The Khambishaka temple

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Nachiket ,a young prince, gets involved in solving the theft of the Nagmani. As he tries also to find out what happened to his parents. Alongside a iccha-dhari nagin or shape changer snake-lady, meeting mythical beasts and living legends, will he be able to save the Nagmani before the theif became immortal?

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I lie half off my bed. The crimson silk cusions are scattered. A goblet of ruby red wine in my left hand. A dying out lantern flickers in the breeze. I can hear the distant sound of music. The feast is still on. And suddenly, out of nowhere, I hear anklets.....

Someone is walking towards my pavilion. Queer, all of them should be at the feast... The king's feast........ I prop myself up on my elbows.

Out of the moon light and into the dim golden shine of the lantern steps a girl. I blink at her.

She must be some Apsara, some heavenly beauty. She walks lightly towards me....

Her eyes are beautifully brown, a straight nose, soft lips resembling a bow. Her hair comes upto her waist. She is dressed richly, like some rich courtiers daughter. The gold ornaments look dull in comparison/ contrast to her flawless bronze skin.

As she starts coming closer and closer, I silk back into the soft silk.

Now she is looking down at me.

She starts to lean in, touch my face with her hand.

My right hand moves of its own accord. And somehow I know it is headed for her neck.

But my hand grasps on something narrow, smooth, shiny black long thing.

I blink again.

Around my arm is coiled a black king cobra. Hood risen, fangs bared, snapping at me.

I throw it away and the creature falls with a thud on the ground. It coils and gives a hiss.

As I look at it, I see a red ruby shining on its head. I shake my head and blink at it again. There's no ruby.

'' Oh my god''; I say as I lie back again massaging my forehead.

'Nachiket' I think gazing at the goblet, 'this is what you get out of too much wine'.....I hear the thud of the goblet tumbling to the floor as I drift off to sleep.


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