Born in the family of the tribal lord of Kakshya, Aisa was an apple of the eye for the entire clan — not just because her father was the leader of the clan, but also due to various other reasons.
Ten years prior to her birth - the lands of the Kakshya clan, which were once filled with curtains of greenery, were stuck by an epidemic of droughts that seemed to last forever. Happiness, smiles and rains forgot about their existance, like the Government which never had bothered about them! The life of the Kakshyas moved around only farms & cattle. But with the droughts cattle started dying and farms started turning into an ocean of yellow. Things got so horrible that all the men & women had to walk miles everyday to gather food for their families. The kids were left at the tribal lord’s place where his wife used to narrate stories to them; stories about rain and beautiful rainbow that awaited them in the future. At night, when the parents returned, the children in turn used to soothen their pain by narrating them these stories of hope.
With the spread of tuberculosis into the clan, life turned disastrous. Eventually the Kakshyas, who had stayed together for almost 5 centuries irrespective of the world around, started seperating in the quest of a better and healthy living. The tribal lord was more worried about the disunion of his tribe-mates than about his wife, who turned pregnant almost 7 years after their marriage. Inspite of the segregation of the clan and other problems prevailing in the lands, the wives the lord’s friends stayed alongside her and ensured she was in good health. Yet the oldest lady of the clan predicted the birth of a dead child and this terrified everyone.
But with the blessings of the tree Gods that they prayed to, she gave birth to a beautiful girl who entered the world smiling, unlike most of the kids born there. The very next day, the land saw rains and a rainbow; after almost ten years. And the tribal lord’s joy knew no bounds. Everyone called her the lucky charm of the land and showered her with gifts. They named her Aisa, which meant the rainbow in the language of Kakshyas; as she was the one who brought rainbow to their lands. The Kakshays who has left the land also started coming back and everything was going well, till
Only after 3 months of her birth, they realised that she was born without vision. Yet, that never made any difference to the love they showered upon her as she grew up. Except for those few sulking aunties who worried that nobody would marry her, everyone was happy to see her grow into an independent smart girl. Unlike most of the girls of her age who liked to help their mothers with everyday chores, she only loved to take the cows into the forest for a walk. She knew all the routes better than even her father and even the cows never bothered her & walked out of the route. She used to talk to the cows and the cows used to talk back to her. She called each of the cows by their names, while her dad couldn’t even fathom any difference between a few of the cows. She used to sit with her dad and help him out solving various problems of the land. She used to teach the other kids songs of the nature — songs that educated them of ways of life.
Everybody believed that she will soon succeed her father’s position of the tribal lord. She was a kid everyone in the tribe loved and pampered as if she was their own kid. No body ever spoke rudely to her, none expect that boy in the woods.
Nobody ever saw/heard about that boy. Everyday when she went into the forest with her cows, she used to climb and sit on one of the tallest boulders there and enjoying the breeze. She used to sit there till she couldn’t feel the sun and then walk back after calling the cows to follow her. It was during one such usual days that the unusual boy met her.
“What are you seeing sitting on the huge boulder? Oh you can’t see right?” he giggled.
Puzzled and angry at the same time she immediately replied, “Who are you? You aren’t from our tribe.”
His accent seemed similar to theirs. His voice sounded like he was around the same age as Bharash, her twelve year old neighbour.
“Don’t talk as if you have seen everybody in your tribe. Oh wait, infact you haven’t seen anyone!” he said proudly giggling.
She didn’t like him. Probably neither did the cows. They sounded disturbed that day. She had never heard someone talk so rudely to her. She decided to go back home and started calling her cows.
“Oh, does truth make you feel so bad? Should I pamper you and tell you lies like everyone else to befriend you,” he said.
He was right. What he initially said wasn’t a lie. She couldn’t see anything, although nobody ever said that. But he sounded too sensible for 12 year old kid. Was it a prank played by one of her friends? What’s wrong in talking though, she thought and stayed back listening to him.
After that day, he used to come there everyday and talk to her for hours. He used to describe to her intrinsic details about the nature and about the colors around. He used to tell her how the waterfalls start right from the heaven and about why the yellow sun hides beyond the trees at night. He made fun of her and called her Mysa, which meant black — because black was all she could see! ‘You don’t even know what colors a rainbow carries. Why are you called an Aisa?’ he used to say.
She initially told her father about this new friend. Her father thought it was someone from the neighbouring tribes who consipired to kidnap her and so asked the boys to accompany her to the forest for a few days. Praksh never showed up during those days and she felt bored! She missed listening to the stories of the nature!
“I was just joking aiiya,” she told her father after two day, to avoid being accompanied by the boys. Her father thought she was just imagining a rude friend, since everybody around her was utterly sweet to her!
She wanted to be careful and started asking him about his home. Praksh was the son of a small craftsman from Bashika, another tribe that apparently lived a few foot-days away. His father makes toy girls and toy boys out of trees and his mother gives them eyes & makes the toys ‘colorful’. He was born amidst colors, unlike Aisa. He used to tell her the stories of origin of various colors, that his mother had narrated to him. She inturn used to imagine colors & their presence in the world around her and sing songs about the colorful nature’s beauty. These melodious songs were loved by everyone in the tribe. Kids used to sit around around her at night and learn these songs. It was said that, these songs used to make them all forget all the pains of life and relish their beautiful home land.
His father was totally awestruck by the way she was singing songs about beauty of their land. Yes, theirs was the most beautiful land ever. The enchanting tall tress, the curtains of greenery dressed around them, the fresh waterfalls, symmetric moulders everywhere, and most importantly the blooming colors of their land were unmatchable and yet undiscovered by the world around. Nobody ever spoke to Aisa about these beauties. Yet, she was now singing about their land better than any person ever! She was proud of the vision that her friend has given her.
One day, when she was singing one of her songs to her aunty — she asked her to sing about the grand rainbow which shows up in their lands once in a century. Praksh had never spoken about that rainbow. The excitement in her aunt’s voice while talking about the grand rainbow made her more zealous to know about it. Also, she wanted to hear about it only from Praksh. He was totally fond of the way he described the nature. So she just told her aunt ‘I will sing about it tomorrow! I am tired today!!”.
Next morning she started off to the forests way earlier than her usual time. She had her imaginations about the grand Rainbow — Was it as huge as the mountains that surrounded Kakshya or was it as colorful as the sampenge flowers that Praksh loved. Maybe it was just as bright as the sun and that’s why it was called ‘grand’.
Praksh didn’t turn up at their usual time. Aisa waited till midnight when her father came there searching for her. “Maybe he fell sick today” she thought. She never stopped going to the mountains. She waited for him everyday for the next 40 moons — singing songs of the Kakshya, along with the thousands of birds that sat around her adding music to her song. It almost seemed like the entire nature sang with her and danced to her voice. She never noticed that she was happier now — because the soul of Praksh that stayed with her made her more lively!
Slowly Praksh faded out of her memory, after her little brother was born. Playing with the little infant she enjoyed so much that she rarely moved out of the house after his birth. He became her vision and she was his favourite story-teller! He was more inqusitive than her and used to keep asking his father numerous questions. It was during one such story telling sessions that the mystery of Praksh was finally revealed!
“Aiiya what’s the meaning of chechi’s name?”
“Aisa is a Rainbow”
“What’s a rainbow?”
“It’s a huge bird, that makes a part of the sky colorful once in a while.”
“Woww.. why just a part of the sky, why not the entire sky?”
“Haha.. my grandfather had told me that once in a century, Aisas occupy the entire sky and make it turn colorful. But sadly it stays so for only two weeks and can be seen only a few people — none of us have ever seen it!”
“Wowww.. That’s so wonderful Aiiya. But does it happen only once a century?”
“Apparently it marks the visit of the God’s son to our lands!”
“God’s son? Really?”
“Yes, mythologies say that Praksh — the son of the God, is so charming that the Aisas try to close doors to the sky by covering the entire sky. He, being a small boy, fights with then for two weeks after which he finally leaves — to meet his parents again. Ofcourse we don’t know the amount of truth in these stories.”
“That’s so lovely aiiya. I want to see the grand rainbow.”
Aisa, who was secretly listening to all this wanted to shout out loud “I did, I did!”. She finally knew who Praksh was and the mistery behind his disappearance! She was surely nobody would even believe that she had met him. She turned her head towards the sky and whispered “Thank you Praksh” with the widest smile ever!