Saturday, 25 June 2011

TIME WON'T TELL

"So, does it make sense?” asked Trilok, still perplexed. This had been the first fruitful excavation for the forty-something archaeologist.

Prof. Gogoi didn’t seem to hear him. Squatting on damp earth, the hieroglyph expert continued to study the tablet. “Do you have any idea about how old this thing might be?”

“You’re the expert, you tell me.”

The expert doffed his safari hat and beamed at the acknowledgement. “I’m certain this is of Gandolik origin. So, considering the fact that their civilisation was wiped out circa 800 BC...”

“More than 2,800 years ago?” The archaeologist felt his heart thud to the tune of a Euro-trash track.

The professor nodded. He pulled out a brush and used it to gently rid the tablet of earth that had filled the grooves in its inscriptions. For an artefact this old, it was incredibly intact. The image of a naked female form squatting at the edge of a cliff, watching a strange-looking bundle fall, and the angry waves of the sea beneath lashing at the base of the cliff became more prominent.

The professor pulled a dusty diary from his pocket and made a note. Then he pushed it back in.

He carefully picked up one of the earthen platters Trilok had briefed him about earlier. Although it now seemed to be a mere shadow of its original form, it bore signs of something having been burnt on it.

Gogoi wore his hat and stood up. “Let’s see this cliff now, shall we?”

The cliff stood a good 150 feet above the sea below. The lashing of waves was constant. Gogoi knew that the Gandoliks deified nature. He pulled out his diary and made another note. He then nudged Trilok back to the main hall where the tablet and the platters lay.

A few moments later, Trilok broke the silence, “Well?”

“Let’s see now, earthen platters to burn what seems like incense...a tablet depicting a woman making a sacrifice to the sea god...this place seems to have been an altar.”

“An altar?”

“Yep.”

Trilok pondered in silence for a few seconds. Then he spoke up, “There’s an inscription I haven’t told you about yet, Professor. It’s on the wall outside the original doorway leading to this chamber. The entrance was covered by a huge boulder that must’ve come crashing down during the frequent seismic activity in those ages.”

“Where is it?”, the Professor asked, barely able to camouflage an accusatory tone. 

“I’ll take you there, but just be careful. We’re yet to clear the spot of rocks and other loose rubble that we fear might give way any time.”

“No problem.”

Trilok led him to a wall in a corner of the main hall, where a thick tarpaulin sheet hung to prevent stones and rubble from entering the cave. He pulled it aside to let the expert walk through first, and followed him in. The duo crept through a thin crevice in the wall. Having made their way through, they turned around to face the other side of the wall.

Trilok pulled out his torch and ran it over the basalt wall. Inscriptions....

Although worn out, the signs were quite legible. Gogoi grabbed the torch from Trilok to take a better look. It bore Gandolik symbols, as he had expected. The carvings were surely the work of someone who knew his craft well. It didn’t take him much time to decipher the signs.

“Well?” asked an eager Trilok.

“Well mister archaeologist, the image you saw on the tablet inside the hall...that was an illustration of a woman making a sacrifice to the Sea God. A very BIG sacrifice”

“How big?”

“The bundle falling off the cliff...that was an illustration of a newborn child. A firstborn child, perhaps.”

Trilok’s heart beat faster now. “God...so what you’re saying is...”

The professor nodded his head. His tone turned morbid, “The writing's literally on the wall, my friend.” He dug his hands into his pockets. “Trilok...what you have uncovered here is an ancient sacrificial altar!”

FLASHBACK – CIRCA 950 BC

Ranghosa peered down the cliff. The waves kept lashing at its base. There was no way anything that had fallen down would pile up and rot. The platters to burn incense leaves would take care of remnant odours. The carvings on the tablet inside the cave were better than he had anticipated. Everything was perfect. The master sculptor beamed as he visualised the village chieftain showering praises on him for a job well done.

Only one aspect remained.

He walked towards the entrance of the cave to check on his pupil.

“Are you finished Tabri?” he asked his young apprentice. The boy had done a wonderful job so far.

“Yes, Master. Exactly as you had instructed. Take a look.”

Ranghosa picked up a flaming torch and inspected the wall. He couldn't help but notice the beauty of the inscriptions. Each symbol was properly aligned and the dimensions were consistent. Tabri had been as good as the villagers had said he was. The inscriptions reflected the markings of someone who knew his craft quite well. The effort showed. He began to bless his pupil, even before he could finish his inspection.

Tabri saw that the master was pleased. He began dreaming about possibilities...more assignments...recommendations...perhaps an audience with the King...gold coins...land...a mansion....

But suddenly, a loud shriek from his master yanked him back to reality.

Ranghosa’s hands were on his head, his eyes red with rage and his teeth were clenched. He was stomping his feet in disgust. “Holy Goddess of the Berry Shrub!", he yelled, "...young man, is that how you spell TOILET?!?!”

P.S. – Just a thought. Can anyone vouch for all the history that has been passed on to us being 100% accurate?

52 comments:

  1. Heh! Good one. Brought a smile to my face after quite sometime! :D I've actually wondered about these things too.. :D

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  2. almost felt like i was watching a hollywood movie. then came the ending. hilarious!

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  3. Hehe.... popat :-P....... so funny....
    very nicely written :-)

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  4. A mighty interesting take on history there. I'm sure many of us have though about it though nobody chose to project it thus.
    Like wine, you just get better. :)

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  5. Awesome! More than the story, you deserve a huge pat on the back for your style of writing. It is so distinctly different in every post! Kudos to you! SIMPLY awesome. You're one of he VERY few writers who can create a movie like thing in front of my eyes with their writing! :)

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  6. @Crepuscule - Thank you :d

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  7. @Ash D - You think up such stuff too? We should sit down and write a story together :P

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  8. @The Lover - Oh yeah...it was Hollywoodesque alrite...

    Glad you liked it :)

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  9. @Creation - The reliability factor of history has always bugged me. Thanks :)

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  10. @Shirls - Hehe..thanks:)

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  11. theres an almost visual quality to your writing... continue wid d good job!!!

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  12. Very nicely written... Loved the end
    :D (so much like your style wala end)

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  13. @nayana - don't blame me for the visual quality. I've watched a lot of teleVISION this week (you know why) since staring at the ceiling was getting too stressful.

    Thanks for visiting:) You keep blogging (and visiting, of course).

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  14. @Ritika - Thank you jee :d

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  15. Lavita Fernandes27 June 2011 at 11:35

    I cant believe you wrote this..its awesome man!!!! you are so funny..

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  16. Crissy, wow almost after 2 years seeing ur writing and man I loved it. I was actually beginnin to think how intellectual it was but the twist was brilliant.

    Kudos buddy!

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  17. wht a blog !! amazing!! well written :) history is mystery ..itihaas ko kuredne na jao ;)

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  18. roshannnnnn amazing bro

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  19. its awesome christi

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  20. nice twist and fun to read :)

    my blog : http://kranemetal.blogspot.com/

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  21. Good one Christi...like all the oders :-) keep it going!

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  22. Hilarious it was... just when i had decided a certain Mr. Brown's influence, bam... tehre was the flashback!! very good, christopher! really liked it!

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  23. Nice narration! :D ... The end is your trademark! ;)

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  24. @Lavita - You can't believe I wrote this? Aww c'mon... I Swear I did it! :P

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  25. @Tina - Hey, thanks for visiting after so long. :)

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  26. @Adeline - Itihaas shabd se Ajay Devgan ka puraana movie yaad aata hai :P

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  27. @Ms Pillai - Thanks re :)

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  28. @Nalina - Sure will :) Howre u doing?

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  29. @Pooja - Thanks gal :) Glad you read through till the end :P

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  30. @Pearly - Please tell me you weren't expecting it to end that way....Pretty Please!! :P

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  31. haha:D
    I love this story and the end was really nice:)

    Following you btw:)

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  32. Hi CRD... how r u? thanks mate for dropping in... yea I haven't blogged for ages n I was really sad for that :-P
    n this time m amazed seeing the maturity in ur writing... amazing in one word! loved the funny twist at the end... kp bloggin... cheers n inform me of ur next post :-)

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  33. Oh my gosh Chris, I'd forgotten what a lovely storyteller you are! This is a really nice piece. Enjoyed reading a blog after ages!

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  34. Awesomeness! Amazing stuff, brother. :) The ending was mind blowing, a piece of good writing after long. :)

    Way to go! :)

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  35. @Tarunima - Thanks for visiting :) Do drop by again

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  36. @Anunoy aka LittleWriter - Thanks for dropping by bro :) Yea, I guess I've evolved :P

    Adding you on FB

    Cheers

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  37. @WeirdISgooD - Hey thanks Marj. I have other posts too :P You hardly visit nowadays :(

    Cheers

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  38. @Tara - Thank you behna :)

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  39. :D :D I was bracing myself for a very morbid ending! I thought may be the young boy would be sacrificed, and you ended it like this !! Good one:)

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  40. Ooof....Loved how you built up the suspense and made us guffaw at the end!

    Brilliantly scripted.

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  41. @Sudha - Morbid ending eh? Hehehe. Mission Accomplished!! :d

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  42. @Purba - Thanks :)
    A lil upset right now coz of the blasts that rocked Mumbai a few hours back.

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  43. I was completely prepared for a surprise ending, but nothing could've prepared me for this! Loved it! Laughed out loud and everything :D

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  44. @Asha, the Queen of Tampa :P - Thanks Asha. Btw, when's your next post coming?

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  45. Lol nicely written dude ... i even googled GANDOLIK to find out which ancient civilization it was :P ... nothing came up :P ...

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  46. @Rolf - Hehe. Thanks dude. :) I made up those names. Had to google them to make sure they didn't really exist :P

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