Wind was blowing callously and rain was pouring heavily making visibility poor. Amidst this as Thannapa lifted his eyes up to the sky, he saw a scintillating bright light in the darkened sky. Crippling fear gripped him as he saw this light-hole enlarging gradually until a doorway opened giving way to Pegasus. He knew the fateful dark night has come.
Turning towards the main temple, he laboriously dragged his feet which failed to sustain his body weight. Rain poured down heavily as if heaven too was crying. In between these all, Stallion with the still prince on his back stood at par and said loudly, ‘Grandmaster! The fateful day has come.’
‘Stallion, my faithful horse, fly back.’
‘Go back Stallion with your prince. Go back. I can’t do this.’
Thirty-four-years back Mahima, the daughter of Thannapa the high priest, was destined to tie knot with Shravana, son of the chief magician.
Mahima was all the time a free bird and of open thoughts.
No one asked her opinion for her marriage, was suffocating. But she has to obey because in her clan marriages were fixed, by the elders, within the same clan. No one can marry outside the clan. So even though she didn’t want to marry she kept quiet.
Later in the night, she requested her father to permit her friends to attend her marriage. Thannapa loved her daughter a lot. He agreed, provided they didn’t interfere in their customary rituals. Mahima assured with a wide smile and hugged him.
Finally, on that fateful day Mahima and Shravana faced each other in their traditional clan temple to utter their final vows. As customary, Shravana asked Mahima, ‘Are you willing to marry me?’ To which Mahima without reaction shook her head in a no. This was shocking to everyone because in their culture breaking a marriage in this form was unacceptable and considered to bring bad omen.
Thannapa distressed asked Mahima whom she wanted to marry. Opportunistically she pointed towards Bram, her friend.
Bram is the prince of another world high up in the sky. They happened to meet, on one such no moon night, when the portal opened and fell in love.
The problem was that such out of clan marriages were strictly prohibited in the interest of the clan. Further it was believed to bring the most evil omen that completely wipes the other clan.
The whole clan persuaded Mahima but she was adamant. So at last Thannapa gave her to Prince Bram in marriage and bid her adieu with these words, ‘Never turn back and seek help.’
Today you stand here asking me to help. How can I break my promise? No Stallion. No.
You know very well if I raise the prince, my daughter will perish there forever with no solace for her soul for ages.
How can I do this to my dear daughter? No Stallion. No.
‘I completely understand but sometimes there is no happy choice, grandmaster, only one less grievous than the other.’
‘If you don’t save the prince today, whole clan will perish forever. But if you save the prince, you are giving life to two clans at the cost of your daughter’s life.’
Finally Thannapa, in the best interest of all, rose the dead prince.
The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00-6 entry.
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Check out Varsha’s space here: https://artoonsinn.com/author/varsha-madhulika/
Photo by Elijah Hail