The Dream

A letter of love from a story of love.
One that the whole wide world comes together to celebrate
One in which rejoices the whole creation.
A book in the making since 22 years,
Shaping up into a film,
A story of a 100 years.

Dearest Jumpie!

I hear your voice on the phone for the first time,
I hear a kid on the other end.
Felt good.
There was nothing to worry about.

All gaily and gaiety I set off to meet you,
Feeling safe that I was gonna be fine.
Open-minded like never before,
Out of relief too,
I look around for you,
Wondering each moment whether you could see me,
Wondering how I must look.
I knew-
I hadn't really bothered to guard myself. 
There was nothing to it after all.

Like a breeze moving through the mob, eyes searching for the purple sweatshirt,
I halt at the end and you are nowhere to be seen.
Tring tring!
Picking up your call, I turn a 360 degree to spot you and yet didn't see you.
I secretly wondered if you were spying on me.
You come like a gale from the quietest corner.
I see you.
Pure Energy.
I rush to meet you halfway.
Finally! After all these years!
Gotta tell you-
You looked great!
A fresh spring from the mountains, chirping around singing the merry cheery song of life!
Felt good.
Very good.

You are all shy and uncomfortable,
I am all out there and most comfortable.
Like never before with anyone.
It still surprises me but I see.
To assuage the awkwardity apparent in your self, we walk-
A bit here and a bit there while I chat away about things so normally and fluently as if we met every day.
Each day.
It didn't really strike me that it was a moment - a first of a kind - the first time we really met.
It all felt so unreal, yet so natural.
And I keep saying that to you.
Again and again.
As if trying to hold some piece of reality, some part of me back.
But I couldn't.
Rather didn't feel the need to.

After walking like two bubbles of energy all around the airport,
Attracting surprised happy glances our way, we finally drop anchor at a bench.
And out pours another endless blabber from my end-
Showing off all my work - personal and professional - without any shame or restraint.
So full of myself was I that I barely pause to even take in the precious nature of those unique moments.
Now I see how you were doing just that - watching me intently, with all the glee?!
So, while you sit there quietly listening, observing and drinking in the special moments,
I am busy baring it all to you-
my adventures, my experiences, my thoughts, my this, my that, my one, my all;
my my!
All this while, twas as if I'd gotten a lease of life and it felt natural opening up to you.
As if I was just meeting myself.

At least, you kept check of reality-
And suggest food to quieten the grumbling tummies!
And then I remember-
Yikes! 'Twas your birthday that day and like an idiot I wish you finally.
Your wrist hurt.
Reminds me of that fateful accident.
How did I forget all of it? What was I thinking? Rather not thinking?
I was dreaming, still showing off my best side to you.
There was nothing to hide. Not from you.

We get up and make a move for the beach after a momentary discussion-
Rather curses thrown at the Costas and Malls from my end.
Felt good that you too shared a view for more open areas and wasn't a fan of the closed glass boxes either.
Felt natural that we should be so similar in spite of so very many apparent differences.
And I barely pause to even notice or drink in the magic of those rare moments of such impossible synchronicity.

At the beach. Juhu beach.
All the while I discuss all the sorts of places I'd have rather shown you, my favorite being Kanheri but couldn't- Lest you missed your flight.
Secretly I didn't really think it was a big deal.
If by any chance you did miss it, 'twud just mean I could show off more of my self to you-
My favorite spots around the city.
I felt quite alright,
while you silently and very sneakily continued to watch my antics.

Gola time!
You order for orange while I settle for lemon.
Gobbling em away like gleeful kids we go off towards the shore-
To keep away from the stinky drain.
So lost or consumed are we with the Gola-
Or each other?
That the poor fellow had to come all the way asking us to pay for it!
You said you thought you had paid but well I didn't remember either.
So you too were transported and floating in the dream eh?
You paid. Confusedly. Hesitatingly. According to you-Again.
Imagination can play such tricks on the mind!
But that moment didn't register anyway.
It didn't matter.

And we are back to finishing the task we'd started.
Finishing the gola.
Aaaaand I burst out laughing!
Your batteesee had gone all orange!!!
See! Even the gola wishes to leave a trace on you!
I can't help but laugh at how hard you try to hide your oranged teeth-
That were peeping out every time you couldn't help but smile!
You looked like a total kid I tell you!
With the gola ordeal finally over and your teeth gifted with the shade of orange, we make off for a walk.
In the scorching heat.
On the scorching sand.
With you looking away now and again to spit out the orangy that made your teeth its home.

And comes along a wandering dog.
Following you around.
I see you flinching away.
I chuckle wondering if you were scared of dogs.
I ask.
You talk about how for you guys-
Who guys?
You say us all.
But us who?
You finally say Muslims.
And I make a mental note of how you weren't comfortable being confined by the religion you were born with- And I wonder if that is the actual reason for you to adopt a name more Universal while dropping the trace of the confines away..?
Well, at least it showed you yearned for a more Universal identity as it also showed how you even felt a certain sense of responsibility toward your roots.
Just like me.

You say you guys had to bathe five to six times if you touched a dog (especially the nose eh?)
I quietly smile recalling many other such moments of superstition my mom kept passing now and again.
And like I always ask her, I ask you for the reason-
You say you didn't know and that your mom had told you so.
Bingo! Why then should you not touch dogs?
And I see you pondering-
Wondering over the reason with squinted eyebrows just like a child and come up with a-
Maybe it's cos of bacteria and germs transfer? -reason.
And I smile.
You had a reasoning power. What's more? You used it. Immediately. On the spot. In the moment.
But I tell you instead- You should ask your mom about it.
All the while, the dog continues to follow you. Us?
Surely there was some magic that attracted the dog?
Magic in you? In me? In us?
I wonder.

We walk on and on and on and turn around to get back.
A ball comes our way-
The kids were playing cricket.
And for the first time I get a glimpse of your soccer skills-
when you give that golu a smooth kick towards the kids.
Graceful Ease.
The kids look grateful,
And we walk on.

With no topic to talk over I suddenly notice how you were carrying the heavy Heavy HEAVY bag with two laptops on your shoulder!
How gallantly you still walked as if 'twas a piece of cake!
Erect and casual.
Just like a prince.
But I could see the strain of the weight and the heat of the sweatshirt you wore, boring down on you.
I pause and ask you to remove the sweatshirt since it was too hot.
Just as a child would ask another with no hidden intention except for another's comfort.
You are doubtful and processing and wondering as to whether you should or shouldn't.
I saw us as two children playing as naturally as if we were childhood friends.
After some deliberation, you do decide to get rid of it eventually.
I was surprised. You listened. Made me feel good.
It felt natural as if it was the most obvious thing to do.
No playing games.
Only a spontaneous play of moment to moment action.

That bag was sooo heavy for whatever little time I held it
You were carrying stones or what?
And in a swoosh you introduce your black shirt to the environment.
Hello black shirt!
Deja vu- I saw this already, didn't I?
And I feel bad that I made you walk so much so long in so much heat,
When you had just come from a cold place, so unaccustomed to this sultry weather.
How insensitive of me!
That was the moment that it struck me - what was this? A dream?
It all felt so natural yet so unreal.
This has got to be the best version of me I had ever met!
Hello awesoMe!

And we make off for the restaurant with its own treasure in store.
We enter and the fellow guides us to the empty seats and relieving ourselves of the weight of the bags,
We heave a sigh of relief-
While our pupils get busy adjusting to the warm glow after coming right from the burning scorch of the sun.
That's when I realise just how tired I had gotten, what with the moon affecting me too.
I wondered as to how much I blabbered and hopped, skipped and jumped around that all I wanted to do now was just sit slumping like that on that seat.
Across from you?
I lost my appetite too. Completely. Exhausted.
And it struck me how tired in fact you might have gotten!
With no sleep for over a day, adjusting to the changed hot climate and carrying the heavy weight around. Phew! And yet you showed no signs of tire!
Seeing you so jolly, even I forgot how tired I felt.

And on and on and on I go browding wordlessly.
I just couldn't stop myself from owning every moment could I?
All the while, so very patiently and smilingly you just let me be!
Finally you break the spell and catch me unawares making me conscious of the browdy moves.
That did it.
I came back to Earth.
Seeing you asking me every moment for that one shot, watching so attentively,
With wide open eager eyes, all excited and sparkling,
I felt I was starting to lose myself.
I was safe no more.
The euphoria I so naturally owned up until then showed signs of draining beyond danger levels.
I felt vulnerable.
That's when I realised it was actually the first time that we sat face to face!
That is it then eh?
All this while, walking at the airport, chatting away at the bench, in the rickshaw, at the beach we didn't really face each other did we?

And then I see that kid behind you watching you so intently as if you were some celebrity!
There's gotta be something in you!
First, the dog and now the kid!
You are magic. It is indeed you.
Anyway I point him out to you and you turn around in a confident swoop and give a browdy Hi5 to him,
All-smiling. Just like a big star!
That kid looked stumped I tell you!
But you two shared a moment of open-hearted glee, so free!
And I was losing myself.
To you.
To your charm.
To your simple natural way with things.
I felt unsafe.
I start getting my guard back on.
And As I gradually gathered my self, a self I so confidently gave away;
You continued to charm me off my feet with your dreams, your wishes, your thoughts, your confidence, your belief and most of all your unashamed honesty about your innocent feelings.

That moment?
When you wholeheartedly with full eye contact say Shukriya to the waiter?
For the water he got you?
Filling that simple word with deep heartfelt meaning?
I lost myself to you.
To that powerful Shukriya.
Who wouldn't?
I wonder how many have lost themselves to your easy natural way with things.
My sure guess is each and every one who has ever been touched by your magical presence!
I feel glad that such a purely joyful entity such as you should have ever even contacted me in the first place let alone befriended me!
I'm very very very grateful to the Universe, to Krishna for bringing your precious self into my life!
For how much ever long it is meant to be.

After that it's all a blur to me cos I couldn't handle what was going on inside of me.
I felt happy that I could feel such feelings that I'd never thought I was capable of feeling.
I also feared.
For me.
For losing it completely.

After that moment, every time I looked at you, I saw no kid.
I saw a man.
A man like I've never seen nor met before.
If perhaps Krishna was here on Earth...
It's all in the name isn't it?

I couldn't face you after that cos I was scared.
I didn't trust myself as much as I trusted you though.
I didn't want to ruin that day- A dream come true!
That day that reality became real.
That day that I finally felt whole, rainbowical, with the last of emotions bubbling inside of me.
That day was the final piece that fell in place for the beginning of a new me-
A rainbowical magical me:
Ready to dazzle without any fear or restraint as you'd shown me I could.
I had faced myself.
I felt free!
All thanks to thee!!!

And I slip into sober thoughts, avoiding eye contact.
With sad depressed talks.
I couldn't face you!
And you continue to attempt to catch my attention.
I see that,
But I didn't trust myself you see!
And up comes the shield of the sad me.
To avoid looking at you directly.

I see you relaxed. Confident. Just like I was in the morning?
I see me shy. Uncertain. Just like you were in the morning?

The time was nearing for us to part.
And I was filled with inexplicable sadness.
I blabber on and on about how I'd show you around various different places when you came next to the city all the while hoping that you'd stay for longer.
I didn't notice all this then.
It was all still a dream for me.
Only now do I see the real reality of that dream manifested.
Only now I am beginning to grasp those treasured moments and understanding where they came from and what they were actually made up of.

We sit at the departure gate.
I felt so much to just embrace you but I couldn't find the guts or the space in me to do so.
I continue to look away for fear of you looking through me.
For fear of giving myself away.
A self I hadn't yet reconciled to.
I felt sad. Very much.
I could feel the sadness pouring out of me and I didn't want it to affect you.
Affect the joyful moments spent together!
So I continue to distract myself with more mindless blabber.
While even then you are your joyful self- playing around, observing and conversing!

I remember that moment when you were trying to push the cool air with your palms towards me.
It felt good.
I didn't have the guts to acknowledge it.
I ignored it and silently smiled to myself.

I remember that moment you sat with your palm resting on your chest as if feeling the beats of your heart.
I felt tempted to place my palm over yours.
Surprise me for sure that did!
I resisted.
It was inappropriate.
Not yet.

I remember that moment in the rickshaw on the way to the airport when something got in your eye and you were struggling to get it out.
I froze.
I felt like checking your eye, lifting your eyelash to see if there was anything-
Just like a doc would- Just like a kid would- Just like anybody would-
And maybe blow soft breezes to make the dirt fly away but I didn't.
I didn't think I could bear touching you.
Yes, I was scared.
I didn't trust this woman I met for the first time in me.
So I kept distance.
Holding her in.
Besides, it was cliche.
Gotta be unique eh?
So I offer water with a suggestion of splashing your lashes in it from your palms while my mind was conjuring all sorts of imaginations whirling through me.
I continue to look away.
That has got to be the most difficult time I had that day.
If I told you what was going on in my mind then, I wonder what you'd think of me?
Told you? I can't even begin to explain to myself about it let alone anyone else, least of all you.
But you know what's awesome?
I am not ashamed of it 'cause I know it is but natural that I should feel that way.
But I didn't want to let go then.
Not yet.
Rest assured, I felt good about the knowledge of the woman blossoming in me.
All because of you.
All for you.

I come home.
And I realise that if ever there was anyone I'd willingly love to give all of myself to; wholeheartedly?
It's got to be you.

You said later you didn't know why but you missed my eyes.
But I missed your whole being!
Your sheer magical presence!
I felt so present in your presence and so very inexplicably alive!
So much so that I felt as if the whole world was my family.
Since then, I see myself meet each, any and every one with full glee, all free.
Oh how could I tell you?
I really really really felt so free with you!
Like never before with anyone.

That was my dream.
Being free.
And you made it come true!
No wonder then that it all felt like a dream.
It is a dream indeed.
A dream-
Really Reality Real!
Aren't you?

Wondering on,