Khat...!!!7 mins 668 7 mins 668
The sound of cowbells that are on their way to home, the silence of the fields in peace, the chirp among the birds, the babble of streams in infatuation of pebbles and the music of the wind in affection to the leaves would set a harmony of love in nature. Smoke over the huts mixed with mellow golden rays at dusk would put colors of joy on to the heart of the blue sky.
Kagaj would sit near the well on his field looking at the sky until it turned dark. It was his daily ritual and he would follow it religiously. Nobody could understand the misery, his innocence had for the evening. He was in his adolescence. It is the time when people start to feel dreams within. They nurture it till they like it and disavow these dreams once the charm is over. They build their own world around like a child does with his belongings. Once the most cherished & beautiful; would just seem inane the other moment. Being an illiterate orphan, he had found his friends in nature. His eyes filled with truthfulness would seem to be talking to, those who do not talk. It’s the beauty of silence which has hidden pleasure of happiness and a still, very tranquil existence.
One evening, Kagaj was counting the stars as usual and heard the cart entering the village on a small muddy road. Curiously, he got up and stood to view in the direction. It was the blurry light of a lantern hanging on the cart that he could only see in the dark. “Oh my friend”, he exclaimed without actually saying it, with a grin on his face when the cart wheels walked past him. He looked at the stars that were his silent witness to his loneliness and took a deep sigh. He was caught over by a divine vigor as only the deer has got the fragrance of musk. He scudded down the alley to reach the cart and fell near the muddy road. The dust on the road was not settled and it appeared as if he wanted to hug the fragrance it carried to his last breath. One could see the light through his blinks and the tingle he experienced.
When we look at life in, retrospect, the whole tale would look ephemeral. The moments that would have gone through the depth of our consciousness, jolted the soul to its innermost; appear on the psyche like an evanescent film and its experience is always blended in the colors of the present moment. It was a long night for Kagaj looking into past and memorizing. His life was like a calm and content lake that had never seen any ripples. But the calmness expressed the deep divine wait.
Kagaj would not have seen such a beautiful morning. He did not know when he slept at night with his reminiscence. His face had the glow of his dreams and when he opened his eyes, he was filled with the exhilaration a child can feel. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Kalam was smiling at him. Kalam, his childhood friend. Kalam, his only companion; without her, he was not complete. Kalam, the soul of orphan Kakaj.
When two friends meet and that too after a long interval, they sail through the waves of the time and the journey does not seem to come to end. They forget their worries, anguish, dismay, fear, pain, complaint and entwine into the grace of their presence. Kalam had an altogether different life. She was hardworking, social, thinker and struggling with a situation to make her ends meets. She also had her dreams and wishes but she cannot afford to relax and think. She had written a lot in her life but nothing was distinguished. People started considering her old fashioned and traditional and very few were interested. Kalam and Kakaj talked endlessly; she about her journey and him about his friends. Nobody had ever expressed but there was a tacit attachment, care, and love for each other.
Time just moves on, it does not wait; it is our experience that defines its pace. One day, Kalam got an offer to put something she had never penned down, “Khat”. These days, nobody knows how many of her friends get this opportunity in their lifetime. “Is this the opportunity or one more stamp on her of being traditionalist”, she thought and kept the thought aside. But it was a “Khat” from a lover to his beloved. She couldn’t disengage herself of the fascination. And of course, it was nothing but Kagaj in her mind; the figure behind her stimulus. She took a deep breath decisively. The sparkles in her eyes were the firefly of her vicariousness.
Kakaj was innocent and clean. He had a profound faith and reverence on Kalam. Kalam would pour her feelings on his pure heart. He could understand her love and affection and feel the titillation and joy being weaved around his senses. With the emotions dripped down on him, his love towards her would see the deep insight and wisdom. He had the silence of the pyramids and the serenity of the sage weaving up with threads of pleasure and delight. Her love was blended with her simple charm, trust, and care. She would beautifully put candid colors of her imaginations on his ingenuous heart. She could feel the warmth and ardency in her heart and a sense of gratification and oneness. Now nothing was flowing, both were complete and content to the brimful.
Now the Kagaj was not a Kagaj, it was a Khat. Love is nothing to do with doing, it slops; it flows. It flows like naiveté. One could see the flow in the veins of Kagaj. Kagaj was holding the ocean of love within and so the Kalam. Kalam knew that Kagaj had to go on his journey to meet his destiny. He would carry her love and blessings and she would be left with the indelible impression of his friendship in her heart. She got him ready with her last signature on his forehead. Kagaj looked into her eyes. Those were the same fireflies, he would see on the sky sitting on his well. That day, that fire was not there; it was lost in tears. She hugged him and could only manage to whisper in a choked voice “God Bless you”. Kagaj was left with a heavy heart. With her, he had never dreamt of departing. Departing, not to meet again; never in this life. The friend, for whom he waited for his whole life, would not be there to care and love. He was left alone again. His heart was crying. Crying like a child who would lose the only companion, the only friend, his beloved Kalam. He was flooded with the emotions. All his patience over his life seemed so feeble, it broke down and rolled over. Kalam, at one hand, could feel the pain of depart and somewhere deep she was pleased to see his Kagaj as Khat. But in distress, she could only sense the sound of his heartbeats. She was mesmerized and chocked with her eyes closed and tears rolling down could realize the truth of their relationship; he had to go.
The flood was over followed by a long silence. She wiped his tears with her hands. She looked at him into his eyes with a smile on her face and bid him goodbye. The cart went through the dust and fields.
Time doesn’t take a break. Kalam was working half-heartedly. She would work when she wished to. In the evening, she would sit near the well on the field looking at the sky and listening to nature’s music. She could feel Kagaj’s presence on every leaves. She found solace among his friends. Her quiet heart would talk to the winds in the hope they would bring his message. One evening, she got the message.
Khat met his destiny. Nobody could understand the feelings of Kalam on his heart. This callous world, which has been in search of so-called peace and love, did not even bother to read the feelings before trampling the Kagaj under their feet. Her Kagaj was torn to pieces. Pieces of Kagaj with her love met his destiny in the dust. The same dust which once he hugged in her fragrance.
The sun was at the horizon towards setting and birds were chirping as usual. There was no smoke over her hut and no light inside. Next morning, Kalam was found with blunt nip and ink flowing over the floor.