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Excerpt: Fire


The purest element. The all-consuming. It kindles in two bodies a creation and engulfs them in its final embrace. This is his tale. And mine. It begins… in an arbitrary place at an arbitrary time. Let the time be  one where a fusion let to my creation, or when I was heating a test tube, back in Jawahar’s chemistry lab. Or maybe, this tale begins with the very beginning of the first element – where the fire spawned the universe (or multiverses, as they may be). It is with this fire that we are born. It is the cold steel in our hand and the burning fire in our hearts that drives us to shape destiny. This is my tale – incomplete, as all tales truly are.

It begins – let us not consider true beginnings, but the pseudo ones which we adopt for storytelling. But it begins with the fire. This is not the blue-yellow flame of the lab, or the orange vicious flame that burns homes and renders people childless and screaming. This, my friend, is a clear, invisible, ethereal fire. Its swift energy drives us. And burns us. The charred remains of my heart, where the fire had burned, intense, will be scooped up and disposed of tomorrow, like a swollen appendix.

And the end? Another senseless rattle, ramble of shaken emotions and strange inner churnings.

So…. the story. A wandering wayfarer, I walked long miles in the merciless desert. Long, dry days. My face – contorted by the absence of water. Yet proud, noble, my eyes burning with the true intensity of the stars we see from afar. The sandy cloak of the desert enveloped me, and I drank straight from the sun. The wind could not put me out. The harder it blew, the stronger I burnt.

After a weary walk of long days, my weary eyes saw a wondrous sight and felt spontaneous delight. The intoxicating salty smell and the surging white waves in the distance. I trudged on. However, tired from my travels, I fell onto the sandy beach, my burning eyes lighting the sky like beacons. Just before I drifted off from consciousness, she was with me. I felt her soft water-caress, and was enveloped in sheer bliss. And my burning eyes relaxed. She soothed, and balanced me.

People walking on the beach early next morning reported a strange, beautiful, haunting sight. A young god, scintillating like the sun, was moving in an intricate, sensual dance with a beautiful green-eyed apsara (goddess). ‘Well, she’s a capricious one, and no doubt ’bout that’ said a wise old man, stroking his bushy white beard. And they walked on in silence.