Winds filled that wilderness of a garden, one that’d grown up all by itself, green, violet, crimson, peach- all the colors its own without man’s interference, some romantic must have lived though that’d imagined the colors, painted as they were now, on the canvas of the sky, flowered as if of Arcadia and blooming, the air bore the scents and danced wild, sang a melody, a whistle on its lips, playing a harmonica and hailed that rainy cloud above to bless with showers the earth, the air, the trees and the flowers and let it all blossom as does a child in a mother’s bosom. And she came with a walk with grace, the curls of her loose hair flew leeward, so did her drapes that all went well with the windy air. While he sat on a boulder, looking at the butterflies, yellow, that sulphur, the most common there, among the pale green blades and the colored and streaked and patched, blotched palette of the earth; and then when he turned for a sideways glance to the rusty olden gate, the only man-made article left of the wilderness, a broad grin stretched across his face—he saw her and felt content forgetting the sad and mixed thought of catching the butterflies in his childhood and robbing them of their freedom and color and perhaps sometimes their life, his hands were literally yellow, with the powdery glittery pigment of the butterfly– a yellow that’d stayed on his hands yet, but that was his childhood and there were now less rendezvous with gardens or butterflies. He waved while she in the distance smiled and waved back. By and by she approached and he called out

Inoubliable! Unforgettable!”

Maya laughed: “Stop flirting! I am not even there, yet” and she neared him and shook hands “How are you?”

She looked him in the eyes, the stare of depths he could never fathom nor forget: “But, you are always there.”

Sitting on the same rock she tilted her head towards one side and asked “Yeah?” He nodded a nod solemn like the Marauders of Rowling and said, “And I’m good.” “So, here I am.” “Yes, and we meet finally.” He looked at her, trying to imbibe most of that time, scent, sight, and air he could—A recorded photograph was all but an imprint of a fraction of light and of life, and that too, incomplete. Even if they could record the smells, which they eventually would, they could not store that time, that space; there was no conceivable memory for them; for it’s all but ideas, those devils that lurk in the most notorious corners of the consciousness and dance like maddening grey ghosts in the night.

“What happened? Where are you?” She smiled, while turning to look at the water in the puddle a few feet away over which the butterfly now hovered. “And you behave peculiarly.”

“Do I? Why do I feel this is the first time we’re meeting in our lives?”

“Well, in a sense we are, in a different consciousness for sure.”

“Precisely put.” Then he turned towards her and gave her a stark look, “Um-hm?” she said. “I want to tell you a lot of things, but let me get this through right away and first.”

“Yup, go on…” she nodded.

“Just keep talking to me.”

With a puzzled and amazed look she declared “I am talking to you.”

“Not that, no. Yes, you’re talking to me and I appreciate that, in fact it’s so lovely of you, but, you see, there’re very few people who talk to me or rather, who I want to talk with.”

“Or both?”

“Ya, why not, both, yes.”

“Well, I told you, you behave peculiar.”

“Yes, I admit I do. Peculiar and too aggressive, maybe. But I’ve always taken you as the best of friends and love to talk to you.”

She grinned this time, and blushed “I can see that.”

“And hence I’ll be clear: I never knew what you feel about me and that totally depends on you: to tell me or not, and yes, that leaves little to talk about.”

“Or does it?”

“Well, no actually; we can sit here on this rock talking the cloud above and the grass below or the stars to surface and the sun’s merry-go-round, all the while hiding from each other stars’ fire within and do a masquerade. And that’s what people do.”

“Too cynical, Kabir, give it some time, time ripens the sourest of green mangoes into the sweetest of yellow.” She said and was surprised at her own wisdom.

“That’s’ a great line. And I love mangoes by the way. No, wait, more Katrina, I think.” He said.

To which he rolled her eyes: “Well… company, you know.”

“Ah! Don’t spoil me, that way, I think too highly of myself, go elevated about like a balloon…which is eventually always punctured!” She laughed hard at that and he drunk deeply the pleasure of that laugh, which he would never again have; time knows only one way and every moment is unique and winged. The girl sobered up and it saddened him to think how temporary world that was they lived in and how illusory the vow of marriage that went on to bond two people for a life, as the artist would put it :”Not long before white doesn’t remain so.”, and the wearing idea of togetherness for seven births; he however returned back to his and the present birth—thinking about all that was vain like life itself, and offered her the water bottle he’d brought and smiled watching her and then at that butterfly over the water with its translucent reflection.

Chilly watery beads started hitting their skin; the heavens were happy too. She stood up saying “Let’s go, our meeting goes no further, I guess…”

“Nor deeper.”

“Hmm. Very candid.” Said Maya, the elegant Maya.

“When do we meet next? Or…do we meet?”

“Nah! Kabir, never lose your belief, it’s the only thing you have, after all!” she winked.

“Yeah, so true.” He gulped.

And they walked together to the auburn gate, among the flowers and the trees, old forebears, those young laden with fruits and wild shrubs, all heavier now and enchanted with the witnessing of the rendezvous. And then suddenly they’re out of the gate, and it started to drizzle.


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