Miya Jellaluddin and the Lost Child – Part One

“What comes will go. What is found, will be lost again but what you are, is beyond coming and going and beyond description”

Rumi

His chaupaal was busy; kids chasing sprightly chickens, dogs sunbathing peacefully and Miya relishing his sugarless tea while sitting on his squeaky chair. The dreadful civil war in Birsa had just ended a month ago and life began to crawl slowly to the routine.

‘So what was life like in your childhood?’ asked a seemingly disoriented man

Miya looked at the young sky and smiled.

‘My childhood was fun yet complicated. We discovered new things every day.  It was like digging a grave and finding something exceptional each time’

Puzzled, the man probed further, ‘Digging a grave? What does that mean?’

‘Yes, I was a curious child and wanted to learn everything quickly. We did not have much time to get ourselves educated for years. Everything happened at a quick pace’

‘But I always imagined your era to be extremely slow and regressive’, the man laughed.

‘My Era’, Miya smirked, ‘is yet to come’

‘What do you mean?’

‘We always believed in looking at the future. The past was just a reminder of an era that destroyed everything it created. Our people were protective of their tribes and did not want us to take the road back into the Dark Age. It was forbidden.

We did not have schools. And that spared us the history; none of us were curious about it anyway. Dead people were past and we did not bury them. We set them sailing into the ocean with all due respect. Our rules prohibited digging earth for some reason; no questions asked. Sometimes, I would stumble upon something unique in the forest and surrender it to our tribal head. He would examine it and just make it disappear. Not actually disappear, but nobody knew where he’d keep it.

We only had a handful of things to eat. It was said that the past era enjoyed ultimate bounties of nature and had a million things to eat. They did not leave us with much though. We relied on wild animal meat and a few pulses that our tribe grew. Water was scarce and polluted. The poison in oceans would consume the corpses we would sail. Rains were a rare phenomenon.

One day, a few hunters from the tribe found a little child near the ocean. The child appeared bruised and frail. They went back to the tribe leader whilst contemplating leaving the child at nature’s mercy. Much to their surprise, the child crawled all the way and reached the village. People were shocked and terrified at the same time. The tribe decided to surrender the child to the ocean considering its demonic act.

‘I will be responsible for this child from today. You found the child near the ocean. It’s clear that the ocean does not need it. Maybe we do.’ one man gathered the courage to speak up.

‘We found this child near Soloma. It is not very auspicious’, they retorted in despair.

‘Regardless, we should show some mercy. Remember, we do not belong to the Dark Age’, the man retaliated.

Soloma was an opening of a cave that spread through and into the deep ocean. When looked from the opening, you could see dark blue water gushing into its arterial walls. There was certainly an end or another opening to the cave but nobody knew. They did not have the courage to explore it deep down. It was a mysterious place but I always found it beautiful and intriguing.

Without further deliberation, the man was allowed to keep the child. They thought that was the first time the poisonous ocean brought life back.

Years passed. The man died. The child was now a strong boy who spoke vaguely about the future.

He spoke of things unheard. He spoke of metal and death. He spoke of incurable diseases. He spoke of supreme beings trying to control the world, a conspiracy designed to kill immortals, and a solution to bring chaos and anarchy to regain power. He spoke of a bleeding world and a new race emerging from desolation; a race that brings an end to everything. But he also spoke about a saint who saw the future and a glimpse of hope in it.  He said that this saint lived somewhere in the middle of the world and middle of millennia.

The future, as they thought, wasn’t pleasant. The tribe believed that with all the hidden mysteries, they could prevent an uncertain and untoward future. Life, as it had always been, beyond their understanding and no one bothered to question it.

The boy began to live with the tribe, perhaps, as a cursed species. He slept in a horse’s stable for years and filled his stomach scavenging for leftovers. The tribe, eventually, began to pity his failing health and decided to adopt him. They realized that his only curse was his origin which wouldn’t categorically extinguish the human out of him. He was just like anybody in the tribe.

He grew along with the tribe, learned to hunt and feed the people. He was strong and had really unusual tactics to find prey. They ascribed his abilities to his unknown roots and happily offered to make him their son in law. But…’

Miya Jellaluddin, began looking at the sky. Tears flowed and his hands shivered.

‘What’s the matter Miya?’ the puzzled man asked. ‘What happens next?’

‘That’s it for today dear. I need to get some rest for now’, Miya explained.

‘Let me help you get inside. It’s getting cold’ the man volunteered.

‘Nobody is welcome in Miya’s little hut. That, I keep to myself’, Miya smiled and entered his little hut.

Life is mysterious and it is that little string of belief that binds all of us together. Miya was one end of that string. He knew it. He couldn’t explain it, for today’s man, it would be divine and he didn’t want to be put on a pedestal of divinity and its misfortunes.

He sat there on the ground and smiled.

Take me there now. To the life beyond. To meet The Lost Child.

Rejoiced. Miya dived into the gushing water beneath his feet!

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