips, give them televisions even for free, and wanted to introduce modern education by means of computers, but they had kindly and at times bluntly and firmly resisted all efforts in that direction. Now they lived, as one of the few groups of people on the earth, isolated, without even electric lights in their homes, in the midst of nature, and ate the fruit and grains and vegetables that nature and their agriculture provided. The government left them alone, because they were no threat to anyone, they were peaceful, did not carry or even possess weapons – and who knows, the government people thought, they would one day become an attractive tourist destination, which would bring a lot of money to the authorities and business people of the nation.

The people there had to work pretty hard, but at least it was not in some noisy factory or air-conditioned office where you had to wear a sweater to feel comfortable and where tube lights replaced the sun. The people had their own system of education, and there were schools were their mental, psychological and physical faculties were harmoniously developed, and where peace and ethics and compassion and tolerance and spiritual courage were taught rather than the history of wars and mean kings, presidents or army generals – all of which were a logical outcome and unavoidable consequence of the civilized society. Still they would learn something of the ‘other world’, like its geography, astronomy, mathematics and, in the later years at school, the philosophy of the people over there. Not only of the western world though, but a general overview of the history and accomplishments and culture of all regions and great philosophies of the world. After all, though isolated, they knew that they were not really separate from the rest of the world, but a part of the whole population and history of the earth. Still, almost nobody ever went to that world – it was far away, as if only existed in stories.

It was in this remote area that Shano was born, and in the first few years, before going to school at seven he hardly knew anything about the existence of a ‘civilized world.’ It was simply kept away from him. His great grandparents and great great grandparents, who had died before he was born, had had such frustrating experiences in the civilized society that nobody wanted to be reminded of that period.

Shano, living in his happy innocence like all boys and girls of his age, was special compared to the other children in that he could spend very long hours entirely on his own.

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