The Guide

It was a hazy February morning. And we found ourselves free for the day. One of us had a car, and the rest of us made ourselves comfortable in it. We decided to visit the zoo. When we reached, our eyes fell on a huge stone wall. We forgot about the zoo, and decided to explore this imposing structure.

We didn’t know exactly where we were, but the main entrance was nowhere in sight. We located an opening in the fence, running along the perimeter of the complex. A narrow dusty path lay between the thick stone walls, and the fence along the main road. There was perhaps room only for two or three people to walk. We followed the path.

A group of college students were walking ahead of us. And it was only after a while, that we realised that a stray dog had been following us since the time we had entered. We paused, and the dog passed us by.

The path split into two, one of which, descended towards a lake. We resumed our walk along the narrow path next to the stone walls. The path was on higher ground, and we could see the lake beyond the trees.

We climbed down to catch a glimpse of birds on the lake. When we returned to the path, we found the dog waiting for us. It wanted to catch our attention. And it succeeded.

Our focus shifted from the monument, to the dog. We paused, and the dog paused as well.

It walked up a stone step, and looked into one of the openings in the wall. It knew we were watching its movements. So this time, we were waiting for it. It stood still, while one of us took a photograph. Once the photo-session was over, it walked ahead.

Meanwhile, the group of students walking ahead of us had turned back. We realised why, when we hit a dead end. There was a stone wall ahead of us, the lake was gone, and there was a thick cluster of trees in its place. Our friend, the dog, casually walked into this ‘forest’. On an impulse, we decided to follow it.

We climbed down the cliff, and reached the bottom. It was marshy, but our friend guided us along a thin strip of solid ground. At the end of the ascent, we found ourselves at the magnificent, towering entrance of the Old Fort!

After our initial amazement, we turned around.

Our guide was long gone…

The Guide
The Guide

Photo By Anand – used without permission (but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind :))