The Pink Veil
The Sublime evades him. No matter how hard he tries, the leaves appear as leaves, and the apples shine with ordinariness. The Maali tries hard to look behind veils but unlike the pantheists, he cannot see the golden radiance, cannot connect with aura, lives with the pain of spiritual rejection.
Still, he toils. He enters. The garden is his pilgrimage. Overwhelmed by the blooms, his breath exhales a holy love which permeates the air, becoming part of the essence and fragrance of the garden.
He treads on, with bulging metatarsals and hard curved ankles, as the soil embraces and embeds in his toenails. Below his stitched garment hanging to his knees and under his milky white chador draped across his chest, his veins pulse with faith. He carries the shovel as a formality. No other tool, only his slender fingers would penetrate the soil, each particle performing ablution by touching his hands. With infinite care, he lowers the seeds in the hopeful earth, adding moisture from his rusted tin water pot. The saplings call out – it seems to him – but not to him. Still, he toils.
A myriad of colorful flowers proudly stand, happily swaying. But one stays apprehensive. Her cocoon shed, she has just emerged, knowing that metamorphosis is as much about time as form. She waits, knowing the time is right. Glossy pink, her skin sparkles with dew and destiny. Footsteps. She straightens, curling her thorns inwards.
The Maali turns. And sees.
The water pot clatters to the ground, forgotten, as the Maali blinks at the sudden swirling mist concealing the space between him and her, his footsteps faster, longer, crazed, as galaxies explode across his irises, colors refracting, her aura clear, every atom between them vibrates and connects in a dance of divinity.
Falling to his knees, arms raised in supplication, he weeps. She turns to look beyond, sketching his eyes on the canvas of the moon. A firefly buzzes, flickers, lights an eternity. Now the Maali knows. The search, the pain, the desperation was preparation. She had waited in the breeze.