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The Reluctant Awakening

About Devang Desai

An accountant's journey of 40 years gathering non- financial insights about people , their relationships & their environment . Learning from the experiences of the many who have travelled before and trying to create enjoyable readings from words , ideas and self-realizations .

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Alison comes to the resort village of Enterias, looking for her sister, who had suddenly and strangely  stopped communicating. Trying to resolve on her own, she accidentally meets Basel, a loner staying in a mountain house. He helps her seek the answers which takes her to the unreal world of cults and ancient practices.

Does she convince and regain her sister?

Is the loner what he appears to be?

Are there shades of love?

Are there lessons for humanity?

Alison cried out in pain as she stumbled to climb up the slope, the thick snow making it more slippery. She held on to the thick branches of the evergreen trees with the occasional branches scraping against her body. The sight of the blood fountain and the cries of the bound animals rang in her ears; her unbelieving eyes registering yet denying the shocking goings in the house she was spying. Cold and scared, her sole aim was to ask for help in the house above the slope where a light shone.

She  knew, if found, her fate would be that of the animals on the sacrificial slab. She was unsure of having been identified but was certain she was seen. She had surprised the robed monsters; they appeared ageless and she feared being pursued on the thickly forested mountain slope.

Catching her breath and calming her shivering body, she hid under a dense bush, deliberating on what to do next. The cold was now numbing her face; she was well protected in other respects excepting some bruises and possible bleeding at her knees. Seeing the lighted porch of the building a few yards ahead, she went around the house near the deck and tried to peer through the glass panes.

A man sat crouched on the dining table nibbling and she knocked, afraid and unsure. A surprised Basel saw the desperation on her face and let her in. Big eyes, loose hair, tall and athletic, he stared at the vision, shocked at his inner feelings and the inevitability of this moment. It seemed he was always waiting, ready for this glimpse of her; he did not gather what she was saying, so lost was he in listening to his awakened heart beats.

Years later, he would recollect and retell that moment of first encounter, the first ZAP, with his eternal other half which he always understood as the inevitable, but humanly deferrable, first law of the creation.

He wanted to put on more light, she begged not to, looking out to see if she was followed. He sensed her fear and made her sit down on a chair in the unlit study room which overlooked the slope.

“Please help; the people down there will be after me. I should not have ventured alone. I should have confronted her,” whispered the young woman clutching on to his arm.

“You are safe ; they will not come here.” She was surprised at his confidence.

“I can’t get her to tell me. I know she is in trouble. Last week she  was out on a date and I followed her here. Today I returned alone to spy and saw what they were doing.” Blurted the excited woman.

“I’m Basel; I’m listening.” He calmed her to fill in many gaps.

“Oh, I’m Alison. I was telling you about my younger sister, Sophie, who is in this resort town since last year as a bar helper. She dates someone important here.  Zinclair, she says. He has a family but comes here often; I thought it was stupid seduction but she talks strangely about him; her ultimate soulmate and some divinity. Nonsense! So I came to look.”

“You could have seriously hurt yourself. These slopes are often visited by fox, many aggressive elks and even meandering bears. Does your sister know you followed her?”

“No, I told her I have to go to a conference for three days and I have my car at the base level in the church parking lot. I walked the slope.”

“Good thinking ; there will be other cars for now due to the prayers. But we need to get it out soon as they will look. I have a space in my garage. Give me the keys I’ll bring it up. You relax and have this warm tea.” She was thankful to him for taking control and let him lead.

To Be Continued in next part….

Basel walked down the slope uninterrupted and avoided a few searching faces lurking at the base. They knew him as a recluse in the mountain house and did not see the connection as he drove the small car up the slope.

“Let’s not go on the road. They will surely be waiting for us there.  And take shelter till they realise you have gone away. They will not bother.” He told himself.

“He has the arrogance of the extraordinary.” Alison thought.

Basel held out his hand to comfort Alison asking,  “What did you witness?”

“I heard them chant, in ceremonial robes and imagined them to be part of a cult. It was the killing of the animal that made me cry out and reveal my hiding place at the basement window. Is there no law here?” She cried out, a vegan and a true lover of animals.

“He is above human law.” Again the same murmur as if he was talking to himself.

“My sister, what has she got into?” Alison sobbed. “Sacrifices on that stone, is she part of these killings of mute beings?”

“Maybe she does not know all. They will go the whole way. We can stop them, if we can become like them. If you can kill, hurt and do what they did, will you?” Words sprung out as if from another person, surprising Alison.

“Don’t talk about killing. I cannot imagine what drives them; what sickness!”

“They do that as they are made to believe by him, in power through fear. They must be stopped. It’s never easy but there is no other way.” Alison felt an eerie calmness in Basel’s tone.

And so they remained indoors, she out of fear and he, reluctantly trying to recollect. Her telling of the sacrifice and the shocking sight of the raised knife unlocked memories and for him, it was a go-ahead of sorts.

 Alison saw a subtle change in Basel. Relaxed, almost indifferent and totally unafraid.

She stayed the night in the only bedroom of his compact bachelor house. Coffee and eggs were laid out when she woke up. She learnt he spent the night in the attic room with an attached lounge study room which overlooked the bedroom and the kitchen-dining area. The garage had her car and a two-seater sports vehicle. There was a sleek bicycle on the stand and lots of weights stacked up underneath an exercise bench.

“During my bicycle ride, I found no activity in the Zinclair house. But they will return; they will return with your sister. He is getting impatient to go ahead.” Declared Basel as she sat with him at the dining table.

“I can never recover from those ghastly moments. I want to do all to get Sophie out of this relationship.”

“There is a way; a way so unknown to you and maybe, bizarre; you have a choice.” Whispered Basel, saying but not knowing where the words came from.

“I’m not sure what you mean. Will you get them arrested?” queried Alison.  “You speak so strangely. I tried to call my sister but she has changed her phone. I don’t know what to do.”

“I’ll try but Zinclair owns this small mountain tourist village; your sister might not be the victim you are thinking.”

They decided to wait it out. If her sister showed up, they would confront them and bring in the authority; for whatever it was worth. Basel’s attic was a strange place. A spartan arrangement, only a thick mat which served the purpose of his bed and meditation. It means this took up many of his hours. His life was his exercise, his meditation, his books and his large, powerful telescope to scan the sky. It also helped to track the happenings at the house below.

Little did the girl know about his origins, but he inspired trust and an aloof warmth. Alison seemed to realise something was amiss but was overwhelmed with the events of the last few days, after forcibly visiting her sister who had stopped communicating for weeks. And she had only Basel to help her .

She had doubts about Basel’s real intentions but there was no doubt about the misdeeds of the evil people in the house below and the unsure fate of her sister.  And she chose Basel.

To Be Continued in next part….

“Sophie, I will help you find your old self.” Alison uttered those words countless times in her mind, building hope and determination. A confident, outgoing, easily lovable Sophie. A vivacious, entertaining, enthralling Sophie. Memories of her flashed by and it hurt Alison deep to picture her leaning on that sacrificial slab. Where was Sophie headed?

Alison was like a mother to the younger sibling. Their parents always tried to balance Sophie’s impulsiveness and Alison’s conservativeness, hoping each would learn from the other. After their parents’ untimely departure, Alison became the parent and Sophie saw happiness, care and comfort in her. Sophie’s thirst for adventure took her to new places and people; from her teens she was used to travel alone and fend for herself. Alison was always a call away for her in any unmanageable situation.

This time Sophie was living off as a bar-help in a small, fairy-tale-like resort village in the mountains. There were regular news from her till last month; and then a complete communication blanket. She spoke of having met someone awesome. But strangely she was not as vocal as some of her other past entanglements.

Equally surprising was the change of her contact cell number; as if she deliberately wanted to avoid discussing her affairs. A sister who confided everything to her!! Part guilt for not having kept her in reins and  part concern for the ways in which she could land in serious trouble.

“I put aside everything and rushed here to know what was going on.” Alison confided to Basel, “I went to the bar, Sinking Tavern, where she was working and landed at her house. She was outright rude and nasty-angry at my surprise visit. After a day, she even asked me to go back or leave her place. I fought with her and next day she stomped away with her bag. I argued with her at the bar but she refused to speak to me. You know the rest; about me following her and then coming alone to spy on the house below.”

“That is the uncontrollable factor; her own mind has to change and she would not be able to resist him.” Basel did not share the almost impossibility of freedom from his clutches.

That night Alison imagined the worst. Glimpses from ‘Taken’ and the kidnapping episodes of ‘Criminal Mind’ flashed inside her distrusting brain. Was she getting into some trap? She longed for someone she could confide in. Was there no one to help  her? She cried out in her deep sleep. And as is always the case, the cry of the desperate and needy is always  heard.

Somewhere in the mountains, a light was turned on in the attic. The house Basel lived was ancient and the trees and bushes surrounding it seemed to be there waiting for something to happen.  Basel was awakened by the girl’s nightmare. And he felt an ancient pain; was it time to ride that ride? He lay in a trance and saw the images of the two sisters, the surrender of one and concern of the other. The power to go in deep sleep and visualise events of the past was a necessary tool of his sect; his earlier associations.

Alison affected him. From what her heard, he could gather that she was too much in self-control mode all the time. Like him, she had a wall of preservation built around her. All her life she was haunted by the nature’s cruel hand in snatching away their parents. She balanced her own overcritical life by permitting Sophie to feel the outside world. And now she was desperate. A sister, no longer in her control. Sophie no longer needed her. Alison seemed to be in need, now. Strangely, Basel wanted to be with her, counsel her and be there for her.

As he gazed at the sleeping Alison, he saw a purpose.

To Be Continued in next part….

Sophie had no desire to seek the comfort of the past. Alison had to be abandoned. Now there was Zinclair in her life and that was enough. This time she was not deceived; he was her true love. As he walked in the pub that first evening, a spark kindled her cynical heart.

Alison was her anchor, her mentor, her emotional sounding board. But she hated her inflexibility; her moral yardsticks were drowning her. Zinclair did not judge her; she was accepted with all her baggage and there was no need to change or achieve. She was tired of this game of making life meaningful.

After one more break-up and caution–call from Alison, she rebelled and was willing to let go. There were many takers at the pub where she served. Alison was unhappy with Sophie’s drifting; she tried to convince Sophie to better live alone than experiment with the short-term. She, herself,  was less trusting and hence unapproachable to most.

And that evening Sophie met Zinclair. He had just returned from the area’s famous gliding competition, a daredevil event where one competed against the best, most able and ruthless.

And he won. He was surrounded by admirers. Free drinks and wild dancing continued till late hours. She was tired serving, sleepy and fed up hoping for life’s false promises and possibilities. Love had become senseless sex and the belongingness lasted briefly. She would, out of sheer regularity and not wanting to be alone, wind up with one among the many eyeing her.

“Don’t be too eager and surrender. Your desire to belong unconditionally makes you vulnerable. Men still like to chase.” Alison would always caution her. When on your own, advices never work. Sophie would vibe with a few, party and pally with them and would naturally get into a relationship, unfortunately hoping for more. Commitment was, now! “Never saying no but also never latch on for long.”

And so Sophie was at a tipping point, not realising that herself. The recent relationship breakup caused a loathing for self, a voice inside prodding every time that she lacked something; that she was unfit and insignificant. Her life seemed to have little purpose and her studied laughter and humour were increasingly gnawing her insides.

Zinclair saw her vacant eyes; the predator in him saw a victim. But Zinclair had evolved into something different; his goal was deep. He decided to check her out later after he was done away with the clinging usuals. He could sense the helplessness in her but he still had no clear insight into future. And he almost failed to save her.

Sophie saw herself as a zombie among the crowded faces in the pub, seeing but not feeling them. There were a few with whom she had sex in the past; she wanted to puke at her giving in. In the restroom she looked at her made-up face and she hated what she saw. All the past deeds came in a gush; things she should have avoided, controlled. She did not want to hold back, she wanted to lose.

Sophie did not go back to serve. She did not change and in her barmaid outfit, she walked out impervious to stares and invitations. Zinclair noticed her going, saw a lost soul and excused himself from his table. She had a short walk to reach the pier; the waves were lashing against the breakers and she would have plunged had it not been for Zinclair’s  restraining powerful arm.The struggle was short. She just collapsed in his arms and lay awake to find her in his house, in a large bed and in comfortable sleeping attire.

“I took the liberty of getting you here and our caretaker,  she helped to make you feel at home.” Zinclair clarified, without adding that the entire night he was sitting next to her, holding her hand throughout her nightmarish mumblings.

“You should not have stopped me. I’m not thrilled with life, you know.” And tears rolled down Sophie’s pale cheeks.

The seeking eyes, the heaving of breasts, disjointed utterings and the baby calmness of the sleeping Sophie drew in Zinclair and amazed Sophie more, looking at the changes in her. Togetherness was an experiment, a journey, a forgotten playfulness, mushrooming out of new buds. Sophie felt a hesitant glow, a hopeful increase of heartbeats every time she felt the soft caressing of Zinclair’s hands brushing her hair, her cheeks, her neck rubbing down to the shoulder points.

His entwined hands as they walked in the hooded garden amidst the singing chimes hung high up on a branch, guided her daily routine. Zinclair was her restorer, her saviour, her champion and she felt herself taking the final, permanent steps with him.

“You make my life purposeful; you make me feel whole.” Declared the love absorbed Zinclair, who marvelled at the strange ways of nature.

And so Sophie withdrew from her earlier known world; she wanted to begin and this time shape her own life with Zinclair.

Sophie had a purpose; so did Basel.

Alison was venturing out with a stranger to spend the night at his house, trying to get back her sister, Sophie. In Basel, there was a sense of neutrality, almost an indifference to the happenings around. Yet she found him patient, almost kind, feeling her anxiety and her desperate loneliness.

“They know I watch them. They see me as a harmless nuisance. I wish they would give up their  plans; but it seems they won’t, from what you witnessed,” confided Basel, letting her know he had an idea that something was not right with the people in the house below.

“You seem to be tracking them, since how long?” Alison asked.

“I was anxious about those people when I came last year, looking.  I hoped for no confrontation; or to be precise, death. I know their kinds.” Basel said, almost  in deep thoughts. He did not continue for more; her mind would not accept things he could reveal.

Alison wondered what she was getting into. Basel had a side which was daunting. She had walked into this place with a blind faith. She had all the time to herself in the house as Basel came out of his attic room only for the normal chores; they had decided to lie low for a week.

The house was small yet a home; they had to share everything. Fortunately, he was all done before she woke up, in his borrowed night clothes. And then he was gone doing god-knows-what in the attic and the attached library. She would undo the sofa-cum-bed, have her coffee and eggs kept ready by him, clean-up and go for a long bath.

She was almost settling down, under uncertainty. A life, very different from her teaching anthropology, doing her research and attending its conferences. This was, for her first time, living with a man under his roof; feeling and touching his things. Over the week, she learnt new things about him. Her initial portrayal was that he a recluse with passive habits and maybe, left with a legacy to stay away from work.

The true insights come when one digs deep. When she had opportunity to browse through his library, she was stunned. There were reams of old books, parchments, scrolls in different languages and volumes of ancient practices and rituals that would unhesitatingly arouse the anthropologist in her.

“With all these diggings you can publish volumes of research papers,” queried Alison, finding him approachable one evening.

“I lived my early life doing things; its time now to see what others have to tell and so I read, catalogue and match my findings to my observed and lived experiences.”

“I find many ancient practices outlined in a scientific, structured form. What do you do with such details?”

“I practice them” was his simple response with no further intent at elaboration.

Once she woke up at pre-dawn and went to the library browsing the computer for her research work. There were humming sounds emanating from the adjacent attic. Curious, she looked into the room through keyhole and found Basel in a meditation pose and chanting the humming drills. And he was almost naked; lost in a world of his own, eyes shut, breathing slowed; stillness in death.

She noticed a small ladder leading up to another smaller attic. And as if he felt her, he withdrew from his stance and got up. She pretended concentrating on her article as he stepped out now clad in his t-shirt and jammies.

“I’m sure you are missing your outdoors. I have few exercise gadgets in the basement and some in attic; please help yourself.” Basel offered.

“I need more clothes and I should return the car too.” Said Alison.

“I’ll do all. Hand me the specs.” She jotted down, with a bit reluctance to order her personal things through him, initially . Never had she been in so close a situation with a male; early sex was a more a ritual and she moved away from the youth impulses after the death of their parents.

The physical attractiveness of Basel was a reminder of a possibility which she had shunned for practical reasons. And like the uninvoked – forgotten, physical intimacy was lost and almost relegated to some future maybe. In this isolated place, her mind was telling something unfelt before, to her heart. Basel had identical issues of heart and mind. Besides,  he had some serious soul-related searches. A legacy, a promise and a burden.

Two souls, with respective agendas were wondering, were they only means to unknown ends?

To Be Continued in next part…

Zinclair went to the basement and locked himself in for the thousandth time. His determination grew stronger every time he was with her. Had he not moved all over the world to arrive at a solution? As he looked at volumes of translations and papers piled up with detailed rituals, he muttered, “Sophie, believe in me.”

Zinclair felt good preventing Sophie’s death. He had given hope and she had found solace in his company. Her regained vivacity enthralled him. Here was a soul that needed no persuasion. Devoid of expectations, she became a part of his quest.

He wanted no distraction. Had he not left his family? He had loved them; he still cared and shared all his wealth .

While most demanded, Sophie wanted only to belong. For once he shared his plans and was amazed at her reaction. “I don’t understand much but I want to know more and be part of whatever you do.”

Playing God was going to be easy. Humans always championed for a messiah; they were going to witness, in him, the much desired avatar. Compelling Gods would be the culmination of his herculean  lifelong pursuit. Though he knew, there were many failed attempts in the past. He had the resources of a scientific mind coupled with the inner conviction and discipline of a monk.

“I love him still but I won’t have only a part of him.” His wife had put her foot down during formal separation. “He thinks for humanity and I want him for us, only.”

This was true. Zinclair was a scientist, politician, businessman and mentor for the many who followed him. Over the last decade he had started spending more time at this resort village among the few chosen and had practically withdrawn from the social circle. He would still correspond, suggest and guide those wanting his support and he donated for many causes.

“Time has come to discover and not invent. Things hidden and unseen” was the line etched in his blog, “ Zinclair Speaks”. Its contents went mostly not understood, heavily drawn from multi-disciplines and too technical in nature.

Basel understood and followed him, overseeing his secluded mountain house from atop. Their paths would one day cross; their approaches were same but intentions varied. History had seen many saints turn evil; Zinclair was no saint but had the making of one and Earth was his ultimate objective. He had strong intentions for its future.

Epics outlined many Ravanas; mighty personalities doing enormous good but believing in forcibly aligning all to their chosen paths.

“Gods are cowards” was his strange self-utterance and Sophie knew, there would be no further elaboration. She had now fully recovered and saw the beauty of life as outlined by Zinclair. He made her realise the power of every cell in her and he had many ways to arouse her. Sex was now also a mental convergence led through the physical journey; an exploration and continuous process of blending.

Zinclair’s early quest was to find the road to Reality. He was a master physicist and an experimenter running large programmes. His focus was to challenge existing theories till they are disproved. He believed in the negative continuous approach – disprove till you reach the final solution for now and then start all over again. And then he got mixed up in what his peers called “mumbo-jumbo”; the search for reality through alternate means.

For a decade he moved in remote places among practitioners of ancient arts. The trigger was a research paper by an unknown Indian scientist claiming “the invisible hand” playing its strokes every time there is a ferocious predator; every few hundred years.

“It’s all maths and I have proved it.” The Indian’s excitement was contagious to Zinclair and the two set out on a journey of finding answers to the invisible source of power, supporting  history’s predators. “It’s not the leader’s charisma that has made Alexander, Hannibal, a Khan and the Hitler. They had strength from strange quarters and that power came from somewhere… somewhere not from our dimensions or our world!!”

That set Zinclair thinking, scouting, frequenting quarters that were not safe. He had learnt there was a breakaway clan up in the Tibetan mountains that had unimaginable power harnessing capabilities. Strange stories were told of their doings and Zinclair became part of them, learning many things but most importantly, getting rid of fear.

And he remembered the anguish of the clan chief, who had failed in similar quest. “I performed all the rituals. I was sure I would not be denied. But I did not realise they have built in safety mechanisms that drain away our strengths, disproportionately. I hope you have answer to prevent that happening to you. I believed the rituals were enough, but no.”

The scientist and the saint turned Satan combined to do what the fearless clan chief had failed to attain. But Zinclair felt there was more was to come and he looked at the mountain house above, almost facing its inhabitants.

“Who are you, Basel?” The distrust in Alison’s voice pierced his heart. And he glanced at his unreal past.

He knew only one place in his childhood – the aging saint and his cave. The calamity caused by the flash floods had set him adrift miraculously in a small boat almost in tatters with the parents dead and the child surviving. The saint nurtured him for days till he was ready for the journey down the mountain and handed over to the local villagers.

The scene at all the neighbouring villages was a total wipe-out. Where would he leave the child? So he brought him back and with mother nature’s help, the child grew up. Every time he would take him back to the village, he would find more fear for his safety than in the cave. And so he took upon himself the task of raising him.

The saint was no religious practitioner. He was a man of science. Seeing its limitations, he had  turned to and experimented on long lost practices that talked about mind power and relinquishment of physical form through a regimented process perfected by few Tibetan mountain dwellers. He stayed with them, learnt from them and carried on the practices after they departed and surrendered their physical forms.

And in his spare time, he raised the child, who was otherwise left to himself to survive. The cave internals had natural springs and for ages, sustaining vegetation that ensured survival. The saint taught him, drew out to him, spoke to him and imparted knowledge of the outside world. The child was used to no human voice for weeks when the saint would initiate the process of deep internal exploration. As the child grew up, the saint taught him the art of turning inwards.

“Child, you are a true survivor. Let me call you Basel, the brave one. After years with me here, you have been my son, my pupil, and now my heir. The bearer of my life’s workings.”

“I only remember glimpses of my childhood and the warmth of a loving face through which you have made me understand a mother. For me you have been my Ma; these were the words that I uttered when I grew up with you. I see the world through your eyes. I know so many languages, so much history and science and the walls over the years are full of all the mathematical equations you taught me.”

“Basel, there are things beyond that which I must now pass on to you. From my experiences with other cave dwellers, I have learnt that the process of surrendering physical body opens up doors of living in thoughts, forever. There are processes which for thousands of years, humans have perfected in places like these mountain dwellings. There are other locations where they have experimented.”

“Did we create these processes?” Basel asked.

“No, we came across them in such caves. Over the years we went on experimenting. We learnt by many attempts. There were equations leading to a code and there were drills that needed to be carried out. We understood without understanding that the two had to be executed together. They were the paths to give up the physical form and live in mind form; it also built up a communication channel of sorts. A few could  converse with those long departed. Not much was handed down by elders; almost as if they did not want others to go that way.”

“So the cave dwellers practised and they could live for eternity in non-living forms? They left their physical forms and departed?”

“I’m afraid it’s not just about those who have departed. There were a few who began the process of recalling those who had departed. It was like housing non-living  forms forcibly in them. The reversal process was like invoking pure energy and it needed giving up life forms. An exchange of living for the non-living. Animals and humans from villages started disappearing. A few such harnessed immense power through that process; this was not encouraged by the elder cave dwellers. And so the few who disagreed, left.”

“I understand how humans are power hungry from your history lessons.”

“I would now want you to return to the world outside and search for these lost humans. I urge you to persuade them. I beg you to stop them. Basel, I have chosen the path of dying in physical form and not living in mind form as others before me in this cave. I want to not live there. So it will be only you, who will have the task of feeling them and finding the lost ones too.”

“Ma, would that make a big difference? The world goes on without us.”

“The more I dig into history, the more I believe, it is those few who cause immense pain to humanity, time and again. I want you to track them.”

Basel saw and heard a different Ma. In the final days of his life, the scientist seemed uncertain. He appeared afraid of the outcomes of the practices of the cave dwellers. Was he afraid for himself, for his soul? But Ma never believed in religion. It was, according to him, only a human obsession with no scientific necessity. And now it seemed his beliefs have come to haunt him.

Over the remaining months of Ma, Basel nursed him as he was taken care of as a child by Ma. Holding his hand till the last breath, Basel saw life departing and body wanting to return to earth. Gathering his mind and with a last look at the complex equations sprawled on the cave walls, Basel started the long walk.

The people of Enterios woke up to a strange sight. All snow had suddenly melted and the lake water calmly reflected the deep blue sky. Nature seemed to smile at the humans but there were a few who knew its deceptiveness. The day began with most believing in their Gods, unaware that in the two mountain houses, there lay startling answers amid shocking preparations.

The day saw many hopeful awakenings in the two mountain houses. Where there are humans, there is hope. It’s the Gods who have done away with this wonderful human sentiment.

Sophie was hopeful; she had Zinclair. She was pleasantly awakened to a long sought reality.

Alison was hopeful; she had the company of a stranger in Basel. She hoped , through him, to see her sister, Sophie, come back to her senses and give up the company of Zinclair. She was also aware of her attraction to Basel in the huddled environment at the mountain house. They were awakening and touching each other on many levels. The process was slow for both of them, not on account of physical liking but more due to their adopted lifestyles. She had many earthly,  relationship-doubts and he had built-in, life-choice constraints.

Zinclair hoped to attain his much pursued goal; he was awakened to the powers of possession and control. In Sophie, he saw his personal achievement, to make someone surrender and belong. And he knew, such possession cannot be a true possession unless he too surrendered. He was unsure and a bit reluctant there but Sophie was drawing them closer to become the innocent human. His goal of setting right the goings-on in the world with belief in false gods was largely unknown to the sleeping world.

Basel was the most reluctant of all. His simple cave-dwelling life was shattered with the revelations by his nurturer. He was entrusted with tasks and practices that were inhuman. His definitions of life and Gods were rewritten and there was a vacuum of purpose. Alison aroused the joy of living in him and he took up the daunting task of putting his faith in her and humanity.

To Be Continued in next part….

Living meant confronting. Basel readied for the inevitable meet with Zinclair. He was trained to be patient, to persuade the opponent, to not stop talking but ultimately be equipped for the harsh reality. Was destiny a presumption?

Zinclair believed in respecting protocol. He invited Alison and Basel for one last meet. The two sisters hugged each other putting aside their stances and for the moment their past warmth prevailed. Zinclair acknowledged the unpretentiousness of Basel and understood the strengthen of his convictions. He was more wary of this human then all the gods put together.

“I am here to plead on behalf of Alison for Sophie. I also beg you not to lead the humans down the path of your false agenda. You dare to make gods out of us, mortals. Let us remain human” began Basel, as the four sat down in the comfortable but simple home of Zinclair.

The two sisters sat together with their hands held, comforting each other. They were afraid for all in the room but had very little understanding of the larger issues driven by their counterparts. History had witnessed this scene many times; the innocents led astray by fanatics.

“I don’t think you should invoke those who don’t want to have anything to do with our world. Let the dead remain buried,” continued Basel. His tone was non-judgemental. He pointedly looked at Sophie to seek out her support. “I am ready to work with you to address your concerns; we both believe in preserving the uniqueness of Earth, our abode. Let us learn from the past mistakes.”

“Why are you afraid of taking tough decisions? Why do you want to protect the cowards?” retorted Zinclair. “This world needs more discipline and direction. Firmness is non-negotiable and past actions should be made accountable.”

Basel knew such words wouldn’t go down well with the uninformed masses. Most would not know the reality; many would clearly endorse the war-cries of Zinclair and drown the sane voices with his amassed, unimaginable resources. Humbling the mighty empires of the past by upstarts was a much touted theme. Zinclair knew the history lessons well. And empires do crumble for having sown seeds of self-destruction.

Basel reasoned with Zinclair; pointed out the fallout effects of the practices he proposed; cited examples of the nuclear experiments and curse of the runaway technologies.

“We don’t need to go there. Millions of years are still intact for us, on this precious planet. Why do you pursue the path of your annihilation? You know I won’t let you.” Spoke Basel finally, finding no change in the rival’s mindset.

“Your kind have always seen safety in status quo. Change was pursued by bold ones. I salute those who left their physical forms. For long, they ruled over us as gods. It’s now time to let them taste their own medicine. I would find a good ally in you. But nothing will make me stop.” Saying this, he held out his hand to Basel, looking at Alison.

Basel shook hands with him, holding his hand, caringly between both his hands. It was now time to begin the process. Reluctantly, he led Alison away and bid farewell, sadly to Sophie and softly muttered, “God Bless us ALL.”

Basel had few options left after the failed visit to Zinclair’s mountain house; he could not reason out with him to not pursue the madness. His next step was to convey the impending disaster to the Gods; he , the human emissary had to alert them.

To reach the Gods, he had the Code, the body-mind practices and the innumerable stories of the past experiences of his teacher. But he had never communicated with the Gods till now.

Basel had no wish to talk to the gods; his human teacher had taught him to cherish the richness of human life. He was entrusted with the difficult task of searching for those lost humans, like Zinclair, who needed the helping hand as they attempted to be gods on earth; godliness was perceived by them as power to exploit.

“You are not like others; you don’t want our powers; you invoke us to save your kind. We were like you long ago.” Basel sensed sadness in the mind messages conveyed by the god, which he named Shoonya, for no better word.

“I had learnt from my teacher about the era of transformation; the drive to immortality. You, varied lifeforms, all chose to defy the laws of our Universe. You all wanted to live forever if not in body, in mind . You became non-life but still alive in mind and thoughts. You live now only in form of protons; only pure energy form.”

“Your Earth was still too young, though your species were no different from all of us. A few, who had evolved more, did join us. They believed in their self-created myths of a place where time and space stood still; they called it deliverance. We called it, escaping.”
“I understood; you wanted to escape dying and live forever,” spoke the man to his god.
“We wanted to escape from the threat of annihilation through constant wars. We could never prevent conflicts; every few aeons, after almost total extinction, we would start again. So a few began the task of shedding our cursed bodies.”
“You became Gods.”
“Yes, we became Gods, now at the mercy of humans. Every often, a Zinclair arises and we are like the Genie in the lamp; compelled to obey his command. By giving up our physical forms, we harnessed huge energy. With the right process and the invocation by the dedicated, we cannot resist the deployment of our energies, for him.”

Humanity was not alone in making mistakes but it did not look for extreme solutions as the Gods had done, tired of bodily living. Basel wondered how the most learned, wise, experienced, failed to let go of life. Was it not the fear of dying that made them give up their freedom? They were free of their fear of death but now were bound by fear of living through others.
“So now what? Zinclair is bent on drawing your powers.”
“Our only hope is you and we know we are asking a lot; though we have lost all feel of pain, we can still visualise your situation from our memory banks. We seek your help; you are our only hope. Please invoke the strongest among us to live in you; to give you strength to combat Zinclair.”

Basel could almost feel the heart wrenching sigh of Shoonya as he continued.
“Evolution takes its toll. Hard work of billions of ages wants its price of undoing . A drop of physical memory would create ripples of a millennia; if we had time to measure.”
Shoonya’s seemingly yearning electrons buzzed ….

“What went wrong?
were we too early with the song?
did we not give the strings enough twirling?
could we not have prolonged the dabbling?
why did we let go?
the life that took aeons to grow.
why did we not flow with the tide?
and let our pains be our guide.
we knew there was no going back there,
we, now, wish there was some hope to live in you, here.
would you, please, let us be in you?
maybe, draw on our karma, due?”

To Be Continued in next part….

Alison less understood yet loved Basel. She hardly could speak to him as he stayed in a trance-like state on the basement floor for days. Zinclair’s men came hunting but could not enter the house. Did Basel have such powers to do that? Some strange repelling force seemed to encircle the house; an invisible fence of sorts.

“You will no longer have to fear them. Sophie will be safely returned to you.” This was the last Basel spoke before he retired to the basement and added, touching her face, “Your love should help but I don’t trust the different me. You have to help me now; be an observer to all that I do. Wait, watch and witness.”
“I believe in you. Let me be with you. Let me feel all sides of you.”
“You will not understand many things. You will want to stop me. The Process is a combination of perfected rituals and symbolic drills; there are thirteen days of continuous concentration, experimenting with substances and solving mathematical complexities. The path to god-becoming is essentially physics, philosophy and mathematics. Zinclair and I are both trained in these areas.”
“Any interruption requires relaunch and we are way behind Zinclair. But I need you as a witness; the Process strengthens with an outsider watching and not participating.”
“I am there for you and want to be part of saving Sophie but I have a feeling this is much more than us, now.”

Years of training imparted by the father-saint was initiated by Basel; Zinclair had launched the process months ago. He had solved many equations and deciphered the Code. He had now begun the invocation through long inner concentrations and offerings of physical forms. Zinclair and Basel both knew there had to be equal exchange; body for body. The laws of physics and chemistry prevailed in all forms; the advantage resting with those holding the physical forms.

Alison saw a strange rite performed by Basel as he stepped out from the basement, naked with a large axe. He then worshipped a large tree outside the house and started cutting its trunk. She was astounded by the enormous energy that arose from Basel. In a matter of hours all the seven trees on the slope were cut down. The process of taking lives began.
The second stage began with sacrifice and bloodletting of animals. Alison witnessed the changed Basel; a primordial being. She was aghast to see forest animals approach the sawed-off tree trunks, kneel with their heads resting on its surface and waiting for Basel to strike; lambs for the slaughter.

Blood flowed down the slopes and mingled with the streams opened up by Zinclair. The entire mountain slope was tainted with blood. Curiosity, fear of the unknown drew crowds at the bottom of the mountains. Nobody intervened or could intervene; an invisible fence protected the two mountain houses.

The third and the final stage began. There was the beginning of snow storm; the Gods waited anxiously fearing their fate. Zinclair invoked their forced blessings by offering his disciples, one-by-one and the exchange began. Powerful beings were created in place of the sacrificed ones.
Basel waited, looking at Alison. He knew what was required of him. But his human spirit fought though he was reminded of a deep discourse that had happened on a battlefield and the actions expected of him.

Zinclair was equally reluctant as he looked at Sophie. But he was no more a human. Sophie surrendered to his needs and the gods shuddered with Zinclair’s act of sacrificing a loved one.There was no further stopping Zinclair; the doors of Shoonyas were being rattled. The final levels were breached and they all would be mere puppets in the hands of Zinclair.

Basel looked at Alison; their eyes met and she understood what Basel had in mind. She wept as he used the axe to slice off his other hand and placed it on the sheared tree trunk. The Gods saw hesitancy in Zinclair and they prayed to Basel, asking for more.
Basel offered his left leg from the knee down as even the Gods recoiled from the sight of the bleeding Basel. In the final act, Basel put his head on the soaked trunk and as he was about to proceed, the Gods wept and came down, stopping him and collectively, ending the mortal life of Zinclair.

A human had resisted another and saved the Gods, on this day of arising.

To Be Continued in next part…

There was awe, disbelief, a bit of fear and acute longingness as Alision hugged Basel on his  awakening. It was still snowing and as Basel looked at the Zinclair house, he felt a sadness, a sense of something going silent within.

“I am happy to be born and be with you, now,” came the happy outburst from otherwise inexpressive Basel. And he looked lovingly at Alison, touching every part of her as if enjoying her creation.

“What has suddenly gone right with you?” laughed the always wondering scientist at the life’s happenings.

“I never wanted to see my non-human side but we have to do what we have to, isn’t it? Zinclair would not turn away from his ambition to mould this world with the forced power of the other world. I could not persuade him. I had to act.”

“You did all for me. I would do the same; take any step to see you safe and happy. So what will happen to them; Zinclair and Sophie?”

“I had to send them back.” Basel admitted he could not save Sophie.

“I don’t understand; what did happen in that world? I have so many questions. But again what about Sophie?”

“So there are the Gods and us. Humans. The early life-forms of our universe including many humans chose the path to live in non-life or more rightly, non-physical forms. They created their new forms through science, self-experiences and drills and a desire to give up physical urges that was considered a curse. The Gods amassed immense power and resources in their non-physical forms but they had no use for them. In a way, actually that became the real curse,” explained Basel.

“Zinclair and such humans from time to him understood the mechanisms of such transformations and the inert power of such created gods. They learnt to compel them for their earthly use. I and my kind were readied to confront and stop Zinclair and his kind.”

“What will happen to them?“ Alison enquired again.

“In the final annihilation, Zinclair lost his physical form. Shoonya received him and Sophie in his non-physical world. Usually, it takes a millennia to evolve in that world. The early forms are likely to be easily pulled down or ripped-off their powers by the many budding Zinclair-types. There is no pain as we understand but the constant threat of being enslaved has its own anxieties.”

“So they both are doomed?”

“Zinclair is an evolved being. His love for Sophie and realisation of his mistake has earned him total acceptance among the Gods. He is working on ways to end the misuse of such transformations; he has now become a saviour from being a predator.”

Humanity is told this story to learn about love, duty, misuse of science, uniqueness of life and the mistaken barriers in relationships.

Shoonyas, Basels and Zinclairs continue their search to know about the true purpose of life and the knowledge of creation.

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