Tenzin Achi for the first time was going to reveal the hidden treasure of her green old trunk. She knew we children were very keen and would do anything even to take a peek. Especially after Lo’s encounter with an alien creature who guaranteed Lo that he came via the green old trunk. When Tenzin Achi was approached to confirm this incident, she just laughed and said, “Ask the green trunk.” No one ever dared to do that of course.
And today Tenzin Achi has agreed, astonishingly, at such a low bid – one chocolate and five cookies – to introduce us to the mysterious dwelling of the trunk. “Oi… not letting you see inside”, said Tenzin Achi, “I’ll show you all myself, stay back.” I knew it, we are duped… she wouldn’t have let our curiosity die so soon. But you know what, we all were prepared for it. Tenzin Achi is famous as canny granny.
Behold, she announced and took out a pair of silver tinned wire loops, which a talking dragon gifted her. Then came out five stones – red, indigo, yellow, green and white; she collected them from a planet she visited, named Kakuraa, and were extremely precious stones. Seeing none of us impressed, she challenged us to visit planet Kakuraa and ask anyone about the credibility of the stones. Silence prevailed and when someone yawned, Tenzin Achi was seen sweating.
She then took out a tiny copper ball. Now this appealed to all us children and Tenzin Achi beamed. There was a message engraved on the copper ball and “only a warrior could read it” said Tenzin Achi. Dramatically she said some words in her dialect and we understood zilch of it, but we stayed hooked. We all gasped in chorus as she twisted and opened the copper ball. She first made all of us swear with our hands on our heart, “don’t pass my secret to anyone – I am a warrior of Phui clan.” We obeyed as we were clueless and eager to know what’s hidden in the copper ball.
Veil uncovered, Tenzin Achi took out a small piece of crumpled cloth from the copper ball, red-white pattern knitted, it looked extremely ordinary, but the story attached to it wasn’t. She told us about Zumuh (that piece of cloth had a name). When the Kakuraa dynasty decided to leave for another world, they left on this planet, bits of Zumuh. These magical pieces worked as a Genie and it wasn’t easy to get one. Only who believed in magic and showed reverence to the Kakuraa dynasty could find it. Umpteenth times, she said proudly, Zumuh had helped her. Magic lived in her heart and pocket.
Pazo then said harshly, ‘Tenzin Achi is trying to fool us… this Zumuh can’t be used as a hanky also.’ Laughter filled Tenzin Achi’s old wooden room, but she stayed quiet, like me and Lo. Were there tears in her eyes? I don’t know, but I stood up and told everyone “I too have a Zumuh, it saved my life thrice from a dog”. They knew it was true, Kaalu had bitten Pazo and even Lo, but I managed to save my pajamas and myself somehow. I took out a round and rotted plastic but alive key ring from my pocket; with red-white pattern on it, I presented my Zumuh. I told them that a great traveller gave it to me near the hilltop and then vanished. Surprisingly Lo agreed, adding that he too saw that great traveller vanish into thin air. Pazo asked me to demonstrate the power of the Zumuh. Tenzin Achi had something else in her eyes then – spark of magic.
I stretched my hand, holding the key-ring and shouted, ‘Zumuh show your power, I believe in you’. ‘I also believe in you O Zumuh, let the magic shine’, said Tenzin Achi as she copied me and looked towards the roof, as if it was magical and we could see through it. Lo, who was without any Zumuh, also got up and screeched ‘I also believe’. Many eyes were glued to the Zumuh and I was actually hoping for a magical blast. Thunder! We all literally jumped on our places. The sky replied and immediately it started to snow. It was winter, but it wasn’t the time of the year for snow. I yelped, ‘Thank you Zumuh’. We all rock and rolled and tried to copy Tenzin Achi’s funny one-leg-in-the-air-dance, singing ‘zumuh, kakuraa, o zumuh, kakuraa.’