“At the end of the day,
What will you choose?
Will you keep moving on,
Or be forced to lose?
Look inside of yourself,
Cause the power’s in you,
There is always hope,
You’re not alone anymore.”
~You’re Not Alone~
Lover’s Point, Imphal, Manipur.
Hriday joined his chubby little hands and looked up to the sky.
“Oh, Suraj ji (The Sun) you do know that a guruji is supposed to come for me, right? Ima told me this. But when? When will he come for me?”
“Well, he didn’t come himself” said a voice, “but he has sent me.”
Hriday turned and saw a man. He was smiling at Hriday and said,
“Hi. I’m Shlok.” Hriday smiled.
While shaking Shlok’s hand he said, “I’m Hriday Atri.”
“I know.” smiled Shlok. “I’ve come here to take you to your guru.”
“Toh…toh t-tum, you’re the one from Ima‘s story?
“I don’t know about Ima‘s story” chuckled Shlok, “but you have to come with me right now.”
Hriday’s face lit up a little more and he said, “So, I’m really one of those seven chosen warriors?”
Shlok smiled again, “That’s what the general idea is.”
“Toh phir we’re gonna save the world!”
“That is what has been said, yes. But let’s see. Before 7 o’clock we have to reach Indraprasth House.” said Shlok, while he held Hriday’s shoulder and they started walking.
“Indraprasth House? Where is that?”
“Haan toh, we have 12 hours in hand right? We can take a flight there.”
“We have to be there by 7, today, in the evening.” Hriday stopped and pushed Shlok’s hand away in confusion.
“What?! It’s just 14 minutes left to 7. And we’re here in Imphal.”
“That’s why I’m saying get along faster. A distance of more than 1400 miles…we’ve got to cover that in 14 minutes.” smiled Shlok.
Hriday was still looking at him in disbelief. Shlok smiled and held Hriday’s shoulder again, and in a fraction of a second, Hriday and Shlok disappeared.
Asmin was fast asleep in a bus.
Suddenly someone hit her gently on the shoulder from behind. She opened her groggy eyes and looked back. She almost shouted in surprise. The guy who had helped her get out of the hospital was right behind her in the bus. But she never saw him following her, or even get onto the bus! How was he even here?!
“Relax, relax! I’m one of your guardians.” he smiled.
His smile made Asmin realize why he looked so familiar. He was that famous singer…what was his name? Shlok…something. Yes! Oh man, she and all her friends always thought he’s really cute. His dimples were to die for! And now, here he was, following her like a creepy stalker. He did help her at the hospital…but then again, could she trust him?
Asmin’s arrogance got the better of her, “And lemme guess, you must be Clark Kent, right?” she rolled her eyes and looked away.
“Kuch aisa hee samajh lo.” he chuckled. He took the bag he had kept by his side and handed it to her. “Here you go.”
It belonged to Asmin. “Where did you get this?”
“On the highway. Near a broken car.”
Asmin, flustered as she was said, “Thanks.” with a visibly nervous smile, and turned her gaze towards the window.
No matter what Varya did to distract her mind, she kept thinking about her father. Whenever she felt lonely and frustrated she went through the Book, and all her repressed emotions came out as tears, and just as always, it started raining.
She sat on her bed and from the bedside drawer she took out her father’s handkerchief. What was she exactly looking for? More clues? Anything that would help her find her father? For some hidden meaning behind the words? Well, she didn’t even completely understand what her father had tried to say, let alone find a hidden meaning. She read it again:
“My dearest Varya, do not tell anyone about what has been written here.
Do not look for me, tell your mother I’m absolutely fine.
Protect The Book Varya, do not let it out of your sight, you will need it’s help,
do not let it fall into the wrong hands.
You have to save the world, you have to solve the prophecy,
you have to fight evil.
With love, Always, Abba.”
“What are you trying to tell me, Abba?” she thought.
Suddenly, she heard footsteps.
“Amma! Is that you?”
There was no answer.
She folded the hanky and pocketed it.
When she came outside her room, she saw the front door was locked and even her mother hadn’t come back home yet. But Varya had clearly heard someone’s footsteps. Suddenly, she felt someone was standing right behind her and when she turned there was a woman there.
“Who are you? How did you get inside?”
“I’m Shunya. I’ve come to take you.”
“Haan when he comes this way na, then we’ll catch him!”
“Are you sure he’ll come this way?’
“Aur kaha jayega? This is where all his belongings are. He will definitely come back here!”
The constables were standing in front of Haryaksh’s slum. They kept showing his photographs to other people in the vicinity, asking them if they had seen Haryaksh.
Haryaksh came towards his slum in an auto, but then he asked the auto wala to stop there as he had seen one of the constables. The constable had seen him too and was coming towards him, his hand ready to catch hold of Haryaksh’s shirt collar. Haryaksh pushed him away, and just as the other constable turned around and realized what was happening, Haryaksh tried to get out of the auto through the other side. It was quite dark and the constable couldn’t see what was happening. When he reached the other side of the auto, Haryaksh was gone!
Little did he know, that a man had teleported right there, caught hold of Haryaksh and teleported him away from there to the safest place there was—Indraprasth House.
“Drish, you go!”
“No, Tish, you go first!”
Drishika and Mastishk had been whispering and arguing over who would go and talk to the others who had been brought there. They were all standing outside the Indraprasth House, but within the boundaries of the old, rusty iron gates.
Only five of them had been brought there so far. Drishika pushed him, so Mastishk went and approached the other three people.
“Uhh…Hi! I guess, we’re the new superheroes here, right?”
One of the two girls— the one with the short hair, looked at him in confusion.
The other girl with long curly hair (Woah! She’s gorgeous! thought Mastishk) just snorted and rolled her eyes.
The other guy, who was a little short and pudgy, came forward, smiled sweetly at all of them and said “Hi!”.
Mastishk put forward his hand towards the short haired girl standing closest to him and said, “I’m Mastishk Kashyap…and this is my sister, Drishika.” “Hi”, said Drishika. “And you are…?”
Varya wondered for a moment whether she should shake hands with him or not. Sure, the guy had high opinions about himself, but that should be no reason to be rude. She took his hand and said, “Varya…Varya Vishvamitra.”
Right in front of their eyes, Shlok appeared there with another guy. The guy held the collar of Shlok’s kurta and said, “What the hell just happened? Who are you?”
“Hello! Listen!” shouted Asmin and ran towards Shlok, “Look! Magician Gogo, or whoever the hell you are, I have no interest in your cheap tricks! It’ll be better if you go your way, and leave me alone. You have no idea who my father is okay!”
“If you care so much about your father then why did you run away from home?” said Shlok.
“T-that is none of your business!”
Shlok held up his hand and stopped her because he received a telepathy from Shunya: “Shlok, I need your help.”
In an instant, Shlok disappeared from there again.
Shlok found Shunya in a disturbed state in her apartment.
“Shlok, we have only 5 minutes left! What do we do?”
“Shunya, there has to be a way! Our mission will be incomplete without the seventh one. The prophecy will be against us. Asatya ki jeet ho jayegi. Evil will win. Look, there’s still time. Concentrate on all the cosmic records. The Bhrigu Shastra has been written from there…you’ll find the seventh one’s name from there, I’m positive! One name can’t just be lost because of a torn page.”
Shunya closed her eyes and concentrated. Her mind took her deep into the part of her brain where she had stored the information she had scanned earlier from the Bhrigu Shastra. Several names and words were moving around her. When she concentrated harder, the one name that her mind had been looking for got highlighted and came before her eyes:
“Ekaant Gautam“, said Shunya.
Ekaant was still walking through the streets of Mumbai.
He had stopped several people on his way for the direction to the address written in the small piece of paper he had retrieved from his locket mandala:
Some of them didn’t know where the place was. Others told him to keep walking straight, because apparently he was in the right direction. But then Indraprasth House seemed to be nowhere nearby.
I really envied all of them. I was jealous. They had been born with the powers that I had worked so hard to possess all throughout my childhood. Such a huge blessing had been given to those, who didn’t even understand their powers. It is said that this universe sees everyone as equals— but that is untrue.
And now, Charak’s first and his weakest warrior was right in front of me.
And I, I couldn’t even believe that this universe could bless me as well.
Ekaant suddenly felt someone tap him on the shoulder. He turned around and saw an old lady. She was short, had her grey hair in a tight bun and wore a saree. He didn’t recognise her. But she was smiling at him.