Memory Mounds

Memory Mounds

Ancient Greece, 5th Century BC

The Kingdom of Grecia was torn by internal rifts, jealousy and murderous rage. Loyalty and love was taken over by deceit and mistrust. The kingdom had passed through the hands of able ancestors, who ruled with panache, setting legends to be remembered through the generations. It was after the great drought that time twisted. Many kings surrendered, praying their lives be spared in exchange of gifts and one such gift was Queen Hera. Known for her beauty and wit, Zeus welcomed her as his wife, oblivious to her past love stories. The mere mention of the name Zeus, turned Hera red with anger. All she visualised was a man on a mission to enslave the world.

To save her father’s kingdom, she agreed to the nuptial alliance.

“Welcome to Grecia Queen, I’m fortunate to own a beauty such as you!” and he kneeled to kiss her hand. She faked a smile mumbling, “Another victory for you I presume!”

Zeus rode towards the royal temple brandishing the sword as the drumroll sounded. “General, order the ceremony while I seek blessings of God.”

“Yes King. Without fail”, said the General curtseying and swiftly making his way towards the back of the temple. As a ritual, each of the king’s victories was celebrated by erecting a ‘Memory Mound’. These were cairns erected with the finest stone in the kingdom. The larger the victory, the larger the mound! 

As the king basked in glory, Queen Hera smiled viciously from the palace window overlooking the Memory Mounds as her plan to turn Zeus into a memory like the mounds fructified in front of her eyes.

Kasauli Hills, 21st Century

Aditi, flipped the pages as if wanting a little more from the Greek story. Resentfully, she slipped into her side of the bed, confident of the plan.

Years of emotional and physical assault took its toll, as she sought solace in another relationship, unknown to anyone. The man lying beside her, labelled her husband, repulsed her. His viciousness merely viewed her as an object of gratification. 

“How do I stand him?” Aditi wondered, often having murderous thoughts.

Suffocated emotions accumulated over the years had already created the garden of Cairns, tucked amidst the hills, a walking trail winding into the dense, green, rain swept forests of Kasauli that led to the cottage he owned. The crystal clear image gave her as much solace as did the piping black coffee. 

Aditi’s once cheery disposition was now one of drudgery. The blanket of darkness and gloom had to engulf him someday.

A careless laugh followed, as she carried the cup of tea to his bedside for the last act of being a perfect wife. She loathed having to fake every emotion, but the intent of finally finding love pushed her.

As they drove up the final stretch, dotted by noticeable cairns, she knew it was time. This was the spot which would remain unnoticeable to everyone except her. A new life…….and afterlife for the husband, beckoned.
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Saravjot Hansrao
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