Ruh

They were meeting for the third time in those many weeks. Both their earlier meetings had an essence to them that comes only after years, sometimes decades, of knowing one another. It was natural. It was tranquil. It was a pleasure conversing with her. She was someone with whom one could have those slow conversations about the state of one’s heart and soul. Conversations that slowly unfold with pregnant pauses and silences that one is in no rush to fill. She had stories. Of wonder. Of innocence. Of experiences that went beyond just the daily doings of life. He loved listening to her. He loved watching her talk. He would notice her every movement. The way she would tilt her head while talking. The way her hands would move. Her smile. The way she’d lose her fingers in her long hair. The way her eyes would be transfixed on his. Not to detect whether he was interested in the stories. She was far too confident that her stories were interesting. She looked because she wanted to pierce any distraction in fully connecting. Only eyes have that ability in the absence of any touch. She wasn’t afraid to examine her own heart, explore her own soul, and share her feelings. Whether of joy, or ache, or sadness, or of just being. She would attempt to learn something about his heart and his soul. She could have healing conversations – ones filled with grace. He loved that. Being experience-junkies, they decided to explore tribal dance meditations of the Mayan culture. They’d drink Guatemalan cacao mixed with red chilli, and perform ritualistic ceremonies in a group. The ceremony is supposed to open your heart and help you connect better with your inner self. It was different. It was also a little creepy though. But it was unique. She experienced a range of emotions. There were times when she would feel a deep sense of fear. Almost as if she was in a dark place. Other times she would be delirious with joy. How did he know? Because he felt overcome not to take his eyes of her. And he was watching the canvas of her face paint itself with the range of these emotions. He pulled her close to ‘save her.’ She felt comforted somehow. She noticed his heart was pounding. She embraced him. That touch owned him. It made him realize that he had been disintegrating all this while. He felt scared. He held her tightly and then let go, almost apologetically. They both looked into each other’s eyes till the end of the ceremony but didn’t speak. They didn’t need to. Their souls were having their own conversations.

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© 2020 by Rishabh Jhol