I heard Gudiya and Ginni making a plan to dig out some God today. These little girls are always up with something funny, I have noticed. Like it was only last week when both the girls organized a wedding of their toys- Gudiya’s Doll and Ginni’s Joker. It was a big occasion, I tell you. Four to five children who live near that hill top… that one… can you see it? I can from up here, anyways, Gudiya and Ginni invited them. The wedding took place under this very tree and in a grand style – buntings, balloons, biscuits and a fruit cake, indeed a big occasion as I said before. While I eyed for the food items, I slowly started enjoying the proceedings. It was a ruckus I tell you, but when children are involved it is always fun to watch. Then suddenly Gudiya and Ginni starting fighting like they many a times do. It was because Gudiya and some other girl said something about Ginni’s Joker and she started crying. And like drama unfolding on a stage, the marriage never took place. I didn’t mind you know, the Joker actually looked silly next to that pretty Doll and when they all left, I enjoyed the fruit cake crumbs.
And today these two are up to dig out some God, at least that is what I have heard from up here. They looked quite secretive about it. Oh! They have made me curious now, you know, like they did once on that raining day. Ginni had come to Gudiya’s house and they were playing inside, I guess. I don’t always look out for them… I know how to mind my own business. So, I was sitting on my favourite pine tree, on my favourite branch, fully protected by the rain. In fact, I was enjoying the cool fog that was dancing all around the hill, when suddenly I heard the giggles of these little naughty minds. And as I turned, I found them looking directly at me. It was alarming, you know, I almost flew. Through the window, Gudiya and Ginni were pointing in my direction. I blushed, yes I did. Then they started making some marks on the window which was lightly covered by fog. I thought it was some kind of message for me. I flew down to a branch near the window when Gudiya’s mother called them and they left but only after rubbing the message away. I blushed again and then I got drenched. Not because I wished to but because someone else took my place on my favourite branch and the rain got heavy.
I’ll admit I enjoy being around Gudiya and Ginni, they are just like me you know, adventurous. And here they go, they must be running towards their secret place, near that old bungalow just a turn away from their houses. It’s not far, I can tell you that. An old lady lives there, she is deaf and doesn’t speak much either. She doesn’t allow everyone around her place but Gudiya and Ginni are exceptions, they are adorable and I think the old lady will agree with me. I will not join them right now because I know they will return back to their houses twice at least. Once, to get something that they must have forgotten and then, Gudiya’s or Ginni’s mother will call them to take apples and other food stuff along. Till then I’ll soar high.
The view is beautiful; all the hills look a giant mass from up here. I am feeling good. Hmm! Where is this group flying to? They must be heading towards that new food sight. Food and just food, it is the only thing on their mind. I feel a misfit in their society…oh, here they come. ‘Hello folks!’ I am courteous, now you know. I think I’ll get back…where have Gudiya and Ginni reached? They have already reached the old lady’s bungalow…now that was quick.
But I can’t see them, they usually play near the front porch. Wait, I can hear them. Oh, here they are, outside the backyard…. I think I should get a closer look.
Gudiya: This place looks right. Let us start.
So they are going to start digging here and find God. Little kids, they are so innocent and ignorant, I tell you. Let me at least give them the credit for being fully determined to do something. Just see they are sweating already but they aren’t stopping. Their poor little hands!
Ginni: Gudiya…will we find God? Are you sure?
Gudiya: Ginni keep digging, we have just started. And I heard it from my own ears. Dadi told me… that kid kept digging and digging and digging and finally God came out.
Ginni: How will God come out?
Gudiya: First we’ll have to dig and only then….
Ginni: What if his clothes get dirty and….
Gudiya: Ginni! God knows magic and wears magical clothes….
Ginni: Which God will come out Guidya?
Gudiya: Some God…who so ever will be free…now come on!
This is really funny but don’t get me wrong, I mean it in the right sense. I am actually very interested because both Gudiya and Ginni have a habit of finishing a game properly that they once start. Once, Gudiya must have seen a spy movie and was really impressed by it. She narrated the whole story to Ginni, I was sitting on a nearby tree the whole time and then the two of them decided to become secret agents and a spy movie started right in front of me. This movie went on for almost a week. Sometimes the whole day went in a hide and seek scene and sometimes in a car chase scene. The movie would have ended on the fifth day as Gudiya and Ginni had cornered their imaginary villain when it started drizzling and both of them had to leave. Nevertheless, the film ended with a clean face out and Gudiya and Ginni reported back to their boss where they got another assignment, which will become the film’s sequel, I guess.
For how long will they dig and how will this game end? They look tired but they are still digging. I wonder why they want to find a God. Definitely, they want the God to grant them few wishes so that they can ask for lots of toffees and chocolates and games and all that little kids enjoy these days. I wish they could answer my question but alas, they can’t even hear me and even if they do, they can’t understand me.
Boy: What will you ask God once you dig one out?
Now wait a minute who is this little boy? I have never seen him here and he is not Gudiya or Ginni’s friend either. But hey, he has asked my question, I better pay attention now.
Ginni: (As if questioning herself and Gudiya.)What will we ask God?
Gudiya: We are just trying to dig out a God….
Boy: But don’t you want anything in return?
Gudiya and Ginni look so confused. It seems that they haven’t given this point a thought.
Boy: How long will it take for you to…?
Ginni: Gudiya’s Dadi told her that once a kid kept digging and digging and digging and he finally found a God standing in front of him.
Boy: (Smiling.) Hmm! It looks quite deep already, what do you say?
Gudiya: But we’ll have to dig some more.
This boy looks strange to me. He has a very unique smile. Oh! He looked at me, directly. Yes! Yes! He did.
Boy: I’ll show you some magic.
What? The Boy knows magic? The way he is swaying his hands shows that he knows what he is doing. The pit actually looks much deeper now.
Ginni: He is filling this pit with jelly, Gudiya just see.
Gudiya: You know magic? Wow!
Boy: Come with me, I will take you to a magical world. (Looking at a tree nearby) You can also join us.
Ginni: (Looking at the tree) There is a same kind of bird, it lives near our house, right Gudiya?
Gudiya: (Looking at the tree) Yes! Very same indeed or is it the same one. (Looking at the pit) Can I touch the jelly?
Boy: We all will jump in it together, okay?
Gudiya and Ginni: Okay!
I am feeling excited and suddenly very happy. I cannot resist the Boy’s invitation to jump in the pit…so here I go.
One, two, three, jump!
A world full of colours, I can see colours everywhere…red, blue, and yellow and my favourite colour green. Stars are shinning and it looks like day time. I guess it was day time when we first jumped, I don’t remember it anymore. Let me touch this star…oh…it sprinkled away. What a wonderful shimmering world this is! Gudiya and Ginni are also jumping in joy. Thanks to this Boy. Who is he?
Boy: Let us explore this magical world.
Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird: Yes!
What, I can speak their language? This place is amazing. Hey! I didn’t see this roller coaster ride here before. Nevertheless, I’ll sit next to the boy…wait, if I can really talk now then why am I not…?
Bird: What is your name?
The Boy smiled and waved his hand beautifully in the colourful sky, got a peacock feather from thin air and placed it in his head. Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird were awestruck and couldn’t utter a word. The ride started and the three of them felt entranced by the marvels of the magical world and by the Boy wizard. When dancing colours took them into a land of the Red, Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird all became red in colour. The Boy laughed at them and they laughed along. They got down from the ride and went near a beautiful red coloured tree. The Boy took out his flute and started playing it. Meanwhile, Gudiya and Ginni tried reaching for the cheerful fruits of the tree. They jumped happily under a branch, trying to reach a bunch of fruits, until the Bird helped them. Gudiya and Ginni offered the Boy a piece and gave a little to the Bird as well. The Boy saw them eating the fruit and enjoying it. He with another trick turned his piece of fruit into a butterfly and Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird looked at the butterfly completely bewildered and dazed.
The butterfly was leaving a trail of silver sparkle where ever she was going. Once again the Boy clapped his hands and Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird were back in the ride and were following the red butterfly. Soon the Red world changed into a world of the Indigo. The sparkling butterfly changed into a shooting star and it rained shooting stars all around them. Gudiya stretched her hand and grabbed one; it made her whole body sparkle. Ginni followed the league and soon her body was also glittering. The Bird copied them and was astonished to see his wings sparkle.
Out from the sparkling Indigo world they all entered another world, a world of the Barren. The colours were dull all around and there was a queer sound of silence present. Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird turned with a questioning look in their eyes towards the Boy who brought them in this magical universe. The Boy smiled his serene smile.
Gudiya: Why is this place so quiet?
Ginni: Where are the colours all gone?
All of them got down from the ride and walked towards a slanted tree that looked almost dead. Once again the three looked at the Boy expecting him to do some kind of magic and turn the land of the Barren into a colourful painting. But the Boy stood quietly and simply smiled. It seemed as if he was waiting for them to ask the right question which Gudiya and Ginny finally did ask.
Gudiya: Can’t we do something to make it colourful?
Ginni: Can’t we make it like other colourful worlds?
Boy: Yes, you can.
The Boy indicated them to check the ride they have been travelling in and when they did so, they found bags full of all the colours they had just visited. Each of them carried a bag, even the Bird did and they began with the colouring of the slanted tree. Gudiya poured the red colour around the roots of the tree and Ginni coloured the trunk of the tree Indigo. The Bird with its wings threw a mixture of green, blue, orange, yellow on the branches of the tree. Together the three of them spilled the bag of silver and golden sparkle on the tree. And just in a wink’s time the slanted tree came back to life and changed its shape. Gudiya and Ginni jumped cheerfully and the Bird also relished the scene. The Boy appreciated them and then walked towards the tree. He stood against the tree and took out his flute to play another melodious tune. Engrossed in listening to the Boy, Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird stood there for a long time until the Boy asked them, ‘Why did you stop?’ Then realizing the work that they undertook, the three of them ran towards the ride and got other bags full of colours.
Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird as if dancing on the tune that the Boy played, threw colours in all the direction. The world of Barren was full of colourful riots.
Gudiya: It’s like the Holi festival.
Boy: From now onwards, this will be a world of the Holi.
Dancing on the tune of the flute and playing with the colours, time went by happily. Then the Boy clapped his hands and all of them were back in the ride again. They moved faster than light but simultaneously felt that everything around them was passing in slow motion. The ride, once again, made the three of them overwhelmed to utter a word.
Boy: Would you like to see another magic trick?
All of them nodded eagerly. The Boy smiled again.
Boy: But make a promise to me that you will always keep these colourful worlds alive within yourself.
Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird: Promise!
The Boy smiled and this time there was a hint of omniscience in his eyes. Gudiya, Ginni and the Bird found themselves lost in it. Galaxies were moving in his eyes and his presence was making them feel on the verge of being exploded in happiness. And so they did, the three of them as and when the Boy clapped exploded with joy and vanished.
What just happened? Where am I? My head! Oh! I am back in this….
Gudiya: Ginni…we couldn’t find God!
Ginni: What should we do now?
Gudiya: Should we go back and play at my place?
Ginni: Okay! Let’s go!
What! Don’t they remember a thing? Gudiya…Ginni…they can’t hear me anymore. How is this possible? Oh! Was it a dream? No it wasn’t! Oh! That boy was some God…. Gudiya, Ginni you were successful, you did find a God.
“How can one forget such a ride to different worlds, different galaxies Jo, maybe humans can but not us…in fact you know what my uncle Xu told me, he was a little one back then, he knows everything about HIM, about HIS extraordinary deeds and….”
“Fo, I have also heard that HE didn’t look like us all, that HE changed colours.”
“Why sure Jo, after all HE visited the land of the colours. Now will you let me speak? My uncle Xu told me that after that magnificent experience HE could fly for days without getting exhausted and that once when it wasn’t raining, our elders and everyone asked HIM to do something and so HE took a flight and crossed the clouds and returned on the seventh day with rain.”
“How did HE die Fo?”
“Your uncle Xu must have told you.”
“Of course…actually HE didn’t die…one fine morning HE just flew away and never came back. But HE could be around, after all this is the same tree.”
“Are you trying to scare me?”
“But this is the same tree Jo!”
“Fo, now you will say that your uncle Xu told you about it.”
“Yes he did. So what? I can tell you everything that he told me.”
“I have heard that your uncle Xu tells a new tale every time someone asks him about HIM.”
“Don’t you try to make fun of my uncle, okay?”
“No…I mean there are a lot of versions….”
“Listen what uncle Xu told me, it is considered auspicious to talk about HIM and the magical experience HE had, remembering HIS words.”
“Yeah, I know that.”
“After Returning from the Magical World….”
— I lost the count of days and didn’t understand what was happening around me. I didn’t eat or drink for many days and simply didn’t feel any desire to do so. Then one day it rained heavily and I felt like flying. Everyone who knew me tried to stop me but I refused to listen. Just after crossing the first hill top I lost my strength to fly anymore and I fell down on the ground. I had only one thought in my mind; I thought it was my end.
The rain had stopped but it was still cold and foggy. I took few steps on the ground and tried to recognise the surroundings. And then what I saw I couldn’t believe it, the same Boy with a peacock leaf tuck in his head and a flute in his hand, the supreme magician was standing at a distance from me. He smiled his serene smile and I walked towards him. Seeing him again left me dumbfounded as by then I had accepted the fact that I have lost all my senses and death is the next thing that will happen to me.
The Boy sat down next to me and took me in his hands and then took some rain water collected in a pit nearby and helped me to drink it. I have never tasted anything sweeter than that, it quenched my thirst forever. He then said to me, ‘Try flying now’, and I obeyed him. My wings felt light and a new wave of strength made me strong enough to touch the sky. I soared very high and very fast. I was thrilled by this rush of energy but then I thought of the beautiful Boy and returned. He was nowhere to be seen. The fog disappeared and I found myself in the same place where Gudiya and Ginni had dug that pit. It was from that same pit that the Boy had offered me water to drink. From that point I visited that place every day; I often saw Gudiya and Ginni playing but I never followed them again. I was upset and angry…how could they forget the magical worlds? Slowly I thought maybe the humans have a curse to never remember a God’s visit in their life and maintained my distance from Gudiya and Ginni. I didn’t want the curse to affect me. —
“Wait a minute, I have heard something else. That after HIS second meeting with the Boy, HE did meet Gudiya and Ginni and scolded them for being so forgetful.”
“What? Who told you that?”
“Your uncle Xu once told my late uncle Ka about it.”
“Yes, but my late uncle Ka told us that your uncle Xu liked to exaggerate things….”
“Jo we were talking about HIM and not about my uncle Xu. Hmm! Now will you let me finish the story? I hope you know it is ominous to not to do so.”
“I know, please continue.”
— One day I saw Gudiya and Ginni walking towards the old lady’s bungalow. Gudiya was carrying something in a bag and Ginni was carrying a water bottle. I thought they were going to play their favourite game ‘Ghar Ghar’ outside the porch. They usually played it near the little ground next to their place but the old lady’s porch actually provided them a better option to set up a kitchen and the utensils, to imagine a kitchen garden, and a lawn etc. I thought these girls were going to follow their usual routine. But instead, they came behind the bungalow and slowly crossed the backyard after explaining something to the old lady. I flew to hear what they were saying. I was confused about their intentions and also worried because for me that place had become sacred.
I flew and sat nearby, I tried talking to them but all Gudiya and Ginni said was ‘what do birds chirp about all the time?’ and then they started digging the pit. I felt helpless; I couldn’t do anything to stop these little girls who were big enough to tackle me with a single blow. Then I thought that these girls can’t be cursed nor do anything negative because even if they don’t remember they did visit the magical land with me. A beautiful thought came in my mind – what if the girls were again trying to find God and that maybe the three of us get lucky and get to meet the Boy, the beautiful God with a peacock leaf tucked in his head and a flute in his hand, once again. I kept waiting anxiously but nothing happened. After digging the pit a bit deeper, Gudiya and Ginni carefully took out a delicate young plant from the bag and placed it in the pit. Then covered it with the soil and used their water bottle to pour some on it. Their face blushed with happiness and both looked immensely proud of themselves. So was I.
Both Gudiya and Ginni came to meet the plant and watered it regularly for some time. Slowly they became irregular and after their school started they stopped coming at all. But I came every day and I can tell you that it was not just any simple plant; soon it started growing into a tree and was easily distinguishable from the rest of the flora. It had a magical glow, the trunk, the branches and the leaves, every part of it kept shinning whether it was day or night. The water that dripped from it after the rainfall tasted sweet. This tree truly reflected all the magical worlds that I, Gudiya and Ginni travelled along with that lovely Boy God.
Were we lucky or it was all just a dream? I don’t have a concrete answer to this question but I have a feeling as strong as the feeling of being alive that we did visit the different worlds of different colours and experienced the magic it was full of; with the blessings of the Boy God we even got the opportunity to colour one of the worlds…if I could term the joyous ride we undertook in one word, it would be called spiritual. Utter bliss!
I don’t know if I or Gudiya and Ginni or anyone else is devoid of such an experience in this world. I was skeptical and proud before Gudiya and Ginni planted this tree here. For me this grand tree is the connection between our world and all my magical worlds…all thanks to Gudiya and Ginni…the colourful worlds are alive in their hearts. My life is ecstasy! —
Today Gudiya and Ginni are not in touch anymore. They live in the same town (i.e. when they return from the respective cities they work in), but Gudiya shifted to another locality. What drifted them apart –time, place, the world and its ways, they themselves? It is not clear, maybe there is no reason behind it and maybe all the above mentioned reasons are true. Gudiya is a writer and Ginni is an architect. Let us hear them once, just to get an idea about who they have grown to become.
Gudiya (talking to her friend on the phone): My story is about a little boy who becomes friends with a giant oak tree in a forest. And just listen the title of the story, it is really catchy, the title will be – Krishan and Shakespeare. How is it? No-no, Krishan is the boy and he names the oak tree Shakespeare. I know, I know you have doubts but wait till you read my first draft, I just finished it today….
Ginni (talking to her friend on the phone): I have news too ya, that idiot again rejected my plan. Hmm…says it is not an economical approach, waste of space and the things he always say. And so easily he just destroyed the entire model…said that the park section and the trees on the road are taking a lot of space. What will happen to this country ya?
Both Gudiya and Ginni seem to be completely lost in their own world now and whether the colourful worlds are alive in them or not, only they or the Bird or the Boy with a peacock leaf tucked in his head and a flute in his hand, knows.