Cool, crisp, sprinkling raindrops cleansed him, washing away the ashes and dust. The raging fire was finally subdued by its nemesis as the droplets became a torrential downpour.

Eyes still closed and body motionless, he appeared to be eternally blissful and detached from the external events. His heartbeat was the only indication that he was alive, as the king’s men found him lying under the rubbles as if in some kind of a peaceful trance.

“Satyajit, wake up! It’s time for prayer!” his Mother playfully sprinkled water on him, the ten year old boy.

“Hey Satyajit, come on, let’s see how many mangoes we can get today!” his friends were egging him as they prepared to ransack the nearby mango farm.

“This boy is destined for greatness. He will be respected by everyone.” the Priest had proclaimed during his naming ceremony when he was a newborn. “He should be named Satyajit – upholder of truth” he had suggested - or so he heard from his Mother.

“Mother! Father!” Satyajit at seventeen was crying as he saw the bodies of his Parents, drowned in the flood as their boat capsized.

The roar of the river was something that would forever be entrenched in his memory, marking the harsh transition to his adulthood as he stood knee-deep, immersing the ashes of his Parents back in the holy river that had so cruelly in its wrath engulfed them.

Waves crashed on the banks, splashing water all over his already drenched body as he stood steadfast, letting go of the final mortal remains of his Parents.

He would carry on his Father’s legacy. He would build the Temple his Father had dreamed of. It would be a place of peace, worship and learning. It would be a place for all faiths to convene, a sanctuary from the outer world...

What was happening? He wasn’t in pain any more. 

They say that the events of your life flash before you at the time of your death.

There was a ray of light. The smiling beautiful little boy he had seen earlier during the fire appeared before him once again. Adorned in jewellery, he looked like a young prince.

Who are you?

No answer. Just the same beautiful smile.

“Am I dead?”

“No, it's not your time yet.”

But this Temple... All my life’s work is gone - burnt to ashes.

“You will build it again.”

All these people dead – innocent men, women and children who came here to pray and take refuge...” his voice choked. “I don’t know if I have the strength any more.

“You will have help. Don’t worry. Your journey is just beginning.”

And then, everything went dark.

Darkness soon gave way to light as the Sun rose, the fiery orange ball eliminating the night and clearing the clouds.

He slowly opened his eyes, adjusting them to the morning rays of the sun. A handful of men were standing. There was also a woman sitting by his side, who he thought he had seen before. She looked like an angel, kindness personified.

The End

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