Friday, November 25, 2005

After his father's death, 28-year old Philip East wick returns from university to look after the family estate. One day he learns of the demise of his father’s friend and a relative Lord Sebastian. After the funeral he asks the daughter Alice, now a young lady, to come and live with them on their estate.

Alice, now orphaned,
Accepts his invitation.
On her arrival she meets young Henry, another cousin. They become good friends. Henry, having finished high school

Plans to go to the university next year.

He is an extraordinary boy, and a prodigy. Philip employs Atkins, a retired professor,

To teach Alice and Henry.

Although a dogmatic believer in science, Atkins is often defensive before Henry’s radical insights and his strange beliefs in mysteries of nature. Henry argues that

Nature is full of mysteries, Still beyond the reach of science.

We must accept natural phenomena without skepticism, he says, and to understand nature, you have to be in complete empathy with it, rather than confront it. Nature chooses its own moments of revelation for
the one who has faith and belief
in Its existence.
Alice finds Henry’s insights illuminating, and sees new worlds opening up before her. The three -- Alice, Henry and Philip -- go out riding together. They sing, dance, play the piano and are exhilarated in
each other's company.
Alice with the help of Henry also befriend the small,
Mysterious town folk. Along with their new little friends, Alice and Henry begin to explore
the magical ‘peacock forest’.
She gets to know many interesting tales about the forest,

Which is also known as lover’s paradise.

Henry tells her that the forest reveals itself only to a fortunate few and it has its own rules. To everyone’s pleasant surprise the peacock forest takes a liking to Alice and starts revealing
Wonderful things in her presence. Like the forest, Alice too is magical

Someone who can do great things.

The owner of the peacock forest is an Indian Chief, 'Bee Keeper' as the town folk call him. They say he can read the future. Bee Keeper, now a very old man with no children, is worried for the forest.

He sends word to Philip that he wishes to sell the forest.

Philip learns from his mother Lucia, that his father and the old man were good friends, that his father had wanted the peacock forest, and had offered several times a good price for it, but that Aristotle had been reluctant to part with his beloved forest. Now the old man offers to sell it cheaply,
Philip decides to buy the forest.
Philip's mother tells him that it is time he should be getting married, but Philip is wary of the 'society' girls around. Lucia suggests that
Alice would make a good wife.

One day, Philip is visited by his old friends, a poet and a writer. Having heard interesting tales about the forest,

They decide to have a picnic there.

While partying, they come across Samuel, a local town boy nicknamed Cacofonix. The boy’s passion for playing the violin was great, but he was never any good at it.
One day, Cacofonix leaves home, and nobody has heard of him since then. Now suddenly,
a changed Cacofonix appears, and to everybody’s surprise

Samuel plays lovely music on the violin.

They all talk about the mysterious nature of the forest. Philip, who considers himself a realist, says that he does not believe in such things. He declares that the tales about the peacock forest are all made up, and that there is no truth in them. The party suddenly gets animated with
the poet sighting a golden peacock.

Except Alice and Henry no one seems to have seen it. The poet explains that this is because none of them believes in it. They all discuss this. One day, in town, Henry and Alice meet Edward, the son of their Driver. Edward tells them about his trip on the

Pushpaka Vimanam (a celestial vehicle, which has always a vacant seat left).

There he sees the local postman who was behaving strangely. He tells them about the post man, who wanted to get down half way through, as he suddenly remembered his young wife who is long dead. It was rumored among the town folks that he was suspicious of his young wife and
her death is still a mystery.

Later, from the townsfolk, Henry and Alice learn of the death of the pos
tman, who had died in
his sleep of a heart attack.
Philip proposes to Alice and decides to gift the peacock forest to her on the day of their engagement.
But he first wants to put a fence around the forest.
When Alice and Henry find out, they protest. Alice argues that

the peacock forest is nature’s gift to everyone,
Should not be fenced
Philip tells them that they have no knowledge of business matters. Alice disagrees, saying that since
the forest is his gift to her,
she would like it to belong to everyone.
To her displeasure Philip goes ahead with the fencing.
On the day of their engagement, Philip discovers that Alice is missing.
They look all over the peacock forest but do not find her.
Only Henry and his little friends know that
she has become another mystery of
the peacock forest.