Shaoni himself wasn't really different from any other boy his age. He loved to fool around and play rather than go to school. He preferred french fries to potatoes ... and as far as choosing between a marshmallow and an apple was concerned, the choice wasn't hard either.
He watched TV for hours on end but what he liked even more was to play games on the old computer his mom once got from an old relative who had bought himself a new one. He dreamt about a big house and lots of money and later, when he was big, he was going to be ... well, you know.
As far as religion and spiritual matters were concerned, his knowledge was limited to what he had learned in school and heard in the local church although this may have been a mosque, a temple or a synagogue too, I forget now.
The only thing that perhaps distinguished Shaoni from the other boys were those incredible stories his mom used to tell him in the evening. Stories about a wizard called Aneola, some sort of a magician who seemed to be able to live not only in this world but in some other world as well. A world of light and higher energy as his mom used to call it.
But apart from that, Shaoni was a pretty ordinary boy living a pretty standard life.
That was until one day, his mom suddenly fell sick.
For weeks the doctors tried to cure her but Shaoni could see how she was slowly sliding away.
One day, when he came home from school and rushed over to see her, she asked him to come and sit by her side and said :
Shaoni my boy, I feel that I won't be able to stay with you much longer. Pretty soon now I will have to leave this body behind and go to another place where you cannot follow me.
Shaoni looked at his mom, his vision blurred by the tears that had welled up in his eyes.
He knew what his mom was saying. He understood she was going to die as most people call it.
He knew that this wasn't a bad thing as such. His mom had told him about death in some of her many stories. She had told him that the 'passing' as she called it, was in fact like returning back home, back into the light you came from at birth. Still Shaoni felt completely overwhelmed and didn't want to accept what was about to happen.
His mom however felt her time was short and with the last strength left in her, she bent over to the boy and said:
Listen to me now Shaoni, because there is something you have to know before I go.
Always remember the stories I told you ... and when I am gone and Aneola comes to town, go to him and ask him to teach you about the Light and the matters of the heart.
"What?" Shaoni cried out, "Aneola? You mean Aneola, the wizard from your stories? You mean ... Aneola really exists?"
The answer was left open. Shaoni looked at his mom as she was lying in her bed, a soft smile on her face ... as if she just recognized some old friend paying her a visit, an old friend she hadn't seen in a long time.
A Message For The Reader