Kahina7 mins 423 7 mins 423
Those who pass-by the jungle of Satvada at night, claim to have listened to a melodious tune being played on a guitar. As soon as the tune starts floating in the dead silence of the woods, it is accompanied by the tinkling of anklets as if some damsel is dancing to the tune. The legend has it that years ago, there lived a man named Tejas in the village near Satvada. He was the son of a poor farmer. He used to toil hard in the fields with his father during the day. And at night, he sets out with his guitar to the forest near his cottage. He played guitar all night long and turned back home during the wee hours of the morning.
On one such full moon night, Tejas took his guitar and walked through the dense forest till he reached the huge banyan tree under which he used to play guitar every night. As he began playing his guitar that night, he heard the sound of anklets tinkling synchronously with his tune. An utterly astonished Tejas put his guitar down and listened to the sound carefully. The sound of anklets had ceased by then. As he couldn’t hear anything, he shrugged it off as mere imagination and picked his guitar up. The anklets sounded again as he started playing the guitar. He realized that there was someone near him for sure. He stood up and ran around to check who it was. After walking for a while into the woods, he spotted a lady who was running into the forest. Her svelte frame was clad in a white flowing gown. She had dark, silky hair that cascaded down her waist. Everything about her was so perfectly beautiful that Tejas craved to see her face. She was wearing silver anklets on her dainty feet that tinkled exuberantly with her each forward step.
“Hey, you!” Tejas called out to her, “stop! I want to talk to you.”
The lady halted for a while and there was absolute silence in the jungle except for the noise of crickets. Tejas held his breath, as he was not sure whether she would turn towards him or run away. But neither did she turn to him nor ran into the woods. Within a split second, she just vanished into thin air. Tejas gasped as he couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Who was she?” Tejas asked himself. “How could a lady just vanish like that?”
He raised his eyes to look at the sky as if trying to search her among the vast expanse above. The dawn was about to break. Tejas realized that it was time for him to return home. He made his way back, still lost in the thoughts of the mysterious apparition.
The next night, he went into the jungle and started playing his guitar. But this time, he didn’t stop playing when he heard the sound of the anklets. He walked towards the direction of the sound with slow and stealthy steps while his fingers kept dancing on his guitar. After walking for a few minutes, he came to a spot where four huge banyan trees stood facing each other. Right in the middle of those old and gigantic trees, a lady wearing a white gown was dancing, lost in the inebriation of the melody. His eyes rose from the shining silver anklets on those delicate feet and traversed up through her marvelously sculptured petite frame.
Her slender arms were raised in air as she danced. He couldn’t see her face as it was veiled by her dark hair. Suddenly, a cold wind blew and pushed her hair away. Tejas gasped as he saw her face for the first time that night. He hadn’t seen a face as stunning as hers ever in his life. Her eyes were closed as her body swayed rhythmically with the music. Her luscious lips were curved in a smile, giving rise to two cute dimples on her rosy cheeks. Tejas’s hand froze on the guitar as she opened her eyes and a sigh of admiration escaped from him. Her abysmal, ebony-hued doe-like eyes held his gaze and some mystic force kept him riveted to her.
The spell cast on her by the music was broken when Tejas stopped playing his guitar. The lady shivered as her eyes met that of a stranger. She quickly turned away and was about to run when the awestruck Tejas finally found his voice.
“Wait!” He said, “Please don’t go away, I won’t harm you. I just want to talk to you.”
The lady’s feet halted midway through her stride and she turned slowly towards him. She was panting, partly out of the exertion caused by dancing and partly by the fright of an unexpected encounter with an absolute stranger. Her lips were slightly parted as she avidly sucked in air.
“What is your name?” His eyes were still glued to hers.
“I’m Tejas,” he slowly took a step ahead and held out his hand to her.
“The dawn is about to break,” she said as she raised her eyes to the sky, “I must go, now!”
With those words, she abruptly ran into the forest.
“Will you come tomorrow?” Tejas ran behind her.
“Yes,” she smiled at him and vanished at once.
Tejas and Kahina started meeting each other every night in the jungle. He played his guitar and she danced to the music for the whole night, night after night. Soon they grew fond of each other and became good friends. With each passing day, Tejas fell deeper and deeper in love with her enchanting beauty and charming demeanor. One day, Tejas opened his heart to her and expressed his desire to marry her.
“No, Tejas,” tears filled-up in Kahina’s eyes, “I am a fairy and I can’t marry a human. It’s against the laws of our land.”
“Then, why don’t you leave your fairyland forever and live with me on earth?”
“I can't, our Godmother will punish me if I ever dared to do so.” Kahina sprang to her feet and prepared to leave. “The dawn is about to break. I must to return to fairyland before the sunrise.”
“I won't let you go today.” Tejas held her tightly in his arms.
“No! Leave me, Tejas,” Kahina struggled to break free, “I have to go.”
Tejas turned a deaf ear to her pleas and tightened his grasp around her as the first ray of the sun-colored the horizon. The very next moment, a sharp flash of lightning lit up the sky followed by a loud clap of thunder. The earth shook owing to its impact and Kahina and Tejas were thrown far apart.
“You are banished from the fairyland, Kahina.” A fierce voice roared from the sky, “and would be subjected to the punishment that you truly deserve.”
Kahina folded her hands and begged for mercy. But it was already too late. She abruptly got surrounded by a monstrous fire and its demoniac flames started devouring her.
“Why are you punishing her?” Tejas asked, unable to bear poor Kahina’s agony, “If love is a sin, then punish me and not her.”
“If your love is true and sincere,” The voice from heaven said, “she will take birth as a human someday and you two would be united in that lifetime.”
The voice echoed for some time and then waned away. Kahina was reduced to a pile of ashes. The thunderstorm passed away and the sunlit the morning sky with its golden light. When it was time to go the field, the villagers came looking for Tejas. After searching for a while, they found him dead near a small heap of ash. It is being said that their souls are still waiting for a chance to get reunited. But the rhythm of her dance and the melody of his music kept haunting the jungles of Satvada every night, for centuries to come.