Janmashtami

In the middle cell of a high security prison, in the end of moon’s waning 15 days cycle, a woman delivers a baby boy in the middle of the night. She was delivering her baby in a prison because the king was scared of her children. All her babies were born there. It was predicted that her seventh child would kill the king. So the reasonable King was scared of woman’s every child. How could he take chances with his own security? He had killed earlier six babies of his own sister, Devaki, right after birth. This was the seventh one. He must be killed without doubt.

To save this newborn’s life, his father was furiously thinking of ways to smuggle him out of the jail. But for this he had to pass right in the middle of armed guards, carrying the baby. Guards knew this was the most dangerous baby for the king and had to be killed as soon as he was born. And for the mother this was yet another fading hope to see her child grow up. Bitterly sobbing mother placed the baby in a cane basket, in the middle of trash for disposal and covered him with a dirty cloth. Father was to carry the basket out of the jail. Hopelessly he looks around him. As he makes up his mind to take the risk of his life, he notices that the guard near his cell is sleeping with the keys placed on the table. The man extends his hand to grab it. The bunch falls on the floor, but man quickly pads the floor with a cloth. Guard does not move. Now baby’s father opens heavy metal door of his cell, just a crack. Carrying the basket, he places the keys near the guard and moves out. Mother Devaki lying in a dark corner.

In the middle of a deep royal crisis, every guard in the jail was asleep, leaving the all the gates open. Father quietly goes out of jail. It is raining heavily. He picks up some leafs and covers the baby. Crisscrossing the lanes of town he reaches the banks of river Yamuna. He has to go across to another small town for child’s safety. River is swollen. It is mid night. Sky is clouded. There is no moon. There is no light. All the boatmen have gone home. A few are sleeping soundly under covers in their anchored boats. Situation is hopeless. But the river has to be crossed. The child has to be saved.
Man takes a strong mental decision. This has to be done. He puts the basket on his head and steps into waters of swirling Yamuna. He tries to judge the depth by keeping one foot in front. He is able to find the shallow part of river. He is in the middle now. He can feel the ground but the water is beginning to rise. He is surprised. Water is up to his neck. He keeps moving ahead. Water rises further. His nose is getting splashed by waves. His concern is the child. To raise the basket further up, he raises his arms heaven wards. Yamuna rises further. Suddenly the child stirs and his right foot dangles out of the basket. Man stands on his toes, but a huge splash of wave rises covering the man’s head. Uncontrollable waves spash on the child’s dangling foot… and suddenly, in the middle of swirling floods, father notices that level of water has started going down. Man is shocked but he is too tense to analyse it. Soon he steps on land and walks swiftly towards his friend’s home.

Outside a large mud house there are hundreds of cows and buffaloes. He walks in the middle of numerous resting kettle and reaches already ajar wooden door. He knocks and walks in, shutting the door behind him. He brings the basket down. He calls softly. A calf moos. The baby turns. An elderly man appears. His wife too walks up sleepily… Through the sleeping town, same feet start tracing the journey back to the prison. He hears his baby crying and soon a woman pacifying him.

Baby’s loud cries wakes up entire household. They know he is hungry. Woman breast feeds him. He is still howling. Someone goes to milk a cow. It is too early. All the live stock gets disturbed and a din starts. Sun is rising. Hungry baby is crying. Everyone is awake now. Baby eyes a pot of butter hanging high up in the kitchen. Everyone is busy. He crawls to the kitchen, pulls himself on a settee, stands on a platform and grabs the pot.

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