Fiction: A Lotus In The Lake

B S Tyagi

B. S. Tyagi

In the cafeteria Shuchita was waiting for him while sipping caffe latte with fried cashews. It was pleasant. The sky was clear. Birds were hopping among tall leafy trees with their joyful chirrups. Intermittently she looked at the white patch of clouds on the horizon. Her eyes were full of longing. She often thought about the little time she had spent in his proximity.  Within this short time span she could discover many delightful things about herself. His words were so inspiring. She was doubtful about his company for long, though she longed for it. She knew in her mind that the ripples she had experienced within, would gush out later or sooner. They were too powerful.

‘Welcome!’ She smiled gleefully.

Sarthak smiled his thanks sitting beside her. He felt a sort of fragrance emitting from her each pore. It was full of inner joy as if ripe pods had burst suddenly.

She offered him cashews. Her eyes were so eloquent. Earrings were dangling rhythmically. She looked chirpy and wanted to have chinwag with him.

‘What’re you looking over there?’ She asked softly

‘What do you see there?’ he quizzed

‘A patch of cloud.’

‘Only…!’

Yes. What else there?’

 Looking at her he smiled warmly putting mug on the table.

‘A white lotus in the lake.’

He kept staring at the horizon suffused with azure. It seemed as though his soul were aching to touch and feel it. She too looked at but didn’t see any. It was patch of cloud like cotton-balls.
‘It contains a face too in the middle,’ whispered he without looking at her

‘Face!’ She cooed shifting close to him.

‘Yeah…’

She looked at it more attentively but couldn’t.’

‘You enjoy the face. Let me go.’

She got up reluctantly and moved towards her cabin. She was trying to see the lotus and face through mind’s eyes. She sat wrapped up in him.  After this month he would not be seen here. He would go away. It pained her deeply. She felt sorry as why she could not discover her soul-mate in him though he was round. She wasted twenty years. His sudden decision to quit the job came as a shock to her. She couldn’t dare to tell him about her inner restlessness. Now she was eager to bare her soul to him.
 In the evening she sent a photo of her face in close-up along with text message – was this face in the lotus?

She waited keenly for his response. A host of emotions – apprehension and joy, flooded her mind. Actually, she did not know how he would respond to it – might be her madness.
Sarthak kept staring at the close-up and the text. It was all unexpected. To his utter amazement and delight the close-up resembled the face in the lotus. It was so captivating. It was a sheer pleasure. He was so overwhelmed by it that he forgot what to say.

Not getting his response she was on tenterhooks all these moments waiting for his text. Seconds turned into minutes and minutes into hours. It was a prolonged agony. None but alone she knew how she passed these few moments.

At last, he came around and texted quickly –yes, it was the very face.
 She did not believe her eyes that he had warmed to her. Tears welled up her eyes. She felt as if she was drenched in the first showers of the monsoon. In the evening both of them would exchange text messages. She would send photos. The more they chatted, the more they felt close to each other. It was a rewarding experience for them – somewhat indescribable.

The face had become an obsession with Sarthak. He felt that he had been searching for this face for lives together. During meditation he discovered that he had a long association with Suchita and finally his search had ended. They had been spiritually associated with each other for ages.
‘We have known each other for four centuries.’  He informed her walking in the lawn.
She looked at his flushed face and felt his words had a ring of truth as they went straight into her heart.

‘Something is there,’ she nodded, realizing her inner restiveness

Days and weeks flew by. Intensity of emotions continued deepening. Sarthak felt that something was cracking within in the tranquility of silence. At night he realized that some celestial being was lying beside him and then it had percolated through his body. It was so thrilling and exciting that he lay in the pool of bliss. He was blissed out for weeks together. As he told her all about his experience, she wondered if she had experienced the same last night. He took her soft hand instinctively. She felt a rapturous thrill all over as if she had touched a magic wand.

‘Come home at noon.’ She texted him

‘Sure…’

She was alone in the house. She was excited to meet him. She was eager to receive him, to talk unreservedly and perhaps to hug him if possible. She was brimming with passions. She knew   that he would not fail her. It was hardly noon. Sarthak was about to knock at the door, he saw her arrayed in white gown opening the door with a joyous smile. No words came out. He too was silent. Both went in and sank in sofa looking into each other’s eyes as though they had met first time after ages. They had intimate talk but sans words. At last, she stood up and buried her face in his chest. In an instant he enfolded her in his arms. She was ensconced in his tender arms like a pearl in shell. They stood lost in each other. Time stood still.  The two souls melted into each other and rose in the space waiting for the return of their astral bodies.

 Afterwards she lived like a lotus in the lake, untouched by earthly dust, pure and pristine. She, of course, did her duty without her conscious involvement towards her family that she was expected of.
And he was absolutely zero. He stayed calm and serene like a lake.


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