Familiar Stranger

The early morning sun was already well risen and the spring grass shone like it had its own gentle glow from within. The sunrays came through the window and made her face shine as she lay there on her soft bed covered in Velvety smooth but warm sheets. The bird sang at her window, enjoyed in their own company. Their sweet music woke her up, she rubbed her eyes to look at the marvelous view window had.

Upon the petals sit a hundred beads of water, each one a perfect sphere, brilliant in the morning rays. Each drop sits so lightly, yet together they are enough to cause the bloom to bow toward the earth. The mountains were silhouettes against a crimson sky and the air smelled of the ocean. Not like she had seen the ocean but her heart knew what that was.

She walked towards her window to look at the himalayas that were her neighbours. She didn’t know why but those gigantic sunkissed crystals always touched her soul, almost as if it was half of her own that was left there.

Hardly ten seconds of that view and her maids came in to tell of the great function which was being held that day. She was the Himalayan Princess and so her palace would often have such functions.

A couple of hours later, she joined her friends at the palace courtyard; it was decided that they would compete for the most beautiful flowers that day. The winner would get one task to give to the looser.

She started walking on her path to win, she wanted to show her friends that she was more than just a princess.

After walking a few miles, she figured out she was lost. It was embarrassing indeed, she was lost in her own kingdom and that too in the deep forest. She tried moving in all directions to find a way out but getting more deeper into the forest.

She stopped at point, looking at her empty basket which made her frown. She knew she might loose but this strong lady was not happy and would never go down without a fight worthy of her title.

She closed her eyes and prayed to God to tell her way. The breeze played with her long dark hair which shined as the sun rays inside the forest bloomed which was half tied in a gold pin. Her pink dhoti and blouse made her skin blushier than it was and the ang vastra just added to her beauty which was tucked around her waist.

She looked forward and her heart skipped a beat. She knew she had go to up north but she had no explanation for that situation. Her feet started working on their own and she moved forward. Gradually the breeze started becoming cooler and turning into winds as the temperature started getting lower. She felt shivers down her spine but just wouldn’t stop, she felt as if someone was calling out to her.

She stopped again, her surroundings were snowy, her teeth were chattering. Cold snowy tears rolled down her red cheeks as she looked around to find a way home only to find a cave. Desperate to go home, she walked toward the strangely familiar looking cave. Her kingdom was a home to a lot of Saadhus and she hoped to find one in there so that she could ask for the way or atleast find a clue.

She peeked inside and very quietly stepped inside trying not to disturb anyone’s saadhna. Although strangely the inside of cave felt really warm, she felt as if she was home. She kept walking really slowly until she saw man in front of her in the yogi position probably he has been here for a while, she thought to herself.

He was not too old, probably her age. Well built that made him really the hard working type. His upper body was completely bare apart from the janeu that he wore and some ghastly looking scars that made him grim. He had thick beard and he looked too busy to maintain it. His face had a unique peace on it. His lower body was covered in what looked like animal skin. He looked grim and alone but peaceful and satisfied at the same time.

She felt drawn towards him and she sat down a little far from him, kept looking at him. Her big brown eyes were so fixed on him that all one could see in her eyes was him; the curiosity, trying to figure out who he was and why was he there.

A few minutes later he opened his eyes and looked at her, both were startled. She fell back a little, her eyes still fixed on him. He walked passed her and she turned around to look him walking up to another person, who was in a way dressed like him and the two whispered under their breaths. It made her wonder why were they not feeling cold like she was.

The stranger looked at her one last time and left. His friend or partner, whoever he was came to her and gave her a basket full of the most beautiful flowers she had seen. Her eyes went wide but she just couldn’t ask anything. He smiled at her and showed her a way out.

She quietly followed him without saying a word. Before she knew, they were at a path she was nicely familiar with. He stopped, she did too. He looked at her with the brightest smile, as if he couldn’t control his happiness and this was happening the whole way. “Until we meet again” he said as he suddenly touched her feet scaring her and before she could react, he was gone.

She ran back to the palace and her room, called her friends in and told them everything. They couldn’t believe what happened and started laughing at her, thinking she was just making excuses because she lost.

At night she sat by her window looking at the Himalayas yet again. Who was this familiar stranger that she met? Why was she so drawn to him? Her questions remained unanswered as she walked back towards her bed.