My mouth runs dry and even drinking water doesn't bring me the relief it usually does. My hands shake, minutely, but I still notice the trembling. I still feel it, even when no one does. The quiet creaking of the door as my mother peeks in to check up on me makes me jump as if caught doing something I should not be doing. My mother's frown asks me the question she doesn't want to; the question about how I was holding up. I responded with a tired smile and a nod. It was an unspoken way to satiate the worry she held for me. She closed the door behind her, and I looked down at the journal in my hands. The dirty, dirty thing.
I threw the stupid thing clutched tight in my hands to the floor and started pacing the room. Unable to keep the curiosity snaking its way into my bloodstream, I picked up the journal and began to read intently. Its words hypnotized me and caged my curiosity in its unforgiving hold as my eyes began to discover more.
June 15th, 1998
I was heading back to our campsite. My team members had already collected and packed their equipment post the shoot for the wedding in the wild Amazon- a one-of-a-kind wedding for which we had received an invitation to handle the photo shoot out of the blue. The Amazons had intrigued me since I was a kid. My father- an explorer- often spoke highly of the Amazons. He had narrated his adventures in the mysterious Amazon jungles. He had recited tales of the jewels the Amazon held. And thus, I set off to discover the jungles for there was some time before we had to leave for the United States.
Whilst I meandered the paths of the Amazon, I could hear the sound of the water from the rivers and waterfalls brushing against the rocks. I could hear the sounds of the varied animals and birds and plants and trees. Upon walking for what seemed to be roughly an hour, I reached the waterfall. But the water did not seem to flow in a straight and uniform manner. Rather it bent at one point.
My curiosity got the better of me and I started investigating the source of this bend. What I came across left me mesmerized. There seemed to be an extension of the cliff and to most people, it would look like it was a part of the cliff, but to me, it looked like my missing piece. That one thing I had been unknowingly searching for, for my entire life. I think that it was a cover of some sort, something that hid its contents so well that only very experienced and skilled people would be able to dig it out.
Unfortunately for me, although I had the skill, I had very little experience, whatsoever. So, no matter how much I tried to zoom in or change angles, I never had come to know what the boulder hid. I tried so hard. I did everything that came into my mind, but I just could not appease my curiosity. I had returned over the next few days too, to try and figure it out once more, but I seem to have found no luck. Once it was time to leave, I remember trying one last time, but again, to no avail.
All the following entries were about unimportant topics, but I knew he mentioned the Amazons later on. He told me the story. So, I skipped a few years and went through the entries from them slowly.
August 6th, 2004
I returned to the dense jungles of the Amazons once more today. This time, however, I was determined to know what hid behind the huge rock extension. So, 12 years later with increased experience, I tried to scourge the area.
Thus, I set sail towards the waterfall. Its beauty keeps my eyes hostage and my mind calm. I ensure that I am careful and befriend cautiousness until I am certain that I am out of harm's ever- outstretched hands.
The rocks prove to be quite difficult but I manage, just barely. Once I reach the rock, I take a deep breath and prepare myself mentally for whatever is going to come.
When my eyes meet the hidden mystery, my breath halts for a long minute, and only when my body forces me to breathe, do I inhale air.
It's… it's… magnificent.
I am met with the sight of…..
Authors: Saptaparna Chakraborty and V.R. Kapse
Editor: Achala Athreya