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"Saputangan Chapter 1"


It was that one evening, when Sarani sat on the roof of that one building when everything changed. It was one of those warm summer evenings, with no wind and just the company of the sunset that colours the skies with the most beautiful view of the day. She just sat there, looking at the city she calls home. Birds flew by, making noise about who should get the last breadcrumb, while she just watched them and smiled. People were walking by down the streets, ignoring each other, trying to get to the places they have to be as soon as possible without looking too much around them. It is sad, she thought, it is a beautiful day, why don’t they just stop and smile at each other? She was at a point in her life when she did not understand the world and its habits. Why people do certain things and why is she here. It was a very sad thought, remembering the fact that people just run through their lives, getting where they want to be as soon as possible without loving the road there. As a student, she didn’t have much to complain. She has a loving family, enough finances to pay for her study and some very nice friends. But this wasn’t it. It was time for and adventure. Her backpack was already packed and she cancelled her rent and study and had informed her family, with heavy protest of her parents.

 

And then she just left.

 

It had been 3 months since she applied for volunteering at the orphanage next to a big temple, somewhere around rural Asia. She sat on a bench, watching the skinny children play hide-and-seek. The children were laughing, yelling and running all over the place. One decided to hide in the carpet shop across the street and resulted in an angry woman kicking him out, screaming angry words, which Sarani still did not quite understand. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the sun burning on her face. She was happy, calm and fulfilled. The days at home could not possibly have brought her the feelings she had now. She helped the needy and was modest in her possessions. Occasionally she would sent a letter to her family, telling them stories and reassuring them she was fine. Suddenly she realised soft music was touching her ears. She looked around where the music could come from, but she didn’t see anything. She got up and walked in the direction of which she thought the music was coming from. Nobody seemed to notice the music. It was like somebody was playing some kind of flute, forming relaxing, almost spiritual tunes. She walked around the corner of the street, passing dozens of shops and houses, when she finally stood in front of the mysterious temple. It was big and intimidating. Decorated with white stone, coloured flags and beautiful statues of persons and creatures, guarding the entrance of the temple. Moss was growing on the walls and here and there flowers popped out between the old, oblique stones. She stopped walking and hesitated on entering the temple. Maybe foreigners are not allowed in, she thought. Suddenly a voice startled her from behind. “Welcome, Sarani. What a beautiful day. Interested in a cup of tea?”, said an old bald man, with surprisingly little accent in his voice. It was the spiritual leader of the old temple. She saw him pass by a few times already when she was busy in the Orphanage, but never dared to talk to him, because she still did not quite well understand the rules and habits surrounding the temple. She hesitated, but agreed. Every time this sort of opportunity presents itself, you should embrace it, she learned, you would rather regret the decision to turn down an offer than agreeing to one. Besides, maybe he could learn her about the temple. Intimidated and quiet she followed the man into the temple, where a new journey would await her.

 



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