Highly Commended Story - The Saga of the Trident
“The Saga of the Trident” by Param Chirag Shah, Rustomjee Cambridge International School (Dahisar), India, is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Param Shah, a 10-year old, talented fifth grader from Rustomjee Cambridge International School, Mumbai, India, is an avid reader, a Math enthusiast and a basketball player. He is gifted with a wild stretch of imagination and creativity which can be witnessed in everything that he does, whether it is academics, creating fun games, doing research, creating science projects, solving mysteries and so on. Param has always been an extremely jovial and fun-loving child, full of enthusiasm. If given a choice, he'd keep playing for all 24 hours of the day and yet want more playtime!!!
The Saga of the Trident
Seventy-two hours of torrential rains, dropped like bullets from the overcast dark grey sky. Innumerable mud-houses and trees fell prey to the tenacious claws of the howling wind and tumultuous rains. The earthy scent wafted, but this time it felt antagonistic. The ground was semi-soft with layers of eroded soil, leaves and thatched roofs. The flood waters had receded but the catastrophe was unfathomable, leaving Shirol village totally devastated.
After a few hours, when the sun shone, creaky doors were forced open and villagers gathered with teary eyes. The Panchayat addressed the villagers, “Though most of the houses have been destructed, miraculously, our Lord Shiva and his magical Trident is yet unharmed. We suggest that it should be relocated to another city before any harm befalls on it.” There were blank looks and mutinous whispers. Gossips about how the Trident was being guarded by supernatural powers started doing its rounds.
An evil-minded Lohar Singh was conspiring to steal the Trident and sell it to foreign hands for a handsome reward. But his brother - Pritam Singh, a noble-hearted, god-fearing, humble person, eavesdropped the conversation between Lohar and the smugglers. “Lohar, don’t you remember how Daku Mangloo was brutally tormented by supernatural powers when he tried to steal the Trident. It’s definitely guarded by the spirits. You’d face bitter consequences,” warned Pritam.
“I don’t believe in any of the stories rumoured by these villagers. I’m brave and smart. I’ll do whatever I want,” bickered Lohar. Later, just before dawn, Lohar sneaked into the decrepit temple and dislodged the Trishul from the hands of Lord Shiva. The moment he lifted the Trident, a swirling mass of charcoal-black smoke rose in the shrine, making ear-piercing sounds like gargantuan swarms of bees were hovering and orbiting around him.
Lohar Singh panicked and fled towards the dense forest, holding the trident. He could sense the invisible spirits. He had to run barefoot over decaying tree foliage, disheveled lawns and tangled thickets of thorn. Intermittently he brushed past moss-covered trunks and rough barks that bruised his elbows. Dankly drooped branches slapped his face and sharp twigs scratched his arms, but the fear kept him going.
Suddenly, a massive tree fell just before him to block his path and he toppled, losing his balance and also the Trident. Strangely it cart wheeled multiple times only to jolt Pritam who was following Lohar to abstain him from stealing it. He identified the magical Trident and understood all that might have happened. He picked it with due respect and ran towards the dilapidated temple. “Oh Lord Shiva, please forgive my brother for his folly. Our village is already devastated but we’ll ensure that this Trident is never disengaged from here. We’ve learnt our lesson.”
Limping and bleeding, Lohar too rushed in and begged for mercy. He lifted the Trident and fixed it to where it belonged. Everything immediately tranquilized. The pandemonium nulled, the eerie sounds muffled, uprooted trees stood erect and fields became lush again. Everyone understood the power of the sacred Trident and Lohar Singh became the protector of the temple.