Little Gauri stirred up to the sound of mellifluous strains of ektara ( a musical instrument with a single string). Mesmerized by the soulful music . She peered through the window bars.

In the dim light of early morning ,she spied a silhouetted figure of a young fakir singing in his soulful voice. Clad in long saffron gown, he poured heavenly music oblivious of the world around.

She called out to him . He stopped for a moment and looked at her.

“ Stop Gauri,” her mother dragged her back. “ Don’t look out. This Fakir is a magician. He can look into your eyes and cast a spell on you.”

“ What happens then ,mother ? “

“ Nothing,” her mother answered and went about her work.

“ But I have already looked into his eyes. Nothing happened.” Wondered ten year old Gauri.


Children were frolicking at the far end of the undulating ground covered with shrubs and tall grass, picking up berries and wild fruit. Running after butterflies and wondering at dragonflies.

“ How can they fly even without flapping their wings ? “ asked Gauri .

“ They know magic .” Her friend Rupi answered.

Then she stopped short near a huge oak tree. “ Don’t go beyond it. My father told me that the fakir lives in that hut.” She pointed out to a dilapidated shack nearby.

Then she  turned and started running without uttering a word ..Panicky children followed her and didn’t stop till they reached a shallow stream far away. Panting with exertion they sat on the stones dangling their feet in the cold water.

“ Why are we running away, Will he turn us to stones ?”asked Gauri.

“ I don’t know. But the other day my grandma had called him. He performed some rituals and touched my mother’s head with his bunch of peacock feathers. Grandma says that now I will have a brother soon.” Rupi told .

“ Brother, huh!” She wasn’t impressed,” Can he take out rabbits from his hat or pick coins from the air?

“ I don’t know. He doesn’t have a hat. He wears a turban.”

“ Huh, what kind of magician is he then? “ retorted Gauri.

“He is dangerous. He can make you do things even if you don’t want to . He can make you hate someone or fall in love with someone. Grandma says he is a black magician.” Rupi informed.

“ But isn’t love a good thing? “Gauri wondered.

“ Grandma says it is not. Sarpanch’s daughter Preeti had looked into his eyes. He had cast a spell over her and she fell in love. One night she walked in a trance to the oak tree and hanged herself. Her body was found dangling on the tree.” Rupi told.

Gauri imagined unseen Preeti oscillating  on the tree . Her bulging eyes and protruding tongue frightened her. She shuddered to think about her.

Suddenly she remembered that she too had looked directly into Fakir’s eyes before her mother could drag her.

“Will he make me too fall in love? And with whom? “she feared.

Gauri saw the fakir sitting on a cemented platform outside her home. He was calmly eating food. She watched him curiously. He didn’t seem dangerous.

He saw the child watching him intently and smiled. She ran inside and confronted her mother.

“ Mother, why have you called him here and given food ? Isn’t he dangerous? “ an irate Gauri asked.

“ Shhh, not so loud. He can listen and curse our house if he gets angry.”

“ He doesn’t seem to be angry. He smiled at me . “

Mother looked at her anxiously and mumbled something imperceptible.


Her inquisitive mind troubled her. “ what if I fall in love and die ?”

Nobody would  tell her. She would  have to ask the fakir himself —straightaway .She shuddered to think what might happen.

She too walked in a trance to the oak tree. Not at night but in the afternoon. Gauri waited for everyone to sleep.
She avoided her friends and ran towards the oak tree all alone.

He was sitting outside on a stone,  telling the beads of his rosary.

He opened his eyes and regarded Gauri with surprise.

“ Are you a magician?” She asked.

He was a bit amused.

“Yes, I am .”

“ A real one? Can you pick money from the air? “

“ Is your Ektara a magic?”

He kept quiet.

“ There is no magic in your bunch of peacock feathers, I had picked these when your eyes were closed, and had asked it to turn you to a stone. It did not.”

“ Why do you want me to become a stone?”

“ Because you are dangerous. Didn’t you make Preeti fall in love and she hung herself  to the tree?”

His expression changed .

“ No, I didn’t. She was already in love. How could she hang herself to this oak. Look at it ,can you reach up to its branches ?”

Gauri turned to look at the tree. The fakir was right . She couldn’t have reached it.

Still wondering who would’ve done it.

“ I don’t know who did it .” Gauri could see a tear roll down his cheeks. Then with great effort he blurted out ,” She was an angel. I loved her myself.”

Gauri regarded him thoughtfully. She had never seen a grown man cry.

She got up with an instinct and wiped his tear.

“ So it could be the other way round too? “She  asked”  Then you won’t make me fall in love and put me in a trance.”

“ Never.” He told her.

She got up to go and then returned.” And you too can fall in love?”

“Yes,” he smiled and looked at her, ” You are the magic, little one. Now run home.”


Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

scary scary
The Best The Best
The Best
Green it Green it
Green it
confused confused
love love
lol lol
Litt Af Litt Af
Litt Af
Saritakhullar<span class="bp-verified-badge"></span>


error: Content is protected !!
Choose A Format
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals