Meet Satori and Jamshid.
Another person was also driven by childhood memories of a hidden place, only through his fantasies.
A young man stood on the terrace of the oldest monastery, scanning the horizon to catch the first glimpse of pre-dawn sun rays. Satori was the Arousing Monk; the disciple who let the elders sleep till it was the time to worship. He would dip in the half frozen lake every morning, hold his breath below the surface, rehearsing a final countdown that he saw in his vision.
With a deep conch call, he gathered all to begin the day with total surrender and an oath to selfless sacrifice. Satori harnessed phenomenal memory and inner calmness; no event shook him up and he was admired for his patience, his detachment to all living and his search for truth.
Extremely well-read, he could communicate in several Aryan-Asian languages and he absorbed the history of many civilizations. Part archeologist, part interpreter of old documents, part sportsman, he was fascinated by the stories of Shangri-la and the not so fictional tales of a lost society that he came across while deciphering past of the Himalayan inhabitants from the archives of the monastery.
“Guide me. Why Shangri-La, if it exists, remains so elusive?” puzzled Satori asked the Chief Monk .
“You are the proof of its existence.”
Satori was retold the tale of the child on the shores of a lake, found in the arms of an elderly woman, who was breathing her last when the expedition found them. After intense DNA studies, the scientists put together by an inter-governmental organisation concluded that she was atleast 250 years old.
“You were that unique child.”
Satori listened with great interest, expecting to hear more from the same story.
“My son, you will soon have all the resources to find your answers.” his mentor, the Chief Monk, hinted of a great adventure and blessed Satori for that culminating event, which in their language, meant God’s final demand. He was readying up for the final journey as the calling had lately become incessant.
And yet, there was one more looking for lost answers.
His ancestor, who had migrated from the distant land of the Tibetian mountains, had left behind strange artifacts – an always glowing stone with healing powers, a hand drawn map of sorts and a key of unknown metallic composition.
For years his father would encash the gold coins left by his ancestors. Those paid for his education and the welfare of the joint family. Memories, he wanted to pursue and mysteries, he wanted to unravel. Like his ancestors, he was trained as the guide for the many mountain climbers and he knew all the known paths and peaks.
Belonging to the now-almost-lost Bon religion with Aryan-Iranian traces, Jamshid was one of the chosen guides for the Mansarovar expedition and his heart was on the onward trail that could provide him long sought answers about the mysterious destinations his ancestors frequented.
An image of a smiling, beautiful girl haunted his mind these days. The picture of Gayatri spoke to him while he was going through the profiles of the expedition team. And somehow, it had to do something with that place which his ancestors hid from the world.
Little did the three travellers imagine that their paths would converge, to embark on an ancient, life-altering journey.