An Indian's Tale

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Vintage Publishing

Submitted: November 20, 2017

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Submitted: November 20, 2017

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AN INDIAN’S TALE  Pt 1

 

Kunals home is just out side of the Kanha National Park he is husband to Varsha and father to Isha and Ankit Kunak is a traditional indian and for him family is everything. Kunal worked in an office as a clerk although he liked his job he did not earn a great deal and he struggled to provide for his family.Kunal’s family was of the lower classes and although Kunal wanted his wife to stay home she had no choice but go out to work in the fields. Varsha was a good wife she never complained and was always willing to contribute but she always longed for her family to rise up into the higher classes if only so her children could grow and have a better quality of life than she herself did.Her days in the fields were long and back breaking and their was always the danger of being bitten by one of the venomous snakes that slithered through the under growth of the tea bushes.In the three years she worked in the fields she had seen many bitten and because of the lack of decent health care many of the victims either lost limbs or never fully regained the use of there hands making them unable to return to work. Varsha new it was only a matter of time until she herself was bitten making life even harder for her family than it already was. Kunals son Ankit was s smart boy and Kunal knew he wanted to sent his son to medical school but because of the cost he also knew he would only be able to afford to send one of his children to collage.Kunal was a traditionalist and for him their was no question it would be his son that was sent off to university leaving Isha at home to follow in the foot steps of her poor mother. Hearing her father had made the choice to send Ankit to university to better himself and not her left her feeling rejected and unloved for days Isha kept to herself until one day she left the family home and set off into Kanha National Park she was walking for hours when she  realised she was lost she turned around to try and retrace her steps but she couldn’t and was faced with the realisation she would have to stay alone through the night in a place wild tigers roamed free.Her father had always told her to never go into the park alone until now she had always listened but recently she felt unloved and never really thought of the danger before heading off into the park. Knowing she would not make it home before night fall she thought it best to find a place to sleep she decided to climb a tree thinking if she was off the ground nothing could come across her late into the night looking around she found a tree she could easily climb and made her way up as high as she could safety go. She wedged herself in between two thick branches when she was sure she could fall a sleep without falling from the tree she closed her eyes hoping when she opened them again it would be morning.

 

 

Sometime during the night she was woken up by a sound beneath her in the bushes she instantly held on tight and hoped what ever it was would pass on by without realising she was their. But as she began to think what ever it was had disappeared she suddenly heard a noise behind her at first she was to afraid to look but knowing what ever it was was still their she slowly turned her head to find herself faced with the largest tiger she had ever seen. Isha remembered the stories her father had told her and her brother and knew her short life was about to end. As Isha sat staring at the beauty of the animal before her she wondered why the beast hadn't already attacked her if the stories her father told her were true she should already be dead. But the tiger just lay on the branch licking itself as it raised its paw Isha noticed a large thorn sticking out the back of the tigers paw knowing it must be hurting Isha took a leap of faith and slowly moved forward until she was within reaching distance as she reached out her hand she noticed the tigers lips pull back she was very nervous but wanting to help she continued until she had the thorn in hand.Pulling the thorn free the tiger quickly pulled back its paw then licked where the thorn had been. When it was finished it laid down its head looking up at Isha feeling tired Isha slid back against the trunk of the tree and tried to sleep she thought if the tiger was going to attack her it would have done by now so feeling safe she fell asleep until day break broke through the tree tops waking her. As she opened her eyes the tiger was already gone feeling sad that she had missed it, she slowly climbed down from the tree to try and make her way home she headed off in the direction she believed would take her home but soon realised she was in real trouble, she hadn't eaten or drank anything in over a day and was already feeling the effects of being dehydrated. As the hours passed and the heat of the day grew she started feeling dizzy and before she knew it she passed out, when she opened her eyes she had no idea how much time had passed but as she lifted her head to look around she realised she was no longer where she was. Feeling completely confused she noticed she was next to a small river as she spun around to her amazement their laying across from her was the same tiger she helped the night before after passing out the tiger must have dragged her to the edge of the river then stay to watch over her until she woke up. Once she accepted what had happened she went to the river to wash her self down and drink it was running water so she had no reason to think the water would be dirty in any way. After freshening up she walked over and sat down next to the tiger after helping each other Isha was no longer scared to be around who she chose to call Siya sitting next to such a large animal made her feel small but she also felt safe knowing Siya was their to keep her safe. By this time Isha knew her parents would be going frantic and would have organised a search party to find her if they did find her and they saw Siya she was afraid the people from the village would think the worse and try to kill Siya. Feeling foolish Isha asked Siya if she knew the direction of her village not expecting her to reply she picked a direction herself and began to walk she didn’t get far when she felt the side of Siya push against her legs she looked down at Siya and asked what she was doing Siya stopped walking and looked in the direction she tried nudging Isha seeing this Isha knew what she was trying to say she changed direction and began to walk in that direction. After walking for hours Isha began to recognise her surroundings she stopped and thanked Siya she told her she should make her way back into the park because if the people saw her they would panic and try to hurt her. Siya stepped toward Isha and pushed her large head into Isha’s body Isha could here a loud sound coming from Siya Isha new she was saying her goodbyes and felt sad they wouldn't see each other again for some time.Isha watched her new friend walk away and carried on walking in the direction of her village once she reached the boundary of the park she began to worry what her father was going to say about her being gone so long. An hour later she arrived home walking through the door of her home she was faced with Kunal at first he looked angry but after looking at his daughter he put his arms around Isha and hugged her for a very long time. He asked her why she ran away at first Isha was reluctant to say but after a while she told her father she knew he chose Ankit over her and it made her feel like she wasn’t loved she told Kunal she also wanted to leave the village and improve herself he was ashamed when he heard his daughter tell him this he had always focused on his son never thinking his daughter would want to leave. He was old fashioned and always thought Isha would marry like her mother before her and have a family too. Now knowing how Isha felt Kunal was left with an impossible problem he knew he couldn’t afford to send both his children to university he would either have to find a better paid job or face the fact he would be letting Isha down.Over the next couple of months life carried on as normal Kunal applied for several new jobs in the hope he would be successful with one of them Isha spent a lot of time thinking about Siya the encounter with the tiger made her seriously think about her future all the stories she heard growing up made all tigers out to be killers but if that was true why wasn’t she dead after meeting Siya.She always known she wanted to better herself and leave the village but she never actually had a career in mind unlike her brother who always wanted to be a doctor Isha decided she wanted to train and work in animal conservation she new the Kanha National Park ran a training program not only to keep an eye on tiger population but also to keep an eye on other animal species too. After giving it a lot of thought she decided to talk to her father not only about her career choice but what had happened when she got lost in the park hopefully Kunal would believe her and agree to what she was saying. Isha knew if her father agreed it would lift the burden off his shoulders of finding another job the next day after work she went to see her father sitting him down she told him what had happened in the park when she ran away she told him about her encounter with Siya at first Kunal was really shocked but Isha told him Siya did nothing to hurt her infact after passing out Siya dragged her to the river and watched over her until she woke up then she showed her the way home before returning back to the park Kunal didn’t no weather to believe his daughter. His whole life he had been told tigers were deadly and would kill you on sight but Isha wasn’t in the habit of lying so although it seemed far fetched he chose to believe his daughter. Siya told Kumal she wanted to apply to the Kanha National Park as an apprentice if she was successful it would lift the burden off his shoulders she would also end up with a better life than if she worked in the fields like her mother and she would be doing something that actually inspired her hearing the enthusiasm in his daughters voice he knew he had to agree he may have been a traditionalist but it wasn’t fare to make his children live by the old ways so he hugged his daughter and agreed to her proposal.Over the next few weeks Isha walked around like she was on cloud nine knowing she would be doing something for years to come that made her feel happy inside made life seem better some how. It was almost time for her brother to head off to university they had never been the best of friends but the closer it came to him leaving the more she realised she would miss him she decided to spend what little saving she had and buy him a leaving gift she caught a ride to town and walked around until she found something she could afford finally she came across a really nice pen set it came with free engraving so she asked for the words Doctor Ankit to be engraved on it once it was done they gift rapped it for her and she made her way back home.Not wanting their to be a mushy moment between her and Ankit when the morning came for him to leave she slipped the gift into his bag knowing he would find it when he unpacked she simply gave him a hug told him to keep in touch and left leaving her parents to smother him with hugs before seeing him to his taxi. A few days later Isha received a letter from the Kanha National Park it was inviting her for an interview if she was successful not only would she be learning all about tigers and any other animal that lived within the boundaries of the park she would be able to help at home it wouldn't pay much but she was happy to contribute to take some of the burden off her mother who had been finding it hard working in the fields. For the past month each time Varsha returned home from work she was quieter than usual Kanha thought it was because Varsha was working to hard in the fields the more baskets you fill of tea per day the more you got paid but that wasn’t the problem Varsha’s supervisor was showing her unwanted attention and she could not say anything because he would deny it and it would probably end up with Varsha losing her job. She also knew Kanha would take it personally he may have only been a simple clerk but if he found out someone else put his hands on his wife he would defiantly take it to heart and do something about it and Varsha did not want him getting in trouble with the police. Isha new her mother and new if she pushed she might open up and tell her what was really going on she waited until the next day and approached Varsha after asking her why she kept coming home looking upset Varsha started to cry she told Isha what was happening with her supervisor and it was awful going to work each day knowing what was going to happen she made Isha promise not to tell her father Isha didn’t feel comfortable keeping secrets from Kanha but as it was her mother asking she felt she had to keep quiet. The day of Isha’s interview finally came she was so nervous but once she was being interviewed she couldn’t stop talking she went on and on about the tigers and how she wanted to learn about the other animals the park had to offer.She answered all their questions and finally the interview was over she was thanked for attending and was told she would here from them in a week weather she was successful or not she thanked them and left to make her way home. On the journey home she couldn’t stop thinking about her mothers situation she told herself if she was successful and began to work in the park she would be able to tell her mother to give up her job and look for something more suitable in the mean time she could help support them. Over the next week Isha couldn’t stop thinking about Siya she decided to go back into the park but only as far as  she had said goodbye to Siya the first time. This time she entered the park with supplies although she only intended to be there the day she didn’t no what would happen she she bought plenty of water food and a warm blanket in case she ended up staying into the night before leaving she told her father where she was going he was unsure about her going alone but Isha told him if she was going to work with animals she needed to learn for herself how to act around them. She finally arrived at the place she said goodbye to Siya she was a little worried a different tiger would appear but that was a chance she was willing to take she sat for hours with no sign of anything suddenly she saw lots of birds fly up out of the under growth she new for them to do that their must been something larger stalking them she suddenly felt like she was the one being stalked if it was a tiger she new you should never turn your back on them so she pushed herself back against the trunk of a tree and just sat shaking. As she looked around she saw the branches of a bush move then out of the blue a tiger jumped out bearing its teeth it quickly moved toward her just as it leaped at her another tiger came from the opposite direction it knocked the first to the ground it roared and thrashed its front paws at the tiger that tried to attack. Isha was so scared both tigers stood face to face bearing there teeth at each other then the first tiger lowered its head and slowly backed off it turned and disappeared into the forest. As the second tiger turned to face Isha she realised it was Siya she was still scared but again Siya had saved her life she stood up walked over to Siya putting her arms around her thick neck she thanked Siya and for a time they both sat on the ground leaning against each other Isha couldn’t no why Siya kept saving her but she was so happy she chose to trust her.

 

 

As it was getting late and she had already told her father she may not be back until the following day she decided to settle in the forest for the night she took out what food she had and split it she through some across to Siya at first Siya looked away from it  but after seeing Isha eat Siya took it into her mouth and swallowed it. As it began to get dark Isha took out her blanket and settled down against Siya’s stomach she covered herself and tried to sleep the rhythm of Siya’s breathing was soothing and it wasn’t long before Isha was sleeping sound. Considering she slept on the forest floor Isha woke in the morning feeling refreshed Siya was still laying next to her and Isha looked forward to spending a good part of the day with Siya. After getting up they walked through the forest side by side it was already getting hot and Siya began to pant Isha could here running water ahead once they arrived at a small river Siya walked straight into the shallows and submerged herself instantly she had a look of satisfaction on her face as she felt the coolness of the water across her body. Isha sat on a large rock just watching Siya she couldn’t believe how lucky she was being able to share time with a tiger like this if she was lucky enough to get the job in the national park she would have to make a decision on weather to share with the people she worked with about her relationship with Siya on one hand she would like to tell them but on the other hand she was worried they would laugh at her and not take her seriously. Sadly it was time to return home and once again say her goodbyes to Siya like before Siya walked back with Isha until she was safely within walking distance of her home Siya rubbed her head against Isha turned and walked away as Isha saw her disappear into the forest she wasn’t sad like before because she knew weather she got her job or not she would defiantly see her friend again.

 

 

By Bunzy 20/11/17


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