The Earth was cloyingly cold and eerie.
She looked as if she was gasping out her last few breaths. The very landscape heaved… full of a emotion it can neither hold nor yet give up. She was like a pregnant woman in full term… exhausted… wanting desperately to be delivered of her child. She was waiting to see life born… to justify her existence… to be given meaning. Yet she was not delivered. She couldn’t be… because the time was not come yet. She must endure the restless child within her some more. She waited for the child to take life… and through the child to take life herself. The child… the woman… both wanting to be rid of each other. Though tied with bonds of life… and love.
It was a desolate stretch of land. This was the Earth before life surged in her womb. She was painfully, completely bereft. Yet the potential she had to nurture life couldn’t be denied. That ability was palpably in evidence. The rich, fertile, soft soil was there; full of life sustaining nourishment deep in its grains. The sweet water was there… undulating softly… mesmerizingly… holding the secret of all life in its chill depths.
Over the Earth, there lay a shroud of cold and impenetrable darkness. The dark made a mockery of the promise of life. It killed the unborn… silently stifling… inaudibly suffocating… freezing the possibility of life into an immovable stone. It made the water look as if it throbbed with the cold malevolence of the un-living. The sky was black as a brow lowered in petulant violent anger… making the earth cringe with unreasoning fear. Nothing lived… nothing moved… everything waited… cold… so cold… and breathless…
The Earth was barren… utterly barren. What was worse was the potential of life strewn so prodigiously at large. It was like a slap in her face. It was pointed, jeering laughter, the kind that hurt deeply, inflicting terrible wounds. It was the words flung at the face of the Earth: Look at you… with all the capacity for life… you don’t live. You… who call yourself the giver of life…! You who nurture life in your womb… life has passed you by. Alive…? No, you pathetic thing… you are not alive. You are just not dead. You lie suspended between life and death… what an absolute, futile waste…! The ‘non-dead’ are not alive… LIFE is much bigger than merely ‘non-dead’. You are neither alive nor dead… you are just- UNLIVED.
Incredibly, the deep dark of the sky deepened even more. It was impossible to believe. Yet there it was… black took on new dimensions… new depths. It was darker than despair… darker even than the absolute giving up… the abject hopelessness. It was a place where hope was an unknown, unpronounced word. The Earth lay exhausted beyond even the effort to pant. She was spent. She wished they would let her die- at least.
Suddenly, the sky turned the color of charcoal. Then it seemed as if someone was fanning the charcoal… a ball of fire in its midst. The charcoal glowed red… orange… yellow… golden. It was fed by the ball of fire thrust deep into its core. The ball flung out rich glows of its own abundance scattering it with joyous abandon. It was radiant with the joy of its own profuse energy. But there was more to it. The core of its joy was not its benign radiance… it was the knowledge that its copious and vivacious radiance had the power to give life where ever it fell. The ball of fire… she called him her Sun… had come at last. He had come… to let her experience life… to rid her of her curse… to wipe away the stain of being UNLIVED.
The Sun lifted the shroud of the cold darkness off the unlived body of the Earth. He smiled at the Earth in benediction. She stirred in restless anticipation. The sweet water surged with mutely plopping, appreciative murmur. With the warmth, the seeds of life lying frozen in the depths of the water thawed. They were impatient now. The Sun had unfrozen life and let it break free of its bondage.
The Earth came to life. And Life came to Earth. The child was born… and a mother was born. There it was… the full circle of life. All she had wanted… all she had waited for… was a touch of the Sun.
He hugged her from behind as she sat in front of her laptop, brow furrowed in concentration. Instantly, her brow smoothened and a smile lit her face. She was so transparently happy… she was so much in love. He rested his chin on her right shoulder. Wordlessly, she knew he wanted to read what she had written so she scrolled up. Knowing perfectly what his reading speed was, she scrolled the text until he had read the last line.
“Vasudha, you are going to give me a swollen head at this rate”, he tried to sound admonishing… peeved. All he managed was to sound overwhelmed
“I am just writing a simple story Aditya. What has it to do with you…?” She tried to sound nonchalant, flippantly casual. All she managed was to sound breathlessly happy.
“We won’t tell anyone this is the story of our life…”, she mumbled into his mouth.
A Touch of the Sun