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They are close.

I feel it in my bones, in my very being. An indescribable feeling of joy slowly spreads through me, like the exquisite strains of a santoor being played.

The dusty street, the hot air rising from the tarred road, the sights and sounds of the city around me, all fade away to be replaced by an ethereal cool blue light. I have never seen anything like it before, not in a long, long time. Yet strangely, I recognize it as something I have known intimately and been part of in some previous existence, something I miss in the present, achingly so. It fills the emptiness inside me to overflowing, cleaning me of the grime and sweat of lost time. The heavenly strains of santoor continues filling my ears with its meandering notes that rise and fall in beauteous patterns seemingly random, weaving magic.

I feel rejuvenated.

Gone is my weariness, the cry of loneliness, the anguish of existential crisis. I am invigorated even before the knowledge hits me.

They are coming, for me.

The star-studded sky now becomes clearer. I watch fascinated as one among them detaches itself and hurtles downwards, growing bigger and bigger, till finally it has slowed down to a shining huge orb, hovering right above me. No doors open. But I am pulled inside by collective thoughts from somewhere distant. I feel as light as thought itself as I glide in, and idly wonder if my body has become lighter or if I myself have become nothing but thought?

Anticipation fills my being as lights flicker and dim inside. The orb launches itself smoothly to a crescendo of santoor strings.

The journey has begun. Where to, now?

Inside me is a stirring of a strange loosening as I hurtle across space. My limbs move of their own accord to the now dipping, now rising beats of the santoor in the background. Banishing self-imposed boundaries, I let myself soar in exhilaration. One by one the planets of the solar system loom large and then fade away, the red one, the giant one with sixteen moons or more, the one with the ring, the tilted one with its pole towards the Sun, and at last it swims into my ken, the blue of the ice-giant.

Planet Neptune.

The orb gently lands and I am pulled outside. People dance in welcome of their lost child and I join them silent tears coursing down my face. At last I am where I belong. I can hear the melodious santoor still playing, nearer now. Somewhere on this planet is a little shack, mine, where I sat with someone in the dim light of late evenings, sipping tea and watching the moons. My eyes search the crowds and find the mesmerizing pair that had kindled embers to a roaring flame during those evenings of long ago. No longer the ice-maiden, I dance with him, in elation.

My destination is where I am destined to be.Β 

Written for ‘That Tuesday Thing Premiere’.Β The prompt is to listen to Rahul Sharma’s Destination (link), ” and then let the words flow”

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