Often it so happens, certain realizations dawn upon us in a very timely manner. He was one of us; a face alone shone a brighter face of wisdom upon him. That face taught him that love could come to us without permission, and that it hardly demanded any expression to remain alive in one’s heart.
Feeling it aside, the flower might often be tempted to reveal its nectar to the world. However, if it should do so, the rains will soon come and wash away the treasure so carelessly squandered. Hence, it is well in itself – the lover bee finds its way by the wind carrying the flower’s amorous fragrance.
She was not much of a beauty for Tom, Dick or me. But his were the eyes that mattered. Two simple, deep eyes behind a pair of clear glasses, black hair bunned up, no falsely made-up cheeks, cheery lips homing a somewhere-hid smile. All about her lived an aura of essential simplicity. It seemed all the more evident and appealing to him, for his eyes were accustomed to the dullness of extraordinary sophistication on people’s faces. The first time he saw her, a breeze blew and he smiled, almost instantly. And though he was ignorant then, the smile he smiled was to live with him forever.
She was with her family, lodging in his father’s hotel for but a few days. When he saw her as she went out to see the city each morning, he began wondering at her beauty. A single sight of her lasted him the entire day. Her face implanted in him an element of peace that calmed his heart and cleared his eye. Every time he saw her face, it appeared brighter, and even more revealing and rejuvenating. Stealing glances here and there at meal-times, he pleasured himself. If she should discover him gazing at her, all she would do would be to turn her head around with all the gentleness of the world and leaving him hoping that she had shyly hid a smile.
He was unsure if her feelings were any for him, or even if she had actually smiled. Many a time, he had seen leaves outside on the trees, swaying, but with no resultant wind. No other occurrence caused him such distress; it made his heart weep of sorrow unending. Expectations unfulfilled do desert a waiting child like him.
He silently prayed that she would talk to him; but then, his grandmother had said that it is always wise to ask for the greater good to happen. So he implored, “Do see, O God, what you feel good, happens. Also take care, if you will, to keep her smile on that face forever.”
Not knowing her name, he could not fantasize lovely gateways bearing their names and flowers, announcing their wedding. Somehow, his young, creative and imaginative mind was unable to picture any nuptial scene either. He lay down, lost in thought. Somewhere, like Rumi, he felt there was a meeting place indeed. Had he to know her name to meet her there? Would not something more lasting link them to that place?
He suddenly realized that knowing what she was called, where she lived and so on was not too difficult. He simply had to look into the hotel register, where all these details would surely be enlisted. He instinctively made for the same. But he stopped.
A face hung before him now. This was truth’s. Truth had just unraveled a new face to him. He pondered over it for quite some time. He made up his heart not to inform himself of her mundane identities. He wished that he would remember her his own way. Unnecessary dilutions would but mar his growing and rising spirit.
He smiled. Often in his childhood he had mishandled his affections, leading himself to short-lived fairy-tale relations. He looked around. There was his father, a divorcee ever since he was born. Why was there so much war? Did all the people out there not know that the stability one needs is born within oneself and that one must bear it along forever? Acceptance is slighted in difficulty by the helplessness in the cries of a slighted soul. Contentment seeds in oneself, as deep as life is seeded in an individual.
All of a sudden, he was pacified by a simple recognition—he was contented that very moment and he knew that no tempest could rob him of his essential bliss which was raising him above mean human behavior. Losing his eyes, he pictured her, speaking a thousand words with her eyes. The lips lent the face a touch of everlasting solace. It all seemed like a dream. No, not a dream could stand so real.
He woke up the day she was to leave. At the desk that day, as they checked out, the girl’s family chattered for a while with the boy and his father. A very polite conversation followed and the boy was surprised to hear his God speak. He spoke with much unnatural depth, which startled the listeners for a while and they wondered what some of his words meant.
Nevertheless, they said how they had had a wonderful stay in the city. The boy marveled at the wonders of the world as he thought how God had planned her vacation so fittingly so as to bring her exactly here, before him, so that his life changed forever.
As they walked out into the car, he too went out and stood behind it calmly. She finally looked back and smiled, and waved a pregnant goodbye. As the car slowly moved out of sight, he wondered for a final time. This time he asked himself if there had been any formal welcoming greetings between the two, and soon realized there hadn’t been any.
Gazing out to the distant horizon, he saw a new Light, brighter than the sun. No, a Face it was, or was it….?