The Ache in the Heart


[An allegorical fairy tale]

Rohan did not know when he had started climbing the mountain.  He had not even known that such a mountain existed on the way to his school.  While returning home after school he suddenly noticed the mountain.  It seemed to beckon him.  It was an irresistible call.

As he climbed up the mountain seemed endlessly tall.  It just seemed to go on and on.  The buildings appeared all of a sudden.  There were paths between the buildings.  Soon the paths and buildings seemed to intermingle.  The paths went through the buildings.  The paths became the corridors of buildings.  The doors of the buildings opened to paths. 

Rohan continued to climb walking through the paths and corridors, walking in and out of buildings.  He passed by a lot of people, but no one seemed to notice him.  Everyone was busy doing some work, or walking along, or chatting with others. 

Walking through a path that became a corridor without any warning, Rohan soon found himself in a small room, a room that quite uncharacteristically seemed to be a dead end.  The room had a bed, a study table with a chair, and a cupboard.  A few clothes that looked like the uniform of a schoolgirl lay hanging on a clothe stand.  Before Rohan could notice anything more he heard a knock on the door opposite the one through which he had entered.  There was a window adjacent to the door.  It was quite surprising that the door and the window were closed, thought Rohan.  All the doors and windows he had seen so far were always open.  He went near the window and looked through the glass pane.  A girl in school uniform was standing outside.  She looked breathtakingly beautiful.  Was she an angel?  A spirit, a fairy?  Unable to bear the beauty, Rohan bolted out of the room as fast as he could.

He stumbled across a tiny creature and fell down. 

“Hello, I’m Rupa,” said the creature helping Rohan to his feet.  Rupa was a dwarf.  She was just half as tall as Rohan, but looked much, much older than him.  In fact, she looked very old like Rohan’s grandmother. 

“Why were you running?” asked Rupa.

“I have lost my way, I think.”  Rohan said because he didn’t know what else to say.

“No one loses his way here, boy,” said Rupa.  “One can only choose one’s way here.”

Rohan looked at her partly surprised and partly amused.

“Yeah, I saw that the doors and corridors and paths are always open – endlessly,” Rohan managed to say.

“Barriers are required only where there is evil,” said Rupa and continued as if an afterthought, “or where evil is predominant.”

Rohan didn’t quite understand it.  He knew what evil was.  He knew about theft, violence, murder, terrorism, war, and so on.  He also knew about jealousy, greed, anger, etc. But…

“For example,” said Rupa as if she had read Rohan’s thoughts, “no one steals here.  If anyone does the others will flood him with a lot of things, much, much more than he can afford to keep around.”

Rupa explained that evils such as anger, jealousy, greed, and so on occurred because of a creature’s insecurity feelings.  Here everyone was secure, both internally and externally.  “Your desires don’t exceed your capacity,” said Rupa, “and hence the paths and doors are always open.”

“But that room,” said Rohan pointing to the one from he had bolted out…

“Yes, what about it?”

“It has a closed door – and a closed window too.”

“Delusions, delusions,” said Rupa. Rather evasively, thought Rohan.  “It’s up to you to decide whether you want to open doors and windows that seem closed.  Choices you make depending on your understanding of your own capacities.”

Rohan didn’t realise the time passing as Rupa spoke on.  It was quite late and mother would be worrying about him.  He took leave of Rupa and ran down the passage that lay open before him, determined to return the next day.

The mountain was not seen, however, the next day.  Or any day after that.  The mountain remained a longing in Rohan’s breast.  Or was it the fairy behind the window that was the longing – that remained as a sweet pain in his heart – wondered Rohan.


Author’s note: The only other fairy tale I ever ventured to write so far is The House on the Hill.


About matheikal

My more regular blog can be accessed at
This entry was posted in Fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Ache in the Heart

  1. Dawn and Dew says:

    That’s really a nice(wise) story, sir! Brimming with wisdom. Many times I experienced the futility of anger. It is very true that the barriers are delusions to a person who is greedy. Once when he limits himself within his needs, there are no boundaries of happiness. The result is wisdom and eternal bliss which is sublime!

  2. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    I have a vague feeling that I understand (again vaguely) what your are trying to say. I have pleaded guilty to being allegory-illiterate. Why did you make the mountain vanish the next day? Can the lesson not be repeated? Can the choices not be expanded? I would have been lost on that mountain with my incessant questioning, but let that just be.

    Raghuram Ekambaram

    • matheikal says:

      Raghuram, even I’m not very sure what it really means! I had a very curious dream during my sleep and the next afternoon I wrote it down in the form of this story. As you say, it is vague; but meaningful in some ways.

  3. Dawn and Dew says:

    Well, I remember Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner which he calls the same – a dream that had really occurred to him in his sleep!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s