The Talisman

Madiya was sitting at the far end of the tribal village market, with her stack of jewellery, made of colourful beads. The beautiful beadwork was typical of her tribe, and was much liked by the tourists who came to the market to buy local craftwork. Today, as she sat on the same spot where she had been selling her work since last 20 years, her mind was not focused on how many customers she would get.

A year ago, on this very day, her young daughter had passed away due to a sudden illness. Madiya’s heart was bursting with love for her daughter whom she missed so much. She was holding some beads in her hands as tears rolled down her eyes, soaking them. A few minutes later as she saw an approaching customer, she did not realise that three of the beads she was holding, fell from her hand.

One of the beads, a purple one, was unknowingly shoved by passersby, till it rolled over and fell into a little stream that flowed behind the market. It continued its journey to the river amidst a shoal of tiny fishes that were trying their best to avoid being gulped down by a monster catfish. As soon as the little purple bead reached the shoal, as if by magic, the catfish was thrown back and had to abandon its hunt.


The green bead was picked up by a pigeon. The bead dropped from its beak near a lake where a baby swan was lying unconscious, beside his panicky mother who was trying her best to revive him. As soon as the bead fell near the swans, the baby swan gained consciousness, much to the relief of his mother.

The third bead, a white one, got buried inside the earth, near the spot where Madiya sat. Within a few weeks, the little corner was covered with silvery white wild flowers, with a luminous hue, the likes of which the old woman had never seen before. Strangely, after that day every week when she sat at the spot she felt comforted and at peace.

She did not know that her love for her daughter had imbued the little beads with a magical energy that protected, healed and gave life. The three little beads had each become a powerful talisman – protecting the tiny fishes, reviving the baby swan and of course working magic inside the earth to give life to beautiful wild flowers, looking at which lessend her grief.


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