MURDOB (CITY OF MAI)
Once upon a time, in an unknown place and time, there was a city protected by bright skies and cool blueness. According to the legend, the twins coming from the sea had been living there for an unknown time. Just like the city, the past of the twins and where they were from were unknown. Yula (soul of the dream), one of the twins, carried the blue colour of the water in the sea in her eyes and the yellow colour of the sun in her hair. Yula would touch the water of this city, the sky, and the souls of the livings coming into contact with her. One night, the soul of Yula touched a kind of fruit growing in those lands. After that night the fruit started to shine bright like Yula’s hair. As it was glittering health and light just as herself, Yula called this fruit the “fruit of the sun”. It remained to be called this way after that.
With the amazing fragrance coming from her skin, the other twin, Sayina (summer season) brought beauty and colour, and grace to those lands. Everywhere she was present fulfilled with her beauty and fragrance. On a day when the sun was the shiniest two strands of her hair fell on the ground. The soil took and replaced them with flowers matching the pink tone of her face and the smell of her skin. The flower encircled the whole city like a necklace. Sayina called this flower the "flower of youth" because it was young and beautiful as herself.
Do you feel that pure soul of Yula? It is as if there is a sea in it, the sun embracing it, and then calmness… The reason why you feel that way is the sun fruit. You feel good, don't you? If this feeling is not a gift from this land to us, then what is it? Have you seen Sayina, or her beautiful grace, or smelled her unique scent that pervades the city? She is like a friend who is always by your side, accompanying you on the streets with every step you take. What about that city? What a nice name, the City of Mai... A blueness that embraces everyone, the essence of life... It is differing from the others, from fear and deprivation. What about the white houses like castles taking up the blue that blue like a castle, or those pink and purple necklaces… There are so many reasons to stay here.… But you need to leave… It is your choice; embrace these feelings or track the name… The choice is yours… But leaving is necessary or else…
(A quote from a leaf-book someone living in the City of Mai had left behind…)
When the Traveller opened her eyes she found herself on the top of a high slope across the blue sea, which was surrounded by the white houses as if a wall. It was the first time. She was teleported from one city to another without traveling. But where was this place? There was no trace of what she had read or learned in her memory. So, why had the magic box sent her here?
The Traveller got over her initial surprise and started walking towards the city. Though it was hot, the gentle cool breeze was comforting her. She started going down the hill. There was neither a person to ask questions to nor a vehicle to reach the city more easily. After walking for a while, at the point where she got closer to the city, a musical sound began to come into her ears. At first, it sounded like a weak whistle, and then it turned out to be like a melody coming from a flute. Listening to the music, the Traveller went down to the city. She wanted to find out where the sound was coming from. But she was also very tired.She started looking for a place where she could have a sip of water, rest, and talk to a few people. The music got louder as she passed the narrow but charming houses of the city with blue doors and windows on a white background, on the other hand, the smell of the pink and purple flowers hanging from the windows of the houses was enchanting her. She soon reached the seaside. In front of her was a castle stretching out as if giving a hand to the sea. Just ahead, she saw the boats and the people on them. She decided to go to them when she heard that music again and more clearly. The music was coming from the house behind her. She headed to the house. She knocked on the blue door of the white house two times; however, she silently walked in as there was no answer. The pink flowers hanging over the door brushed her face. She saw the man sitting in a chair in the inner courtyard of the house. He was in the shadow of the cool courtyard. As she got closer, she saw that he was holding a flute-like musical instrument in his hand. He did not notice the Traveller as he was immersed in the music with his eyes closed. The Traveller kept listening to his music for a short while. Soon he stopped blowing the instrument, slowly opened his eyes, and looked at the Traveller. “I haven't seen a stranger in this courtyard for a long time. Who are you? A traveller, an enthusiast, or a newcomer?” The traveller could not make sense of the man's words. After a short while, this old man with grey and white hair and traces of deep lines in his eyes and forehead continued smiling; “Sorry I was a little hasty. These are the questions asked to unfamiliar faces around here. You're obviously a foreigner. Come have a seat, take a breath, have a sip of water, please, do not hesitate. They call me “mesk gah” or “music sinas” (musician) around here. I would be happier if I was called “ney gah” (ney player) though. I am the owner of this place and the melody. What are you called?” Sitting on the chair, the Traveller had a few sips of the water, which was on the table, and answered; “My name is Traveller, coming from Nivtra”. The man said; “Traveller? What an unconventional name! I had never heard it in my life before. It is obvious that you are a newcomer. I advise you to take my advice and call yourself a passenger or a wonderer when you are here. This city is called the City of Mai, which means Blue City. Its name is derived from the sea in front of us”. The Traveller had sensed the oddness of the man at the very beginning. He was intriguing not only because of the words he was using but also because of his attitude and behaviour. He was odd, yes, but not bothersome, he was more like attracting her curiosity. He was talking about the essence of this city. Each word of his was causing a great deal of curiosity no matter how confusing they were.
The Traveller timidly said, “I don't have any information about this place. I suddenly found myself here. Could you perhaps tell me about this city?" The man smiled softly and leaned towards the Traveller and said, "Of course I will tell you about it, but I will need to get a piece of your writing from you for every hour we spend". The Traveller asked, “My writing?” The man continued speaking, “Yes, for each hour I will get three months of yours, I mean, a quarter year. Do you agree with this?” Finding the man's words unrealistic, the Traveller nodded. The man said, “Aha! You are obviously a real inquisitive. That had taken too much time for the others to respond. Then, we are able to start now.”
The man blew the musical instrument in his hand once. The sound was both very light and high-pitched. It was like he was calling out to someone. Not long after, the door of the house opened; a seven-year-old boy appeared and approached them. The man introduced the boy to the Traveller and said, "This child is my son. If you do not mind, he will perform us his tunes during our conversation.” The Traveller and the boy looked at each other. The boy with his light green eyes was smiling at the Traveller. There was such beautiful happiness upon the child's face that the Traveller could not help to start smiling. The man took out a small, palm-sized fruit and a branch of pink-purple flowers from the small, worn-out cupboard on his side and placed it on the table. Just then, the boy standing on the side began to perform his melody, as the man put it.
The man turned to the Traveller and said, "Once, there was blueness delicately in the sky and deeply on the ground; silence in the ears and sorrow in the souls. Everything started with a drop of blue falling on the ground…”
It suddenly got dark, and then a powdery pink cloud-like mist appeared. After a while, the Traveller found herself beside the short trees with yellow fruits that stretched along the road.