And there he sat, at the corner table of the tea house, savoring each sip of the black Darjeeling tea. The look in the infidel’s eye fanned my curiosity and I was instantly drawn towards him. I wanted to know this man who sat aloof from the world yet being an intricate part of it. What actually caught my attention about this man was his nonchalance, he seemed not to care about the world around him and he looked happy. He looked defeated. He looked lost. He looked conquered and he looked happy. how can a man who has lost be happy?
This man’s mere presence had started a chain of thoughts in my already jealous head and I caught myself staring and taking in each movement of that man.
He scribbled something on the napkin paper lying on the table and then sipped more tea, he was trying to pour from the teapot but it was apparently empty, he pulled the lid off the pot and peered into it, he had an expression of exasperation and then he smiled a bit, a smile of gratification, yes that was it.
Was this ambivalence or something higher and undefined, the ease with this man brought a positive expression of satisfaction in him? He wasn’t one from the crowd and he belonged everywhere. He looked out of the window and then immediately called the waiter and very respectfully murmured something to him. A few minutes later the waiter brought in a fresh and hot pot of tea.
He was here to stay.
I wanted him to leave and I wanted to study this normal man who but looked so happy.
Its weird and appealing and appalling, all at the same time when we see someone happy and satisfied. It is like paying a price for the other person’s happiness, it is like we braved the forest and caught thorns just for the sake of his happiness. And then it is like the person doesn’t mind our efforts, whose happiness came at a cost of our own. This then makes us sad. A question arises, When we do something for others don’t we feel an immense lightness and fullness and happiness and ecstasy?
The man’s mere presence was answering my questions.
I wanted to know what was going on in his mind and heart. He now looked an egoist to me. But, he was blooming. I felt there was some kind of a realization that had dawned on him. Even with so much happening with me, I couldn’t make myself to go and talk to him.
He suddenly rose. Walked up to the counter paid his bill in cash and left. Smiling.
There was an eerie silence now, or so I felt.
The man had moved me.
I didn’t want him to leave.
I had known him all along.
And I think I know what he was feeling.
The waiter came to the man’s table and stared clearing it, he picked up the napkin paper took a look at it, a sarcastic smile played on his lips and he put it on the saucer and started to go. I called him to come with the stuff on his hand. I picked up the napkin paper. He stared at me, seeking answers, in utter disbelief. I told him it was a message for me from the man. I said, “Thank you”.
The waiter left and I read.
And I held you hand, and I walked the path together now, a little apart. Fallacy, Oh! Fallacy, of life in each grain of sand. And touch me now, and kill my soul Stand on the ruins, just behold. Death, Oh! Death, to live in this, please allow.
The writer’s name could be made out through the signature. Kashiv.
image courtesy http://www.google.com