To The River And The Mountains

It feels good to press the accelerator of the car. The cool wind on my face feels good — so also seeing the profile of your smiling face, the changing landscape on land and in the sky. A long drive feels good.

We started when the sun was setting, driving into the sun, the pink, purple, and deep blues. Now the pink and purple have eloped with the sun and the sky has adorned itself with that one regal evening star — the queen of all the stars that will soon make their appearance.

“Where do you wanna go?”

“That river.”

“Good that we have our camping gear in the trunk. We can camp there for the night if we want.”

“Let’s see.”

So we drove. To the right of town. 70 kms away.

.

It is 8:30 p.m. now by the time we have reached here. There are mountains on one side, the gurgling river beside it, and this open land on this side of the river — covered with grass interspersed occasionally with boulders — nature’s chairs placed so thoughtfully for us.

“I just want to sit with you, in your arms, beside this gurgling river for a while — before we fix dinner.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

“I am looking forward to the sushi though.”

“I am looking forward to the beer.”

“Ok. You, your beer, and patient me — but only two cans. Then we dive into dinner.”

“How about diving into the water?”

“In the morning. Am too tired just now.”

So here we are — on this flat long rock, a natural bench that mother nature has placed for us.

“I love you.”

Your lips on mine. Not kissing. Just there. For long. At least it seems long — eternal.

Then you turn your face to gulp beer again, and pull me close.

We are immersed deep into the quiet now — the quiet of the gurgling river and the humming crickets of the night, the moonlight dancing peacefully as silver varak on the water as it navigates the rocks and pebbles, the mountains rising high in the backdrop, black in the night, but not pitch black.

“I am hungry now,” I say an hour later and spread the sheet on the ground. You light a fire. Roasted veggies and garlic bread for you, cold sushi for me. You toast the bread on the fire and warm the veggies. We eat. The fire sings a crackling composition for us.

***

It is the wee hours of the morning. The sky has not opened into clear blue, nor its special sunrise hues for the day. The birds are up and about though. With a gentle snore, you are still sleeping. It’s fascinating how I feel more relaxed and peaceful if you are relaxed than if I am relaxed. I go to the river and splash my face with the crisp clear water, made crisper still by the morning chill. Soon I’m immersed in the water — immersed in the flow of never-ending love.

After a good easy half an hour I finally step out of the river. You are squirming in the sleeping bag. Your eyes open dreamily. Our eyes meet and there is a silent acknowledgment, a gentle love. My heart settles further into the soft bed of contentment.

On the patch cushioned with lush grass, I do some yoga — nothing fancy, just some Pawan-muktaasana, and fill my lungs with the fresh morning air. You catch a quick 10-minute meditation on the rock where we’d eaten dinner. For long you simply look at the shaking branch of a tree on this side of the river, then a small bird with rich blue feathers catches your attention. Now, for long you are immersed in how that tiny frame is so full of the most natural life. You feel as though you are communicating with it — which you are. Eventually, your eyelids gently descend as, in your being you make the universe your own.

We pack up. All camping gear dismantled and folded into the trunk of the car, we head back. Soon we will partake of some piping hot idlis and chutney at our favourite morning joint before you drop me off at my office and carry on to yours — but right now, as we drive back with our eyes and chest filled with the peace and life of the entire universe, we are silently One.

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