Author Topic: The Lost World Of Himalaya  (Read 397 times)

Offline Athela_Perk

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The Lost World Of Himalaya
« on: July 07, 2021, 12:26:36 PM »
“Sir?” A voice pierced through Professor Avik Basu’s reverie. A dreamer by nature, he had sometimes trouble focusing for a long time.
Despite that, fantasizing during work was a habit young Professor Basu always avoided.
“Um, professor,” asked a student, “how can we confirm a mythological place exists in reality?”
‘History in myth’ was today’s lecture. Lost in thoughts while gazing outside, the voice startled him. Shifting his eyes into the classroom, Avik took a moment to himself.
“Unless we have firm evidence, we cannot conclude, Rohit. We could not gather evidence of Atlantis other than Plato’s narrative, which Plato wrote based on a myth. Thereafter, one can conclude Atlantis is a myth, no matter what the rumour says. Now we will study the excavation in Dwarka. Look at the screen, everyone.”
He gestured to the digital board, where the pictures of ancient town ruins were flashing. His dark brown pupils were moving around the classroom, inspecting every student. Everyone was sitting straight, eyes stuck on the digital board. A smile was playing upon her lips. Satisfied with his students, he continued walking through the gallery while lecturing.
“Deccan College and later Archaeological Survey conducted this excavation in Gujrat under SR. Rao in the 1970s.”
The sound of scribbling was vibrating the dusty smelled classroom. Delicate sun rays were slipping through the smooth classroom walls.
“Those chunks are pieces of the fort walls. And these seals with animals are the same as today’s identity card. Carbon dating confirmed those ruins were from 3500 B.C.E. Large stone anchors suggest large ships used to anchor there. The town builders retrieved the land from the sea.”
Avik was stroking his trimmed black hair, finding it hard to focus.
“Other findings are copper coins, terracotta beads, the base of a flag post. The town, which might be the western gateway, sunk into the Arabian Sea.”
Failed to focus longer, Avik broke eye contact with students. Sweat was dripping from his dusky skin. It is unusual for him to shorten the lecture for mere lack of concentration. But his entire mind became foggy for an unknown reason. After collecting his belongings, he left the classroom.
“Hey, is everything all right? You look as pale as a ghost,” asked Professor Vivek Sen.
Professor Sen was the head of the Archaeology Department of Calcutta University.
Besides that, he was Avik’s mentor. Avik was the most junior faculty, who joined last year. He was a junior research fellow and an expert on mythography.
“Huh? Oh, yes, professor, I am fine.” Avik sat in a corner in the department, flipping through a document while playing with his pen.
“You know, I have a postgraduate degree in five different subjects. One of them is psychology. So, do not lie to me, fellow.”
Avik sighed. It was foolish of him to mislead his mentor.
“Sir, I feel like something is pressuring my soul.” His trembling lips made his voice incoherent.
“Take some water and try to relax your nerves. I advised you not to live alone and shift to the University dormitory.”
Vivek Sen took a deep breath. He had known his 25-year-old brilliant student for 8 years. The ‘odd one’ among his peers, Avik never fit in his friend circle. Unlike other children of his age, he was not fond of socialising. The subjects that attracted him most were mythology and tantra. That is why he studied such an unusual topic.
He asked, “Is there any specific issue that keeps you worried?”
Avik’s cheeks flushed. “Well, sir, I cannot figure it out, maybe for my dreamy nature. Everyone has addressed my problem as the rich man’s disease.”
“Well, I may have a cure for your dreaminess. Now, sir, please listen to me for once and come with me tonight. I promise you will not regret it.”
Avik tried to protest, but soon realize it would be fruitless. Professor Sen already moved his documents to the archives and called his driver.
He was tugging Avik. “Hold your thoughts for tonight and move. Or do you want me to drag you?
Avik got up, as he knew his mentor could do that if required.
Two professors were having their tea in peace after dinner. After returning, professor Sen showed him the guest room and excused himself. He came back after one hour and invited Avik for dinner. Professor Sen owned a 2bhk flat in New Town. He was unmarried and did not get any visitors apart from his colleagues. Sen devoted his 50 springs to researching Philology.
Avik tried to come up with a topic to start a chat. “So, uh, professor, what do you want to discuss?”
Sen finished his last bit of tea, then replied, “Your problem, of course. I have known you since your college days. And if I am not wrong about my analysis, then you faced this problem since childhood. Did you get any medical help?”
“I did not think I need any. But my problem has grown since childhood. I often feel so restless that I could not even sleep.”
“Do you recall any upsetting event? How was your childhood?”
“My childhood was like other children. We are a small family of three people. My family lives in Darjeeling. For my introverted nature sometimes, other children bullied me. But I kept them in line. And you already know about my college and university life.”
Professor Sen did not reply. Avik did not disturb his thoughts. After a while, he spoke. “As far as I understand, you need a permanent remedy. The reason for your anxiety is nothing but boredom.”
Avik sat straight in his chair. Sen continued, “Your behaviour is common for the intuitive folks. You cannot focus for long as you seek to change. And professing is a stagnant job, is not it? But you should try to concentrate with no stimulation. If you agree I have a proposal for you. You will not tell a thing outside. I repeat Avik you will not utter a single word. Otherwise, you and I both will risk our necks.”
“Sir, I uh-tell nobody,” Avik mumbled, dumbfounded by Sen’s words.
“Remember your promise Avik.” Sen handed him an envelope.
The envelope was lavender coloured with a red Horus eye crest. Avik opened the envelope and found a parchment paper. He turned both sides of the paper but it was blank. A smile flickered on the lips of Vivek Sen.
Avik could tell that Sen was testing him. He was holding a letter and nothing else. He lifted a lighter from the table and kept the paper above the fire. His intuition was right. The writer used invisible ink to write the letter.
“A safety measure,” Sen told.
Avik concentrated on the contents of the letter.
“Dear Professor Avik Basu,
         It is our pleasure to inform you that you are eligible for joining Horus Eye.
Horus Eye is a society aimed to put a stop to unspotted illegal scientific activities.
Our members are all intellectuals and a few government officials.
Our roots date back to the early 20th century, founded by a group of Oxford professors. Please contact our regional head if we interest you and destroy the letter after reading.”
Avik put the letter and the envelope on fire. Then he asked, “How are you related to this?”
“I am the regional head of Horus Eye,” Sen replied.
Avik could not believe his ears. The man he had known for ages was a member of a secret society. And now he was trying to recruit him, too.
“Sir, can you clarify things further? I cannot make any head or tell.”
Professor Sen took a deep breath. “I did not want to rush you, either. As a member since the starting of my career, I have completed many missions while using my research as a cover. I cannot reveal the name of my recruiter. Now I am finding a legacy.”
“Why me?” asked Avik.
Sen replied, “We do not have any other member in the east region apart from me. And we need one member urgently for a mission in Uttarakhand. You are reliable and smart. And you have a knack for problem-solving, which is most important. But I remind you this mission is dangerous and you must finish it in discreet.”
“Why so much secrecy?”
“We do not want to scare anybody, as those scientific activities are hazardous. Also, powerful people funded those experiments. And who wants to make them their enemies. We only inform the government because it will be illegal if we do not. That is why there are government officials among the members.”
“Well, uh, sir, I need more time,” said Avik.
“Take as much time as you want. After deciding I will tell you about the mission.”
He got up and moved to the kitchen cabinets. Sen took something out from the fridge. Avik tried to take a glimpse. It looked he was grinding herbs in a mortar. After emptying the content into a glass and poured warm milk. He placed the glass on the table.
“Drink it, boy, and go straight to sleep. We will talk tomorrow.”
“What is it?” Avik was sniffing the strange ingredients of the glass.
“Not poison at least. It is a mixture of lavender, chamomile, and other herbs for calming the nerves. I have collected them myself from the Himalayan valley.”
Avik drank the whole thing in one gulp. It was not bitter but sweet. A soothing coldness ran through his veins.

Offline jt72

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Re: The Lost World Of Himalaya
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2021, 02:17:35 PM »
Besides a few errors in word use [see below] it is a good opening for a great story. Welcome to MWC. And thank you for sharing your writing.  jt

He gestured to the digital board, where the pictures of ancient town ruins were flashing. His dark brown pupils were moving around the classroom, inspecting every student. Everyone was sitting straight, eyes stuck on the digital board. A smile was playing upon her lips. Satisfied with his students, he continued walking through the gallery while lecturing.
"her" should be changed to "his", if I'm reading it right.
Interesting the way the internet really works.   jt jt