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Box of Truth

 

Box of Truth

OMAIR AHMED

Dedicated to my grandfather, Bashir Ahmed Aghar.

REVERSE

Whisper my dear; send a whisper down my ear

I wait still, yet only whispers of you i hear

I stand close to the walls, but only a ghost of you is thus clear

I picture you then, from that day in rain

darling please, sing to me again.

“There’s something i want you to listen to”.

He reached out toward his headphones lying on the restaurant’s table they were assigned.

It was a typical day of Karachi’s summer. In the ever so bright and hot month of May.

The restaurant was empty, even though it was well into the day, about 10:00 a.m, but the city they both lived in took their Saturday’s quite casually. At least the part of the city he belonged to.

She had her head resting on his shoulder and his hand clasped tightly on to her’s. It was a communion of soul-mates; at least on the periphery of their hearts if not their beings.

“Here, put these on”.

There was a restless yearning brewing up inside him to watch her listen to every word and every bar of the song intently, an empty but lingering hope that the notes in the song would caress the thorns in her soul and make her too, in some way, see, what this meant to him.

She put the headphones on and started to carefully anticipate the song. A few seconds in, she whispered to him ( as one always seems to apply extra caution into not sounding too loud)

“This is that thing”! ( as if she couldn’t find the proper category to put the poem, he had written and read out to her just a few days ago).

He simply just nodded.

In as much as he wanted to look into her eyes while she listened, in a desperate attempt to search for the clues of her affection or captivation, he kept staring down at the ground and in other directions, but hers. Every once in a while he would steal a glance at her, and caught a sight of her lips stretching into a pleasant smile.

“Are you finished listening”?

He inquired that only to forgive the awkwardness that were to follow between expectation and dismay.

She took the headphones off of her head and with a face that reflected a deliberate ennui, and said

“that was sweet”

He shrugged it off. Albeit there was a massive storm of mixed emotions trafficking and colliding into the hand-built gardens of his soul.

“Did you get the lyrics”?

He asked that in another attempt to justify her sudden state of nonchalance.

“When did you compose this”? she asked.

He made a hand gesture indicating “two days ago”.

The restaurant staff had already done a terrific job at serving them breakfast on time. So much so that they barely had made themselves comfortable. It was her first time at this place, so she took her time admiring and criticizing the artwork painted on the walls.

She inquired why he stopped eating midway. On his plate now, were the obvious remnants of a lost appetite. Something that housed him following the subtly inexplicable moment with his beloved in the silence of poetry and the transcendence of music.

Brimmed by her ineptness of care and gratitude, his eyes paused on a family that had just wandered in. In perfect sweetness, the two little girls swarmed around their parents, with smiles as wide as their mouths could allow. It reminded him of his talk with his brother, and of how love, was once just a silent acceptance, growing out of our hearts unperturbed. And without realizing it’s dearth in the world, we had found ourselves in its embrace. But not anymore.

He turned toward her. Her eyes gleaming with a hint of mystery. A mystery so vast, but one, he was putting everything inside him to understand and make peace with.

On their way out of the restaurant she faltered in her steps

“we should take a picture together”! She exclaimed.

Handing her phone camera to him, she closed the gap between them, as they both smiled for the camera, producing an image. The only picture they ever had the chance, of taking together.

 

 

 

STEALTH

 

 

 

It was a mere stroke of luck how they came to each others acquaintance. Sarah was a struggling artist, and as most artists, had a serious disposition toward creativity induced by life and its experiences, not the commercial buff, miserable marketeers forged. Her art was natural, innate and spoke only to the esoteric minds in the society.

Aesthetically, she herself was a living form of artistic genius. Her beauty was reflected not only on the outside, but miraculously all that was within shined just as evidently. He had never faced such a human brilliance, that carried both the worlds in perfect equilibrium.

In the altering winds of Spring that year, Sarah exhibited her art (alongside many others) at a renowned gallery. It is there that Asher saw her for the very first time. He was one of the many writers covering the event. More than her flamboyant work, it was her sheer radiance and passion for ‘creating’ that pulled him magnetically toward her.

Upon his realization of the progressive feelings that had suddenly ensued in him just watching her carry herself, he decided to put a civic and a more social face to this underlying affair of wanting to “find her out”

He approached her with a pun intended criticism about one of her paintings.

“ I don’t suppose one can easily tell the depths of pain an artist goes through to create all this?( or lack thereof )”

“ You must be the press “she cried.

“ Press? oh please no, I’m just a writer who has a tang for art, like you. Except, I can’t paint to save my life! “

“Forgive the pun though. It’s a brilliant piece of work. One i don’t understand fully. But I see how much your work resembles you, and that’s what art is. A reflection of the artist. And that’s what I’d rather write about! “ He explained.

“ Why thank you for seeing it for what it is, it’s basically a piece explaining the different lives a woman must go through and how she’s more self empowered than she thinks! “ She asserted with some passion.

Carefully mobilizing in words, Asher offered to discuss in detail, her work and its demonstrations, to which she cautiously agreed, and a date was decided to further the colloquy, that weekend.

Id be pleased to transmute that into eloquence for you….?

“Sarah” she replied.

“Great. Sarah. Im Asher”.

“Thanks Asher. I’d be thrilled.”

 

 

RENDEZVOUS WITH A REFLECTION

 

 

Wary in his composure, trying hard not to let his feelings seep out, he watched her walk up the stairs toward him. She seemed more placid and almost capricious before letting out a simple “hello”

These moments took place on the 20th of March on a dull but pleasant Saturday afternoon. And are described in Asher’s book entry as:

Sleep has evaded even the best of my attempts. Tonight the thought of meeting my own self in someone else’s body, like a broken record, keeps playing until I’m unable to decide whether its haunting or enrapturing. Whether she feels the same, I’m unsure. But if something so strong, so potent can blanket my fears and still the whirlwind, how could it have happened without an order from the very insides of her soul?

 

“ I hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long” she murmured.

“Not at all, i just arrived a little while ago, although I didn’t know how to find you in such a huge clutter of people here, but as it turns out, it wasn’t a very hard thing after all. Lets find ourselves a quieter place inside.” said Asher.

They walked inside, found a place to sit, away from the over stimulated crowd. The cafe was quiet and nestling, where Asher usually came to ruminate, read up on works of Nietzsche, Emerson or Tolstoy and sometimes even penned his thoughts together into poetry. All the while indulging in the savory of tea and his private company of self ( something he grew rather fond of in his years of maturity).

He ordered the usual, a cup of tea and biscuits. While she ordered only water, that too out of politeness.

For what was to be a conversation curbed strictly to business matters, embossomed quickly into a congenially appeasing exchange of intertwined anecdotes and experiences about life. It seemed to both of them, a sweet serendipity; how equally reflective they both were, almost like a deep, tacit revelry of finding themselves in each other.

They discussed everything from the hell’s of servitude to the shores of freedom, from feminism to chauvinism. And within all those umbrellas, he even spoke of his greatest fears ( something no one he’s ever met understood ). It normally always ended up him having to regret telling, but he could watch her take his fears in a swift beat of the heart, and make them her own.

When the conversation dropped to a lighter air, they spoke of music and poetry.

“ Yes i absolutely love that band! I’ve been listening to them since i was 10! They don’t make it like them anymore!” she said that with unmatched enthusiasm.

She not only shared the same taste in music as him, but read the same authors, preferred the same lifestyle and was passionate about the same things in life.

Whether it was reality or phantasm. They cared less. It was a realm unfamiliar but so alive and throbbing.

 

 

THE ALLURE OF NUMBERED DAWNS

 

 

 

It was hard enough for him not to fall for her sheer beauty and elegant bodily postures, he now was indefinitely, absolutely and ridiculously in love with her enchanting soul.

Encumbered by his life’s intricacies and self atrocities, he found in her a strange comfort that lent an outlet not only to share his love, but echoed a voice – like his own, commending everything he thought and pushing the whispers of his spirit into the open fields of his life’s purpose.

Impressionable as the week had been, they met several times that month. It was a 30 minute drive from his place to where she resided. He’d pick her up from her workplace at 4 p.m everyday, they’d spend a couple hours together and come evening, he’d make the ‘long trip’( as he called it) to drop her back to her nest.

“How come i never hear you talk about your friends?”

“I can talk to you ‘about’ friends, but my friends? That’s going to be a little hard, because i gave up on that road a long time ago” he said that with a hint of laughter

“You can either keep a lot of friends around or keep your dignity. You just can’t keep both. So when the time came for me to make that decision, i chose the latter”. He explained with some confidence.

Silence enveloped them as she gazed at him with unbridled affection, arising out of undiscovered centers. He watched the road intently – as they drove along listening to a sad track by Damien Rice, playing on the radio.

One day during the month of habitual meetings, she stood facing him, in his dimly lit room where they spent most of their evenings talking or singing, when suddenly she asked if they could go outside to walk. She was clad in a scarlet checkered shirt and blue fitted bottoms. Amidst the serenity of the glowing night, they ambled, hand in hand, and formed a bond without a single utterance, but an utterance he later regretted not having.

He was unafraid to be himself around her. A side he never revealed around anyone. And she never made him feel as if she saw it as a weakness. In truth, his analogy of the world differed so greatly in light to an average man that the very definition of man in today’s world stood questionable to him.

“ You’re quite garrulous, you know?”

“With you, yes, with everyone else, I’m as quiet as a mouse! But are you suggesting its a bad thing? I just don’t hold anything back when I’m with you. Maybe in consideration, it is a dangerous thing”

“No i like it, you’re yourself, and that’s important”

In contrast to him, Sarah barely ever spoke about her own inner world, she agreed mostly, reciprocated his emotions, but never revealed much. Except the one time when she was reduced to tears confiding about her parents.

One afternoon, after lunch at his favorite cafe, which was just a few blocks away from his house. They descended into conversations about life and career.

“Most people would consider me unfit – or better yet, insane to have these opinions. He confided.

And later,

“I’m a thousand different people. I’m not confused or unhappy. But i can’t give my entire life to just having “one” career. I don’t know how people do it. But I’m a Musician just as much as i am a writer – and I’m a Poet just as much as i am a Teacher. I simply cannot choose one. I’m all these things, I know you are too! But the society wants you to chose one. I don’t understand why.

 

“Sometimes you seem almost too magical to me” She exclaimed abruptly – looking fervently at him.

“Magical? that’s nonsensical! There’s nothing magical about me!” He uttered only half believing his own statement.

She looked away. Fixed her eyes back at the computer screen and suddenly lifted her face at him again

“ I can’t afford to imagine a life without you! And i don’t understand how this is possible with me. WITH ME!” she cried out.

…“I’ve only known you for 5 weeks and It’s not like me to…”

She suddenly went quiet again. As if she regretted the words that had come right out of her mouth.

“Who says you have to imagine one? and why would you want to fight that feeling if its growing so deeply within you? I feel that way too!”

With a half hearted smile she said

“Forget about it. It’s nothing. Probably just anxiety. Leave it be.”

But the cat was out of the bag and he wasn’t letting this slide so easily. He needed clarification. It seemed to him now, that there was a world inside of her that she was keeping well hid.

“Anxiety about what? of falling in love? or not being able to control just how much? – He questioned with a mildly frustrated tone.

“Can we please just go somewhere close to nature tomorrow”? she pleaded.

“You’re eluding my question” – He stated boldly.

She simply remained silent. Absorbed in her inability to explain and having lost the chance to divert the conversation, she sat reproachfully.

“How can you say to my face that you love me? knowing well inside that it is not like you to love someone that deeply? Its hypocrisy! – He said.

With an air of confusion and distraught, she sprang up, gathered her things and started her way down to the exit of his house.

He sat back vehemently, fiddling with his car keys, all the while thinking what a caddish display of affection he had just turmoiled through.

He didn’t hear from her the following day. The day turned to a week and he could mete out just how melancholy rich his life was without the pinch of her sweetness. He had had the warmth of a woman’s love before, but none was so profoundly rooted to his being as the fever of this current one.

He knew himself as a lover, but did he really know anything about love? that was one question storming about his mind. Love to him was emerging now as a calculative, blinding and a dominating force with it’s original sanctity lost somewhere within the invisible walls of the ego. But somewhere deep inside him, he knew better. He thought better.

It is often in days like this that one is reminded of those very silent voices of the heart, directing toward what is truly essential in life from what is decadent. He picked up his 6 string leaning against his bedroom’s wall, collecting dust, and struck a few chords to see if the guitar was still in tune, perhaps something of a much larger concern was whether his voice still was. To his surprise, the guitar was in perfect harmony unlike the unsettled shores and flickering filaments of his lonesome life.

He played a few all time favorites of his, from the 90’s. With a heavy stab and a downward strum at the E chord, he began singing :

Sheets of empty canvas

untouched sheets of clay

her lace spread out before me

as her body once did

He stopped at that part of the verse and felt a penetrating sorrow begging to be addressed. Artistically dodging and then being overwhelmed by it; he took to the paper and began penning down a few ‘far from perfect’ epilogues of his feelings toward her. And like a swordsman crafting out his blade, he sharpened the poem until it fit perfectly with his choice of notes in to a harmonious little piece of musical composition.

You’re the impetus to my happiness

The sunshine in my sky

The smile I never wore

The love that I’ll never let die

I’d withstand any infliction

Resist any weight

Refine the meaning of life

As long as you stand by my side

On a Sunday afternoon, two weeks after his last encounter with her, he made a conscious decision to give her a call. After much deliberation and debate with himself, He picked up the phone, and while lacking the necessary eloquence, he resorted to dropping a text on her phone.

In spite of the various paragraphs he had forged in his mind, he typed a lone “hey”, and was about to press the send button when he heard his dog bark frantically followed by a doorbell.

 

WISDOM AND RECOLLECTIONS

 

 

With the air of a man snapping into reality of the present moment, he re-arranged his thoughts and carved his way mechanically, toward the door. He was pretty certain it was someone he knew, for his dog never barked at strangers; only familiar smells.

Upon opening the door a voice blurted out

“What the heck took you so long? I could’ve been robbed standing here waiting for you to open this damn door!”

Holy moly! it’s so good to see you! Ma told me you weren’t visiting until next year!”

“She still thinks that little one”!

“Wait you mean I’m the first person to know about this”?

YUP, and the only one too! I’ve come to see YOU!”

Asher pulled the bag of his shoulder and hugged him. It was his older brother, Bashir. Who’d just landed in Karachi from Toronto, his hometown.

Exhilarated at his brothers unexpected arrival, he asked if he could fix him something to eat, but his brother insisted on some coffee only.

“I’m out of coffee beans, man” he justified.

“Instant coffee”?

“Nope”

“ A house without coffee? That’s something!”

“Where’s your mistress? I’m sure she’ll know where the beans are!”

"HA- HA. You've gotten lamer with age, old man!"

“ A house without coffee and a mistress! Now that’s something to write home about! just make me some DOODH PATTI, will ya? “

“You’re still quite the show, old man, quite the show!” Asher repeated joshingly.

It was soon after Bashir’s last visit to Karachi, 5 years ago, that, Asher had moved out of their parents house. And many matters in the family had stayed unresolved ever since. Asher barely met anyone. He had become ecstatically content living alone, which at one point was his biggest fear.

“Mother’s been worried sick about ya, ya know? Ever since you decided to move out to this old house, ALONE!, all I’ve been hearing is how you aren’t doing so well and…

Asher interrupted.

“Ma’s overreacting, is all. She probably feels the need for you to come back and see her. And what better way to get that done than to tell you about your younger brother failing at life, again! But I’ve been just fine here on my own, i have a ….wait, how long are you here for?”

Not so long, a couple days, I’d be out during the daytime mostly, got some offshore clients to tackle. But most importantly I’m here to talk with you. Just talk, not speak. You hear me”? Bashir stated assertively.

“ Why don’t you go shower. Change. While ill fix that old room for you. And later we could grab a late lunch if you like?” Asher alluded.

“Wow, when did you learn to talk so confidently little one? Bashir asked sarcastically

“ I guess it was soon after the day my brother abandoned me “

Bashir looked straight at him with a grave look of concern in his eyes.

“ I’m only kidding, you’re still my best friend! a sarcastic question begs a sarcastic reply! “

 

Asher had made a call at the restaurant to reserve them a table. Hence, they were arranged one instantly.

“The restaurants here still smell like garbage trucks”.

“ I don’t think it’s the restaurants that smell bad. It’s their staff. Not very keen on taking showers regularly” Asher clarified.

Both of them were now comfortably seated. And looking out the restaurants window their eyes were pleasantly drawn to the passersby and the bystanders going about their errands.

“ Look at all these people. Complacently sleep-walking. Imagine if they woke up one day, what would become of the system keeping them in this reverie.

“Maybe they’re not sleep walking, maybe they’re doing this out of love for those dependent on them. A greater part of them realizes what you’re saying, but above everything else, there’s to them, an unbreakable will to keep their loved ones happy.

Is that what you’re doing?

Man is a journey, only a man himself must walk to understand. When you have children Asher, when that form of life is felt in your bare hands, and its vast existence is connected to your own will to exist in whichever state you choose for yourself. That is when a man must not live just for himself, but for the love of those he holds close. And someone who is unable to do that, simply hasn’t found himself as a complete man. His journey as a man hasn’t entirely begun. He must love himself first to be able to extend this love on to others.

Still staring outside the window, was Asher, his eyes stopped at an old beggar holding a child in her arms, walking up and down the sidewalk pestering the passing pedestrians.

He turned his head back toward his brother.

“ I get you, what i don’t understand is what we so boldly claim as ‘love’.

“Is this pertaining to the girl you’ve been seeing?

“So news does travel fast! I suppose? Well yes, and no. Ahh..it was sheer disappointment. See, now..time and time again I fail to understand how this world and these people work! I’m a passionate lover. And that very attribute, good or bad, scares people. It terrifies them because although they think they want love, they’re absolute strangers to love and purity.

Bashir heaved a sigh, and while constantly re-positioning the clattering china on their table he replied:

“My dear naive little brother. Our insides, you see, the very substance that we are, is a strange phenomenon. All the very formidable forces of the universe exist there. love, surrender, silence, all hanging under the same unit; Truth. And it’s something some of us are never able to reach entirely in our confined time here on this planet. And ones that do, see, in these rare moments of evocation, just how trivial our so called ‘real life’ is. A mere senseless form of existence. It is rather that why love has become so apprehensive yet a necessity at the same time. For it is a thing of the beyond, working within the fields of this world. We want to touch what we can’t even see! That’s the condition of today’s man!

Emerging into the scene surreptitiously, but giving it away by the sheer spread of repugnant odor ‘inching closer by the second’, was the waiter with their meals.

“Grilled chicken in lemon, sir”?

“That would be mine”. Said Asher.

“So what you’re saying is that there are as many worlds as there are minds”? Asher asked continuing the conversation.

“One can never be too sure, or too certain, but ‘Truth’ is one. There can’t be two.That much is certain. And ‘love’ my naive little brother, is truth.” Basher murmured that with a tone of certainty.

Carefully separating the greens on his plate, to one corner, Asher asked -

“But you can’t really make someone fall in love with you.”

Although he already knew Sarah felt something for him, and was certain it was, as he imagined, a ‘subtle form of love’, he waited patiently still, for his brother to sever his chewing of the food, so the answer could be heard.

“You can’t. But for someone who hasn’t understood it, can they really love someone anyway?” You cant teach it either. You can however, discover it on your own. It’s like, you can take the horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink it too, can you? If the thirst is unbearable, there’s hope. And love is abundant, its humans that flout it.

By this time, both of them had finished eating. And sat upright and focused.

“You know, I feel like I’ve existed for centuries! just the other night, in my sleep I ‘felt’ awake and a hazy memory from the past started playing like a movie and i felt like it was so so far away from today. All in my resting! Even then, I’m nothing, but an existence filled with mystery and a lack of purpose! and the most terrifying part is; I’m not even sure if it were my own memory!

Man simply doesn’t have the power to untangle this gossamer affair we call life, does he? Asher said that with a look of strong disconcert.

“ If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 42 years, it’s this -

“Life is not a prowl toward worldly successes, but a very unsteady road toward self-discovery. What you find at the end of that road, that simple plain box filled with nothing but strings of truth. It’s all you’ve ever needed, and it’s always been right there. It is then that you realize, you’ve been picking up all the empty boxes your entire life. Boxes wrapped in silver, but always empty.”

“A rudimentary life will always be the cornerstone to contentment; simply because it holds you closer to your truth. How can you be happy living as someone else, but yourself? But all of the world is doing just that. I just want you to remember one thing, whatever you make of this life, whichever box you choose to pick up, for however long, just spew it out of the truth of who you really are inside”.

The last sentence, Bashir stressed especially.

Asher simply nodded.

Basher stayed another 2 days. A night before leaving they reminisced and joshed at all the moments they had shared growing up as brothers. Racing down the alley just outside the house, on their mountain bikes and the myriad of times they would have to wake at dawn and tip-toe out the backyard so no one wakes up, to play a game of cricket. Re-living these memories they realized how man, regardless of age, maturity or infirmity will always be a child deep inside, perennially.

Upon waking up the next morning, Asher found a note lying near his study -

Find your way!

Until next time.

Basher.

He smiled and dashed it amongst the pile of notes and letters he had received over the years, kept neatly inside his closet’s drawer.

It was June then, and almost the third week since Sarah’s disappearance from his life. Once again he felt the winds of desolation creep in. He remembered a promise he had made to himself after last years ordeal of quitting his job at the marketing firm, to be a full-time writer;

‘Life is cruel, only if you walk against its breeze, And i shall never walk against it’

It helped throw things into perspective for him now. For he could easily take this mantra and convince himself to contact Sarah once again. Only this time he decided he’d confront her.

 

REVIVAL

 

“ I swear to god, if i hear one more person cover this song I’m going to choke”. Uttered Alysha. A swarthy, petite looking girl with pleasantly sharp features, but with a constant swooning expression that never left her face.

It was a glistening Tuesday evening, and a local cafe that held art exhibitions, had staged an open mic night for young aspiring musicians. Asher was certain he’d find her there, for that was one of her favorite places to spend an evening if she wasn’t tied up anywhere else.

Sarah was accompanied by her friend from college, Alysha. Both sharing an equal amount of penchant for Indie Rock.

In between the 5th performance, Alysha stepped out for a quick smoke and to breathe a little different air.

It’s then, that Asher made his entrance feeling over zealous yet timid in his pursuit toward her again. After very little effort, he found her sitting in the farthest corner, staring deeply into her phone screen. Almost dis-interested in what’s going on and in a form of reality separate from the existing one. He inched toward her. His heart pounding fiercely, thoughts running rampant and in between it all, his mouth kept repeating something he couldn’t consciously make sense of

“ Feather feather, skinny cheddar”

In the massive commotion of people. Mostly young adults roitering, some stood exhilarated by the performances, while some could be heard chattering away about their personal affairs and not giving a damn about the show.

Two more voices about to fall into that unison, were theirs.

She noticed him approaching when he was only a few feet away from where she perched. As he ambled closer, she burrowed out of her position, unable to decide her demeanor of display she hurried toward him and staggered until she paused right in front of him.

Caught in the moment, they both exchanged subtle smiles, as Asher picking up on the awkwardness of the situation asked if she was keeping well.

“ I’ve been just alright. How are you?”

“Steady, I mean I’m glad to see you?

She passed a vibrant smile at him and said

“You don’t especially prefer indie music. I remember you’ve told me how you loathed it.

“I guess everything deserves a second chance, even indie music!”

With a half raised eyebrow and a mouth trying hard to keep a firm expression, she replied

“ I might concur with you on that “

In a hushed tone he asked :

“Are you doing something later”?

“Not specifically, no”

“Can we go someplace else? maybe have a nice dinner and talk”

She inched closer to his ear to avoid the inaudibility brought on by guitar distortions behind them :

“I’m here with Alysha, she’s just stepped out for a smoke, she’ll be back any minute now”.

“We can raincheck to tomorrow? if you’d like that?”

“You’re not specifically having a good time here, and Alysha, i can drop her on our way!

“Asher oh Asher! Always somewhere in the past or somewhere out in the future. We can be here right now, together, in this moment, at this deplorable and overrated gig, and still feel happy! you know? Come, sit! I’m really glad you came!

Sarah often over-emphasized “living in the present’ moment without completely understanding what it meant. And although what she said was immutably correct, it bothered him greatly because everything she did in life and with them, contradicted her allusion.

So they pretended to be ‘in the present’, sitting side by side, just as any other ‘madly in love’ couple would. But it was anybody’s guess how immeasurably engrossed they were in their thoughts pertaining to each other, while physically struggling at best, to be a part of the rejoicing crowd.

It didn’t matter to him if the music and the eerie vocals sounded terrible. He was now in a world he had longed to be. In a presence of a soul, and the only soul that he could call his home.

Scarcely containing the extent of this feeling, he watched her gaze ahead into oblivion, into absolute muteness of surroundings, where only they existed. Once again, they were speaking without words, and conjugating without caress. And so with eyes welled up with emotions, she turned her head toward him, grabbed him by the arm and whispered in his ear :

“ Get me back here by 11”

 

 

HITHER THITHER AND GONE

 

That night was the beginning of the end, but beginning nonetheless, of something far eternal than they both could have imagined. Shorty after that night, things started to fall back in to amity between them, and each day they made it a pact to meet and dive deeper into each others worlds. But it wasn’t long until they realized how further apart their worlds actually were..

One fine evening, about 8 p.m, outside on his verandah, watching the stars light up the night sky with an expansive array of mystery and hope, he read out the poem he had written about her, when suddenly after reading it out, he felt a vague epiphany smother at him.

“ Sarah, i feel like even though you’re with me, and you say you love me, that in reality, you’re someone really far, immeasurably far! and it’s only the echoes of you that i hear, and the echoes that I’ve made my friend.

Upon hearing this, she pulled him closer, held his face in her palms and said :

“Nothing, and i mean nothing, can dampen my love for you”

But love is not sufficient, when the heart desires so much more.

Love like a river, flows, without any interference, but once the unstable human motives take over, it descends to the murkiest stream imaginable. It no longer remains love, but an inadvertent treachery, a deception of self and onto others.

It was a tinge of restricted petulance, that like weed, grew in her ferinely. She had a feud with the society, to harness above its predisposed ideas, and to prove that her wings were ready for flight, and that preoccupation, she held more valuable than anything.

It is rather unfortunate, the active indulgence of two hearts in love, decimated by the superfluous adoption of conformity to society’s way of existing. It only pushes you from seeing yourself, as you truly are, instead it layers you with a distorted identity of self.

On June 2nd they met one last time. And in his book, he depicts this encounter :

In her whisper of accepted disarray, she said to me

“Please dont remember me as the girl that wasnt there”

_It was an unusually overcast day, with tints of pink and a shadow so dark it made my thoughts quiver. I stared back at her magical but glum eyes, and i could feel something within me tearing away. As if, her words had taken a monstrous bite out of my living flesh. Her brooding smile reflected on to me tremors in her inner world, but there was nothing i could do, nothing more left to do, I sat there utterly powerless, knowing well, she was gone. Gone well before she got on that plane to Europe. _

[_I imagined the boxes, the shiny shimmering boxes, the ones that lure you, the ones that once lured me, and i thought to myself, how many empty boxes will it take for her to see, what i see? _]

or was it that i was simply staring at myself in her? knowing not, all this time, that she was only a mirror to my own self. Was i in love with a self created mirage of myself?

The last thing i said to her was :

“Eventually, you will meet me in the depths of your spirit one day. Maybe one week from now, or 300, but you will. And I’ll be there inside, just lurking, just as i have already met you inside mine, just lurking.”

The following week sitting by myself at a coffee place, a sudden realization dawned on me, that to have anything, and just about anything, in life, that is so close to the truth, so eternally real, is bound to be lost in the realms of this imperfect world, governed solely by greed and ambition. But to have even taken a sip from the river that is love, its infinity can be realized in everything alive. I had not lost, no. But won.


Box of Truth

Asher has fallen in love with a girl (Sarah) that's a spitting image of him as far as the inner world is concerned. However, there's a whole different world inside her, that he is not allowed to enter. Journeying through the meaning of love and his existence, he realizes what he needs has always been right there in front him. " I imagined the boxes, the shiny shimmering boxes, the ones that lure you, the ones that once lured me, and I thought to myself, how many empty boxes will it take for her to see, what I see?"

  • ISBN: 9781370300716
  • Author: Omair Ahmed
  • Published: 2016-10-16 13:50:08
  • Words: 6315
Box of Truth Box of Truth