We gazed in awe at the magnificent pathway that lay before us. It was magical, magnificent, maggot… Sorry sorry, scratch that last one please.
However, reaching here had not been easy.
We’d first heard about the path from an old American couple whom we had bumped onto deep inside the Periyar National Park in Kerala. It had been two days since we had been standing at the point from where the road diverged into two, trying to decide whether to take the left one (maybe that was the right one) or the right one (maybe that was better left alone)…
… when the couple had come up behind us, and said, “BOO!”
We almost jumped out of our skins in fright. Recovering, we exchanged introductions and then asked, “So what do you guys think, left or right?”
They immediately replied in tandem, NEITHER. “
Surprised at their answer, we asked them for an explanation. The man replied,” Turn back, walk for just 38 kilometers, till you reach a tree with a solitary sandle hanging from it. Take a left from there, walk another 19 kilometers, till you reach a cottage standing peacefully by the lake. Take a boat from the pier opposite the cottage, and row for 94 nautical miles till you see a destroyed forest in the middle of the lake. Get down on the island there, and walk through the trees for a mere 13 kilometers, and there, finally, you will find a magical portal that will take you to another world, and show you sights you would have never imagined in your life.”
Excited by the prospect, we thanked them profusely, and promptly turned around and started our quest.
We traveled 38 kilometers till we reached the tree with the sandle….
Took a left and trekked for 19 kilometers till we found the cottage…
Took a boat…
… and rowed for 94 nautical miles till we saw the destroyed forest in the lake…
And then, got down there and trudged through the forest for 13 kilometers till we arrived at the small clearing that was our final destination.
And there it stood before us, as promised, the magical portal that would take us to a wonderful world with unimaginable sights.
Holding hands, we tentatively took our first step into the portal… then another… then the next… and the next.
As we kept walking, the other side of the portal kept beckoning us, almost magnetically pulling us towards itself. We could sense that something awaited us there that would forever change the way we looked at our own world, at life itself.
And then, we were at the other end. With one final look at each other, we extended our shaking hands towards the door, and gently pushed it open, and saw….
At this point, the diary that we had found in the forest ended abruptly.