The One Witness

They were walking along the shade of Ashoka and Pilu trees, near the banks of Yamuna river. The seven maidens of Braj were in a hurry. They were carrying water from the river for a sacred ceremony at the village headman’s house, where they were celebrating the birthday of his son. Following the ceremony, they would all head to the woods and dance through the night, as always.

Normally they avoided this stretch of the forest, as from sometime they had started believing that the area was haunted. It had happened a few times that while crossing the place they could feel a sudden swish of the wind, a rattle and an unusual vibration. Today they had no choice as it was the shortest way to the village. Wearing their best of clothes for the celebrations, with the pitchers of water precariously perched on their heads, they hurried along. A few steps and they could feel the rumble, the force of the wind seemed closer this time. Terrified, they closed their eyes and started praying to Krishna. Soon, it was over. Thanking the boy God for his protection, the women started walking faster.

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At that very moment, from one of the last compartments of Jammu Tawi Express Train, four-year-old Alina peeped out from the window to see seven women standing by the tracks. Their colourful and beautiful clothes caught her eyes, she tugged at her mother’s arm and pointed out. Prying her eyes away from her mobile, the mother looked out, but could only see a quietly flowing Yamuna and some sparse trees. If only she could have known that her little daughter had a peep through the folds of time to witness a scenario 5000 years ago.

As the women neared the headman’s house, they could see his son, the young Krishna, looking out from the window. They decided to recount their ordeal to him later. Forever the prankster, Krishna chuckled. He often enjoyed such confusions, but knew he would never be able to make them understand  that the past, present and future all existed together in parallel worlds. It was an endless play, and he was the only witness.

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