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The River of Satbita




Long long ago, when the world was still in the Dark Age, without computers and cell—phones, there was a big village called Satbita that was close to a mighty river. The village had been a dream of seven masters, who had each headed a small settlement. The seven masters were called after their clan name. As the population of the village grew, it fused into one large village. But the river god didn’t like the villagers dirtying it. So, every year during the monsoon, the river would creep stealthily and destroy the huts of the villagers, and take away the cattle. Sometimes it would get very dangerous and many lives would be lost.
The seven masters wanted to do something to save their people. Their village wouldn’t prosper if every year the river would destroy their crops and livestock. And maybe if it was too dangerous, people would make an exodus and seek an alternate settlement.
So, the seven masters held a counsel and asked each other what would be the best way to tame the river. The river god was very hard to please.
One of them mentioned a human sacrifice was inevitable.
 “But”, said another, “the river takes away many human lives every year. How can we believe that a human sacrifice would help?”
“It is the blood that has to be dipped into the river with intention,” replied the oldest master.
“It is no use. We must build an embankment, to keep the water away from our village.” Said the youngest master.
“But I know a method for sure that will be of help for a very, very long time.  Otherwise we build an embankment each year and it gets destroyed by the river,” the oldest master said dreamily.
“Okay, say your plan,” said the master seated next to him.
“We have to make a human sacrifice. And what do you think will it do? It will be a long term agreement. Forty years of riddance of this river. It won’t ever come near our village for forty years. That is the truce.”
“Ha! What if we are duped! These nonsense theories might cost an innocent man’s life,” said the young master.
“You will see it. You may doubt it but I am giving you my word, I will give up my life if the sacrifice doesn’t work.”
They whispered, some agreeing some disagreeing. Who would be the sacrificial goat?
There was a young widow with her son in the youngest master’s clan. That would be an easy goat. They could sacrifice the widow’s son. The poor widow would be left all alone. But then, one life would save many others. The sacrifice would save many and would be remembered, for a long time. Somebody would have to coax up the widow to give up her son.
The widow would have to be persuaded. She wouldn’t agree. No mother would! She would rather die, than give up her son to be butchered.
The young master was thoughtful. He finally said, “If I were married and I had a son, I would have given him up to save the lives of many. See, the soldiers who go to battlefield. They give their lives so that the rest could live in peace! The widow won’t agree. So I have thought of a master strategy where I can kill two birds with one stone.”
He proposed to the widow if she would be his wife. She considered her decision. The village elders made her agree. So she got married to the young master. On the wedding night, it was planned. She was making love to the young master, while her son was taken to the river.
The elder masters made a ring, and chanted verses to the river god. There suddenly appeared a whirlpool close to them in the river.
“Here we are offering you a child. Accept this offering of ours.” It was dark night with stars shining brightly. They could make the faint outline of the huts in the distance.
And then, they made the child lie by the banks of the river. With a stroke of sword, they beheaded the boy, and his head fell into the whirlpool. The neck was oozing blood, they carefully placed the body in the whirlpool. The body floated, and it was considered an ominous sign. The river god wasn’t accepting the offering. The old man chanted his verses louder, and pleaded to the deity. After a while the body of the boy disappeared into the whirlpool. The old master wiped the sweat on his brow with his turban. He sighed with relief.
“The river god has accepted our offering. It won’t trouble us anymore for about forty years.”
The body and the head was gone. The river god had tasted flesh and blood. Now they all turned to go.
“Do not look back, no matter what.” The old master said.
 As they walked away, they could hear splashes in the water. One curious master, couldn’t restrain himself to see what the splash was about. As he turned, he saw thousands of very tiny men about 4 inches appear on the bank of the river. They each had pick-axe sort of things in their hand. And then, they all began to work on the banks and started digging the mud of the bank and piling it. There were thousands of those strange little men on the other side of the bank too.
He had seen enough and quickly turned his face and walked on with others. He had a gut feeling, maybe he was doomed for looking back. His face was deathly pale.
Next day the master woke up with very high fever.
The good news was that the river had changed its course. Everyone from the village came out to see the miracle that the river had shifted from the village overnight. Nobody (apart from the masters) could specifically how it had happened. Our young master, however didn’t recover. Before he thought death would overcome him, he asked to see the widow.
The people gathered around him. But before the widow could come he was dead. When the widow arrived, she was astonished to see him dead. She told them he had just met her a while ago, and said he was going towards the river.  And she told that he had told her about her child.
The villagers wouldn’t believe her. He had been lying ill all day, and he couldn’t have moved at all in his weak state. They went to see where the widow had last seen him. And they were astonished to see the foot prints. Yes, it matched with that of the dead master!



The River of Satbita Reviewed by Polymath on 1:29 am Rating: 5

3 comments:

  1. Wohh..scary for the mankind with a lesson..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Princess...Not scary for you. You would chill the dead.

      Delete
  2. Really scary.. How would you come to write such story. Amazing Dear!!

    ReplyDelete

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