The sun and his 47 degree temperature was so unbearable that I was forced to take off my thinking cap and retire back to the lazy slumber which colored my past days..! My spirit was crushed in this melting gold from sun..,even the chilled bottles of lemon crushes were not able to relieve it. Cursing the newly found enemy of the sky, I made myself a cold lemonade..,and went to the balcony of my hostel to find solace..,seeing my zombified image even the little banyan tree,which grew through a crack of the wall laughed at me with a note of mockery, but the stern look on the face the aloe vera plant,who sympathized with my withered state, saved me from the mockery of the little banyan tree..!I was sad,homesick,lonely,tired and above all was thirsty for rain..!
I sipped the cold lemonade..,the sweet and sour angels in it danced on my tongue..,lighting many cold crackers in my brain, I felt the adventure which was lurking in the air..,but how is it even possible to embark on an adventure at this time of the night..,with my withered state of mind and body..!! Suddenly my eyes got hooked on something kept at the corner. I leaned over and picked it up..,it was an old book..,all tired like me with pages as yellow as the beach sand…because of its old age..,I played my finger on it.,it reminded me of my current state..,all withered and neglected kept at an unwanted corner..!
Dismissing all gloomy thoughts..,I carefully blew the dust settled on the book..,it rose into the air with the elegance of star dust. The tittle of the book read like this..”Rapaccini’s daughter”!! I started the book on a gloomy note..,so did the story..!! It told the story of a homesick man called Giovanni..,who goes to a new town..,takes up an apartment in a far away land. Suddenly I heard some rumbling noise under my feet, I looked down but the sight I saw was very bizarre. At first I never believed my eyes..,the cemented floor on which I rested was no longer there..,instead there was this marble floor which resembled some old renaissance castle. I had the fit of my life when I heard an old woman’s voice telling “Ciao Signor”..
Wow..!! Where on earth am I? I was sitting on the same iron chair but in some weird old mansion..,with a 79 year old woman and a young man dressed so bizarrely as if he is going to act in some Shakespearean play. I thought I was dreaming, I tried to pinch myself and wake myself up. But none of my techniques of waking myself up worked.,and I was still stranded in a weird mansion with a weird man..,who is leaning over from his balcony to observe the mysterious garden down his mansion..,the woman whispered that it belong to Rapaccini.I tried to call the woman and ask my way back. But both the youth and the woman behaved as if I am invisible..!! O my God..!! Am I REALLY INVISIBLE..? Or have I gone mad? Okay now there is no going back..! I sat there in despair.. Can I ever go back? Can I see my family again..? I felt like crying..
But now I have got nothing that to observe this woman and the youth..,The woman who seemed like the caretaker bid farewell to the man..whose gaze was fixed on the garden below. I saw a mixed range of emotions on the man’s face. At first it was sadness,then it was curiosity..,and then it was passion..!! What the hell is going on in that Garden.. I stood up from my chair and went next to the man,and looked down to the garden.
O..it was so beautiful..just like the Elysian fields of the paradise..but here was something evil about it. Suddenly from behind the herbs came an old man. OH..,this must be the old Rapaccini,about whom the care-taker was speaking. The old man was inspecting the plants with a dreaded expression on his face, as if he is in a garden filled with poisonous snakes.I hated the look of this old man, so did Giovanni. I grew tired of this garden gazing and was feeling sleepy, when my eyes saw something magnificent.. a purple flowered shrub in the middle of the garden which glowed like a dew drop under the crystal blue waters of the ornate fountain which watered it..I just wanted to run to the garden and feel the velvet flowers with my fingers..,it was like some magic..,I saw Govanni’s face also glowing but the flower was not the reason for this,but was due to a girl who was attending the plant.
She was really a celestial being, just like the flower..I even closed my eyes for reciting a small prayer when I saw her misunderstanding her to be a goddess. But then came to know it was just Rapaccini’s daughter..As she looked to our direction I blacked out..,her gaze was so strong for a mere mortal like me,.
I gained my consciousness after many days..,I presume..!! No one was in sight, What is happening? I went to the balcony and saw Giovanni with the celestial girl. I was happy for them. As I was alone in the room I decided to examine the room. I found a small book ornately decorated in rich leather. My curiosity made me read it..,later I found out that it was Giovanni’s diary. And from it I came to know that the mysterious girl’s name is Beatrice and he likes her more than anything in this world..Woupiee, if I am lucky enough I could attend an Italian marriage of renaissance time..!! Cool..!!
But the information which I found on the next page was very disturbing..Beatrice was not a normal girl,she was a poisonous being..,more poisonous than a cobra..that even her meager breath could kill a human being..!!She became so due to some experiments of her father.! That cold blooded man lacks the basics of human sentiments..! Now I was getting worried for Giovanni..!! Is he doing the right thing? Is this the old man’s some experiments..?Anyhow I don’t want to see Giovanni die..!
Then I learned that Giovanni’s acquaintance and Rapaccini’s competitor Professor Bolglioni has given him an anecdote which can neutralize any poison..!! My mind was all singing of joys..,I was happy because I was seeing a silver lining in the story..!!
The next day Giovanni was getting ready to meet Beatrice..,but with horror I found out that the flower he was carrying withered in his hands..,!! O MAN..!! Giovanni is also a poisonous being now..!! O no.., I can’t take it anymore,because the next thing I will be finding out that I have turned into a poisonous being..!! I wanna go.., now but I was relieved thinking about the anecdote ..that day disregarding my own I went with Giovanni to the garden to find the celestial Beatrice..! She was all happy to see him,but he behaved very weirdly..he started spitting out poisonous words,accusing Beatrice to be a traitor..but how can he do this? how can he do something like this to someone so sweet like BEATRICE..!!
But then as in a dream he gave her the anecdote..she drank it and bid farewell to this world..,I just wanted to vanish at that time..,I HAVE STARTED TAKING A LIKING TOWARDS ALL OF THEM..AND at that moment..I felt as if the earth was tumbling under my feet..I stumbled and accidentally touched the poisonous flower growing under the fountain..
My fingers touched the cold poison,while my eyes froze at the sight of the chilling death of Beatrice..I wanted to shout, to cry out loudly..!!But something magical took place at that time..!! Beatrice,Rapaccini,Giovanni,the ruined castle and the garden, the poisonous plant everything vanished into a purple hue which found found its way into my heart and with a shudder I WOKE UP IN my balcony..,I was sweating profusely..,I was scared. I wanted to be near my mother..in her hands..!! I checked the title of the book …it was written in lilac “RAPACCINI’S DAUGHTER” by Nathaniel Hawthorne…!!I was absorbed into the mysticism of the story..but I dreaded the book and put it back where I found it..but I felt very different with some revived force..it was raining..!! I found as if I found back my lost self..but I was dreaded when I saw a purple hue which was flowing through my veins now..and in that raining night the raindrops washed away my old self while my new self basked in purple..not knowing whether its for the good or bad..! WHILE THE ALOE VERA PLANT smiled like a hundred year old sage,who knew all the mysteries of this universe..,leaving me all confused after this mystic journey….!!