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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2233767-The-River
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2233767
Happiness lies in simple things. A woman discovers her truth when she swims in the river
THE RIVER





Punjab
India
1710


Priti liked to discover the infinite possibilities of the nature around her when she was a young girl.
She particularly liked to climb the trees.
But her favourite activity was to swim in the nearby river.
She loved to let her body drift with the current.
Priti also liked to watch the reflections of the sun on the surface of the water forming myriads of diamond like shapes.
It was her happiest moment.
But now, she was forty year old just recently widowed.



She loved her husband dearly. She felt totally lost. They did not have children because she was infertile, but they took care of many of them in the village like they were their own.
She decided that she would leave her house.
Priti wanted go back to nature to live a simpler life.
Most people thought that she became mad after her husband’s death.
She built a hut near the river she loved when she was a child, with the branches she found around it.
She would only devote her time to meditate and to pray. She wanted to experience her deepest truth. She laughed all the time very loudly.
Priti liked to watch the birds elaborating their nest. The ballet of all the insects in the air around her was a great source of joy.
Sometimes, some people that she took care when they were children came to visit to check on her.
Priti was so radiant that they thought that she had found comfort by living in the middle of the wilderness.
She had the habit of talking to the people who came to see her of what inspired her at the moment; strangely they felt better and more relaxed afterwards.
More and more people turned out.




Some of them thought that she could heal many illnesses only if you talked to her.
Priti listened intensely. She always gave some piece of wisdom or advice to her visitors.
Her reputation grew in the region.
She became the sage that all types of persons came to consult.
One day a dignitary named Sanjal from the court of the maharajah arrived.
He suffered from chronic headaches, and all the doctors he had consulted before could not help him
“Just listen to your body and you will find the answers.” Priti said to him.
“what do you mean?” said Sanjal.
“Listen to what your headaches want to tell you, they come to help you, and when you do that, they will disappear.” said Priti.
Sanjal was not impressed by Priti. He left her disappointed.
The following night, Sanjal had a dream about the maharajah’ son who was in grave danger. He was there to protect him and to save him from death.
Sanjal woke up with a massive headache.
He thought about what Priti told him, and strangely his headache lowered in intensity.
Sanjal went back to see her and told her about his dream.
“Now, you know what to do, if you listen everything will be fine.” said Priti
When Sanjal left Priti, he felt more alive.
He had better sense of his higher purpose.
He went to the court where he was an advisor to the maharajah, and he told him his concerns about the prince, but the maharajah did not listen dismissing it as superstition.
During the same period, the wife of a rival ruler who fought against the maharajah went to visit Priti.
She just lost her husband who had been killed by the maharajah during the battle.
“Until you forgive, you won’t be free.” said Priti to the lady.
“Suffering it’s only an illusion created by the mind.”added Priti.



When the maharajah died, his son succeeded him,
but he was too young to rule without guidance because he was only twelve year old.
One day while he was playing in the palace garden, a very venomous snake came at an extremely close distance to him being very menacing.
Sanjal, who was near, rushed to rescue the young king, and he chopped the snake’s head off.
Since that day, Sanjal became a close confident and the main advisor of the new maharajah.
He advised him to always carry a weapon with him. Sanjal noticed that some people in the palace looked more agitated than usual since his father’s death.
Not long after, a group of men wanted to overthrow the young king in a coup. They tried to kill him, but because he was always armed and on his guard, he defeated them with the help of other guards.
He thanked Sanjal for his advice.
Sanjal went to see Priti to tell her that his chronic headaches stopped.

“you see, when you open your heart, everything starts to flow and makes your life better.”said Priti




After many years, the widow of the rival of the maharajah’s father who came to see Priti a long time ago thought that it was time to forgive.
She decided to marry her daughter to the new king to form an alliance among the Sikh people.
The new maharajah, who had been nourished by long discussions he had with Sanjal during these years, considered that all the new territories he could conquer would enjoy more religious freedom even though he wanted to become the leader of the Sikh people. When the opportunity to take back the city that the Afghan kings administered, he decided to do what no other maharajah had done before: he conquered it following the advice his mother in law gave him.

He formed what would be later called the Sikh empire.

Sanjal assisted the best he could his king during his reign but now he was older. He wanted to go a different route. The different conquests had been very demanding.
The maharajah thanked him for his services.
He wished him good luck.

Sanjal went to visit Priti to decide what he would do next.
“How do you look so young and radiant?” Sanjal asked.
“You remember what I told you a long time ago, the key is to be attentive and to listen.” said Priti.


Sanjal pondered upon these words. He decided that he wanted to travel. He would meet different spiritual teachers to listen to what they had to say.

He started to go all over the Indian peninsula.
During this period, the situation was very chaotic and dangerous, but Sanjal was determined to do it.
He visited temples, mosques and gurus.
He was still not satisfied by what he heard.
The next step for him was to go abroad to meet different masters.


Sanjal went to Jerusalem, Egypt, Rome, Paris and London.

His journey took him three years to complete.
Upon his return, Sanjal enquired to know if Priti was still alive. He found her like usually under her favourite tree next to the river.
“I’m so happy to see you, and I’m glad you still remember to come to see me.” said Priti.
“I travelled extensively the last years, I went over to many countries, and I heard so many languages.
I listened to a plethora of teachers but I still feel empty and I yearn for more knowledge in the dusk of my life.” said Sanjal.

“Give me your hand, let’s go to have a swim in the river.” said Priti.
“Oh my dear friend, I am too old for that!” answered Sanjal.
“If not for a swim, let’s go only to knee-deep.” said Priti.
Sanjal followed her to the river
“Take water in your hand, and feel it between your fingers. Without water, life would not be possible but sometimes water can cause harm. It’s just a possibility. Water is energy. Think of all the good you did in your existence, all the mistakes you made, and all the people you touched by your actions.


Like water you are energy. Water does not look for fulfilment, it’s just a source of creation. Like water you play your part, and for that I’m extremely grateful to have known you” said Priti.
























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