It was the cold winter season in the North when people mostly remained inside their houses. The village was very small and the people who lived in that village loved each other very much. Mostly all the villagers loved Aheer, a seventeen-year-old boy who helped everyone before they could voice out their need.
One day, the village head summoned him to his house. To say he was confused would be an understatement. Clutching his coat tighter, he walked through the open field as the head’s house was across the village field, the white snow melting under his steps.
Opening the door wide open, Aheer entered the room which was kept warm by the fire in the wooden hearth.
“Uncle Bisht, you called me?”, he asked in a bewildered voice when the old man signaled him to sit down. Settling himself on the fluffy couch, he looked intently at Bisht.
“Aheer, you have always helped others in our village and for that, I don’t know how to pay my gratitude. But this time, I don’t need a help from you. I want you to take a responsibility on my behalf. Will you be able to do that?”, Bisht asked him in a hopeful voice to which Aheer nodded.
“Great. Aheer, you will need to travel to the south of the hills and visit the village on that side. The winter season is taking a toll on our agriculture and people are complaining about the lack of food. We don’t have sufficient money to build a granary. However, the village down the hills has two granaries. The head of that area is my childhood friend and I have already sent him a letter informing about your arrival. I want you to negotiate with him”, Aheer’s eyes popped out of his sockets listening to the old man’s word.
“Alright. I will start the journey tomorrow and I promise you, I will return back with good news”, he said before bidding him a goodbye. The next day Aheer started his journey to the village south to the hills. He was uncertain of the distance and that is why he packed a little amount of food and water with him. However, it took three long days to reach the village on foot and by the time he reached there, he was hungry and tired. The head of the village welcomed him dearly and made sure he was to be tended. Aheer stayed there for two days, negotiating with the head of the village and proposing a fair deal. They decided to build a granary in between both the villages and both of them would have an access to it. Bisht would give manpower for the construction while the old man would help with money.
It was the day of Aheer’s return and he was dreading the fact of again walking for three long days. He started his journey in the morning but this time, he took enough food. He was halfway through when he came to a halt seeing the vast open fields. It was covered with snow and a soft humming sound came to him floating in the air. He was mesmerized by the tune and started to look here and there for the singer. Soon enough, he found a little girl humming the tune while clearing the snow off the land on her own. She seemed to be lost in her own world, unknown to her surroundings. There was a serenity in the tune she was humming and Aheer wanted to speak with the girl.
Trotting towards her, he introduced himself. At first, the girl was hesitant upon seeing a stranger but later relaxed and started talking to Aheer. He came to know the little girl was a wanderer and she didn’t have any proper house. He felt bad for the girl and decided to take her with him. The little girl denied at first, however, seeing Aheer’s insistence, she knew she could trust him and so she agreed.
Through the rest of the journey, the little girl sang songs with her beautiful voice and Aheer got lost in her mesmerizing voice. He didn’t even know when he covered half of the way and when he reached the village, he was surprised that he couldn’t remember when had he walked so much. Bisht was very happy when Aheer told him about the deal.
“Aheer, but don’t you think half the way between our village is a long distance?”, he voiced out his worry when Aheer smiled and assured him that he would take care of the granary.
“Don’t worry uncle. I will take care of it”, he said smilingly while ruffling the girl’s hair.
“But how Aheer? That place is almost two days away. You cannot make the journey often. It’s too far from this place”, Aheer nodded his head in a no.
“No uncle. That place might be far away in length but when you have someone like her with you, and then I don’t believe the journey to that place is long and tiring. She is a source of rejuvenation, her singing, her voice takes away all the tiredness and all you are left with is peace. So I will take her with me everytime I will visit the place”, saying this Aheer took the girl to his home and they lived like brother and sister throughout their life.
Not only the little girl proved to be a good company for Aheer in his journey to the clear land but also she never allowed him to feel lonely. With her, Aheer’s every day was spent rather quickly and he never got the chance to lament over his solitary life.
MORAL: GOOD COMPANY IN A JOURNEY MAKES THE WAY SEEM SHORTER