No.12, Silk Street
Start here. End here.
Some places are like that.
They keep pulling you no matter how far away you are, how much your heart has changed over the years or how many new scars have formed inside you. The moment you go back you will feel all that you think you have lost gushing inside you. Like Bhagirathi and Alakananda becoming one at Rudraprayag. Fierce, cold and deadly. Yet beautiful.
The physical appearance of that place can change. There can be new stone benches, freshly mowed lawn, maybe a park.
Landscapes change, feelings don’t.
Jalal-Ud-Din Rumi was his savior. The poet’s words were like darts dipped in poetic clarity, that penetrated all darkness, aimed straight at his heart. He embraced those words in sickness and in health and even when he felt like letting go, Rumi never did. He was 562 kms away from No.12, Silk Street but distances were just numbers for him. He doesn’t care about the consequences. He is going to that place where he once buried his heart. He might not get it back but atleast he can hear it beat from beneath the soil. ‘Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again.’ Rumi’s words blared inside him. He is going back to No.12, Silk Street. He does not expect to meet her there. He is going because he wants to be there. That place was like an echo. He was the mountain. He had kept it deep inside him.
They fell in love through words. All his life he thought he was the only person who loved Rumi. And out of nowhere, she appeared. Like the early rays of the sun falling on Earth, she took her time but she was there when he needed her the most. The first words he spoke to her, written on a piece of crumbled paper, was ‘there is a candle in your heart ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul ready to be filled. You feel it don’t you?’. Her reply was something only he could understand- ‘either give me more wine or leave me alone.’
They were not normal in the eyes of the world. Most lovers aren’t.
Love is weird in it’s own way. It’s a search where you set yourself on fire to seek out that person who is going to fan those flames. They were living their fantasies and No.12, Silk Street set the stage.
That place had nothing but a stone bench. And lots of Eucalyptus trees. Technically, it was not a street. And No.12 had no real meaning. It was more like a muddy path that just existed between tall tress that stood naked filling the air with their peculiar smell.
They made it more real. They painted the trees with colours of their love and paved a road out of words.
Sometimes you wait your whole life for something to happen and all it takes is a fraction of a second for it to just fade away. You will be left with nothing but wounds and scars. Some heal, some don’t. A wound is the place where the light enters you but it was darkness that crept in through his. He doesn’t remember when everything changed. It was a normal day. But before the sun set things looked different. He was left alone and she was no where to be seen. But he knew why she left. He would never blame her. Not even in a million years. Some things are beyond our control. We can fall in love but it’s not our choice to continue. We need approval. We need to avoid a war. We need to fight and even if we have the strength inside us sometimes we are left with no weapons. One such day, their love was taken away from them. Silent blood was shed from the gaping wound in their hearts which only they could feel. No war was fought but people died. That was the day he went back to No.12, Silk Street. He buried his heart there, hoping one day the space inside him would compel him to come back for it. Nothing else would bring him back. ‘When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about’.
He had bits of papers with him. Proof that an impossible love existed. He will dig out his heart and fill that hole in the soil with the paper bits.
But the only thing he could see, as he entered the spot which was once No.12, Silk Street, was her lean figure sitting on the stone bench. She looked the same but somewhere something had changed. Her eyes were the same but he couldn’t see the stars that once glowed for him.
She was there for him but not entirely. She was there bearing a message, at that place which was once their heaven. He knew what the message was. He wanted to go back even though he knew she would have walked away but she would have definitely left a message because incomplete love is like a ghost. It haunts.
She didn’t say anything but that was alright. It’s not like he had forgotten her voice. She gave him a piece of paper and walked away. He didn’t turn back to look.
He dug out his heart, placed the paper bits in it’s place and covered it with soil. Now, after reading her final message, he can leave.
He takes a deep breath, ready to have the wind knocked out of him.
Her handwriting brought back so many memories but it was what she had written that finally made him cry:
Far away from here, out beyond the concepts of right and wrong, there is a field.
I’ll meet you there….