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First Fiction

Updated: Feb 18

Have you been on a moonlight picnic? On a full moon night? In a meadow?


It is truly magical. There is no other word for the panorama. The moonlight softens surroundings exposed to it and lends a presence that infiltrates the corners of the cranium. Dark shadows conjure up mystery.


We were students on a full moon picnic, eons ago. The memory that lingers today includes no conversations, no edibles. I just remember the mid summer night’s mood, the light colored shirts and summer sarees flitting around on young fellow humans under the surprisingly bright, but diffused moon beams. We reveled through idyllic hours and then it was time to return to our hostels in a bus.


Have you happened to sit on a bus next to an attractive young lady? Have you been tongue tied? Did she happen to ask you if you liked the full moon or the new moon more? Did you happen to say full moon?


Did she say, “On a clear moon-less night, the sky is full of twinkling stars?”


Fast forwarding through the mind-numbing haze of being in love, have you pedaled a bicycle through a field where the soil is red, with her sitting on the metal cylinder in front of the seat of your bicycle?

Has her hair flying in the breeze caressed your face as she looked ahead obliviously and chatted with you? Has the sweet musk of a freshly showered woman combined with the fragrance of perfume enveloped you?


Do you remember holding her fingers for the first time? Do you remember her eyes, glancing at you, as you were walking side by side? Did you sway her fingers forward and backward after that?


At a busy gathering, have you ever brought your face close to the face of your love, leaned in, turned your head slightly clockwise, and did the the world around you disappear? Were you in suspended animation without even touching her?

If not, Kalida, you have not lived.


Have you had a lover’s quarrel where you decided to put your foot down, and she left in tears without another word? Did you stop yourself from instinctively following her?


Did you hear that she was taking the train home the next day and rushed to the station on your bicycle, to see the last compartment leaving the long empty platform? Did you run the length of the station, trying in vain to catch up with the train now moving away faster? Were you out of breath, staring at the disappearing mirage of your love, bent forwards with your hands on your knees, head up? Was your gesture futile from the moment you arrived at the platform? Do you remember the exact feeling in your wrenching heart? Did you utter any word? Did you say her name?

If not, you may have existed but you have not lived.


On the long long bicycle ride back through that field, did you regret your last words to her? Did you regret not accompanying her when she left after the quarrel? Was there any space in your mind for anything else?


Do you remember going to the phone booth calling again and again? Do you remember her mom picking up once and being so very nice to you, comforting you?


Over the years, as you pined for her, did you want to share your daily little achievements, disappointments and conflicts with her? Instead, did you sit by yourself, nursing the hole in your heart?


Did you see her, years later, in a large room, sparsely filled with people, standing next to a tall tall man, looking up at him with her doe eyes? Did you step a bit closer and look a second time to make sure it was really her in the far corner where the illumination was low? Did you hear a voice from deep inside you when you knew it WAS her?


Did you say hello to her, or walk away silently, feeling the enormity of loneliness?


f i n i t o

.......................................................


The closer you are to teenage, the more intense is the influence of the magic of the full moon.


Gyan (unnecessary advice): At a minimum, no matter what age, take a full moon walk on a terrace or on a street free of traffic, with a companion. Or miss out on a wonder made easily available by our planet.


In our area, there are guided full moon walks by park rangers.


Cheers!

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