1 January 2011
The words "Kali-Yuga" are heard in the language of traditional Indians. The Sanskrit definitions describe it to mean that this is Age of Iron, of machines, of evil. It is said that mankind will have reached the depths of the Kali-Yuga when man starts eating man, when cows give blood and kill instead of giving milk and life. If Dharma, that is righteousness and honor, stood on four legs in the Golden Age, the Iron Age will have Dharma hobbling on one leg and gasping for breath. In 1989, Six year old Padma's father was murdered by a Brahmin, a priest who should have represented the studying of divinity, and was instead a drug peddler who used his status for greed. Now in 2008, Padma lives alone in the quiet and picturesque town of Shamrock in Belle County. The town is home to some deadly murders, with evidence of cannibalism and torture. Shamrock is also suffering from an unnatural outbreak of the deadly Mad Cow Disease. A lot of the beef and cattle in the town is infected with it and people are dropping like flies. Padma is now a 23 year old pre-med student. She is devastated, sad and most importantly, alone. Two months ago, a heart attack took her mother away from her and left Padma with nothing but herself, her thoughts, her memories and her diary. Even her good friend, Raj, is unable to bring her out of her despair despite his best efforts or his open love for her. One day, Padma gets an international call from Sumati, a woman who proclaims herself to be Padma's mothers best friend. Apparently she'd occasionally been in touch with Padma's mom all these years and had now heard of her best friend's death. She was going to come visit Padma with her son, Dev. After their arrival, Sumati has to run to New York on urgent work for her non-profit corporation, Padma is left with Dev alone for a few days. Dev, an ardent devotee of the Trimurti- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is deep in his understanding of spirituality and has something that Padma has aspired to all her life but could never find, he is at peace. Inspite of her desire for understanding and for happiness, Padma refuses to buy into Dev's philosophies of life. She refuses to believe in bhagwan, god, and is unrepentant for it. Her mind questions the idea of god because she is now left with no family, her father was murdered by a man of god and the deep sadness within her refuses to comprehend any sense of rationalization. She simply cannot compromise herself to believe that there is a god. She is stubborn in her belief until Dev starts behaving in a strange manner. He tells her about having dreams of Padma's life before they met. He guesses songs on the radio before they come on and he talks of having strength by devotion. He is abnormal in his abilities and credits that to his tapasya, hundreds of hours of meditation with the word "OM" on his lips. As a woman of science, Padma tries to make sense of his abilities. These attempts also exist because of her feelings for Dev, she is slowly falling in love with him but doesn't want to lose herself, She tries to convince herself with explanations of a myriad of possibilities like steroids, drugs, possible telepathy or just plain old trickery, maybe it was just a practical joke that Dev was playing on her. Her explanations in her diary suffice until Dev's actions become stranger, they become stronger, they cross boundaries that just seem impossible. Padma is now torn between her despair, the murder of her father, her beliefs in science, her love for Dev and her aversion to Dev's devotion to bhagwan. The love shared between Dev and Padma, her friendship with Raj, the murders and disease in Shamrock and the sadness of Padma's past all collide together in a way that she never thought possible. Will she believe?
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