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Do the Shadows Ever Leave you.

An Air Warrior and devotee of Lord Krishna has published over 100 short stories and 10 books on fiction and 4 on military history.

do-the-shadows-ever-leave-you

The park

I sat on a bench at the park. It was a wooden bench and nearby grew a large tree. I saw the tree and thought of you, or rather, thought of the way you see trees. I know you are American from Ohio and was teaching as a guest lecturer in the university. I remembered the time when we walked through the Buddha Jayanti Park, a wild place in the centre of a bustling city. So quiet a place with the jungle all around, glorious and green in the summer sun. It gets pretty hot in the east and you would find the heat stifling. I remember when we sat under the tree and you put your head in my lap, the heat didn't seem to border you.

I remember you got up suddenly and I wondered why. What did you do? I asked, "what did you see." I remember how you cocked your head in appreciation, a tendril of hair escaped from behind your ear. You brushed it back with an unconscious hand. What have you seen? It was a squirrel and I remember relating the tale of how the squirrel got its stripes when Lord Ram had stroked it.

“There it is,” you said, with such earnest excitement. You had lifted your head from my lap and got up. I wondered if you were going to chase the squirrel. But no, wandered into the thicket, leaving me to walk after you, as I’d always done. You stopped in front of a tree, another tree, and pointed to me.

“Look at the way the branches duck and curl and reach around those of the other trees,” you said to me. It was a matter-of-fact statement. You had spoken, I do not know to who, and said, “Look at the way the branches have grown maybe in pursuit of the sun.” You patted the tree approvingly and laughed a little when she saw I was standing behind. “What do you think?” she had asked.

You’d brought me to see this tree in the Park. This became one of your favorites. You were always collecting favorites, Your favorite painting of the lord and the princess. The Lord looks resplendent with the princess beside him. Your favorite dish. You had picked up Indian curry with boneless chicken. So many favorites and I remember you telling me I am your favorite.

I remember looking at your tree, not really sure what I thought, having never thought much of a singular tree before.

I wonder why that tree was your favorite. I’ve thought about that a lot recently. Did you see yourself in the knotted boughs, in the anarchic nest of twigs and leaves? Maybe you felt that you were like the branches reaching out to the sun.


do-the-shadows-ever-leave-you

Love

That day was perfect. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was. Your hand in my hand, Your laugh in my ears, the earth fresh and green and full of promise. I was one of your favorites that day, a piece in your kaleidoscopic collection of things and places and moments. What an honor that was. It was soon getting twilight and then the rain began. I did not like the rain at that time and I wondered why it had started. Oh! but the Lord had something in his mind and suddenly she said,” it is raining and it is so nice, I think Lord Krishna has willed it.”

I remember telling the tale of how the Lord carried away his beloved the princess Rukmini and she had listened to the tale with tremendous interest. I waited and watched as the rain fell all around. We took shelter under the same tree and then lightning flashed and thunder boomed and boomed again. I remember you crushed me tight and then we kissed and the inevitable happened, with the rain beating down on us, sheltered in part by the tree which had become your favorite. Afterword’s I was a little surprised and I remember asking, “ Was this your first time.?”

I remember you nodding your head and I remember telling you it’s a bit of a surprise to me. You had smiled your most brilliant smile and said," all five fingers of the hand are not of the same length."

This was brilliant I just couldn't help once again kissing you, so soft, the lips almost like rose petals.

I don’t remember exactly when Hades stole you from me. But he did. ‘Stole’ is a selfish word, a cowardly word. I feel I let him take you, didn’t I? I watched as your world grew smaller and I was afraid.

You’re gone now. I’m sitting on a bench, your bench. Or is it mine? I remember you far away in Ohio. I remember the last zoom call where you had exuberantly said that you were carrying my seed. I remember you’re telling me, you would come with the baby to me and you couldn’t travel now and couldn’t take an 18 hours flight.


do-the-shadows-ever-leave-you

The end

You always liked Greek mythology, not in a pretentious way. You read Ovid to me. And I liked it. You told me about Persephone and then made me Demeter. Did I get that right? The god of Hades had abducted Persephone and Demeter was distraught. She wanted her daughter back and she appealed to the Almighty the king of gods-Zeus. He listened and ordered Hades to send Persephone back. But there was a rider and ~Hades was clever. He tricked her into eating some pomegranate seeds before she left the underworld. He knew that if she ate anything from the land of the dead, she would have to return to him for a part of each year. So he would sleep with her and beget children.

Thus for some time she always went back to Hades. Now that you are no more I am ready to make this deal with the Lord even if he sends you back from me for some time in a year, but these are dreams and they must die as they are just dreams.

All I can think of is you, your eyes so bright, your smile so wide. Your body, so slim and trim. You got sunburned, on the Goa beaches. “It will turn into a tan,” you said, with a dismissive wave of your hand, a gesture that had its own thrill and elan.

Today I have come down and sat down on the same bench where we used to sit earlier. I am looking at the same tree under which you became mine with the thunder and lightning all around. But the tree I saw today is nothing like your favorite. It’s not the old tree or has my perception changed. The tree stands alone on a mound of earth with green shrubbery all around. It’s tall and straight and uncomplicated. Its branches are bare, reaching mournfully to a blank grey sky.

I like to come here though I know it’s not like what it used to be; maybe the tree misses you as I do but then it’s so soothing and calm to come to this tree close your eyes and just think of you.

I’m sorry for so many things. Why the hell didn’t I just resign and go back to be with you, maybe it would’ve been a different story. I should’ve gone after you, into the next world had the lord willed it

It’s quiet here, on the bench. It’s getting dark. The stars will soon appear and so will the moon and all its brilliance. It is my belief that when I look into the stars in the sky, I will try to see you. The stars have begun to twinkle and the moon is out and somehow when I pray I think of you. I know you are at peace. I want to go with you too.

When I go, will they take me to you? Would they bring me to you? I close my eyes and then open up and I find the entire jungle quiet but it's not dead. It's alive. I watch as moonshine lights the area. This is the beauty of life and I wonder what purpose the Lord has to keep me going but I must keep going in memory of you.

Comments

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on September 01, 2021:

Thank you manatitaji.Nice you commented.

manatita44 from london on September 01, 2021:

That was a loving tender one, Bro. A tad poignant but weaved excellently.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 31, 2021:

Brenda, so nice that you commented. The child was born and later came to his dad.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 30, 2021:

A sad story of a love so strong.

The memories will linger in the heart. The pain will stay.

Cherish the moments.

I wonder...whate happened to the child?

Great story.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

Vidya, so nice you commented

VIDYA D SAGAR on August 30, 2021:

An interesting story, emge. Kept me engaged till the end. The loss of a loved one is difficult to bear. Thanks for sharing

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

Thank you, Peggy, se sweet of you to comment.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 30, 2021:

You certainly know how to weave an engaging story together! He now lives with some regrets, but also some delightful memories.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

Thank you Chitra, it is always a pleasure to read your comments.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

Thank you, Mar, for commenting.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

John thank you for a wonderful comment.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 30, 2021:

A captivating but Sad tale, MG. Nice work.

Mar from United Arab Emirates on August 30, 2021:

interesting

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 30, 2021:

An engaging story, and as always well written. Everything happens by God’s will, everything is destined.

I had read your earlier article too, about Shri Krishna, but wasn’t able to comment, as it didn’t appear on my feed. A very well written article, about Shri Krishna.

Thank you for sharing. Happy Janmashtami.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

Pamela, a big thank you for a lovely comment.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

Bill, so nice you commented.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 30, 2021:

This is a very interesting pastry, yet a bit sad as his love is gone, MG. I enjoyed reading every word, as it just flowed so well.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 30, 2021:

Sweet melancholy of regret and love, mingled together, in a heart-wrenching story. Well done, my friend. Riveting from start to end.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on August 30, 2021:

Thank you Rosy for a nice comment. To say that I am flattered is an understatement.

Rosy Ferrao on August 30, 2021:

Hi MG! This was a lovely tale that left a wonderful taste for me. I have read your stories on Reedsy and your books. You,I will say are the master of fiction; thank you for a lovely love story.

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