Ali Baba aur Chaalees Mor (Ali Baba and the 40 Peacocks) of Porto #PortugalPlots #28DaysInPortugal

I had come to the Palacio de Cristal gardens with hope in my heart and a dream in my eyes. A seer had told me that my fortunes would change if I visited the gardens even once, for hidden there was the greatest treasure that I could wish for.
After a short, pleasant stroll(for a change, this is Porto of the seven hills fame, remember?), I reached the gardens, and starting searching for the treasure. I searched high and I searched low, but I could not find any trace of a treasure.
Finally, when I was on the verge of giving up, I decided to give it another shot. I walked to a hidden corner of the garden, one which I had entirely overlooked before, and it was here that I found the cave.
It was suitably dark and mysterious, so if there was any treasure to be found, I was sure it would be here.
But imagine my surprise, when I discovered that the cave was completely empty.
I kept exploring it for almost an hour, though there was not much to explore, but in vain. And it was then that the idea struck me.
I stood in front of the cave, and in a loud and firm voice, cried out, “KHUL JA SIM SIM.”
And then….nothing happened, absolutely nothing.
Dejected at my Hail Mary shot going astray, I turned to walk back, and it was then that another idea struck me. I suddenly remembered that I was not in India, so the password would be different here.
I quickly turned back towards the cave, and shouted, “OPEN SESAME!”
And wonder of wonders, a hidden door inside the cave opened up silently, and out came the most beautiful peacock I had ever seen.
I had hardly stopped admiring it, when out came another, and another, and another… till finally, there were forty peacocks and pea hens standing in front of me. I truly felt like I was living the life of Ali Baba aur Chaalees Mor (Ali Baba and the Forty Peacocks, it’s a Hindi pun, couldn’t resist it, sorry), and I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a beautiful peacock, or two, ir even forty, but this was hardly a treasure that would change my life forever. These fortune-tellers are all a bunch of charlatans, I grumbled angrily to myself.
But while I was wallowing in self-pity, I suddenly realized that all the peacocks had disappeared. I looked around, and saw them making a beeline for another corner of the garden.
Seeing my consolation prize too go away from me left me angry and humiliated. I immediately started running behind them, and after a few minutes, caught up with the last one, huffing and puffing (me, not the peacock, his breathing was absolutely fine).
The peacock turned a corner, and stopped.
I too was forced to stop with a jerk, and I almost bumped into it.
I looked up to have a few strict words with him, and froze.
I had finally come face to face with the greatest treasure in the world, and she was truly priceless.

About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
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