<ul><li>As I descended the fight of stairs off the plane, I took a moment to inhale some fresh air. It had been a long flight, a graduation gift from my parents. A taxi waited next to the airport, so I got on and told the driver where it was they should take me. I could not even imagine why my parents had chosen to send me here of all places. There was nothing here, only rubble and remains of past cultures. Where many years ago life had existed, there was none today. It was as if a whole town had just packed up and left. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Mohenjo-daro was a small Indus village located in the modern day Pakistan, and was discovered in 1992. I had briefly studied it during my archeology course in college, the one my parents had encouraged me to take. When I stepped out of the taxi onto the dusty road, I realized I had no idea where I was going. I walked down a path and an excavation site caught my eye so I set up my tent there. Because the sun seemed to be setting over the horizon, I closed my eyes and tried to get sleep. At what seemed to be twelve at night, I heard water dripping, which was a rather odd occurrence, for the Indus River that I had observed earlier was placid and undisturbed. I unzipped the entrance of my tent and crawled out into the vast open valley. </li></ul>
<ul><li>A full moon eerily lit the expedition site and I heard the dripping louder and louder. Following the sound, I noticed cool dark droplets of water channeling through what looked like an ancient drain and into rather large shallow pool, what could have been a bath. Where this water was coming from I did not know but tired and groggy from waking up at this late hour, I tripped on a rather large stone statue. I stumbled headfirst into the dark almost bottomless pool of water. </li></ul>
<ul><li>I fell, for what seemed like ages, down into the murky water. Eventually I saw that the water was getting lighter and lighter until I burst out into the open air. Voices were every where, people were in the pool bathing, and in the streets walking around determined to get something done or to buy food for their family. I scanned the horizon for my tent to no avail. It seemed as if it had disappeared. Where was the expedition site? It was all gone, everything that was there before, all except the ruins, which now looked like they had magically been put back together. Confused, I dove back under water hoping that when I resurfaced this would all go away. But when I looked out again the strange people and the town was still there. “Akuti!” someone called, “Akuti,” the voice got closer, I looked up to see a middle aged woman. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Why there you are,” the women cried, I looked around but there was no one else in the pool except me. “How many times have I told you to stay clear of this place. It’s not safe.” The strange woman grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the pool, as I put my feet on the ground I realized that I was wearing a white sari, a complete change of clothes from the jeans and t-shirt I had on earlier. Utterly confused, I followed the woman to what looked like a rather large brick structure. Could it be a house? I sat down on a rock against the brick wall and stared at the ceiling hoping some answers could lie within its walls. Why was I brought here? Obviously I hadn’t gone anywhere physically; I was still in Mohenjo-daro, but the excavation site where I had chosen to place my tent had mysteriously come to life. As for my new name, I was not certain. “Akuti, come down stairs, it is time for dinner,” called the strange woman from earlier. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Akuti, come down stairs, it is time for dinner,” called the strange woman from earlier. The language she spoke in was strange to my ears but somehow I could understand it. I walked down the flight of steps into a warm room with a fire going on one side and elevated surface with three small stools gathered around it on the other side. “I hope you don’t mind me asking but who are you?” I asked the woman. “Akuti, are you playing a game? I’m your mother and you know that very well,” she scolded giving me a look that I knew all too well. I laughed. “Of course, mother.” And next, as if on cue a man about the same age as the woman walked down the stairs and into the kitchen taking his seat on a stool at the head of the table, most likely my father. His hair was a dark black, fading into grey and worry lines were etched onto his forehead, most likely from taking care of a family. My “mother”, for all intents and purposes placed three stone bowls filled to the top with soup upon the table, and as the aroma wafted towards me, I realized how hungry I was. </li></ul>
<ul><li>I hadn’t eaten since the commercial plane food on the trip here. My stomach grumbled loudly, and when my father ladled the soup into his mouth, and then my mother, I took this as the signal that it was ok for me to eat. The soup was warming and incredibly delicious. Having not eaten for a day, I gulped it down quickly. “Akuti, why are you so hungry? You ate earlier at your sisters wedding did you not?” My mother asked. “Oh well that swim in the pool made me hungry mother.” I answered hoping the reply would suffice. “Well, I told you not to swim there.” She replied “But why?” I asked hoping she could answer some of my numerous questions. “It’s very dangerous, said to have magical powers. People have disappeared when swimming there you know,” my father chimed in. I sighed, not exactly what I was looking for but it could help explain why I had landed in another person’s body, in an earlier time. Having finished my dinner, I asked to be excused and went back up the stairs. </li></ul>
<ul><li>It was getting late again and seemed like a good time to sleep. But before I had reached the top of the stairs I heard my mother and father talking audibly in the kitchen. “She’s old enough, and there are many suitable young men her age,” my father told my mother. “And I know she’s the youngest and you don’t want to let her go, but you know it’s time,” he continued. I gasped, oh no, I can’t get married; if I do I will never get back. I will have a family and a husband that I can’t leave. Not knowing the way out of the situation, I continued out the steps and into a room that I presumed was my room. I curled up on the floor, closed my eyes and slept. Hoping in the morning I would wake up and be back in my small blue tent. </li></ul>
<ul><li>I was awoken suddenly by someone shaking me, who was it, where was I? As the light entered my small room I realized I was still in the past, in a body that didn’t belong to me, with a mother whom I barley knew. I rubbed my eyes and looked up. It was my mother. “Get dressed. Today we are going to find you a husband, I know how excited you were for this, so we have decided it is time,” she told me. She dragged me down the street to a door, an entrance to a brick house almost identical to ours. We knocked on the door three times and a young man approximately my age answered. “Hello, you must be Akuti. Nice to meet you.” He said. “Yes, nice to meet you” I replied stubbornly. His name was Kirti, my mother told me. Then she left us to spend some time together, talking. He suggested we take a walk and get to know each other before the inevitable wedding. We walked around the town, me not knowing it well at all followed his lead until eventually we reached the pool. </li></ul>
<ul><li>I stopped and gazed into its depths wondering how this could have happened to me of all people. “You too?” Kirti exclaimed. I looked at him knowingly and smiled. We shared a secret, a deep secret that bound us together, although we had just met. “So how do we get back?” I asked. “There is only one way to get back,” he told me. “What is that way?” I begged him to tell me for being stuck in another’s body was not my life’s aspiration. “We have to destroy the city,” he stated. I gasped. “We must warn all of the people living here, our families,” I exclaimed. “We could,” he said. “Or we could just get married, and be content living here. Life is simpler, and there is not as much fuss as there is back in the future.” He stated. “We could just get married like our parents wish.” I suggested. “We could take things slowly, and eventually when everyone dies we will go back to the 21 st century.” He continued. At that we grabbed hands and walked back down the path to my house to arrange our wedding. </li></ul>
<ul><li>A few days whirled by; arrangements were made, for a priest to come wed us, and a elegant red sari for me to wear. Kirti and I spent every hour of every day leading up to the wedding day talking, and learning everything about ourselves and our other lives. He was a member of the expedition, who had one day discovered the drain, and woke up in the middle of the night to hear the dripping. He had touched the water, as supposed to falling into it, but all the same he ended up here in the past. Before we knew it, our wedding day approached. As we were standing on the altar, with the priest between us, I gazed at Kirti and smiled. He smiled back and the priest began to recite the vows. At that moment, as if it were the apocalypse the earth shook. People and buildings fell into the earth and others ran, confused. I stared at Kirti, and then without thinking grabbed his hand. In doing this I nudged the priest and he turned into a still stone stature. Not letting this unsettle me, I dragged Kirti to the edge of the pool and jumped in, forever holding his hand. </li></ul>
<ul><li>We fell and fell until it felt like we could fall no more, and then we slowly rose to the waters surface. When we rose, the first thing I saw was my small blue tent, next to the ruins of the city and the expedition site. Then I realized I was standing on solid ground. At first I thought it was a dream, but how could it have been? I had my beloved Kirti beside me. We walked around the site searching for clues of our past houses. A statue of a priest caught my eye. It was the one I had tripped on before I fell into the pool. It was exactly around the spot where we were going to get married. I pointed this out to Kirti and then we both walked into the distance. Going somewhere away from this fateful site and, never letting go of each other’s hands the whole way there. </li></ul>
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