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THE SECRETOF THE CONCH




How exquisite it is!! the black book on the table at the corner!


It was 7 PM and no one was in the library!! but, what existed was only a haunting eerie stillness through and through the big red monstrous arches. Some Books stacked on the shelves, shined because there was a bright light falling exclusively on them. Because of that Kathyayini could read the titles of the books but none of the titles attracted her. There was darkness in the corridors and as she passed, her attention fell on the big black fat book that lay on the table. She was enamored!! The glossy black hardcover of the book had no title written on it...probably this might have made her feel that the book must be mysterious. She glared at the book for some time... what might be inside this??? Curious as an antelope, she was eager to open the pages. She flipped the heavy front cover.. it was way heavier than the other normal books. The first page read the title SECRET OF THE CONCH...Yes, the font was bold and big but was curvy and callous. ...still, the title evoked a few feelings. first, she remembered all the conches that she had seen in the shack outside the Kali temple. They were made of white bone it seems... Bones!!! Are these not the real conches then, she had asked the shopkeeper then. The next scene that came to her mind was the Geetdhopadesha chariot that was placed in the middle of the battlefield. (Seneyor, ubhayor madhye ratham sthapayitwa). Then she remembered the conches that were blown at the beginning. Paanchajanya, Devadatta, and and and... She scratched her head...Which was Bhima's conch? She started reciting the first adhyaya of the Bhagavad Gita, somewhere from the middle and continued till she arrived at the sentence... shankam dadmou pritak pritak... she did not understand Sanskrit and came to a vague conclusion, Yes, Bhima's conch must be dadmou... Half knowledge is dangerous they say...


She thought and imagined the TV serial Mahabharat!! The conch sounds of Panchajanya made a lovely crescendo in her ears!! The deep voice echoed again and again...Now she was damn interested in knowing more about the book and all about the conches... Is there a secret hidden in this book...What secret lies behind a conch? thoughts were seamless... one after the other they relayed and she opened the next page...The waves were dashing against the shore, each one was bigger than the other...They appeared huge, big, colossal, monstrous...Were they cascading? What is the meaning of cascading...Ayyo me and my half knowledge...


Amidst these waves, a conspicuous pearly conch appeared, as if it was the paraphernalia of the waves. Her wide-opened eyes shrunk and now was keen to observe the conch in detail. It appeared layered with striking grooves- silver and red dots edged the grooves... She had never seen such dots on the conch before... Yeah, this conch is unusual she thought... She remembered the 3D movie Jadoo ki Shank that she had seen during her childhood. She only remembered the title of the movie and one or two odd scenes. She was not very clear about the story because more than the story, the title of the movie was more captivating. How divine is the shankh amidst waves!! she thought... this must be magical... she opened the next page and a loud rumbling sound started from the book... she couldn’t see any pictures on the page...she was blind to them, even if one existed and all her senses were now focussed on the cacophonous sound!!... amidst that indistinct, muffled sounds, she could sense faintly that somebody was reciting a shloka...This sound reverberated in the haunted halls of the library and the verse was getting louder and louder but unclear. Kathyayini shivered!! a cold shudder ran through her spine, her mind blanked!! she collapsed on the ground...

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