“And today is no different”, she said.
Like a mathematical assumption, let the girl be X. Let her be X because I really do not know her name, or what she liked herself to be addressed in. She sat there on the lonely bench, holding a copy of The Liar’s Weave by Tashan Mehta. Intrigued by a reader holding a book I came up to her and asked her what she was reading.
“Nature”, she said.
I asked her why wasn’t she reading what she was holding and if she did not want to read what she was holding why she was carrying it. For the first time in the whole episode of my seeing her and walking up to her and talking, did she look at me. But she did not utter a word and got back to doing what she had been doing. I had a feeling of being and encroacher straight away; feelings and emotions travel faster than light. She wasn’t an intriguing reader any longer; she was an arrogant and full-of-herself girl, this X. I apologized for trespassing on that little castle of her, and turned around to walk away. Walk away to that little haven of mine.
“Do you know what this is about?” she asked.
I turned around and saw her looking straight at the lake, dirty and wild. She was diving in and bringing up invaluable pearls, only through her eyes. She was reading the nature. She held the book up and said that the book was about a young boy who told lies and shaped his future and in the process shaped the future of others too, aware and unaware. No one could look through the lies and the young boy, Zahan Merchant, had just lied his brother back to life. She told me she did not want to see how the book ended, at least not now. And so, she set herself now to reading the nature that held meaning to this and everything that has happened to her. X was back to being what she was for me, Intriguing.
“She was the reason, the one behind the veil”, she said.
I asked her to elaborate, only if she was willing to because I did not want to be an intruder. She smiled. She smiled and I was embarrassed. She talked with her expressions more than she talked with words. She looked faintly familiar but I kept that thought hidden in the dungeons of my tired brain. She told me the veiled girl had come to her work place one day and they had gone out for lunch and that was it, her life was changed forever. A new character, a girl, walks into our equation. Now, let her be Y. X told me at length about which restaurant they had been to and what they had ordered for lunch. She told me, they had ended up ordering the same thing in different sauces, aware and unaware. That day she did not go back to work and had come to this very place where we were now talking, talking about Y. They had stayed late till the stars shone brightly in the night sky and the lake glimmered in their shine. They talked and X tried a million times to see the face behind the veil, but all she could see were the bright eyes.
“I was mesmerized and hypnotized at the same time, and even though I did not know who she was, I went where she took me”, she said.
The hour was getting late and somewhere faraway I heard the laughter of the flowers, going to sleep. I asked her how had this anecdote that she related had changed her life, changed her life forever. She said Y just stood up in the middle of their conversation and walked away toward the lake, towards what may be the little home of hers. She waited that night for Y to come back but she never did. X had walked towards the lake but found no path that lead to anywhere. She came back to this very bench where they had sat and made sure she wasn’t hallucinating. She walked home, took a shower and a day off from work and lay on the bed. When she woke she was still alone but new. Everything around her was the same but was now new and fresh like her. Y had talked about everything in this world and had all the answers. She said she has changed from being what she was and now she can see through people for what they actually are. When she reads she knows what the brain of the writer is like, where the writer was when he wrote what he wrote. She feels herself in everything and everything in her. She said she just comes back here to meet Y one last time and ask one last thing to her that who she was or is. X asked me to sit beside her now that she had finished her tale. She asked me to look at the lake, the one behind the veil of leaves of the trees. She told me she came here always at around the same time, to find that last small missing piece of the puzzle. She had come here yesterday too.
“And I will be here tomorrow too, today is no different. I will come here until I find her”, she said.
And Kashiv has no idea how this paper came in his possession. But he has now kept is safe, stuck on one of the pages of his diary. There is a note below this page in Kashiv’s hand- FIND Y…!
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