My ancestral home brings me this nostalgic feeling, I’m miles and miles away from my ancestral home but the thoughts and memories surrounding it seems to remain so fresh akin to a newly blossomed flower.
I am a huge fan of mythical beings like witches, vampires, lycans, magic and all those stuffs that keep you enthralled because you really don’t know if there was any truth in them. Again I am absolutely fascinated by the mythology of different religions, how the stories blend so well, how they maintain continuity and the vast extend to which it was able to capture people that they still preach from them, follow them, write, discuss and debate about it. The thought process, the way the stories are told are beyond any one of today. Imagine the most famous book of today, maybe Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or let’s say Shakespearean texts. After a 1000 years, will anyone still be discussing about them? I really doubt that. But these traditions and customs that are imbibed with religion, they surely are going to survive the test of time.
Anyway, my ancestral home which no more exists with the same glory of past years is where I wish to start talking about. I am not talking about the home, it was a normal home with thatched roofs and many cool rooms even at the peak of summer. The home was surrounded by a dense forest kind of plantation where different trees grew with many birds around. The crows and the cuckoos and the squirrels and the rats 😀 It was so close to nature that today if you visit a zoo, you would see less of fauna and flora comparatively.
In that dense forest was (and it is still there) a tree, a very old and large one. It was so tall I used to think it was touching the skies. It had a very big bark, it would take 6-8 little hands to wrap around it once. It was always full of leaves but the leaves were at such heights I really didn’t know how they looked like until they fell down all dry and crumbled.
Now this tree used to have a sarpa kavu (abode of snake) adjacent to it. My ancestors had bought this land from the then inhabitants of the place who used to worship the snakes. They used to have this poojas to feed and please the snakes by offering milk and other offerings, you know the usual deity offerings. After they sold the land, which was some 6-7 generations of me, no one from my ancestors actually bothered about the tree and the sarpa kavu. It was there somewhere in the forest, and none of us went anywhere near it. We were actually forbidden from doing so, with some tales of snakes following us and biting us or bringing bad luck if we disturbed that area. Also not to go anywhere around it after 6 pm. Truth or myth, we followed just like we follow all our traditions and rituals without even knowing the significance of it.
When I was a kid, I belonged to the naughty kid category and so along with my cousins I have went as far as near the tree and touched it with my bare hands. My cousins had shouted at me and warned me that they would inform the elders leading to some small favours I had to do so as to avoid the secret from coming out. That’s fun, isn’t it?
In the recent years, the relatives who are currently owners of the land where the tree is, wanted to cut down the tree for money as they were in some financial crunches. Generations later, we always have this thought process, all the stories are fake, hence why not go ahead and cut it down. Still, a saint and a priest were called to get their opinions. (Ya, in matters of religion, it is always better to get opinions from people of different religion).
This meet up led to the shedding of more shocking information. The tree in question is the living abode of a king Naga and there is a Nagamanikyam, a precious gem costing millions under the tree which the Naga is protecting so if anyone dares to cut the tree, him and all will go through the wrath of Naga and all snakes and will be burnt to death. This instilled so much fear in all of us, we decided to find some other way to get money forget cutting it.
The greed for gem prompted us to ask the inevitable question, ‘so will we ever get the gem if we don’t disturb the tree?’ The answer was, I don’t know if it is true or false or just a getaway answer. It was, ‘as long as the Naga is protecting the gem, the tree will be alive, it can be 100 years, 500 years or a 1000 years. After that the Naga will leave and the tree will dry out on its own. At that time, whoever owns the land can clear the tree and its surrounding. now about the gem, the Naga will decide whether to leave the gem to the owners (our future generations) or to take it with him, no one knows for sure’. This is like the funniest answer we had ever heard.
In short, the present generation should have no hope to harness the riches of the gem, a future generation down the line could 🙂