I had applied for becoming an apprentice in an archaeological team that was to go on an expedition to Egypt. I got a mail that I was on the wait list. Well it did not mean anything as being on a wait list means nothing if you are not selected for the trip.
Being an archaeologist and going on an expedition has been a dream for me as my great grand uncle was an archaeologist who did extensive study in the pyramids of Egypt.
I grew up listening to the stories of his expeditions and my most prized possession has been an old metal medallion that was one of his finds and now I wore it as a good luck charm and it constantly reminded me of my dream of becoming an archaeologist.
If I got selected as an apprentice in an archaeological team it would mean I would get two way fare to Egypt, food and lodging in a tent and there would be no money paid to me. Working long hours from dawn to dusk and doing back breaking work would be part of the deal.
Despite all this hard work there was a long list of people eager to take this trip.
Each day I was checking the fares from India to Cairo numerous times and with each passing day the fares were going up and the possibility of getting selecting were going down.
With only 7 day left for the trip I got a call that I was to be part of the trip. I had to rush to get the VISA formalities completed.
On the designated day I took the flight to Cairo and headed straight towards the expedition site. It was a very arduous ride in a Landrover . The temperature outside must me 43 or 44 degree Centigrade but in a dry sandy desert terrain with not a glade of grass for shade it was unbearable. It was quite a test for a first day. Beyond a point the roads seemed to disappear and the Landrover carrying us was moving on sand.
A mild sand storm welcomed us and as a guard against the sand we were advised to cover our mouth and nose with wet pieces of cloth to keep out the sand.
Next day the work on the site began for me. As I was the junior most member my job was to run errands and do the documentation of the findings of the day.
On Day 2 we witnessed a severe sand storm and there was no way we could go back to our base camp so we decided to take shelter in the ruins of a pyramids nearby.
It was quite an experience. We took refuge in the pyramid that was still to be documented fully. However we were not the only inhabitants here. Some of our team members tried to move the stones so that they could light up a bonfire. The moment they did so they found a group of black poisonous scorpions resting there that had taken refuge from the sweltering heat.
I was curious to explore the pyramid on my own and started exploring.
The pyramid had a number of chambers each leading to an inner chamber through a narrow pathway.
I tried to follow the path that seemed to take me to the inner Sanctum of the structure. I found myself in a large chamber carved out of stone. Light was filtering into the chamber through orifices in the stone structure that were carved out for the purpose. Having no further path to go I decided to turn back. It is then that I saw a number of stones with markings and a number of stones were lying loose nearby.
I began to examine the symbols and they seemed to convey a message. In a lot of these pyramids there are hidden paths and chambers that lead you to some other location and these messages are like maps to be followed.
I figured out most of the pieces despite being a novice but there was still a crucial piece missing. Then I saw a stone tablet lying covered in dust. I cleaned it to find the same symbol present on it that was present on my medallion. I pulled out my medallion and reconfirmed this fact. On the reverse of my medallion was a sequence of symbols.
I thought of arranging the stone tablets in the described sequence. As I put in the last stone tablet in its slot. I heard the sound of gushing of water and moving of stones. Before I could realize what was happening I was swept away and the water carried me to quite a distance. It was quite a topsy turvy ride and I lost consciousness and when I came back to my senses I found myself in an ancient temple.
It had large boulders suspended in midair. I assumed that there was some kind of a magnetic field present here. To confirm my theory I took off my iron ring and tossed it in the direction of the floating boulders. The ring got stuck to the stones confirming my theory.
I moved on and at the end of the passage I found a wooden steering wheel the kind one would find on an ancient ship. There were markings on the stone slab next to it and I tried to rotate it to match the symbols. The moment all the symbols matched there was the sound of a click and I felt a strange vibration.
The vibration kept getting stronger and soon it was unbearable and I felt as if I was losing consciousness. It was like a state of trance and I could see my whole life playing out in front of my eyes like a film. It played to the point where I enter the pyramid and then it shows me the way to the secret most chambers of the pyramid and I unearth a hidden treasure then I also got a vision of my teammates falling ill and dying without any medication. This pained me a lot and in this treasure room was also a chest with herbs and graphically depicting what herb is for what disease. More than the treasure that was inanimate I had found a real treasure of medicines that could save the lives of my fellow teammates if the need arose. I clasped the small medicine chest close to myself and then a gush of water pushed me out of the pyramid.
When I gained consciousness I was lying on dry sand but I was still drenched to the core and I was still clasping the medicine chest as if my life depended on it. I hid it beneath my jacket to conceal it. When I rejoined my group my group mates laughed at me finding me looking disheveled and soaking wet but I could not possibly share my experience with anyone. I had been in such a strong magnetic field that my experience could have been a delusion but what about the medicine chest It was real and not a delusion.
That very night when the storm settled I tried to see if I could find the way looking at the stars. To confirm the direction I pulled out my compass and it was pointing in the opposite direction. I borrowed a colleagues compass and his compass showed the correct direction. My faulty compass at least proved the point that I had indeed witnessed the magnetic field that had reversed the north and the south pole of my compass.
My experience was a delusion or a vision time would tell.