Oddity was stretched out far and wide,
eminence was hidden behind obscurity;
That unpredictable journey
on a stony stretch wearied me.
Never knew, why did I choose to walk,
that sunken bridge, that night?
Why did I dare to vault darkness?
in an uncharted land?
It was a ramshackle bridge
running across a silent river,
the black water of which was a crouching beast
ready to gulp anything coming in its way.
A nightmarish experience
to be forgotten, when awake;
A cynical experience
to be avoided, even in dreams.
Surely, it wasn’t less than a death trap
where a moment was like a year;
From the open holes of that bridge,
I could see a scary world downwards.
An unknown fear ran across me.
Wished to reach my destination soon before
being vapourized in that murkiness.
Sometimes, to ward off loneliness
the only remedy remains, is wandering,
and only wandering.
Treading on a signless path and
moving in a nameless direction,
Somewhere I knew,
I didn’t belong to that time and zone.
I kept introspecting myself,
even deeper than ever.
Looked around for a companion,
but none I could see.
In that haze, at a distance,
saw a few souls walking ahead of me
and a few walking behind me.
They cast a puzzled glance and
went their ways, as if I didn’t exist.
As I was struggling to walk
saw someone on my right with a warm smile;
Although he was a stranger
yet he looked familiar,
for a reason unknown, that moment
my heart unlocked a secret – he was mine.
He stretched out his hand towards me
to hold mine, I stretched out my hand to hold his.
Holding his hand, I continued my journey ahead.
The quantum of solace which he gave,
A friendly shadow in an unfriendly world,
The fear of fall got vanished from me,
the rocky stretch became a levelled path,
and the trudging became pompous for me.
My zealous escort took me to his mansion
where red carpet was rolled out for me.
They made me a royal guest that night,
I was greeted by his clan all old and young.
After a grand feasting
they made me rest on a royal couch,
placed near a huge window facing an orchard.
The scent of jasmine and the sight of fruitfulness,
fed my soul to its fullest.
I kept thinking about their simplicity and richness.
What kind of souls are they? What kind of life they live?
I was amazed by their luxuriance in that wilderness.
A sense of amazement and appreciation gripped me.
I was all praise for them.
When the grand hospitality was over
the time of departure came.
I wished to see my comforter once more,
to redeem his favour, but he wasn’t around.
Later, my escort appeared, adorned with
the same warm and friendly smile. In my heart
I Wanted him to be my escort once again, but it couldn’t be.
With a great honour and respect they bid me farewell.
I was made to sit in a horse-cart with a wise woman,
she indulged me in a pleasant chat, all through.
Whatever they were, they were noble souls,
my heart testified.
As I was lost in my thoughts, the darkness ceased,
and my world was visible in the distance.
I had crossed with ease, the same unlit bridge.
Even now, whenever I think of that dream,
I find myself trudging on the same treacherous path,
feel the same touch of my admirer, and
experience the same red-carpet welcome.
For years, a question kept me awake,
Why did he not choose to be my escort in my return journey?
Suddenly, a lightning flashed across my mind –
Then who was he, in charge of that horse-cart, that night?
A comforting smile crossed my lips,
my face glowed with a sense of gratitude.
It was peace and only peace all over, all that night.
For him I was someone that night,
for him I was a celebrity that night.
Copyright © DrNikhat Bano September 23, 2020. All rights reserved