Dreams of a new age

It had been years since anyone had mentioned the prophecy. Why, Mila thought it must have been decades. After all, all had waited for it to come true and slowly, over time, people had lost faith in it. Initially, there had been great talks and council meetings about it, how it would come to be and how they would handle it all. However, none had been able to plan for it, it had been so vague. Sharmila only knew of it because her grandmother had talked of it in her later years.

Granted, her grandmother had lost her sense of past and present but she had not been wrong in her words. The prophecy was correctly told and Sharmila had wondered about for quite a few months afterwards. Of course, being a teenage, she had had other interests. Like her books of academic nature and her friends and her job at the tailor’s. Still, those words came back to her as she looked in astonishment at the young girl who asked of it.

The young girl, Padma, had come to her and asked of it. Apparently, she had read somewhere about it but it had been in fragments and she wanted to know more of it. Sharmila was a historian and working at the local museum. Their village museum was not much, there hadn’t been enough left after the chaos of her grandmother’s time but there were still notable things in it. Sharmila’s eyes, a warm brown, were wide with surprise and an almost gasp left her lungs.

“Why do you want to know about it, my dear?” she asked, her hands still on the books she had been carrying towards the library. The young girls almost danced on her toes as she answered. Her voice, sure and low, “Well, I just wanted to know? I mean, why doesn’t anybody talk about it now? Has it come to pass? If it has, how come there’s nothing written about it? I just…I just wanna know more, you know?”

An unbidden smile came to Sharmila’s lips. It seemed Padma had just as much of a curious mind as she herself had when she was Padma’s age. So, she just inclined her head and spoke, “Well, to be honest, it didn’t come to pass and that’s why people stopped talking about it, you see? They have lost faith in the words, even the words of the great seer Geetanjali can fade with time if not given enough attention, I should think.” And it was true, wasn’t it? Words, on their own, generally did not carry any weight but who spoke them mattered a lot. And so, the prophecy had been given such an importance.

She moved towards the library, asking Padma to follow her. To find texts about it was going to be hard, not because they weren’t available but because their condition wasn’t…ideal. The anger and grief over the prophecy had led to some people losing their tempers. Still, she knew there were a few scrolls that could be studied even now. They were carefully preserved and belonged to the elite families of the village. Not that there were many, mind. She put the library books in their place and led the girl towards the section of the scrolls.

Sighing at the state of it, she motioned for Padma to enter. “This is where some of the older scrolls are kept. I have tried to have some order in the chaos but it might take a while to find them again. Just wait here, please.” So saying, Sharmila got to work. She quickly discarded the first few shelves. They held histories of the latest decades and weren’t much use to her at the moment. As she slowly went through the scrolls, she heard the girl moving about. Looking back, she saw that Padma wasn’t a patient girl, at least, not for long. The girl had already started to look at the other side of the section. Her curiosity getting ahead of her.

Sharmila huffed and told the girl to be careful in handling of those things. Padma looked at her guiltily and almost backed out of the section but then she grinned and nodded. After searching for almost ten minutes, Sharmila found the scrolls. These belonged to one of the head families, the Joshi family. It was in a good condition but the age was starting to be obvious. Shaking out the dust, she unfurled the scroll. Reading it, she was taken back to those months when her grandmother used to mutter about it almost constantly.

This is the record of the family of Joshi, kept in accordance with the village rituals. 

The great seer, Geetanjali, had foretold of this: 

“A king shall come on the back of a flying horse, 

those will the years of peace and plenty, 

glowing and kind shall be the queen, 

and the land shall have harmony.

For almost seven decades, the peace shall last.

A amity like no other the land has seen.

The land shall finally find fellowship.”

There were other words written, the family scribes notes on the whole matter. The words were encouraging at first and then, despair was rather obvious. She shook off the thoughts that tried to crowd around her mind and called out to Padma.

The girl, with her body still growing, came bounding over and almost stumbled into the shelves. Mila hissed as she helped the girl regain her balance. ‘Honestly, was I as bad as this?’ she wondered. Settling the scroll on the desk nearby, she gestured for the younger girl to look at it. The girl did just that, her hair bound in a braid almost touching the scroll as she leaned over it on her tippy toes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Author’s note : This is my first real attempt at writing fiction. I hope it’s not too disappointing and riddled with errors. Any constructive criticism is welcome. After all, I have leagues to go when it comes to writing. Do tell if you want more of this. Also, are there any more tags that I should use? I would really appreciate the help!

 

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