The Sacred Grove

Rajanya was eight years old at that time when curiosity led her to walk into the patch of forest that people in her village regarded as the Sacred Grove. All children were forbidden to enter the grove, and nobody was allowed to bring back even a twig from there – what was of the grove remained in it. Often it would seem to Rajanya that she saw twinkling lights amidst the trees, and it was to find out more about this when one afternoon while her mother was sleeping, she sneaked out of her cottage and entered the grove. Soon enough she got lost and started crying.

Sacred Grove

Then she saw a little boy, even younger than her, sitting on the branch of a tree, watching her. He climbed down and asked her why she was crying.

Rajanya replied that she had got lost and wanted to go home. Listening to her answer, he started laughing and said, “How can you be lost? You are with me.” Rajanya did not understand his answer, but was very intrigued by the strange little boy. When he suggested she play with him, she agreed. She noticed that there was a big snake nearby with raised hood constantly watching them, but somehow she did not feel afraid.

Rajanya played all the games she knew with the boy, he taught her a few new ones too. After sometime she realised that it was night, strangely however, it was not dark inside the grove. A blue glow seemed to emanate from the boy while the peacock feather that was perched on his head shimmered like a luminous rainbow. She then saw a few more children emerging from different parts of the grove. Rajanya happily played with them and also danced to the music of flute played by the boy. She did not realise when she fell asleep, but in the morning she found herself lying on the ground a short distance away from the grove.

From that day onwards her parents kept a strict watch on her and never allowed her to enter the grove again. Years went by, there was not a day that passed when Rajanya did not want to go into the Sacred Grove to meet her friend again. Whenever she would think of the little boy, her heart would soar, and her feet on its own would dance to an unknown music.

As she grew up, her mother could no longer stop her from going to the Sacred Grove. She went there every day, but never saw the boy again. Almost 10 years had passed since the incident, when Rajanya’s family decided to relocate to the city. The last day, before leaving the village, Rajanya stepped into the grove again. As she was walking around with some sadness in her heart, she saw someone emerge from behind a tree – it was the little boy.

“My friend,” she exclaimed clasping his hands, so happy that tears flowed down her eyes.

“You have waited for me a long time, I see,” said the boy.

“Yes, I remember you every day. But why have you not grown, you are still so small ?” she said with astonishment, noticing that he looked the same as he had so many years ago.

He replied with a smile, “You see what you want to see.”

Still clutching his tiny hands, she asked, “I am going away, how will I ever find you again?”

The boy answered, “If you remember me, I’m always there.”

Unable to understand his mysterious answers, the young woman said, “I miss our wonderful playtime so much, if only it would continue forever. I wish I was a child again.”

The boy laughed mischievously, did a little twirl around her, and remarked, “Everything in this world is a play, so how can you lose the child inside you.”

Rajanya sat down on the trunk of a tree and watched mesmerised as the little boy kept prancing around, before suddenly disappearing.

The same evening Rajanya left with her family for the city. She had a long life with its own share of trials, but she lived each day with the wonderous amazement of a child and a deep-rooted happiness that never went away. Krishna, the Blue God, always remained her eternal playmate.

 

18 thoughts on “The Sacred Grove

  1. Tara

    Thank you for this beautiful well written story. It feels very real and brings back good memories of childhood, plus a wonderful memory to have in the present.

    Like

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