It has been a weary journey since the day I first knocked at your door, Maaya. And I was elated and excited to stand at your doorstep now after all that search!
The first time I came here, I remember, I had thought that I would be ushered into a room full of roses -- red, yellow, white -- spreading their scent all across. I had thought I would find you sitting there, wearing a rich, red gown. I had thought you would be taking me in your arms. And that we would start our happy journey together.
But the door had opened, that day, only to let me find a note. A note that you had left behind for me. I couldn't find you! Nobody was there in that room. No flowers. No scents wafting in the midday air. A few blank walls, windows and a half-shut door that I had left behind.
The note had one word in it. I had read. And I had failed to find the meaning.
I remember standing there with a strange awkwardness of solitude, that of isolation. As though I sensed that you were guiding me towards a particular path and that it was gradually segregating me from my environment! I had seen the sunlight dripping into the room through the ventilators. The windows were closed. I thought of opening them but later I had realised that they were all jammed; they just wouldn't open!
I had dreamed seeing you in that room, in the red gown, bathing in the sunlight that would instead stream through the large, open windows -- filling the room up with a deep sense of satisfaction. But you were not there!
I had vowed that I would find you. And my journey had started. My path sought you, my destination sought you, even the vestigial past that I carried sought you. I sought you in happiness, I sought you in pain. I sought you in loss, I sought you in gain. And then, at last, I managed to track you down! And so I was there, standing at your doorstep now, after all that.
And this time when the door opened, I finally saw you after all these years. I found you smiling. I found you quiet. As though you wondered whether I deserved your hug still. As though you wanted to verify whether I have born enough desperation in your search.
You were looking at my eyes. They bore pain. Elation.
--"Got the note?"
"Yeah!", I have been carrying that paper all along, "It's one word. I failed to understand! I was looking for you. Halfway across the world!"
Maaya held my hand. She took me to a room. And I still couldn't find roses around me! Still no scents wafting in the air! And windows were still closed. Rather, I found the room having a bed. And a mirror. Only. There was light in the room. Dim. But enough to see ourselves.
Maaya let me sit on the bed. It had a white cloth on it covering it up from all the sides. With no extra pillows or blankets.
--"So, did you fail to understand?"
"Yes!", I looked at her.
And I found her all the more beautiful. The black of her hair, the black of her eyeballs were deep. Thick and mysterious. Her skin radiated a silver glow. She wore a white lace dress, softly yet tightly tied to her body and she radiated an aura, whose deeper levels, I wondered whether I'd ever be able to fathom!
Her tone was naive. Yet sharp. "You look terrible!", she was looking at my reflection on the mirror, "You have dust on your hair!"
"Yes", I said.
--"And your clothes are all shabby and torn!"
--"And after all that do you still fail to interpret that word?"
She turned her head. She was looking at me.
I found her undressing. She untied the knots and the gown fell on the floor.
She didn't touch me. Neither did she come any closer. But in that light, I was able to see her unhindered. All.
Her eyes smiled at me.
"I was always like this, wasn't I?"
I kept quiet. I could see her back, her spine running all the way up to her shoulders, the side curves of her bosom, the projection of her nipples, the smoothness of her abdomen, her waist-line, her thighs... and all the silver that she reflected across the room.
"Come over!", she waved at me, like a mother calling her child, as if to give to him a lesson that she expected him to learn once and for all.
She helped me shed my attire. Bit by bit. They dropped on the floor. All dirty with dust as they were.
"Hold me!", she said.
I put my hands around her waist and she drew close.
I felt my skin touching hers, my warmth feeling hers. My chest pressed against her softness. My organ sensing the joining of her legs.
It was not lust. And I don't know whether it was love. I couldn't concentrate on what it was. Maybe, an innocent surrender to a teacher.
--"Look at the mirror!"
I turned my head.
I saw myself!
I couldn't see her!
"Where are you?", I said surprisingly, "I don't believe this mirror. It has to be warped!"
"No!", Maaya smiled. "The space-time you are in is warped! That has made you warped too. This warping makes you see yourself all the times irrespective of my presence or absence, my pain or pleasure! Had you stood out, as I do, you would have seen this ailing world in the mirror. Along with all its warping."
I couldn't grasp her words completely, but I felt my heart did. Because, suddenly, I found my eyes moistening. I felt pain. And this time it was greater. For, earlier in my journey, this pain had told me that I would never find Maaya! This time it said, even if I found her, we'd never find happiness together if I didn't change myself in someway!
Maybe she sensed this. And maybe to lessen my pain, to let me forget all of that for a moment, she planted a soft kiss on my lips. "Look at me!", she said, "Pick up your dirty clothes and get dressed". "You still have a long way to go", she whispered.
Maaya stood there. Singular. And free of all burdens. And she was seeing me getting dressed.
"Pity you!", she giggled, "You are masked again. Bound again. Ready to bear stupid responsibilities, again! And I was wondering if you would ever be giving me a violet rose on the day you propose..."
She was smiling away. As though she has caught my inability red-handed and was playfully enjoying the magical spell that she was making me move up and down to.
I hung my head. Maybe in shame. Maybe in guilt. Maybe in the inadequacy of standing in front of her. But, maybe, more in surrender!
"I never know how to get you a violet rose, Maaya!", I murmured.
--"You would never GET one!", she exclaimed.
"Then?" I said foolishly.
She laughed aloud merrily and vanished into thin air. Her dress that was resting on the floor disappeared too; suddenly leaving me with a deep sense of emptiness. I sensed a void this time, in my heart, along with the painful longing that I've bore in it all my life! And I wondered whether I'd have to start my journey all over again!
And then, suddenly, as if by a magical spell, I found the room fill up with moonlight. And violet roses. Thousands. They flashed all across me. The moonlight was dripping off their petals; their scent as rich as wine, as smooth as velvet -- spinning a web of magical, sweet trance all around.
I saw them. I inhaled them. But I failed to touch! I wondered why.
And then when I set out on my journey once again that day, I looked at the note, that I had been carrying all the way, one more time. It still spelled out the same word: "C R E A T E !"
This post has been Edited and Republished here. This was originally published on: July 27, 2007, in my blog: Mirage Mosaic.