The heavens are still far away – 3

Shiva’s shirt grew heavy with perspiration. His face was twitched all over, and it took him some effort to gulp a few breaths in. He raised his eyes again to take a second look at the wall. The shimmering ripples, sometimes taking on bright hues, played calmly at the wall’s  centre. Shiva felt alone, weak and petrified. “Bom Bom Bhole!” he muttered in a low pitch. The cave verberated with his voice, and fell silent. “Bom Bom.. Bho..leee!” Shiva repeated again, this time louder. The rippled pattern on the wall flashed brighter, and broke into abstract shapes.  Shiva dropped on the floor and slipped towards the cave’s entrance. Perhaps I can explain this, he thought, looking outside at the lake below. It’s the moon’s shine that is bouncing off the clouds and beaming in. What else? He again glanced at the wall. The rippling pattern scaled down and took on the blurry contours of a human figurine. Shiva received another jolt and prepared to flee. His eyes...
Read More

The heavens are still far away – 2

Shiva threw the shoulder bag onto the floor, and sat down on the muddy floor. The cave was narrow and unevenly cut, and tall enough for him to stand and make a palm impression on the roof. Outside, there was not a sound to be heard. The green water lake was out of sight, and from the floor he could see the opposite hill, and the long receding line of mountains that went as far as eyes could see. Shiva loosened his white sports shoes, and stretched his legs wide, reclining back on his hands. It had been a long, long journey. But he was free at last. Free of the maddening crowds, and into fresh air.  The winter was yet to set in, and the hills, after the monsoon rains had dripped them clean, appeared to long for their traditional soft coat of snow. How beautiful the hill women looked, whom he encountered while walking down the grassy mounds near the Kedarnath temple!...
Read More