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Rahul Sankunni

Fantasy Horror


5.0  

Rahul Sankunni

Fantasy Horror


Time

Time

4 mins 794 4 mins 794

The first thing the young man wanted to do immediately after attending the rationalists’ meeting was to search for his personal horoscope and burn it. His family had horoscope for each member as soon as he or she turned three years . Our young man was not the kind of persons who loved burning books or effigies , but this he somehow felt urgent. He had seen the tiny book in childhood only but its memories returned as he listened to a stirring speech on superstitions. He felt such shame the book existed somewhere. Reaching home in a hurry the young man rummaged through the dusty possessions of maternal grandfather who he knew had been the custodian of all stupid things. Ultimately the small book with pink cover was dug out. A cursory examination of the horoscope before burning filled the youth with consternation as he read the final lines : ‘The owner would pick this up when he is twenty-two years, three months, six days, five hours and thirteen minutes old , to burn this. Life afterwards is to be left unpredicted’. Further examination revealed the book contained details of almost everything – exam failure, snake bite, first visit to harlot- to the precision of days and hours, sometimes even minutes and seconds.


Why the book stopped short of predicting life from now, the young man didn’t know whom to ask. Did it mean everything about him would be all over soon? An answer to it seemed more vital to his existence than air itself as fear of death gripped the young man. And he set out in search of the astrologer who wrote the horoscope, with minimal knowledge about his whereabouts.


A few years passed by and there was no information about the astrologer. However, by now the young man had begun to look wiser with long hair and flowing beard. Indeed he had become wiser in that the fear of death had waned considerably and he had started to look at things philosophically so much so that he finally decided to go back home. He started the return journey and moved leisurely this time listening to the music of streams and birds and watching the grandeur of peacocks and moon. And in a village, he heard news about the astrologer.


The astrologer, when the young man found him, was lying in a big cage , his left leg tied with a chain. Chain had caused wounds in his leg where worms wriggled. The man, however, lay unconcerned and there was none around.

“What can I do for you?,” the youth enquired. He was willing to go to the end of the world to help the old man. He was the object of his search after all. The old man gestured in the negative but the young man persisted. 

“Untie the chain around my left leg and tie the right leg instead, if it would relax you” said the astrologer.

“I read the horoscope late. I have arrived here also very late,” the young man said.

“You have arrived at the right moment,” said the astrologer. “However, I want to remind you something. I know you have many questions to ask. But I don’t have time to answer more than one. Decide on your question and ask. Our conversation is for ten minutes only. So, be quick.”


That was not acceptable. The young man needed many answers. How was his life predicted with such perfect perfection? Does fate rule peoples’ lives? What was going to be his future? Why was the astrologer caged? By whom? None of the questions seemed unimportant to him. But when he tried hard for a selection from among them, none of the questions seemed important either. That was his moment. He was liberated forever from questions.


Finally, the old man spoke: “ Our time is over. That you wouldn’t ask anything was also destined. Had you asked any, any of your questions I would have to train you in the art of travelling forward in time.”

Then with a glint of jealousy in eyes, the man added: “You are fortunate, young man. You won’t be caged.”

And then the old man’s body trembled and became still. 


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