“Welcome to my home. Can I get you something to drink?” 

 The boys walked into the house, if you can call it a house, and sat at the old man’s long wooden table in what seemed to be the dining room as well as the living room. The old man’s home was quaint, but comfortable. It was not simple, but it was also not quite noticeable. 

“Yes please,” the dark-haired boy replied. They had been hiking the mountain’s trails and their water bottles were empty. 

The old man filled the bottles with water from a pitcher, and the boys took off their boots. 

The boys exchanged glances, but they drank anyway. Their thirsty throats were thankful for the liquid.

The boys were lost. The light-haired boy asked, “Where exactly are we? We strayed from the path a couple miles back.”

The old man began to speak. “You stand in the presence of the intersection of heaven and time, where great nostalgia meets man’s most hopeful dreams.” 

The boys confusingly exchanged another glance. 

If one were to walk past his parcel of land, the home could be missed. It was a large home with many rooms, but because it was tucked away on the side of the mountain, it blended in. 

It was old, quite old, but beautiful. The visitors were two youths, travelling Europe and Asia after their high school graduation. They knew they were in the Himalayas. 

It looked like heaven, but they didn’t believe the man. His old, weathered face was hidden by a white beard and long white hair. His deep-set eyes looked as though they’d seen all of time.

He went on speaking. “My name I cannot tell you, but I can tell you from where I come. I reside here at Mount Kailash. I am thankful that you happened upon my door and here. 

The boys had no idea they were at Mount Kailash. They were hundreds of miles away from it earlier. They were at a loss for how they had strayed so far.

I would like you to listen to my stories. They provide much insight to humanity, to the relationship from human to human. I have seen different peoples worship different gods.  

I am here to enlighten you by telling the stories of these beings I have encountered at my home. Usually, I let my visitors tell me stories, but today is different.  

Each of them thought that they came through my part of the mountain by chance, but I tell you it is not so. 

Their encounter here was dictated and preconceived, even planned before their entrance into time. 

I brought them here to tell me their stories and to explain their perspectives. Their stories add to my wisdom.

Some say that I am an immortal hermit, transcending time by meditation, and that I am the incarnation of a great being so secret that there are not even myths about my godlike state. 

I will not say that I am exactly that, but this claim is more or less closer than anything else I could describe to you. Still, I want to tell you the stories of my great friends-  the lion, the monkey king, and the elephant.” 

The boys exchanged glances yet again.

They thought the old man wasn’t lucid. However, they were tired, and the water was the best they’d ever had. They drank more. 

 “Will you listen?” asked the man.

“Yes,” the dark-haired boy replied.


Image Information: Berggasthaus Aescher Hotel

Source: Jebiga