By Ahimaz Rajessh

On a faraway shore, Kothai stood restless anticipating some sail-ships.

Long, long, long before the illusory Buddha of Mahavamsa perished in Lanka in the year 2009, before the blueprint of Ravana’s interstellar fleet was burned to ashes along with thousands of rare manuscripts in the Jaffna Public Library and before the illusory Amaterasu of State Shinto perished in Kanchanaburi in the year 1943; long, long before Kuyili destroyed the British armory by transforming herself into a human torch, before the Manuvadis with their varnasrama invaded the land of Tamils that stunted the spontaneous progress of their civilization, before the non-vedic Samanam and Boutham were assimilated and violently replaced by the vedic Saivam and Vainavam, before Avvaiyar said: Do not ever stop learning and before Kaniyan Pungundranar wrote: All humankinds are our kin; long before Karikala Cholan built with stones the Kallanai dam, before Indrajit sailed through the Milky Way in his interstellar ship, before the Tamils carved the shape of turtles in their temples and before Kali ate the heart of Baphomet and tutored warlord Murugan; that is, long, long, long before we all became too busy working and over-working (for bread and more bread to tech and more tech) to have time to learn about any of this, but long after the people in Kumari Kandam learned to sail unimaginably long distances in the seas by observing the oft-floating sea turtles and their way with the magnetic currents, in the islands now lost under the sea, a 20-pound child was set sail by her father, cradled in the back of a 500-pound sea turtle, both fed and protected along the way by the seabirds in the sky above the current and the fishes under the current, to her mother away in what’s now Australia, or was it Madagascar, and arrive she did safe and sound, thriving well, unlike some other kids that were sent before her in like manner and arrived either feverish or with bloodshot eyes.

“Netheli, my seedling,” her mother held her up and saw the universe complete with the dancing Nataraja in her liquid eyes, the eyes of the blackest and the beautifulest thing that ever existed that pattern recognized the touch first, then the faces, expressions, gestures and sounds of her mother and her clan, all of whom at the sight of her broke into a long jubilant ululation.

Surely, the look in her eyes seemed to say, the father will follow her soon after he and his crew have straightened out some damage the recent hurricane had caused delaying their eventual sailing, and the islands, dear mother, were they sinking. People had been emigrating off and on from there out into what’s now Lanka, India and the rest of the world since long, but now the islands seemed to be permanently sinking as most turtles that usually arrived from the edges of the world to nest out there no longer did so now.

Thus, long, long, long before anyone had uttered the word Lemuria, long, long before anyone had imagined Atlantis and long before the Tamils recounted the diluvian event in their literature, but long after the ancients of ancients mastered the arts of living, this cradle of civilization called Kumari Kandam sank deep in what’s now the Indian Ocean and its ruins became the breeding ground for myriad of fishes, with the explorers and survivors scattered all across the globe, prospering, marking the beginning of another era, all divided over the course of time by language, culture, race and ideologies, bespelled by pride and felled over and over by mistrust and greed.

But, be that as it may, what matters most now is that on that faraway shore anticipating the arrival of sail-ships, not finding any sail-ship yet, Kothai lifted a child from a familiar mobile cradle and recognized it was, yes, her Netheli after all, and then she went vululululululululu and her clan ensued the ululation.


Ahimaz Rajessh has been published with Big Echo: Critical SF, Jellyfish Review, unFold, formercactus, The Cabinet of Heed, Speculative 66, Liminality, The Airgonaut, Occulum, Surreal Poetics and Jersey Devil Press besides many other zines.

Art by Lesley C. Weston (Colored pencil)

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