Summary: ‘Valley of Silent Corpse’ is a short fiction by Kerala artist Amar Tenzin and edited by Ista Kyra.
Arjun was the prettiest boy. A brilliant and beautiful dancer. But for some weeks now, he had begun sitting alone and meditating. He was not like his active and cheerful old-self.
He had undergone rejection. His beloved boy had turned him down. It was a one sided love affair that had gone on for 4 years. The moment Arjun confessed his love, the boy was rejected.
It made him very sad, and so he started his meditation days at lonely places.
One day he meditated by the side of a crematorium. At the same time, a procession of rituals and dances for the Goddess Smasana Kali was going on. The goddess suddenly manifested in front of Arjun.
“Hey, little lamp, why are you sitting there? This isn’t a children’s park. Wrong place, wrong time—just get out!” Kali shouted at him.
The sound of Kali’s roar startled Arjun and he slowly opened his left eye to gaze at her terrifying form. She appeared dreadful, with her half-naked body decorated with human skin around the waist and her fearsome face had three eyes. Arjun did not react to the ghastly sight and chose to continue meditating.
This angered Kali and she uttered her “Hum” syllable, summoning dark energies to disrupt Arjun’s meditation.
Despite many obstacles directed at Arjun, he continued to focus on his meditation, unfazed.
Infuriated, Kali unsheathed her moon-like sword, lifting her right hand high to slash the blade across his neck.
Before she could act, Arjun’s eyes fluttered open, and he rushed to enfold the Goddess in his embrace, seeking comfort like a child seeking solace in a mother’s arms.
“I don’t have anyone, Mother, I have just lost everything. I had held on to a lost hope for my beloved.
Mother, just let me hold and confide in you. I’m happy now that I have released this ache in my heart to you. You may end me now.”
Upon hearing Arjun’s words, Kali dropped her sword to the ground. She lovingly held and kissed him, saying;
“Look, I’m your reflection”
The Goddess’ words snapped Arjun from an apparent slumber. Opening his eyes, he realised that he was lying on the lap of his beloved.
He pinched himself to ascertain if he was dreaming but the reality before him persisted, unchanged. His beloved was his and he did not understand it but he was happy and decided to remain in that moment.
Cover image by ATUL Patel/ Pexels. The copyright of ‘Valley of Silent Corpse’ belongs to Amar Tenzin.