It was during one of those very rough days that I started out sailing only to realise that my precious ship would eventually fall prey to the mighty waters. I was all alone aboard and I tried my level best to fight the gushing waves to sail over to the nearest landmass which was not less than a hundred kilometres away. My struggle to keep sailing towards safety in this unsafe weather went in vain as a monstrous wave tossed my ship in its arms like a juggler entertaining a bunch of awestruck children, and, let go of the shattered pieces of wood that remained. All that my shocked brain registered was the pounding of my heart and the meeting of my eyelashes when my body was unintentionally enjoying a feeling of weightlessness.
I was still feeling dizzy when I regained my consciousness. I tried to open my eyes but had to close them again because my eyes could not adjust to the golden light emerging out from ( Hold on! A Human Body?! Yes!) a dark-complexioned beauty with spectacles! I must have hit my head really hard, I realised.
The dark-complexioned beauty with a radiance I could not identify with knelt beside my wounded self and swept her gentle fingers down my wound. And, believe me or not, her angelic touch healed my wound! ( Holy cow! I must have been drunk or poisoned! Someone must have got the composition of ocean water wrong- it’s C2H5OH and not H2O!). She must have noticed the shock on my face because she smiled her gentle smile, wiped the sweat from my forehead and assured me that I was safe under her care and constant company.
She looked like the person who could actually walk into a base camp and yet again heal the wounded with the warmth emanating from her eyes. Her eyes spoke so much about her; it revealed how much she had seen and suffered. Her deep voice established a sense of comfort in the listener and the words proved yet again that she was from the learned lot. However, most importantly, her heart gave away the fact that she was just an ordinary person with extraordinary qualities that helped her to touch the lives’ of people like the raindrops falling on a deserted island could eventually turn the barren land lush green, her presence too could give a person having nothing, everything.
I don’t know for how long I had been thinking because when I drifted back into reality, I heard the rustle of leaves nearby. I turned my attention towards the sound to find her leaving. ”Wait!” I cried after her as loud as my heavy throat, choked with the grief of her leaving my side, could permit. She turned round to face me. ”Why are you leaving me? How will I find you? Who are you?” I screamed after her. Not considering the agony in my voice, she turned round, and without giving me a second glance, vanished among the age-old branches and leaves separating us.
I sprinted after her! When I reached the spot she had last stopped to look at me, I found the most beautiful leaf I had ever seen before. I picked it up to read the tiny writings embossed on the surface of the leaf. It was the answer to my question:
I’m not leaving you because I’ve promised to be by your side forever. You don’t need to come looking for me because you have already given me a place in your heart. Whenever you need me, just close your eyes and call my name; you will find me waiting by your side, waiting for you to open your eyes and find what was always yours… Ritwika Dasgupta.
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