Little boys played at the edge of the forest during the holidays from school when could escape the watchful eyes of their parents. Only the boldest of the older boys strayed a bit farther inside the forest to prove he was not scared of the ghosts haunting the trees in this forest.
Several tales about this forest made their rounds. One tale is of a brave hunter & his servant who entered this forest many years ago. People spoke in hushed tones about the hunter who never returned and his servant who was a babbling idiot when he emerged from the forest. Another was the tale of a band of robbers who lived in the forest and hid their booty in one of the caves. No villager dared to enter to hunt for this treasure and wild tales of the treasures hidden grew as the stories passed on from one generation to another.
Kiran, a teenager from the city, who spent his holidays with his grandmother, who lived in the village at the edge of this forest, played with the boys, by the river running between the forest and the village. He loved the wide open spaces in the village. He loved swimming in the river and keeping an eye out for the cunning croc, added a delicious sense of danger to the swimming. Kiran found the mangoes tasted sweeter only if he stole them! He enjoyed the scary thrill when the old man guarding the trees gave chase to him and his friends.
Kiran’s longing to go into the forest got stronger and stronger, as the day for him to depart to the city got nearer and nearer. But his grandmother was adamant that her grandson, who came to stay with her should return to the city, safe and sound. She would not hear of Kiran, even setting foot on the other side of the river. Kiran, who loved his grandmother was torn between obeying her and his longing for the forest.
He thought of the forest all the time. He spoke less to his friends and lost interest in his games. His mind was full of the forest and he thought of it during the day and dreamt of it at night. Will he return to the city without searching the forest?