The cold winter pushes on ahead, two hands holding each other, steam rises from the union. Gleaming tears roll down her meek cheeks. The cold air rushes in, blowing wildly, hitting her face. As suddenly as the wind had started to blow, it dies down; wisps of peppery steam escaped her lips. She sighed deeply, almost in vain, as though there was no meaning for life.

And I stood there, peering into those gloom filled eyes, gazing at an endless expanse of infinity. The silent touch left me paralyzed to her immaculate beauty, but now, the biting cold brought me back to reality. A flood of emotions awakened me from the cold-induced stupor. When I opened my eyes, I watched an angel gently weeping.

As the tiny droplets of tears froze solid, I lit a fire on the bamboo forest floor. The golden light from the fire lit our faces in long deep golden hues ominously, yet filling the air with warmth and optimism. Tonight, more than ever, the forest and its silence looked increasingly desolate. The forest floor, though covered in snow this time of the year, is bare. Dig into the snow and all you would find is dried bamboo leaves. Nothing else grows in a bamboo forest.

The crackling fire gleamed hard, consuming everything that I fed her. A flutter of hazy noises caught my attention. I looked into her. We sat there, 2 strangers, holding hands. Not a single word was spoken. I looked at her face, now in the light of the fire, clearly. Her head was covered in a thin red muslin veil, but the veil didn’t hinder her face. Tiny wisps of golden brown hair leapt out from underneath her veil, overflowing onto her face. Her face, fair and radiant, shone back at me. There was a youthful optimism on her face and yet hidden behind that mask there was agony, pain, and a deep yearning. Her deep dark brown eyes looked at me and peered into my eyes and then, deeper, into my soul. As we locked our gaze in a concerted symphony, I was pulled into a trance, like a moth to a flame, like a boat to a vortex.

I saw something in those eyes; I saw a thousand lifetimes, a thousand lives of searching and wandering. In the middle of those endless lines of interconnected lifetimes, I see 2 souls, endlessly searching and wandering, for one thing, the only thing a soul can take with it from this mortal realm, love.

She wore a translucent red shirt which shone through the feeble light. Through the shirt, her chest heaved up and down, erratically at first, calming down as our gaze got longer. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. The soft, hazy, almost invisible curves of her bosom peeked and leapt through the shirt, every time she drew a breath in, and then eventually those very curves plunged down along with her flowing white skirt into the ground. I was suddenly consumed by desire, an explicit yearning, and a want so deep that I almost felt my soul shouting, reminding me of a life long forgotten.

Images flashed on my face. A long lost land, dry and hot. I am immobile, buried neck deep in the hot burning sand with the hot sun beating down on my head. The weight of the sand was almost as unbearable as the heat itself. Looking around, there among that gang of thieves, that murder of crows, she was held, I think, against her will. Her soft sobs filled the air. She looked different, but those eyes, they speak a different story. I felt a sharp shooting pain in my heart. I wanted to save her, I wanted to hold her, and I wanted to live. I tried calling out but I could only taste warm metallic blood and sand in my mouth. They left me there and slowly galloped away. I watched the sunset, with the vultures hovering over my head and watched my love, a piece of my soul, slowly vanish across the flat, dry and hot horizon. Suddenly I left that horrible place, but I took that pain, that agony with me.

Suddenly I felt the chill and I realized that I was sitting by the fire. I looked into her eyes again and I could see that she saw me too in that hot horrible place dying. She saw my pain and I saw hers.

How many lives have we lived, loved and died?

A short while ago, As I, a foolish vagabond, a eunuch, was enjoying my loneliness in this forgotten part of the world, I heard hard crackling footsteps. She was running away from a place of luxury. She was running because tonight the favourite concubine of the king was to be killed. She ran with all her might, tears streaming through her eyes, blindly through the sharp and unforgiving forest, until she came upon a candle in the middle of all that darkness, my humble fire.

We haven’t spoken a word since I held her hand and made her shivering self, sit in front of the fire and yet we have known each other for millennia. How do I comfort my long lost soul mate? How do I tell her that in this lifetime, I am a eunuch, a man but not a man? My soul may be old, aged and wise, but, my flesh, my body yearns for her touch, and yet I may never know, at least not in this lifetime.

Yet another lifetime to live, yet another moment of fleeting existence, yet another lifetime of pain and agony.

Why do we do this? Why do we pursue each other like this over and over again only to realize that it can never happen or that the hope for the perfect union, may, one day, in another life, happen? And then we can finally get our Moksha.

Maybe god made our souls in pairs, destined to be, forever, for the rest of eternity, entwined into one another. Maybe time doesn’t really exist!

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