Romance Drama

What was the hug !!

It wanted to know what

That meant,

Curious !

No feeling, no dread

Just curious !!

Felt warm inside

No touch, no breath

Sheer breathlessness

Then out of nowhere,

That surge of joy,

Oh but when would that be,

Timeless pain –

Angkasa stood straight-backed on the small flat stone steps leading out of the Ksar. She wore her favourite lilac tunic embossed with strands of silk. Her ears were perked up keenly to listen to footsteps. If one would have looked from afar, they could have mistaken her for a beautiful and graceful gazelle with the ferocious pride of the lion. The sun beat down at her but even then she showed no signs of restlessness. The inside of the ksar was cool. The house looked tiny by appearance but the minute anyone walked through the wooden portal, they would be amazed at the splendour and luxuriant atmosphere to it. It was made of mud and straw, well-insulated. It was 3-storeys with a terrace. Angkasa was born there but then time had taken her away from its portals to yonder land where she had spent time to learn. She was there for more than a decade never returning up until the year before. And at that moment she wished she had not gone out of her home. She was hurting but many times she had convinced herself that it was in her mind and that influences of life made her feel that way. Also, she had been exposed to the real world at large. The blissful bubble when she had lived in the ksar was broken and pierced. Most times she had felt rush of adrenaline and breathlessness. She was caught up in a tornado but now tossed back into ksar-home. But Angkasa had transformed inside and there was turmoil and hurt in her. There was a veneer of the tough exterior but beneath that mask were the soft layers eroded by love and longing. Her dry, flaky skin and listless dark brown, big eyes had lost the shine and the sparkle. There was no care.

Angkasa thought she had moved on from those feelings, immature past. But what she realised last year was that she had only faked and postponed its non-existence. And suddenly the loss of the person who was alive hit her. It was now or never !!.

She needed to let go --- come through this. Angkasa felt claustrophobic in that pain. She had been back in ksar to rejuvenate and nurture. Just when Angkasa was coming through, she felt herself spiral into it once again. Was this a way that it was all coming to the surface before being washed away, incinerated completely. Well, she wanted to see the outcome even before it happened. Or did she really want to let go? What was it she wanted?

Then Arkar returned in memory, her private and secure domain. Here he was real – the times and the moments in time existed. Other times he seemed non-existential but Angkasa suddenly seemed to manifest him after those many years.

When Arkar had seen Angkasa he thought that the wind was rushing past him. He had sighted her the very first time from afar – actually he had heard her. The loud chatty tone and the lively dance of the eyes, tilting of the face that seemed to have a movie running all the time. Those big, deep eyes telling stories that did not want to be revealed. He had noticed her well. Yes, she was a presence he could not deny anymore. She was his intrinsic existence.

Angkasa forcibly returned her thoughts to ksar but at the same time looking out to the brown sand dunes some distance away.

On another parallel, Arkar was stood by the side of the camel that would take him to her. He had to release her at the time because she wanted to go. He could tell she was conflicted – needing to be with him yet seeing no real future there. Then there had been the other person who had appeared in Arkar’s life – Aikya. Before Arkar realised anything amiss between Angkasa and him, Aikya had taken over.

Angkasa had disappeared from his life. She did not stop thinking of him. She wondered if he even knew she existed. For there was only the brown, golden sand she woke up to every morning. She would walk far into the sand dunes and return exhausted hoping to sight her Arkar. As weeks passed, she pushed Arkar into a dark corner.

But she just could not live without knowing if he really remembered. She felt wasted and vulnerable.

The ksar no longer offered respite. When she was younger – this was her kingdom. Her dancing feet and tinkling laughter was just enough to shine through. Now, she felt listless and forlorn. Her peace was far beyond her reach. She longed for those funny conversations, teasing touches – knowingly wanton. Arkar would know of her presence but would ignore her talking to other friends. In the first few years she had been curious as to why he seemed to not even glance at her. Was this meant to insult and get her to come to him? That was cruel to her.

Every day seemed to be a day of waiting. Oh !! a stabbing pain somewhere deep within. No soothing balm to calm her aching being. Did he even know where she was? Life takes over and Angkasa felt she was a mere distraction. Her mind made all the necessary arrangements to support her beliefs about Arkar. She made him the villain sometimes and a loving romantic at other times. But the romance never mapped to his identity nor personality.

She stood waiting as though he would appear before her at an instant. But just the very thought made her cry out in anguish.

A few words, a glance and that would release her from his bind permanently. Arkar set out on his camel. He reached the top of the sand dune in the night. The stars were bedazzling the brown dunes below – a union dance of some sorts, small lights reflecting the sand making them glimmer.

Angkasa felt a crushing hug. Yes her Arkar had taken her back inside. She had never come out from within him. How could she !!

September 01, 2023 22:08

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