The story takes over from here, an amazing first part written by Dhivya. Read on…
Priya was standing in the same beach, but something else seemed totally out of place. This is not the Marina stretch where she goes for her usual morning jog. There were no boats, no remnants of stalls, no laughter therapy group, and no cricket playing guys too. Above all, the beach sand and shore actually looked clean! She turned to face the new lady who was wearing a sparkling white and blue gown and accompanied by a man in a formal suit of similar colors.
“Welcome to our land – your kin has called it by many names, Middle Earth, Alagesia, non-Muggle world, to name a few. I am Vas and this is my husband Gop. We are the elves responsible for welcoming and inducting those who are visiting us for the first time. In fact, had it not been for Gop’s mistake, you would have come here during your last jog itself,” Vas gave a quick glance at Gop, before pressing her Bluetooth headset-like appendage and walking a little afar to talk into it.
“The vortex malfunctioned”, Gop smiled sheepishly. Priya thought the couple looked cute together, though it seemed that Vas was in charge.
“You don’t look anything like the elves I know – long ears, pale skinned… You both look as much human as I do!”
“Haha! That is a serious misinterpretation your kin has made. We all are just differentiated by the work we do and the responsibilities we take. For instance, we Elves and Wizards are the knowledgeable ones. Dwarves and Goblins take care of all the physical and mechanical work. Knights and dragon riders are responsible for our safety and security. And finally, men deal with money related transactions and trading.” Gop noticed that Priya gave a surprised look as he spoke, as though she had had a revelation. “Yes, this is the same as your varna caste system”, he smiled at Priya again.
“I was about to ask that…” Priya warmed up to the friendly Gop, “It is amazing to see our caste system being used elsewhere and not misused like we do.”
“Hold your thought lady, you might never know. Why don’t you come into the settlement and freshen up; then we could probably give you a short tour of what we do here, followed by an induction ceremony based on your preferences.”
Settlement… Ceremony… What on earth are they talking about? A gazillion questions pirouetted her mind, but something about Gop made her trust and walk calmly beside him, while Vas led the way in a stride.
“Did you realize you guys have abducted me into this… this land of yours without my consent? Who are you guys? What is this place? Who is she talking to over the headset? Where are you taking me?”
“You know you ask a lot of questions…” Gop was laughing.
“Well, I have been called a Pochemuchka”, Priya nodded, “But tell me why am I here?”
“Don’t panic, you will get your answers real soon.”
I pass the baton for the next part of the story to Megha Sreeram. Read the next part of the story here.