The morning sun beamed its rays through the slivers in his thatched roof to say a cheerful good morning. He rubbed his eyes and reluctantly stared at the ceiling which sparkled like the golden shards. Not that he was unaware of this light-show through his rooftop; it was just that he was to leave it today and he didn’t know for how long. He knew that he has to get out of the bed and make arrangements for the long sojourn that lay ahead of him. He hadn’t told anybody about anything that was going on with him, not even his close friends. Nobody in the village ever felt something unusual or bizarre about him. Of late he had become a bit silent but then that was not something very strange for the folks around. They were used to such stodgy feelings creeping upon them for a few days in a year. “…that lad has become pretty dull these days…nothing cheers him up…not even the good old ale.” someone would say. While others would put it on the last failed attempt at a relationship with a woman. It is alright to be a bit under the weather, if you will. ‘Not a big harm in keeping your mouth shut or else you attract unwanted trouble’, as the old Abe would say while sipping his tea and grinning wildly.
Xandu yanked the lid of a big trunk and looked at the items he could pick up for the road. His worldly possessions were modest and his home did not boast of any remarkable furnishings. His was a spartan life that bespoke of lackadaisical lifestyle and an unassuming approach to relationships. His parents had died almost two years ago in a strange accident while returning from their farm. That very road had snatched his loved ones from him. He opened a bag and stuffed it with some fresh undergarments, a sheepskin cloak of his father and a new pair of tunics with some simple thread work of a few colors. This was a gift from her for his birthday. He looked at it and felt deeply nostalgic as the tears swelled up in his eyes. She was married to a man now and was living on the other side of the village. He seldom ventured out of the way to meet her. It was too much for him. Just some casual meetings at the public places with a few skirted glances and that was all. He let the lid fall with a loud thud and felt a surge of relief inside his heart. The sound woke him up to the reality of the day…he had to move!
He had packed everything that would keep him going on with his journey – a walking stick, a short knife, a bag full of dry bread with pickles, apple and berries jam and some salt. He look around in silence and stared at the walls of his little house. He remembered the sounds of his parents in that very spot asking him to get up and get moving to do his work on the corn field. He could see his mother cooking for his father and asking him take the food for his lunch. He would see the corner where his father would take a rest in teh shade of the house before moving out to sit with other village folks at the bar. Strangely, the couple had the only son and the rumors were that his father could not beget a child. He was an orphan that his father brought along with him while returning from the city. It didn’t matter to him. He loved his parents very much and now they were gone. He slowly picked himself up from the chair, tied his cummerbund and put the bag tied to the far end of the stick over his shoulder, ready to move out and meet the challenge of destiny. He moved out of his house, walked a few steps and turned back to see his home for one last time and it seemed to stretch; until with a heavy heart he finally left the security of his house and his village in search for the answers. Each step carried him further from his known surroundings into the hidden parts of his destiny. The road would take him to the edge of the forest and there hence he was to search his own path among the mess of bushes and wild trees much like his own thoughts, all gnarled and twisted; jutting out from everywhere.