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Jeet Guha Thakurta

Abstract Children Stories


3.5  

Jeet Guha Thakurta

Abstract Children Stories


Raka In The Rainbowland

Raka In The Rainbowland

25 mins 3.0K 25 mins 3.0K

The helicopter swiftly took a left turn towards the willow trees and disappeared in a moment somewhere behind the small lake.

Raka was standing on the terrace with the remote in his hand. This toy helicopter was gifted by his grandfather last week in Raka's birthday. Since then the helicopter became his best friend.

Now everyday when Raka goes out for school, he sets the helicopter for charging. As soon as he is back, his first job is to check if the charging is complete. He will then take it to their lawn or to the terrace and fly it for hours. He was very happy with this toy. He does not have any friend here. So the afternoons were boring and monotonous. Mom and dad both come home after evening. Raka stays alone during this time of the day. He often used to play with things around in the nature. He used to follow the ants, to see how they march in a line, where they go and how they pick-up things heavier than their body... How the butterflies jump from one flower to the other... How the clouds make a colorful canvas in the sky. Sometimes he used to make paper aeroplanes and fly them in the lawn. But now he got a real helicopter in hand which he can fly just at the press of buttons on this remote. It has got good range as well - the helicopter can easily fly few hundred meters away and can still be controlled through the remote.

Raka's joy knew no bounds whenever he got time to spend with his new friend. But today, he was little upset and worried as the helicopter disappeared behind the bush and it did not come back or restart. He tried a lot with his remote, but in vain. May be the helicopter got stuck into some tree branches or may be it is not getting the wireless signal from that far.

Raka was looking helplessly towards the willow trees. Right then a rainbow appeared in the sky. It was so vibrant in color and so magnificent that anyone will get fascinated. Raka was looking at it with full eyes. Rainbows are common here, they appear quite often. It was raining a little today when Raka was returning from school. The rain then stopped. But now in its place the rainbow appeared. It started from a spongy cloud up in the sky, went all the way down to the willow trees and vanished behind them. Raka was passionately looking at that beautiful rainbow. He loves rainbows. They say, it has got seven colors in it. So whenever Raka gets to see a rainbow, he tries to count the colors there.

After a short while, Raka's attention was again back to his favourite toy which just got lost. He decided to go and find out the helicopter.

So he put on the heavy shoes, took a stick in his hand and left home.

He crossed the lawn and the asphalt road. There is strict instructions from mom not to cross this road ever. He is supposed to stay within the lawn boundary. But what to do if the helicopter gets lost somewhere far away ? Moreover, he is now grown up, he turned 7 last week. So there is no worry, Raka thought. After the asphalt road, a small wooden pool is there over the lake. With the stick in one hand and the remote in the other, Raka carefully crossed the bridge and reached the other side of the lake. The willow trees are not too far from here. He slowly stepped in that direction.

There was nothing found near the willow trees. So Raka went ahead. Just behind the willow trees, beside a mound, he then discovered his helicopter which fell down and was resting on the ground. Lifting it gently, he first checked if its wings got any damage. Thankfully it did not. He then placed the helicopter back on the ground in order to start it again. But right then, the mound attracted his attention. It seems there is something behind the mound. A lot of colorful lights were coming from that place. It was sparkling. He quickly picked up his helicopter and stepped towards the top of the mound on a slow feet.

After reaching there, Raka saw something that was beyond his imagination. To his surprise, he saw that one end of the rainbow which was still in the sky, came down on the other side of the mound. It looks like a transparent river of shining lights. There were steps on it like a staircase. The steps went up straight into the sky. Raka never saw the stairs in a rainbow and he was not able to believe what he was seeing. Can you really climb up a rainbow ? WoW ! He was mesmerized to see it first ever in his life.

There was a lovely music coming from the stairs. Raka felt an immense eager to go and check where the rainbow stairs take someone to. He looked back for a second and saw the willow trees which were gently swinging in the cool afternoon breeze. His parents are yet to come back from work. Meanwhile he can easily go and discover the treasures in a rainbow that no one probably saw before.

Decided upon the plan, Raka put his first step on the stairs and started climbing it up.

**************************************************

Within few minutes, Raka reached a height which was almost close to the low clouds. He looked back and saw the land down. There is the lake, it looks so small from here. The willow trees look like a green field only. That one thin black line must be the asphalt road in front of their house. Everything looks so little in size when seen from this height. Raka was amazed at this view. Then he again started climbing. In a while the clouds came further down and covered the rainbow completely. Nothing more was now visible outside other than the stairs. And just then, Raka saw one door at the end of the staircase. The door was very beautiful and decorated with brass and flowers. It was written on the door - Welcome to Rainbowland!

Okay. So this is called Rainbowland. Raka told himself. He then softly pushed the door and opened it. What he then saw inside, easily took his breath away. The area inside the door was full of various trees. Every tree had a different color and there were many unknown flowers on them. They were sparkling and a heavenly aroma prevailed everywhere. Raka never saw such a beautiful garden anywhere. He came inside. This place seems just like a dreamland. Raka was thrilled to roam around there.

In a while, he found a fountain that was throwing up milky white waters at the tune of some loving music. That area was very mystic and magical. Raka went to the other side of the fountain. That is when he saw there a girl of his age. The girl was sitting next to the fountain and playing with some flowers.

Raka exclaimed in joy, "Hey - who are you ?"

The girl looked at him and smiled. Then she said, "My name is Nina."

"Hi, I am Raka."

The girl asked, "Everyone knows me here. But you do not know me. Is it your first time in this rainbowland ?"

"Actually yes", Raka said. "I live with my parents down there across the lake. Have you been there ever ?"

"No, I have not."

"I never heard of this place, and you know what, today I saw the stairs in the rainbow. And I climbed them up. No one ever saw such stairs in a rainbow earlier. I just discovered it today. Do you live here ? Is it your home ?"

"Yes. Do you like this place ?"

"Yes, this place is very beautiful. And you are also very beautiful."

"Thanks. But why did you come here ?"

Raka replied to this honestly, "I don't know why I came. But I have no friend whom I can play with. Will you be my friend please ?"

"Yes, sure." The girl accepted the friendship.

"I have got something for you, do you want to see ?" Raka asked.

"What is that ?"

"Here it is." Raka handed over his helicopter to her and said, "You can fly it. Here is the remote. Just check."

"But I don't know how to fly it."

So Raka explained to her how to operate the remote and how to fly the helicopter. It was easy. The girl was extremely happy and they had a lot of fun while playing with that flying machine. They spent together for long in that garden. They even made a small castle with the tiny stones lying around the fountain.

Soon the sun was about to set in. Raka said, "I have to go now. Mom will be home anytime soon. She will scold me if she knows that I came far away. Would you like to join me and come to our house ?"

"No, I cannot leave this rainbowland, sorry Raka."

"Why ?" Raka asked her.

"It is forbidden for us to go anywhere else." She said with a sad face and further continued with a smile, "But you can come here any time you want. Please again come tomorrow, I will wait for you. We will then play here. Okay ?"

"Yes, I will come, promise", said Raka. And he turned back. But then he stopped and again turned towards that girl.

"You liked this helicopter, didn't you ? So you can keep it with you. You can play with it."

"But you love this helicopter so much -"... The girl hesitated a bit.

"I will ask my dad to buy me another one. You please keep it." Raka smiled. He has been receiving a lot of toys in his life. This is the first time he knew the joy of giving too.

"Thank you so much." The girl said, "I will give you one thing. Wait." She closed her palm and stretched it to Raka. Then she asked him to check what was inside.

Raka took her hand and opened her palm. He saw one eraser there. He was not very excited.

"Eraser! I have many of them, you can rather keep it with you."

The girl seemingly enjoyed his reply and laughed. Then she said, "It is not a simple eraser. It is a magic eraser. If you write something wrong, and then erase with it, the writing is not only erased, it automatically gets corrected as well. It will change into whatever you actually wanted to write. You won't have to write it again."

"Oh really ?" Raka was surprised. Indeed he makes a lot of silly mistakes while writing his homework and then he needs to correct them. This magic eraser will help him a lot.

He took the eraser from her and thanked her. Then he came down from the rainbowland again through the stairs and quickly reached home. He was really glad for two reasons. One is, he discovered one unknown place today. Probably he is the first person to ever see a rainbowland. And the second reason is, he made a new friend today. A lovely friend!

But then Raka decided not to tell mom anything about it. Otherwise he will never be able to go to the rainbowland again. Mom will definitely not allow him to make such an adventure in her absence. So when his parents came back from work, Raka remained silent about his discovery although his mind remained completely filled with an unknown charm and joy.

**************************************************

The eraser really worked as Raka was told. He used the eraser for his homework and everything was instantly corrected. All spelling mistakes were changed to the right spelling, all sums got corrected as well. Magic! Raka was now having three reasons to mark this day as a very special day in his life.

Mom even queried how he finished his homework so quickly, without much rework. Raka smiled in return and said, "I will now make very less mistakes Mom, I promise." But he did not disclose the secret.

Next day Raka came from school little early. He left his school bag and ran away. He was restless to go to the rainbowland once again and meet his beautiful friend there.

He quickly crossed the wooden bridge, crossed the willow trees and came to the mound where he saw the rainbow stairs yesterday. But a sheer disappointment was waiting for him. Contrary to his expectations, the rainbow was not there today. And there was no stairs. The trees were swinging as usual. A frog was jumping around. The butterflies were playing eye spies with each other. But there was no rainbow.

Raka looked up into the sky. The dreamy clouds were floating there in the ocean-blue tarpaulin. A group of migratory birds were smiwwing across the blue canvas. No rain, and no rainbow. Raka waited there for some time and then came back home with a depressed heart. Where is the rainbow ? Why does not the rainbow come everyday ? How can he meet his friend again ? Many questions were running through his mind, but he did not have an answer to them.

Days passed. No rainbow came for a week. There were rains at times, but the rainbow did not re-appear. Raka was happy with the magic eraser. But still he did not have any friend. So everyday afternoon while returning from the school, he used to look for the rainbow in the sky. Nothing comes in his sight at all. But one day he saw it again.

It rained few times throughout that day. But in the afternoon, when Raka reached home, the sky got mostly cleared. Raka kept his school bag and went to the terrace. He got an old robo-car from his toy-box yesterday. He was playing with that. Suddenly he glanced across the lake and found the rainbow exactly in the same position as the previous day. It started in the middle of the sky and came all the way down to the willow trees and vanished behind them. As soon as Raka saw the rainbow, his heart jumped in joy and he quickly put on his shoes. Then with the robo-car still in his hand, he ran out of the house.

The rainbow stairs were just like waiting for him. Raka quickly came up. As he climbed up and up, the ground started going further down and down. The trees, the lake, the landscape started getting smaller in size. It was just like the first day. After a while, he went into the clouds and the gate of the rainbowland came into his sight.

Raka went through that heavenly garden and saw the perfumed trees. Soon he came close to the fountain. "Nina !" He shouted.

Nina was sitting beside the fountain and looking into the water. She stood up hearing Raka's voice and came close to him. She was happy, but also angry.

"Why did you not come for so many days ? You promised, remember ? I have been waiting for you." She complained.

How could Raka explain it to her ? She never went out of this place and she has no idea how a rainbow looks like from the Earth.

"I can come here only through the rainbow stairs. But the rainbow did not appear again after that day. I also wanted to come here and meet you, trust me. I have been only waiting for the rainbow to come again in the sky."

They spent the afternoon together and played in the garden. When it was time to depart, Raka gave his robo-car to Nina.

"Please keep this with you. You can play with this robo-car. It is also called a transformer. It can change into a robot, or into a car, as you wish."

"Oh really ?" Nina was surprised as she never saw a thing like this ever.

"Yes. Please keep it. This is now yours."

"What do I give you in return ? I have nothing with me today."

"No worry." Raka smiled and said, "You are my only friend. Whenever I come here, we will play together. I am happy with that."

"No, hold on. Umm... Do you like cake ?" She thought a little and asked.

"Yes, very much." Raka was indeed fond of cakes. It is part of his daily meal.

"Wait for a second."

Nina looked into her vanity box and pulled out something. It was a small piece of cake wrapped in some bright paper.

"This might look like a small gift." She handed over the cake to Raka and said, "But it has got a specialty. You can eat it whenever you want, but it will never finish. Just keep a small portion of the cake into some hidden place and it will grow itself again into full size. You can again eat the cake and it will again grow. Just don't finish it completely. Keep at least a little portion and that will grow into the full size again."

Raka was looking at the cake with disbelief. Can this really happen ? He was astonished at this. "Do you keep all magical things with you ?" He asked Nina. She laughed in return and said, "Everything is magical in this rainbowland. Can't you see the trees, the water, the fishes here ? They are all special and all are magical. I will tell you more about them some other day."

"Okay, it is getting dark now. I must return home quickly. We will meet again Nina. Again when the rainbow comes."

"Good bye." Nina said with a smile. Raka did not even know that he won't be able to see Nina once again when he comes here next.

Thankfully mom did not return yet when Raka reached home. So he was safe. However, mom came within few minutes before Raka could test the magic power of the cake Nina gave him. He hid it quickly in the fridge.

Later when mom was busy upstairs, Raka pulled out the cake from the fridge and ate half of it. The magic cake was chocolaty and it was extremely delicious. Somehow he managed to stop himself and kept the rest part of it back into the fridge. Again after some time, when he opened the fridge door, he was really surprised to see that the cake has again grown to its full size and it was looking awesome. He then had half of it again and kept the rest into the fridge. But he could not tame his curiosity and opened the fridge door again after sometime, and again ate half of the cake which had grown to its full size once again.

Mom could not know what is happening. But she got a doubt when Raka did not ask for dinner till late in the night. His stomach was full actually. When they finally sat together for the dinner, Mom scold him for not showing enough interest to the food. Even dad scold him and said, "You must follow a routine and do exercise daily. You know, it is important in order to maintain your health and appetite better. Go outside and play in the afternoon."

Raka sensed that he just got an opportunity. He thought a bit and asked, "Dad, can I go to the willow trees there and play there ? It will be a good exercise for me."

Mom scold again, "No, don't go far away. What is there in the willow trees ? You know the wooden bridge is not strong enough. Why do you want to go there ?"

"Just for playing Mom. Please -" Raka pleaded.

There was no ray of hope from Mom's side but his dad rescued him unknowingly. Dad said, "Okay, you can go there and play. But remember, you must come back home before evening."

'Yeah, sure dad!" Raka was happy.

**************************************************

The rainbow did not appear again for several days. Meanwhile dad one day discovered the cake in the fridge. He took it in whole and finished it completely, it was so delicious. Raka came to know about it later and he felt really upset. He had kept it behind the whiskey cans so that it is out of mom's sight, but dad easily found it. Raka lost the cake but he still had the magic eraser, and it was working perfectly. Now Raka was scoring better in his exams. The credit goes to Nina, Raka always reminds himself.

One day it again rained in the afternoon and the sky turned completely clear. The rainbow appeared that day and Raka went out to the mound behind the willow trees. The rainbow staircase was as usual there. Raka immediately climbed it and entered the rainbowland.

Everything was just like before. The trees were fragrant and the fountain was dancing at the tune of some beautiful music. But Raka could not find Nina anywhere around. He waited a bit there and then took a stroll. There was nobody. Raka called out by Nina's name. It only reflected from the far end and echoed. No one answered his call.

Puzzled, Raka again sat beside the fountain. Then he saw a tree very close to the fountain. It was not very tall. The tree had a mix of green and purple color. He could not recall if he saw this tree here earlier. Probably it is a new tree. It was dazzling. The flowers on the tree had many different colors and they were very aromatic at the same time. Being curious about it, Raka placed one hand on the tree. Just then, a voice came from within the tree. It said in a soft and gentle girlish voice, "Is that Raka ? Have you come really ?"

"Who is that ?" Raka took a step back as he got a very uncanny feeling. He was looking straight to the tree. He recognized the voice but he was shocked as well.

"Don't get afraid Raka. This is Nina, your friend. I have turned into a tree now."

"Oh my god! How did that happen ?"

"This is a mandate of rainbowland. If someone ever touches the water from this fountain, he or she will turn into a tree."

"What ?" Raka was stunned.

"Yes Raka. I knew this rule. But still mistakenly one day I dipped my hand into the water, to catch the fish. That red fish was looking so beautiful, you know. I forgot the rule of this land. It was my fault, and as a result I turned into a tree now. We cannot help it. All the trees that you see around, each one of them actually turned into tree sometime in the past. I was the last person left."

Raka was very upset to hear this. He looked around and now saw all the other trees in the light of something new that he just learnt. It means, all the beautiful trees in this land were beautiful people once upon a time. The curse of the fountain turned all of them one by one into trees. This is really a very sad story, Raka thought. He again came to that tree and placed his hand over its leaves.

The voice said, "I cannot see you, but I can recognize your touch."

"Really ?" Raka was surprised.

"Yes. I will never forget you. Whenever you come to this rainbowland, please touch me. I will know that you have come."

"But it is so sad Nina, I cannot see you. You cannot move also. You are just a tree now. This is so sad. Will you be like this always ?"

The voice tried to smile, and said, "Yes Raka. That is the reality now."

"Is there no way to bring you back ? I mean, can you not again turn normal ?"

The voice remained silent this time.

Raka caressed the leaves of that tree and asked again, "Please tell me Nina, is their no way ? There must be a way out, right ?"

With a long pause, the voice answered, "There is one way. There is a secret. But I will not request you to do so."

"Please tell me. Don't worry Nina. I can do anything for you. I won't be afraid to do whatever it needs to bring you back. I promise."

The voice then said, "I know you are a courageous boy, Raka. But I still don't want to tell you anything."

"But why Nina ?"

"Because... if I tell you the secret, I can get normal again, but then you cannot come here any more. I don't want that. You have no other friend, you told me. I know how bad it feels to be lonely."

"Don't worry about me. Just tell me. Please tell me Nina, what will bring you back ? What is that secret ? If you think I am your friend, you must share that with me now."

The voice finally replied to this, "If you bring some water again from the fountain and spray over me, I will turn normal. That is the only way."

"Well, that is an easy task. Let me do it right now. What is the worry ?"

"No Raka. Please don't do that."

"But why ?" Raka asked. And suddenly he realized what may be the trouble for him. He then said, "I think I got it. If I touch the fountain, I will also turn into a tree. You must be worried because of that, right Nina ?"

"No, that is not my worry." The voice replied. "You are safe. You are an outsider here. You are not from this land. So the rule does not apply to you. If you touch the water, it won't affect you. But what will happen is, the stairs through which you came here, will slowly disappear. And you will never see the stairs again. You cannot come again here."

Now Raka understood why Nina told him not to touch the water. The fountain looks so lovely and beautiful, but it has got so many secrets hidden in it. Raka sat beside that water pool and started thinking. He was confused. On one hand, his lovely friend Nina turned into a tree. She will have to remain like that for rest of her life. Raka can come here and meet her. But she will never be normal again. On the other hand, Raka can bring her back to normal life with the help of the fountain water. But in that case he cannot come here and cannot meet her friend ever again. What should he do then ?

**************************************************

The sun was about to set in. Everything was so calm and quite. Raka was busy in his thoughts. He was trying to find out a way so the things can be back to normal again. But he was not able to decide what to do.

The voice from the tree broke the silence, "Look Raka. I am happy that I can at least get your touch and I can talk to you sometimes. Anyway I was lonely here, when you did not come. So this is not a big change for me. Rather, my tree life is okay. At least I can get a chance to talk to you often, we can meet often. So if you are thinking of spraying this water on me, please leave that plan now. Just leave it."

"You said you were anyway lonely here." Raka saw a silver-lining in his effort to solve the case. So he asked, "If this fountain water can bring you back, can that not do the same for all other trees here ?"

The voice said, "Yes. This fountain water can bring back everyone if sprayed over them. But we never tried that because whoever tries to do that, will first turn into a tree before he can even finish it. We always avoid this water. We never touch it."

"But I can touch, right ?" Raka made his mind. "I will not only bring you back. I will do that for everyone here Nina. You will no longer feel lonely again."

"But Raka, then -"

"Yes, I know the stairs will disappear and I will not be able to come here any more. But whether I can come here or not, is not important. Right now it is more important for you to get your life back. All of you indeed."

As decided, Raka immediately took some water from the fountain in both of his palms and sprayed that over that tree. Within a moment, the tree magically disappeared and in its place Raka saw Nina this time. They both were very much happy to see each other. Raka immediately hugged her and said, "I am so glad to see you back." Nina was almost at the verge of crying out. But she somehow controlled herself. She also hugged Raka back.

One minute passed. Raka left Nina and took some more water from the fountain. Then he ran towards the other trees and started spraying the water over them. As soon as the trees got the touch of that divine water, they started turning into normal persons. Some of them were children just like Raka and Nina, some were young adults. Some of them were old people as well. The whole place was slowly getting back to life. It was very lively and cheerful. Everyone who came out of the tree life, was extremely thrilled and happy. They never thought that they will be able to see life again. They were looking at each other, jumping and shouting in joy. The curse of the fountain was slowly getting away.

Raka was running between the fountain and the trees. He was busy in spraying the water over all the trees. But time was running out.

At one point, Nina came to him and stopped him. She said, "The stairs started disappearing Raka. Please go now. If you don't leave now, you will never be able to go back. The stairs will never appear again."

Raka saw that few more trees were still left. "Who are they ?" He asked.

Nina got tears in her eyes. She whispered, "They are my parents, my grandpa, my granny and my brother. All of them turned into trees before me."

Raka knew what he has to do. Just one more minute is needed. He collected some more water for the last time and sprayed it over those few remaining trees. They all came back into life. Nina was not able to believe her eyes. She could now see her parents and everyone else. She just ran towards her parents and hugged them. They also hugged her back. The family was united once again, after many many days.

Raka took a quick glance at them. He was contented. His job was done. Now he must go. His parents will be waiting for him down there.

He slowly moved to the gate. As he stepped out, he saw the stairs got somewhat transparent. The first two steps already disappeared and others were also disappearing fast. He just looked back once and bid a goodbye to the rainbowland. Then without wasting any more time further, he jumped onto the stairs and managed to catch them. It was just in time. Even a moment's delay would have ensured that he will never be able to come back on Earth. As he was running down the stairs, the steps were getting erased in his back. Every moment one step was vanishing in the thin air. Raka was running down faster and faster. Finally when he landed near the willow trees, the stairs completely disappeared. It will never re-appear. However, the rainbow was still faintly visible in the sky.

Raka looked up and tried to find the rainbowland. But nothing was clearly visible from this distance. He stood there for a long time until the dark swallowed everything in the sky and the rainbow also vanished. With it, gone are the cheerful land and all those people whom he turned into life just a while back.

Raka came back home in slow steps. His mind was filled with both joy and sadness. He was glad to have done a great job today, by giving life to all those people in the rainbowland. Everyone out there must be very happy now. At the same time, he was depressed because he will never be able to go back again, never be able to meet his friend. But after all, his joy took over the melancholy.

Since then, whenever it rains in the afternoon, Raka looks for the rainbow up in the sky. And if it appears, he keeps looking at it. His eyes search for the friend whom he met only for few days. Raka knows that she must be happy now with her family and all others in the rainbowland.

~ The End


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