The Temptation of Nocturnal Mountain #1

In the beginning, there lived a king in an esteemed city. Due to some unfortunate natural disasters among his bigoted peers, he had to flee the country and move to his ancestral origin. Basically the king disliked the idea of orienting people in groups based on their color, groups, caste and other words that fall into same category. He was liked among people but disliked among his peers. He gathered support of respectable population of the city and left the city which he built along with racist and fascist ministers and village leaders.

Well, that was my grandfather — Rathina Taranga. He is annoying at times, but no one in our family circle has ever been so organized in things he achieved. We all love him like he loves his idea — Being the greatest warrior in the room. Yes! He had the most simple ideas although some seem very petty, we never knew the impact of those he laid onto us. He had a loving wife, a respectful son, caring daughter-in-law and an annoying grandson —it is myself.

He likes to read and hear stories and poems from poets and singers around the globe. An unsung poet himself too. I am assuming that is how I became a writer apart from being an expert in culinary like my mother. The warrior phase was very late in my life.

The Highfather (as the ministers call my grandfather) renovated our palace to look ahead of our times and withstand many calamities, which was the only place I exhibited my design skills. Our palace is so big that it can fit all of the 3 of our 5 village people inside. Each village constitutes about 130 people. My father — Balachandran Taranga, never chose treasures for me neither showed path to them. He carefully chose his ministers who were tailors of their own cloth. That is, even in case of the king’s absence; one would not hesitate to lay some ground rules to bring the situation under their control. My father had a peculiar rule though. Even if the ruling seat of the city is harshly influenced by nepotism, he advised all his ministers to bring up their children in a other fields than politics unless they desire to be. Fortunately, my father’s best minister of Defense molded his child to race his aspiration. That child happened to become my best friend and we basically grew together.

Talking about today, I am the leader of my people and the weight rests on my shoulders. I gave a sacred and undying oath to my people that I will care for them, no matter what. Because Nandhisavanam is not about buildings, art, tactful warriors or its flourished atmosphere and agriculture. It is all about who did all those. I couldn’t bring myself up to the standards I set to the scholars because I am not a match for what they’ve accomplished. I am simply a leisure orator who brings laughs, a writer and taking chances to be a nicer king.

There were times in our history when the rulers went in disguises around the villages and secretly scrutinize people about their living. Nandhisavanam is a place known for sheltering even the worst of people, so I stopped such practices despite the father insists to do so. I put utmost faith in my ministers and they fulfill their promises given to me.

Owing up to its name, our city has 5 villages each known for its own special quality. One of our villages — Covai earns great rewards for its water, production of dresses and also bears the most respectful communicable medium. If I’m not in my palace or with my friends at the Great Honor Hall, I will absolutely be in Covai. Those people consider me as their own son, friend, brother, etc., Okay fine, I am bragging about that village because of one another reason. An euphonious damsel.

Sathyanarayani was a woman of rather great talent one could possibly possess. An advocate of nature. She curated the birds of Nandhisavanam. Her singing could probably make even the angriest of the birds and animals go to sleep.Such a beautiful voice that she made friends with less people and more animals as her idea of gaining trust is easy with the ones that does not expect anything but love from us. While we were on our journey to the mountains behind Vangala village, I asked her for a thought to write a story. She gave me a fantastic idea. To write about how people of the future may live. I am eagerly waiting for my friend to start writing that story. Again, being a king isn’t that easy. Cannot take up too many hobbies so my friend helps me with writing. She took me to the Vangala mountains because I love the nocturnal owls and the place is filled with those. By the love of nature, family, people and the Gods that bestowed upon us, we were destined for each other.

We were married near the Noyyal in the Covai amongst flourishing river, flowers, house pets and people. People call it revolutionary as I was the first to marry a woman not in a palace but in a place of actual divinity. I have been married for almost an year now. Trying my very best to be a good family man.

What’s a person or a city without downside? Well, that is what will make something stronger. I encountered a strangeness with my inner-self due to huge amount of work involved with the governments and some personal reasons. My minister of health calls it as Depressive Behavior. He advised me to take things slower.

Next, my only sister born to the sister of my mother. She is the greatest pain in my chair. She is very close to me and we often get into fights that make no sense. In our childhood, our parents had big time to find us conflicting over silly reasons. She lives in Vangala village which implies how my parents knew about Sathyanarayani because of my beloved sister that behaved like a donkey’s tail. Sathya grew fond of her and supports my sister more than she does me.

I may live in an ocean of wealth, a city of knowledge, even a village of culture. But please forgive me if I fail to endure your expectations of me, being the king of your dreams. There’s a huge difference between the king who built the temple and the king who built the dam. I’m trying my best to level their achievements. After all, nobody is so squared to fit in this imperfect world.

So today, I’m here at the Vangala mountains for my fifth cycle of Nocturnal owl season with a full moon shining over my head. In search of a Srilankan owl that Sathya always talks about and I have not once witnessed. Tiptoed slowly through the dense trees and felt chill in the wind.

Suddenly a hand touched my shoulders with force and the man in fully covered costume with cloth around his face, quiver of arrows; questioned me with a deep voice, “Hmn. Man in a fancy armor. Who are you? Remove the cloth from your face and show yourself” and I revealed myself as he was saying.

I was shook with intense fear to my heart. His eyes shone bright like a forest cat. His stature was immensely athletic. Carried a bamboo pole tall enough for him and a lantern in other hand. With one sleight of action, he dug the ground with the bamboo pole and it stood its ground pointing the moon. Unwrapped his facial cloth while I answered his question,

‘Please don’t arrest me. My name is Subash Balarathina Taranga of nnan…nnan…Nandhisavanam.’

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~will continue~



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