(Photo credit: Google Images)

So, here’s the story for you…

One summer afternoon I found a lantern, in one of the smaller rooms of the old house I rarely visited. It must not have been too old as the paint had not faded yet but I never thought of finding it there. It wasn’t mine but then it wasn’t anyone else’s too, though once upon a time  it must have belonged to someone.

But that’s a different story.

So, this lantern was different from any other green and black and blue lanterns that you find  in shops selling cheaper goods . It looked good and dependable. But it had gone through rough weather and the glass had chipped a little. I picked it up. Little did I know that it was a magic lantern. How could I?

On moonless nights, the gold-and-yellow-and -orange flame of the lantern would light up the house.

( Are you listening, Kuchikoo?)

But then, you know, it had a mind of its own. Sometimes for days together, the wick would refuse to burn until coaxed gently. Then it would let out an angry sputter and a tiny spiral of grey smoke  but at other times, it burned happily. And then what magic it wove!

Rivers, rain, grass, flower, trees, mountains, sun, sky, stars , moon…all came alive on the wall where the light and shade of the lantern met. The wall became a huge white canvas on which a tiny black bird with red throat flitted past, a lonely cuckoo sang , a fluffy tailed squirrel looked around for a lost nut,  green forests , blue lagoons and backwaters… all  came alive… even the rainbow with a sun overlooking the blue cloud appeared in bright colors ( like the crayon colored drawings you make!)  a wild mountain stream …

Baby Kuchikoo! Have you seen a lighthouse? One that guides the ship from crashing at night? Sometimes this magic lantern was like a tiny lighthouse…Now , sweetheart, don’t ask me how and why! There shouldn’t be too many questions when you are listening to a fairy tale!

So, this is how things were!

The magic lantern is still here… It still weaves magic, but perhaps things are  mellower now.. Birds still chirp but cuckoos hardly sing so there are no more songs, sometimes peacocks dance and cry when silence whispers like wind,  but then the lantern still takes me to far off lands!

And I can see it safely placed on the china table near the window .

(Are you still there, Baby Kuchikoo?)

(To be Continued…)


The Magic Lantern Album Cover

 Photo credit: Magic Lantern Album: Cover photo


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