Kissaa Kahaani

June 26, 2011

Tej: Introduction Part 1

Yada yada hi dharmasya
Glanir bhavati bharata
Abhyutthanam adharmasya
Tadatmanam srjamy aham

Once in a while either you come across or you hear about a great soul, and they just become a part of history. These souls, due to circumstance, have to side up with what is considered as ‘wrong’ side. Why? Because there are obligations. But their names, the respect for them never gets maligned. They lose their lives but not their fame and goodwill they have earned. They are heroes. So what if the term is not in the conventional sense. And after some time, those heroes come back… after dearth… after destruction… after eons have gone by… These souls have things to complete, aims which remained unfulfilled… These souls never give up their dream of vanquishing evil. One such soul was Tej. Karna fought in Mahabharata for the ‘Villain’ side. But he was untouched by the ‘dirt’ and sleaze. Karna… Tej… Now he was back.

Sun, the source of life, the reason and pillar of existence of whole universe… every morning the sun comes up and erases the darkness. Every night gives way to a new morning and every day brings with it the hope of ‘tomorrow’. Sun rises everyday, it will rise tomorrow and it will rise again for aeons to follow- Sun- the author, the creator, the protector of mother Nature; the cause of life. Death awaits all, haunts all- wise and fool and rich and poor and man and woman. Therefore every morning when Sun rises, it means that you and me are alive and it means that for one more day we have beaten death and survived fatality. And every new life coming on this earth is a proof that whether we remain or succumb to Kaal, we will still be a part of what we leave behind. Who we leave behind. One such life was Tej.

Immaculate conception? Perhaps. He had no father and there was no mother. The merciful stranger took this infant to a nearby ramshackle orphanage. The glow on the infant’s face was intense, his complexion was dark yet he glowed. The warden of the orphanage named him instantly as Tej. He had big, deep, wide-set eyes which were mature beyond one could fathom. The baby face was lit by a tiny smile and his head was crowned with blessed midnight curls. The baby had a strange cloth wrapped around his body- the cloth has a slight metallic look with a golden hue though it was more soft that satin could be. There was pendent in his neck- a crude image of sun craved on a rough metal. The warden took this baby under his wings since his very first day. He became unofficially the Warden’s child. That was 16 years back.

Since Tej’s entry in the Orphanage 16 years back, warden sat in his office- today he was retiring, this was his last day in office- his daughter in New Orléans was suffering from cancer- he needed to take a break and go to her before she dies. Today he will leave Tej and this orphanage. Since morning he did nothing but think about Tej, the child given to him 16 years back. Now he was leaving and he was leaving Tej with huge responsibilities- he bequeathed to Tej his tiny apartment where he lived with partner and a mother figure to this extraordinary child. The only one other than him who knew somewhat that Tej was so different. He child was so unusual and yet so accommodating. Things about him were so unearthly, The cloth he was wrapped in was now stitched, no it was stuck with super glue as a vest. The needles could not pierce the material of that cloth. The clothe was indestructible. And that locket, it seemed- to protect him, to protect Tej. Or may be it was imagination of the warden who was trying desperately to look for an answer but Tej was never hurt, never injured, never bullied, he never fell sick , not even common cold; as if there was shield around him and he scrapped his knee once and only once when Sandhya, his partner took that locket to put a new thread and Tej ran out of the Orphanage and fell. After that incident the warden got a gold chain for that locket- no threads for this extra ordinary child.

And when he lifted his head, the warden saw his muse standing in the doorway looking at him with his intense and mature eyes…

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