Wednesday, 6 August 2014


The Whisper Valley-6

 Khushi stared at the man before her! He had dark curly hair, an unruly mop fell on to his forehead making him look very sexy! He was fair but his skin had a healthy tan suggesting outdoor activity and his physique was superb! He was very handsome and with a teasing sparkle in his eye that would sweep any woman off her feet!

She stepped back and frowned and said," Excuse me?"
He got up smiling and said," The dress that you are wearing is the part of the vintage collection and is a replica of madame Feather's spring collection..."

"Oh!" Khsuhi gasped!She looked at the dress in earnest!
Naniji had already asked her, her size when she was still in Mumbai and had said she had asked Rose to do some purchases for her! In the morning when she went to have her breakfast with her, Naniji gave her the frock and asked her to check it out so that she could get some very rare dresses done by their personal designer!
She had hesitated but Devyani prevailed saying it was a whim of an old woman and that she felt very good that there was someone to do some fussing about!
Khushi could not rob the bedridden Naniji of such a small pleasure and agreed!

"...And..."He said getting up and ..." Let me show you something..."
Khushi walked up with him as he took her to the first floor and to the farther side of the Museum where it was darker and more spacious! 

Khushi abruptly stopped!
What was she doing! 
For God's sake! what was this all about
She was just following a stranger! 
She looked around-not one soul in site! 
Not even the curator or the floor in-charge!

"Excuse me... er..." She had to be careful! She tried to stall him.
"Don't worry" Rossini said giving her a teasing smile..." I a m safe you know?" 

"But I don't know you..."Khushi blurted out!
" I too don't know your name Ms..." Alberto hesitated...
Khushi stared at him! 
Why should she share such details with a stranger!

Alberto smiled and gave her his passport!
It said Alberto Rossini! US citizen!

"I am a Spanish Italian American" He said softly!
"I am a researcher. My area of interest is lineages in colonial world! And also I do a lot of research on colonial, peace-time stories.I collect peace time stories that are different but legendary! I just finished one assignment in Lisbon and a post card actually made me visit Whisper Valley and here I am hooked! Thats my story! Can you now tell me your name?" He asked politely!

Khushi looked at his passport! He seemed to be genuine! Anyways she would share what was proprietary!
"Oh! I am Khushi Tripathi! I am a writer!"
Rossini whistled softly!" Mama Mia!"

Khushi blushed and said," I am here on a holiday and so playing the typical wide-eyed tourist!"

"Oh! So you read the Legend of the Whispering Valley?" He asked walking into the passage that led to a large board, which read 'Community History'

"Just started... but well I lost the book" Khushi said ruefully! 
"Oh! No! Rossini..."Said clucking his tongue! "Or is it the curse Ms. T?" He said saying sorry can't seem to pronounce your name!

Now why didn't she think about it! Khushi thought! 
May be none could fully read the legend! She thought again!

"Anyways! Good news for you!I have  a copy Ms. T. I shall pass it on... if you want to....borrow? " He asked hesitantly!
"That would be great!" Khushi said looking around the huge hall that they entered!

It was a large room! It looked more like a dining hall with ornate windows and carpets thrown on the floor in the center which was cordoned off!
The walls were mounted with the town map, the lineage tree of various families... The Simhas...The Feathers, The Winfreds, The Swaminathans,The Macphersons, The Alwaars,The Govatrikars,The Rebellos... and there was  a list of family names secondary lineages etc.,! There were pictures of local rulers and major achievers and Rossini dragged her to the center of the hall and said," Tada..."
Khushi looked at the huge 4/6 portrait of a lady sitting in a vintage chair and gasped!

"Just read the caption..."Rossini said and smiled flirtariously...
Khushi looked at the foot of the portrait and found the caption...

'Willow. G. A. Simha -  For whom the valley whispers eternally!'

Willow Gemima Arnav Simha! Khushi deduced! 
Oh so this was post their marriage! She then looked at the hand-painted portrait! It had a beautiful English girl of about 23-25 years, with golden copper hair and she was dressed exactly in the dress she was in!

Khushi was wearing a linen white frock with bell sleeves! The frock was printed with light lavender and petal pink flowers tiny with green leaves! The collar was a soft rounded one in vintage style and it was gathered at the bodice and flared but severely to the knee and just below!
She was catching a basket full of flowers... on to her right hand while her left hand rested on her thigh!
What attracted Khushi's attention was a huge ring on her left ring finger! It was a sapphire! Big sapphire cut hexagonally but in the shape of a crown! And as she looked up she went still! Her face!!!!
It was not an exact replica of hers but...
She looked like her! May be the vintage hairstyle and expression was the differentiator but... Khushi gulped hard! She just could see... that Willow Feathers Simha looked like her-Khushi Tripathi! What a strange co-incidence.

Then where was Arnav Simha? How did he look! She wondered and took a step forward and she suddenly felt alone and looked around...

Where was Alberto! He vanished! 
Hey Devi Mayya! She just stared around and made to call out! It was a public place for god's sake! How could she? She just softly called "Alberto!"

There was no reply! 
She wanted to explore further, but the night before had taught her not to venture into unknown territory so she retreated back into the passage and walked swiftly towards the stairway when she collided into Rosssini who was walking towards her, holding a wad of papers. 
"Where ever did you vanish?" She asked him accusingly! 
He replied," Getting this book for you ma'am! Did you miss me?"

Khushi sighed and looked at the photocopied material!
"This is the book?" She scrunched her nose and asked him!
"Yep! Had to photocopy it as,... well I couldn't sit here and read all day! Oh!... but I could not get the photocopy of the last ten pages! The power went off and now they say they cannot was against the rules and the earlier clerk did not know that... when he did it for me" He explained!

Khushi sighed! 
This legend was not only ominous and complicated! It was also jinxed! HA! 
She took the sheaf of papers stapled and said," I shall read this!"

"Wait don't you want to see the original transcripts?" Alberto asked and Khushi saw genuine enthusiasm and pride of a researcher in him and smiled and said,
"Why not!"
"Then this way Madame Feathers" He said leading her to the opposite side of the passage that read' Archives'

As they entered it , an elderly man was sitting there and smiled at Rossini!
Khushi realized Rossini must have spent a lot of time to be so familiar with the staff!
He requested the gentleman and they waited as the man went in and they could hear doors being opened and then finally he emerged with a wooden box!
It was vintage and ornately carved with brass handles and panels! It was almost like a modern day jewellery box!

There was a tiny golden lock, which was opened by the man and he gestured them to step into a small glass cabin that was to his right and he gave them a pair of gloves which Khushi wore them, as Rossini asked her to do so!
Then he pushed the box to her from a small opening in the counter and she opened the box and gasped at the golden scroll that lay coiled in it and it was panelled in gold on top and bottom and to the right hand corner hung a gold feather with a broad sound base and that tapered to the other end!

Khushi looked at Rossini who was watching her so seriously that when she met his eyes he started and then smiled!
Khushi felt odd but she thought he was trying to see her reaction to such an exquisite piece of art! She then held the scroll and the man said," Careful ma'am... and then he happened to gauge her similarity with Madame feathers and looked at her oddly as she smiled! 
As she opened it, she the air...
There was a distinct smell! A perfume... and it wafted across...
"The Valley of Willows!" Rossini supplied! "It was an exquisite perfume made for Willow Feathers!"

Oh! So it was bathed …the scroll was bathed in the perfume she smelt it and remembered Rose mentioning it! But it was the same when the man asked her to leave the valley at the library!
Now what are you waiting for... unfold it! Rosssini said impatiently!
She held the scroll and unfolded it and was surprised. She asked Rossini," Is that all?"
"Yeah! That’s it!" He said smugly.
"The entire legend!" She said incredulously!
"Yeah" Rosssini said again, looking at her seriously!
"But? is that really all?" Khushi asked again!

"You thought it would be a fat bound book isn't it?" Rossini said shaking his head chuckling.
"Yeah!" khushi said.
"No! Its not so! That’s the secret of the Whisper Valley amore mio!"Rossini smiled at he... Khushi thought somehow his eyes sparkled oddly!

"" She was still speechless!

"Hmmm! The entire legend is transcribed into seven quartets!" He said!
"What?" Khushi asked him! This was getting complicated ! 
She looked at the surface of the scroll! It was plain and empty!
She looked at Rossini!
He smiled and said..."Put it up!"
"What?" Khushi asked him his directions.

"Just hold it high to the bulb over there!" Rossini showed a bulb that was there to light the cabin.

She did that so that light fell on it and she saw distinct lines written in Edwardian script in blue ink!
"Wow!" She said! It was so.... adventurous!
"Yeah Wow! But you need to read it on a candle flame!" He said making a face.
"Why?" Khushi asked him.
"Why because its not the light that makes the writings visible. Its the heat only heat can make the wordings visible!" Rossini explained.

"Then..." Khushi was intrigued and did not know how to react.
"That’s what it is... you cannot read it now as the government wont permit as it might spoil the entire thing!" Rossini sighed defeatedly!
"Oh!" Khushi exclaimed.
It happened then!

Somewhere the clock struck eleven and Khushi suddenly remembered something!
Two intense eyes swam before her eyes and a gruff voice accented and very sexy echoed in her ear," Come with me!"

She kept the scroll in... Signed the register that confirmed she returned the document back to the Archives and then walked out of the section saying..."...its been so nice meeting you Mr...Ross..."
"Alberto" He corrected her and holding her hand to his lips said," ...can we meet again..??.... That is if you wish to!"
Khushi was taken aback by his request but smiled and said "Why not!" 
She liked him!

"Ok I stay at the Hotel Valley View!" He said and said " could meet me there or..."
"No! I shall meet you at the coffee shop- Sunder's!" Khushi said... tomorrow around eleven! ...And will try to return these!"

"Oh! Take your time" He said and walked her to the entrance!
"You seem to be in a hurry" He said.

"Yeah sort of!" She did not want to share anything with anyone!
"Just...need to run a few errands" She smiled wished him good bye and walked out to get into the car with Mahesh!


What is it Mahesh she asked the driver!
"Mata urvalam!"He replied in Tamil!
"What? English... please!" Khushi requested him...

"...aah...Jaatra..." He said but Khushi shook her head horizontally!
She did not get him!
"Aaa.... yes! Procession Madam!" Mahesh replied finally... stopping the car on the lay bye on the narrow road!
Khushi peered out of the window! People gathered in huge numbers and ladies dressed in red saris walked in front holding earthen pots with fire in them and carried them above their heads!
Following them were men in red dhotis! They did not wear shirts and were holding spears which they moved according to the rhythm...

Behind them men were moving...holding musical instruments... naadaswaram- a type of trumpet and the drums and cymbals and were followed by the local population mostly dancing rythematically to the beat!
It was what that followed them made Khushi gasp in awe!

A chariot that was completely decked in flowers-exotic flowers of the valley with the goddess in it, was being brought slowly as men pulled fat ropes attached to the chariot!
It was very beautiful! The goddess was dressed in a deep green silk sari with jewellery and a long plait that was plaited with gold bells....

Mahesh got down...from the car and prostrated on the road! Khushi got down and walked a little further to get a better glimpse of the whole procession and the deity!
She then felt it! As if she was being watched...
She suddenly looked around and she could feel the presence! 
He was there may be! She thought! Her saviour!

She walked on to the other end and saw the entire procession move towards the hill yonder where she could see a temple with a flag!
Was he there?
She searched without knowing whom she was searching for?
She smiled at an elderly gentleman who understood she was new to the place and explained ..." Masaniamman... forest goddess! Vana devathai! She is the presiding diety of Whisper Valley!Infact the forests of Coimbattore!
Lord Rama had invoked her to combat the deman Taataki! And since then she is the reigning goddess of these mountains and the forests there off!”
Every Friday this procession happens as we pray to her to protect all of us"
Khushi smiled her thanks to him and went a little high up on the rocks to get a better view...
There!!!! She could make out a black shirt and a tilted hat just on the opposite side, It could be him...

As she stood on her toes, her footwear slipped on the smooth surface and she was hurled down on the other side and went rolling on the thick carpet of grass and then suddenly realized there was a steep fall and shrieked as she found herself falling off into the valley twenty feet below!

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arnaushi said...

yay!!! i was right when i said that khushi looked like willow feathers....loved how you are maintaining the mystery and how each and every detail you have added...its was amazing...the legend is surely jinxed....waiting for more...plz reveal some more mystery and the legend!!

Shubhanjli Saxena said...

Amazing update Anu ji and that also after many days I am reading your update. I missed it and missed you to Anu ji. Eagerly waiting for your website to start.
This mystery is getting deeper and deeper. And Khushi is again in trouble. I hope her savior comes soon.. and next update too. :-)

Lakshmi said...

God Anu, you stopped here. It will be a long wait. PLease spare us some mercy...i think Alberto is not a good one....some odd feeling in me too.
So amazed by the way you write the details about people, culture. Did you do research....TRue blessing. Keep going. Looking forward to read in your website. Bring it on:)

namendra shaz said...

Even I am not comfortable with Alberto. There is a glint to his eyes which must mean something ominous. But still not able to guess about her saviour...if she is like Willow then he must be Arnav's something! That is if ne is not a ghost!

Anu Reddy said...

Awesome update as usual Anuji!!! Loved it :-)

Gosh is the name Arnav Simha your homage to Surya and AD lol!!!

Is khushi imagining things that the lady looks like her or does she really resemble her??

I am not totally sold on Alberto too, he is talking the talk but how trustworthy is he?????

How could you stop the ipdate at that point??? Please update soon!!!!!

Aditi kaushal said...

Awesome update ... so we now know that khushi looks like willow feathers .. so is that arnav's ghost that's saving her?????
waiting for the next update...

Sanghamitra Roy said...

Its very long i came here..
Sorry dear, i was busy for my exam..
Btw, the update was as usual amazing..
Feeling scared for khushi..
Hope she wil be fine..
Though arnav wil be there for her..

Paramjeet said...

loved the update.. story is getting more interesting.. Khushi looks like Willow G A Simha.. So that can be the reason for all incidents happening with khushi as it is having past links.. khushi's savior wants her to more out of valley.. but khushi is not ready to do so.. now here she have slipped and going into the deep valley.. hope her savior is around to save her.. wants to know the truth of savior and why does he wants khushi to leave valley??

dream light said...

loved it
the man she met i feel something is fishy
hope she is nt in more trouble

smart girl said...

what happened to khushi...
another mysterious n intense update dear...
eagerly waiting 4 more...
plxxxx continue soon....

subani jayasinghe said...

That was mind blowing.. Cant wait to see what happen next.

sweetygirl28 said...

Hmm connecting to the ancient past through double roles and golden scrolls. Very interesting.