All of a sudden lights went off and the hot summer night seemed nearing him. The dark glued, the sweat enveloped; the trails of little past lost. Trickles of sweat, his own sweat, came out not after a heavy toil but…just came out, made their way from every ups and down, every curve, every possible bending of his body, going nowhere…still going, like the trails of his past. Going nowhere…still going!
He moved sideways. Their entire course changed. He could control the flow of his sweat. But his past? Nothing could move his past, unyielding past, a stubborn sap, his past. Even the Dark – the great egalitarian – now, when the electricity is gone, with his own sweat drowning him, with his eyes turned mute and deaf, this Dark, this indifferent Dark is hiding everything from every other thing – could not hide it.
But it pacified it. Helped him in deferring the real confrontation. So, he loved the Dark. He loved what it made out of him. Made out of her. She was more ‘mine’ while in dark, he thought. The other truths, the other men, lay cornered. He loved it enveloping him, his existence, his love, everything. It was his ally. It hid his enemies. It was his friend.
He asked her once, “Do you love dark?”
“Nahin,” she replied, “I love the sunrise, the sunset.”
“But, after the sunset, it’s all dark. Isn’t it?”
“May be…whatever, I don’t like it.”
She probably misunderstood the Dark, saw it as a cover to the light, to the future of her, to the possible paths of her, but not as a balance, not as a friend, not as a pacifier, not as an ally.
He tried to make her understand. “It’s pessimistic,” she said.
“Seeking peace is pessimism? After all the fighting, a desire to return home is pessimism? Returning to your loved one…is it pessimism?” His confusion – ah! the confusion. What does he think, that Dark is his home, his lover?
The eternal silence. They say, words never get lost. Uttered once, uttered for all. But only words, not an utterance devoid of words. Not a gaze of her deep oneiric eyes. Not a tender movement of her svelte fingers against him. Not a light brush of her silky hairs on his face. They are not the words, they will be lost. But silence? It will remain. They are wrong, when they say, the beginning happened with a sound, ohm. It must have been the silence. The uncontaminated sound.
Between them, there was no contamination, no pollution. Between them, there was no sound, no word. Only little vibrations. Only little love.
She moved sideways. He listened to the ruffles, imagining the wrinkling crease of the bed sheet under her, cloths around her, hairs, falling on the pillow, layers in layers, like the stratum of river flow, violent, enraged, yet serene, calm.
She hissed, Ani, sounding dreaded.
Dread of what, he thought, of the Dark, of him, of their connection, of what? He couldn’t figure out except palpable quotient of fear.
She continued, “I like dark when I glimpse rays of hopes, serenity, calmness, when it supports me after a long tiring day. But it’s dubious, Janus-Faced, scissoring you from both sides, it takes away the sun light, I hate it then, it blanks my vision, I hate it then, it takes you away from me, I hate it then.”
“Dark is dubious, manipulating, like men. It is human.” He replied.
“I love holding your hands in dark, walking in a blind sea with you beside me, my head on your shoulder, my fingers holding yours, and you taking me away from…”
“…familiarity.” He finished.
She looked up at him, ensuring; now for the light had come she could see what his eyes held in themselves. Light brought back the reality. Fiction lay back. With familiarity returning back to them, they would now feel safer, at home. Unfamiliarity tempts you, but doesn’t retain you for long.
The tempting of unfamiliarity was not yet done. Some stones were still undone. Now perhaps was the time to tackle those unfamiliarities, to turn those stones upside down.
“Who did you write your poems for?” She asked, gasping on the first word, releasing on the last. In a kind of an ancient rhythm, poignant, concerned, ready for the answer, whatever.
“For myself perhaps…for none perhaps.”
“You mean that there is no girl behind them?”
“No. nothing.” He replied curtly, smashing those stones back to conceal the real point.