Short story by Juju’s Pearls
There is thunderstorm, lightening is playing hide and seek with dark grey clouds loaded with rain waiting for a fierce outpour. The winds are blowing crazily to sweep away the heavy clouds. In the middle of a remote village, a tiny lamp is swaying and trying it’s best to keep the flame burning. A young lady, Regina is in labor pain, about to deliver. The local village doctor is trying his best to do the procedure in the hut. There is water everywhere and winds are lashing at high speeds. It seems like a near impossible task. “Where there is a will, there is a way” is a famous saying. Praying to almighty, all three of them pledge for a positive outcome. The doctor and her husband, Richard helps her in pushing. She is nearing exhaustion and almost on the verge of giving up, when her husband gently presses her hand and says, ‘Dear, just one more effort.” The lady closes her eyes and cries out loudly into the wild dark night. Suddenly, there is cry of a baby. Finally, the mission has been accomplished and a baby girl takes birth in the small hut on that dark rainy stormy night in a remote village.
Next morning is bright and sunny. Many of the huts have been blown away by the storm, people are stranded, their cattle have gone missing and everywhere, there is hue and cry. Regina’s husband takes a decision to shift to his uncle’s house in city. He packs up whatever little things they have and set off in their bullock cart towards village. Near the river, the get down to refill their drinking water. As Regina alights from the cart, she hears a whispering sound. It seems as though someone is chanting something. She picks up her daughter and goes in the direction from where sound is coming. Gradually, the chanting becomes louder. She reaches a big tree underneath which a hermit is sitting chanting religious excerpts from books. As he senses her approaching, the hermit opens his eyes wide and commands her to stop in her path. He gets up from his meditation position and walks towards her. He touches her daughter feet and starts crying aloud. Regina is confused and in a state of shock. She asks the reason for such behavior. The hermit calms down and remarks,” All this while, we have been waiting for this pious soul to take birth in human form. She will lead and make this planet a harmonious place to live.”
Regina shrugs and replies, ‘Then why are you crying, oh learned sage?”
Hermit replies, ‘ Because, I won’t be alive till then, to witness this grand moment which will lead to transformation of mankind and will go in history as one of the most memorable era.” With this, the hermit leaves and starts walking towards north east direction.
Richard returns with water to his cart. On finding his cart empty, he starts screaming aloud, walks towards the forest. There he sees his wife walking towards him with their daughter in her arms. The radiance is around his daughter’s head. Their daughter is smiling. Regina shares the prophecy of the hermit and describes her meeting as an exceptional moment. Shrugging his shoulders, Richard takes his daughter and walks towards the cart to continue their onward journey. After two days, they reach his uncle’s house. They promise to keep this prophecy as a secret.
Years pass by, Richard’s hard work and motivation helps in getting a good job. Soon, he starts his own workshop. Life is comfortable and the prophecy is deep buried their minds. Their daughter, Rachael is a bright child who is happy and joyful. She is hard working and has a sharp intelligent quotient. Her warm and caring nature makes her win hearts. She always plays around with everyone. Her understanding of body language of birds and animals leaves everyone dumbstruck. The flying birds rest on her shoulder in a carefree way. The pet animals seem to understand her language. Rachel is everyone’s favorite.
Once, while returning from school, she witnesses a bad road traffic accident. Lot of people gather but none is willing to help the injured people. She rushes to the site and offers help. After lot of motivation, few people come forward to help the injured and take them to hospital for treatment. Her timely intervention leads to saving of lives of injured people. After this incident, Rachael withdraws into her shell. Something inside her transforms. She decides to search the reason for this lack of empathy amongst human beings towards their fellow beings.
Seeing their daughter change in behavior, Regina reminds Richard of the prophecy. The more they try to dissuade their daughter, the more firm she becomes in her resolve. Finally, she decides to leave the house in search of empathy. Her parents are heartbroken as their only child had renounced the world. However, accepting it as a will of God they promise to support her in every possible way. Somehow, they persuade her to stay with them till she finds her new path.
Rachael goes into a silence retreat and starts meditating. She had learnt from her teachers that “All that you seek outside is within us. God has created a masterpiece by the name of human being.” After days of meditating , Rachael attains enlightment. Her aura is so divine that it radiates in all directions. Regina sees an unusual bright light emanating from Rachael’s room. She calls her husband Richard. Together, they move quietly towards their daughter’s room. The door is wide open. Rachael is sitting cross legged in meditative posture and a bright aura is radiating around her head. Suddenly, the hermit’s prophecy flashes in Regina’s mind. Her daughter had attained the supreme level of spirituality. Rachael opens her eyes and smiles on seeing her parents. Her parents bow their heads in front of her. The image they see now of Rachael is no longer of their daughter but that of a learned hermit.
Rachael sets out on her new path of compassion and empathy. Gradually, her followers increase in numbers. After few years she becomes a world renounced spiritual leader with her centers in almost every nook and corner of the world. Her parent’s efforts to give her a normal childhood could not stop her from becoming what was written in her destiny. Her parents move back to their old remote village. Rachael’s organization adopts the village and brings about reforms and changes in terms of building concrete roads, giving good connectivity to city, hospital with world class infrastructure, a school and college etc.
Every year, Rachael returns to her village on her birthday to be with her parents. Regina can see the hermit’s smiling face in the sky giving blessings to her daughter.