A Moment in Time

Scented Flower Seeds Parijaat Or Harsingar - Small Ornamental Tree With Fragrant White Flowers Heat Resistant Flower Seeds Seeds Kitchen Garden Seeds Pack By Creative FarmerIt was a windy night…. My hair was blowing across my face. It was difficult to see anything clearly. I sensed that I was at a river bank by the dampness in the air and the soft gurgling sound of water.

The moon was playing hide and seek in the clouds.  The ground was grassy and damp with dew and there was the unmistakable fragrance of parijat flowers hanging in the air.

I closed my eyes and breathed  deeply, taking in the fragrance.

Where was this? How did I get here?

And then I heard it… the most melodious sound ever….! A flute playing.

I walked along the banks of the river , cutting through the velvety darkness towards the sound using my ears to guide me. What was the  tune  I wondered.. ? It seemed so familiar yet  so mysterious. My feet felt cool as they sank into the damp grass.

And then suddenly the surroundings lit up. I looked up at the sky. The moon was beautiful and silvery in a way I have never seen before. It seemed just a touch away.

The music sounded closer …. I walked faster and faster…. until I saw him!

Silhouetted against the moonlight under the Parijat tree sat the flutist. He was dark and muscular . His  curly hair blowing in the wind as his  lips and fingers made magic out of  a  bamboo stick.

He seemed to sense my presence as he opened his eyes – the most beautiful pair that I have ever seen,  almond shaped ,with long eye lashes.

And then I felt the universe lighting up as he slowly parted his lips and smiled at me.

“Come here” he said extending his hand towards me. I grasped those long fingers looking at them with wonder.  He pulled me on to carpet of Parijat flowers lying on the ground. I stumbled , missing my step,  falling clumsily on his lap

His skin felt cool and smooth. I could sense the sinewy muscles under it.

“Who are you?” I asked as I rested my head on his broad shoulders.

“The one who you have been seeking” he said with a laugh.

“ Really? I do not remember” I said in wonder.

“ Think…..!  haven’t I always been on your mind?  Don’t you speak to me wordlessly” he asked again.

His breath was now on my face and it was driving me crazy. I felt my senses race as I closed my eyes.

His fingers were  moving my hair off my face. His breath tickled my ears as he whispered

“Sakhi!!”

Sakhi… friend! Who was he? I do not remember ever having a male friend much less communicating wordlessly with him.

My senses were playing havoc with my thoughts. I felt his fingers caress my neck. Every part of my being was now tingling!

His face was very close to mine now and as I opened my eyes I became a prisoner.. lost in the depths of his eyes. I moved my hands over  his face feeling the perfection of his bones. His hair was soft and I buried my fingers in them.

“What are we doing?” I whispered , bringing my face close to his.

“Celebrating our love” he said .. his sensuous lips almost on mine.

Is this love, I wondered? This yearning for something,.. for  someone?

Was I capable of igniting love in anyone I wondered? I have always been told that I was cold, unemotional, and unremarkable in every way.

“Love is not about the physical form” he said reading my thoughts. “ Love is the inner beauty, a divine light. Few people can see it”

“Can you see it” I asked him in wonder

“ I can see everything Sakhi. The inside, the outside, the real and the false” he said smiling at me.

“ When did you start loving me?” I asked him.

“ When you were entered this universe” he said with a laugh

“ You knew me when I was born? How old are you?” I asked in wonder

“ Oh, I am old.. and also young. It depends on how you see me” he said.

“ How should I see you?” I asked him

“That is up to you. I can be your friend, your lover,  your protector. I am part of you.” he said

“ Will you come with me?” I asked him getting up and trying to pull him

“ You don’t have to ask me that because I have always been with you and will continue to be with you ? Your welfare is my concern ” he said looking into my eyes

“Really? How will I know” I asked

“Oh you will know” he said smiling at me before taking up the flute once again. I closed my eyes as strains of Raag Bhairavi filled the air.

The wind was blowing gently now. My eyelids were drooping with sleep. The smell of parijat filled the air as I sank my head into the softness of his shoulders.

The music stopped after some time and the last words I heard were his as they whispered into my ears “Sleep in peace dear friend. I am awake”

Afterwards

It was 6.00 AM and the alarm was shrieking!! .  I got up from the bed and looked at my husband’s  sleeping form beside me.  Some people would call him overweight placid and middle aged. The same people would probably also call me skinny  and shrewish.

We were the typical middle class  Indian couple who plodded through life working diligently at boring nine to five jobs to make enough money to build on their material dreams- paying for home loans, car loans, saving for their child’s education and their old age.

“Well life beckons” I thought as I went into the bathroom and squeezed toothpaste on to my brush.

I looked at the woman staring at me out of the bathroom mirror. Who was she? She seemed like a stranger. Why was her skin so flushed and her hair so wild? The grey strands seemed invisible in the light reflecting off the mirror.

What had happened to her during the night?, I wondered as I combed my hair and knotted it in place. Middle aged fantasies I suppose, coming out the desire to hold on to a fast ebbing youth …

I went back to the bedroom  and  started to wake  up my husband. He turned around with a groan and pulled the covers over his head. I gave up and  started tidying up my side of the bed.

And then just as I moved the pillows I saw  them  ……….. a handful of  parijat flowers strewn  below!

 

(Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (Night-flowering Jasmine), known commonly as the parijat, is a species of Nyctanthes nativeto South Asia and Southeast Asia. It  is a shrub or a small tree growing to 10 m (33 ft) tall, with flaky grey bark.)

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jotiverma
    Feb 07, 2018 @ 21:28:09

    Ending was totally unexpected. I thought the story is going to continue. In another of yours too we have a hero who was a flautist, right ?

    Reply

  2. sslmay11
    Feb 07, 2018 @ 21:42:34

    Meera,

    Mysterious end….

    Off late or the three short stories from you have this in common. Unknown …playing a central role. One more thing is also common, that’s you write well:) I loved the ending.

    Reply

    • Meera
      Feb 07, 2018 @ 21:45:55

      Thanks Lakshmi!! Another friend just told me the same thing. Am I getting type cast I wonder? I will try for a different theme next (PS here the “Unknown” is the most “known” 🙂 )

      Reply

  3. KP
    Feb 08, 2018 @ 03:48:03

    Sensuous and at once spiritual! The last line made it mystical too.One does not look for a plot always when one is lost in the beautiful creation.The stiry left me pleased.

    Reply

  4. Christopher Vasanth
    Feb 08, 2018 @ 11:13:00

    Vivid picture drawn with words. Leaves enough unsaid for the reader to interpret. Mysterious in its own way. Enjoyed reading it. Keep on writing Meera!

    Reply

  5. namitasunder
    Feb 08, 2018 @ 13:27:35

    Fragrant description..loved the piece….unknown, unsaid has it’s own charm.

    Reply

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