Sample Story: Journey Through India.

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Here is a sample fiction story based on our novel which illustrates travels around the world. This sample short story is NOT FOR SALE. However, you may preview it on this website.
It is around 1000 words in length.

Short Stories: Story No. 3

Journey through India

By Vijay Simhadri

I watched the television whilst I was in India. It was showing a documentary on the TV about the Raja Raja Temples of Tanjore, The Taj Mahal in Agra, The Red Fort in the Rajasthan, The Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, The Palaces of Jaipur, and the Nizam of Hyderabad etc. I wished I could go to those places. However, who would take me there? The tales of adventure, of the Moghul rulers of India, who used to ride on horseback up the hills to Red Fort of Rajasthan. I wanted to go to the Golden Temple of Amritsar, however no one had given me the opportunity. I was sitting down in my small house in Madras, South India, contemplating my next move. I would love to go to the picturesque Nilgiri Hills in Ooty, and Kodaikanal, which were places in South India.
They were the pride of South India.
I enjoyed watching beautiful films on television. It was all about love and romance, boys and girls dancing. I saw a film, where the boy and girl were dancing in front of the Taj Mahal. It was so romantic.
The Taj Mahal was a captivatingly, beautiful monument. I would like to see that as well. I believe it is in Agra, India. It was built by Shah Jehan for the love of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who passed away.
There was also the occasional fight scene in the movies. That usually interested the audience. The audience cheered and said, “We want to see more!”
People fighting tooth-and-nail, for supremacy. Was it necessary?
I read the Hindu scriptures and literary works: The Mahabharat, the preachings of Lord Vishnu. As a kid, I used to read Hindu comics. They taught me good values and principles.
Now I was in my mid-thirties, I still remembered these, yet I had also other priorities.
I had been to a nightclub few years back, whilst I was in Hyderabad, and there girls and boy were dancing happily, socializing, and generally enjoying themselves. It was for Christmas celebrations and New Year’s Day. I made new friends there, and people were generally friendly.
Tomorrow I had decided that I would go and visit some South Indian Temples.

To the South Indian Temples

My parents and I woke up early. It was time to travel to some south Indian Temples.
I would be visiting the south Indian Temple, Mahabalipuram. It was a beautiful Temple initially created in 600-800 AD. It was based near the shoreline of the Indian Ocean of the South Indian shoreline. We traveled there. It took some time,and eventually we reached our destination.
There Temples consisted of intricate, fabulous, stone sculptures of idols.
The structure of the temples were decorated all over with stone sculptures of Hinduism. There was the beautiful sandy shoreline. They were selling seashells in a stall near the sea. The gorgeous sun shone bright red in the sunset that day. One could see to the red horizon and beyond the rapid, calming waves of the shoreline. We bathed in the Indian Ocean, and swam a bit. It was soothing, enjoyable and relaxing.
When we were coming back, we bought some lovely seashells as a gift for our relatives. The temples were dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who inspired the sculptures of the temples.

Most of the temples had submerged underwater, as a result of a rising shoreline. It was a long day, so I felt that I would call it a day and go back to Madras. I felt exhausted and needed to relax after the long journey.

Kodaikanal, Nilgiri Hills.

I liked the hill stations in the South of India, so much that last year I had gone and visited Kodaikanal, in the Nilgiri hills. The Nilgiri Hills, was a lovely place. My parents and I went there by car. It took us several hours from Madras. We arrived in the Nilgiri Hills at lunchtime.
I looked at the place, and it was beautiful. The scenic beauty of the place captured my admiration. People there were nice, simple and kind.
There was a huge lake beside the town. A boatman offered to row a boat for my family across the lake. He looked old, aged and yet an inviting personality. I guessed that life must be tough for people living in this part of the world.
My father asked him in the Hindi, how life was in Kodaikanal and asked him his age. He said that he was 70 years old. He looked pretty good for 70 years. He told me that he had lived all his life in Kodaikanal. He said it was a pretty hard experience.
We had a family home at Kodaikanal. It was beautiful and had its own badminton courts. It was like a guest house, and many different people were invited over.
I saw the National Solar Observatory which was located at Kodaikanal.
The observatory was based up in the hills. We looked inside the observatory. It had quaint stellar charts, and a huge telescope.
There was something inside the observatory, written about an effect called the ‘Evershed Effect’ by an English scientist who discovered some solar phenomena in those days. I talked to the guide that showed me around. He said that most of the warmest places in the world were in India. He mentioned Madurai, a place in south India. It was one of the sunniest places in the world. My mother said she was born there.
I talked some philosophy with the guy. He said that my ideas were very interesting, and he wished the world was like that. He said that I had good views. My parents had also come, and they liked seeing the Solar Observatory.
I was wearing a ‘navaratna’ necklace around my neck. It was a traditional Hindu custom, and the necklace consisted of nine different gemstones each representing a planet in our solar system. Nine gems to represent Sun, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Earth, Moon waning, Moon waxing etc. They were arranged as beads in a repetitive pattern comprising of necklace.
I showed the guide my navaratnam necklace. He said it was a traditional Hindu custom to wear it.
“ These are lovely, ornate and beautiful.” I said innocently, pointing to my navaratnam. The guide told me that they were indeed spiritualistic and religious and it was very common to wear gemstone jewellery. I had always been interested in astronomy.
It was an eventful day, and we went back to our guesthouse in the Kodaikanal.
My brother was going to visit Vietnam with his wife, for a wedding.
This reminded me of the 1969 Moon Landings when Apollo space project landed on the Moon. This was the time when Vietnam was fighting against America. The battle lasted from 1962-1975. Nixon was the President of America,and he wasn’t a popular president. He was involved in a cheating scam.
Anyway, back to India. I was talking to my father who said that he wanted to visit the lakes. I said the trip would be a good idea. We would go there and relax. We went to the lakes, lay nearby and rested. Many hours passed and yet still far beyond in the darkened twilight the full Moon could be seen amidst the cloudy skies.

“What an interesting and enlightening experience!” I thought.


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