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message 1: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod

The story starts with the sound of drops dripping...the theme being 'an acute water shortage' (where/when/what happens for all :-))

message 2: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod

message 3: by Meenakshi (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments Zahiristan. a land of the unknown.A land into the unknown and a land for the unknown.
It is often said that strange things happen in strange worlds but when these strange world collapse with the usual precedent world; there is always a havoc.It always leads to the end of one world and also humanity which is the adhesive to all worlds.

message 4: by StoryWeaver (last edited Dec 30, 2010 06:53PM) (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
The two tribes that made up Zahiristan were the Pauloz tribe that depended on hunting, and the Coelhoz tribe that depended on agriculture and domesticated animals.
But for the monthly barter meet the Coelhoz hardly interacted with the Pauloz and in fact considered their ways a bit barbaric.
The Coelhoz were a planned people. They always thought ahead and this normally helped them face the adversity that nature throws in once every few seasons.
The Pauloz were people always on the move. A hunter needed infinite patience,lightning fast reflexes and numerous skills to survive and live on. So they lived life by the day,content with the security of knowing they had enough for the next few days or more.
Fate plays strange games....

The Coelhoz tribe depended on a stream fed by Himalayan glaciers for its water supply.
The flow of water had been diminishing over the last week inspite of various prayers to the Gods.
Fathima , a 16 year old girl of the village, watched in horror as the last few drops of water dripped into her pail.
"FATHER!" she shrieked,racing to the village square to ring the Bell of Alarm.

The Elders Meet :

"Something must have fallen across the path of the stream high up in beyond the Forbidden Pass!" exclaimed Santu ,the youngest of the elders.
He was a middle aged man but was the only one built like a Paulhoz,with a mind equally sharp.
"We'll need to go up there and clear the obstruction!" he said.

"But! No one has gone beyond the Pass!!" said Zorgan the eldest of the elders mild anxiety in his voice.

"The Paulhoz have!" replied Santu ,"we'll need two of their best hunters to help us do it"

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

"you mean the paulhoz!",said the eldest of all.
"of course the paulhoz."
"noway, they r cruel and too much shrewd,they do not have any moral values,they..they...they are like primitive people.
always....hunting their kind.",growled the eldest of them.
"what??hunting their kind!!",exclaimed santu.
the old man explained,"i mean wild animals."

"oh k then,all of you pack your things,we are leaving this place tonight .",said santu.
one of the members shouted at santu,"have you gone mad!!?,our lands are here,our culture is here,our ancestors have lived here for 1200 years from way, we are leaving this place,rather we all shall die here."
"you are right,"said santu,"if we dont solve our problem,we all shall die here."
"in order to solve this problem ,the only way left for, depend on the paulhoz,or find a new place for ourselves ."

message 6: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
"Give me two hours I'll over go talk to the Paulhoz " said Sagar

Lucky for Santu he looked like a Paulhoz, which is why he was the one who coordinated the monthly barter. He got along with two Paulhoz Grurav and Kayrav and was counting on them cooperating. Grurav's brother Pranruv might want to come along, that would be even better!

message 7: by Meenakshi (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments All said all done.
It is not for me or for you, it is for the sake of our entire tribe.
Can you see those little children playing over there;Santu pointed towards a bunch of 6 year olds who were busy making a castle of the dry sand in the extreme heat.Will you be able to see them dying?
Look at the women over there; Santu pointed towards the women dressed in ghagras. Do you want them to grieve over the death of their children?Do you want them to wince in pain and thirst?
Santu explained.
The question is not what to do; instead it is who will go to the Paulhoz to persuade them.

message 8: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
Having thus conviced his tribe, Santu set off and was soon back with Grurav,Kayrav and Pranruv.

After they'd packed a few essential implements and other supplies and received the blessings of the Council of Elders they bid goodbye to the villagers and set out to find out what was blocking the stream

message 9: by Meenakshi (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments The moment he set foot outside his village; he had a strange feeling.He could sense a fierce storm but he did not stop.He felt a strange thirst as if he had swallowed some insect.He could not come to terms with his inner conscience yet he walked until they reached the peak of the first mountain.

message 10: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
The Forbidden Pass would soon be visible.

He would be the first from his tribe to venture across; anxiety although not a normal trait, snaked its icy cold fingers around his gut...

They entered the pass and felt the slope start ascending at a steep pace. They were soon much higher up than he'd ever been in his life and there in the distance they saw what was obstructing the stream.

It was huge. It looked like a giant bird. But somewhere in the middle the 'bird' looked torn.

The Paulhoz knew no fear and continued forward. Santu motioned them to stop, but they shook their heads and motioned forward.

They continued till they reached the giant bird. Was this one of those giant birds they saw high up in the sky with its smoke tails?

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

suddenly santu remembered the words of zorgan,"remember my son,the mountain you are going to climb is called the cursed mountain."
"Long back monks used to stay there.performing rituals and doing meditation.some used to call them as Gods.
(they were called gods because they had powers.)
one of the God's daughter was a beautiful girl,who was cheated by a paulhoz called chimakasi.
Because of whom our ancestors has moved down here.
since then the mountain is deserted.i heared that still some monks are living there.
This story has passed down for centuries,to the eldest of the tribe.
i reaveled this because you should be prepared,do not be surprised,
donot be annoyed,,stay calm.if you feel something is wrong,feel it with your manonetra (meditation)."

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

"you can overcome any type of situation.
call the gods for help.
God bless you santu.
do not come back without solving the problem."

message 13: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
He was so adept at using his mind's eye (mano netra) that he didn't need to sit down and meditate as he used to as a boy.
He could just close his eyes and feel perceive his surroundings with in fact much more clarity than what his eyes, ears or nose told him .
He closed his eyes as they stood before the giant bird with its torn metal skin. He could sense his Paulhoz friends AND!!!! ....the presence of a young woman.
He perceived mixed emotions, those of hunger and fear yet with an overlying emotion of relief.
He understood from his mental perception that she'd been lost for a whole week and was now relieved someone had found her although with a bit of apprehension....

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

"Excuse me,a female voice interrupted santu."(the voice was husky and moreover a whisper.)
santu turned his head towards the young lady who was once attractive.
Her eye balls were deep inside the socket.she was completely devoid of energy.
Her cheeks were pale.
santu asked her,"who are you?"
She answered ,"Feed me first,i have been starving from a week."

message 15: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
She spoke their language!
It did sound a bit different though!

Santu had been trained to save; to think ahead. His mind was still busy wondering what to do, when in fact it was the Paulhoz who immediately broke out their rations and offered her food.

The Paulhoz lived each day for that day and this was no brain teaser for them. The young lady was starving and needed the food much more than they did, right then and there. What was there to think about?

Santu felt ashamed, he couldn't have responded in the same manner. At the same instant he felt a great respect for his friends and their customs.

message 16: by Meenakshi (last edited Dec 31, 2010 07:21AM) (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments He looked at the lady.
How content she looked.
Her face showed the same pleasure that a brooke gets after joining the ocean.She ate relinquishly.While eating she did not look at either of the people instead her eyes were glued to the food she had in her hands.
Unaware of the fact that the supply was scanty, she asked for water.The Paulhoz were qiuck in their response.Grurav took out his bottle and gave it to the lady.
She drank it all, till the last drop.
Santu's eyes widened.He blamingly eyed the Paulhoz for not saving anything for them.
It was only after finishing that she noticed the men again.

message 17: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
She expressed her gratitude and asked her if someone had sent them to find her and the two other 'passengers' of their 'chartered flight'

They understood the first bit and told her instead how actually they'd come about being there.

"You've saved my life!" said Stella , a student of advanced architecture, "Who knows, I just might be able to help you too!"

message 18: by Akanksha (new)

Akanksha  Singh (akankshasingh92) | 122 comments 'Do you know something about the water shortage then?' Santu asked.
'We crash landed almost at the top of the mountain from where the river originates, someone has diverted the course of the river. How they did so is beyond me!'
'We have to do something about it and quickly too. Otherwise our tribes will die of thirst.' Grurav said.
'Do you mind if i accompany you? I can show you the way.' Stella asked.

message 19: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
Stella was a fitness freak and her hobbies included rockclimbing and mountaineering. She was slowed down a bit due to a lack of her gear, but now that she had eaten her stamina played along fine.
The men were impressed to see a lady capable of what they had always assumed to be something only the Paulhoz were capable of.
They trudged through the snow in a general upstream direction

message 20: by Meenakshi (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments Stella took them towards the sun.
They followed without a word but wherever she went; she created a strange aura around herself.Even in a place as solitude prone as the cliff, the animals gathered around her wherever she stopped.At the end of the day, she asked her fellowmates to get inside a cave.She told them that she would gladly guard their safety as well as her own.
Santu being suspicious by nature found it difficult to understand how could one lady guard three men in the midst of the mountains.What was there for her to guard them from?Why was she so reluctant to sleep?
He could not understand this mysterious woman.

message 21: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
Stella was ,indeed , regarded as being 'really strange' by most people because of her deceptive petite built overshadowed by immense capabilities..

She had a way with animals as she could just sit and wait till they lost their fear of her. She was a deeply spiritual person and had practised all variations of deep meditation as practised by the Japanese,the Tibetians and that practised in the country of her birth India.

She was a free lance jourmalist and had been one of the top three in her class on advanced architecture thanks to her exposure to almost all the ancient temples in India,the ruins of Greece and Rome, the temples of Angor Vat and the temple of Solomon.

She knew that her companions probably didn't understand her GPS device and all the data she was capable of analyzing. She detected a mixture of awe and suspicion,but as one of the 3 girls in a batch of 41 students of architecture, this wasn't anything she hadn't handled before.

The source of the block was just half a kilometer away and she wanted to check it out for herself , so that she could think of a solution without being distracted.

It would soon be late evening and she realized it was either now or never. She requested the men to wait inside the cave and set off to explore.

message 22: by Meenakshi (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments Before leaving the cave, she checked if everyone was asleep.
Grurav was fast asleep.She could hear his snors.Kayruv lay next to him, mumbling something in his sleep.Pranruv's mouth was open.He was in deep sleep too.His saliva dropped from his open mouth.
and at the end was Santu.He looked exhausted with all that walking and he too was sleeping.

Stella came out.All was done.Everything was quiet.It was like the silence of the night had given her the opportunity to go.
She picked up her sachet, said final words of farewell and departed.

After she went away, Santu stood up.He brushed of sleep from his eyes and stealthily followed her.

Stella walked and walked.
She at last reached the mountain top and saw what was hindering the waterflow.

message 23: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
She knew the obstruction had to have been caused by something big falling across the stream ,but that didn't make it easier to believe what she now saw!

It was a World War II British Supermarine Spitfire Mk I plane looking like it had just been lowered gently into place by giant hands to block the stream!

The plane having crashed didn't surprise her as their plane had sufferred the same fate due to a strange disruption of their navigational system a few minutes before they had crashed.

What surprised her was the fact that it looked like interweaving time zones. The Paulhoz and Coelhoz were isolated from civilization , so that made sense. But such a well preserved plane....?

She reached the plane, climbed up and popped open the cockpit out of curiosity...and almost fell off the plane when she heard a voice.."he e elp!"

It was the pilot ,complete in WWII Uniform , barely alive!

Another sound, just behind her...
She whirled in alarm and then her expression softened into one of pleasure and gratitude.

It was Santu and he was offering his last portion of rations and water to her. She understood!

Almost an hour later the pilot had recovered enough to speak weakly...

message 24: by Meenakshi (last edited Jan 13, 2011 12:55AM) (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments I..I am..Ramesh
Santu and Stella listened patiently.
I I..n..n..d-d iia.
I was forcibly to the war zone.They threatened.. to kill me.
Who? said Stella but her question was left unanswered.
I want to go home.I wan..nt to go back to Chann..o

Who is Channo? this time it was Santu's turn to ask.

message 25: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
"Not 'Channo' Santu" said Stella turning around to Santu, "I think I know what he's trying to tell us."

"Are you trying to say Channel Islands?" she asked Ramesh..

Ramesh nodded his head weakly and out of exhaustion fell back asleep. He was soon snoring gently and they decided to leave him alone for a while.

message 26: by Meenakshi (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments ((*))
After Ramesh went to sleep, Santu asked Stella
"What are channel Islands?".Being miles away from civilisation, he had no idea of the war and treachery spread in the world.Before Stella could answer Santu posed another question.
Who is this man?He speaks very differently.Is he from a different world?
Hearing this Stella started laughing.No, he is from India.I can tell you this because he has an Indian name.
He has been forcibly recruited to the war.
"How do you know so much about India?"Santu asked

"because I lived in India for 5 years.People there are generous and kind to each other.Unfortunately they were'nt very kind to me so I had to run away from there."Stella replied.Tears forming in her eyes.

"Why did you run away? Did you commit any crime?"Before Santu could control himself, words came out of his mouth.He was getting more and more curious about this mysterious stranger."

"No, the only crime that I commited was that I was born in England.Now that Civil disobedience has broken out in India.It is dangerous for me to stay there."

This time before Santu could ask anything, Stella picked up her sachet and took out a white coloured box with a red cross on top of it.

Santu's eyes widened with fear.
Don't worry, it is just my medicine box.
She took out some medicines and strted uppliying them on Ramesh's wound.

message 27: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
There was only an hour or so before the place would become completely dark.
Stella had confirmed that there still was fuel left in her plane for her plan to work. She opened up the fuel hatch and positioned a flare gun at its mouth . She then attached a parachute line to the trigger and ran it down back the way they'd come.
She was now approximately a hundred meters away.
Time to see if her plan would work.
She pulled on the parachute line!
Nothing.....time seemed to have frozen....then..BOOOOM!
The descending darkness of late evening was abruptly tossed aside as the exploding plane illuminated the whole place.
The intense heat melted snow around the plane right up the embankment that had formed due to the blockage!
The stream, released from its imprisonment, rushed forward extinguishing the fire in the process!

Santu's awe and horror at the explosion was replaced with a look of relief and almost childlike joy as he say the stream rushing down its normal course...

message 28: by Meenakshi (new)

Meenakshi (mcoolshi) | 55 comments He ran straight towards the stream like a child would run after his father who had stayed away from his father for a long time but instead of hugging his father tightly.He stopped and joined his hands in prayer.He prayed to Ingetayi, his God.Then he took some running water in his hand and raised it towards the sky.He offered it to his Lord.
Although Stella could not understand the ritual at first, she knew that it was a prayer.By the time she understood it, she herself did not know that she was smiling.

Ramesh was recovering speedily.

The trio marched back to the cave where the Paulhoz were sleeping; unaware of the blithesome happenings of the night.

Santu and Stella lied down next to them, grinning at their success.
The next day, they marched off to the heart of Zahiristan.Back to Santu's village.

message 29: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
In the deep of the night, lurking in the shadows, the first drops of water stole their way back into the village in an almost apologetic manner...going

The babble of water flowing through the brook woke up on and all. Their lives were saved!!

message 30: by StoryWeaver (new)

StoryWeaver | 430 comments Mod
It was early morning ..
The first rays of sunlight giving a reddish glow to the lazy sky at the horizon.
Stella and Ramesh didn't wake up as they didn't have to.
They hadn't slept at all.
They both realized something very strange had occurred to the fabric of time.
One from the future, one from the past
Life had thrown them a mystery
They felt peace and joy at last
For life had finally set them free...

The End

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