“In darkness I leave / For a place I’ve never seen / It’s been calling out to me / That is where I should be… We never carried days on our own / But now it’s up to us to know / The weight of being so much more / We will find ourselves on the road…On we march / With a midnight song / We will light our way / With our lanterns on…As we walk out / Without question without doubt / In the light that we have found / It is finally clear …” – Lanterns, Birds Of Tokyo
The duskiness of the night swept her away – it always had. There was something about the silence of black that made you reconsider your existence. And it was this silence that stole her questions.
She flew to the highest branch of the neem tree. There, perched above the rest, she fought a battle that the ancient warriors had yet to give up.
She looked up at the sky. The huskiness of the clouds was creating a kerfuffle across the black sea; soft, irregular balls of mist.
“What are you made of?” she sang to the clouds. And she yawned.
“Aah. Dreams and desires. Your white is the reflection of unheard prayers and your softness is the sound of shattering hearts and your easy flow is our glittering happiness springing from what God has chosen for us,” she chirped.
And then from high above, she looked down and realized that that she could easily fall down and hurt herself. But I have wings, a voice whispered.
“But, what if He does not wish you to fly?” the simple innocence of this question stole her breath. Her heart thudded within its cage, her lips quivered with the uncertainty of the known, her eyes blinked with the moisture of wonder.
“I am a little bird, flying in search of more than just daana paani, gasping for a little breath of purity, trying to ascend from the mundanity of being an ‘otherworldly creature’ to the exceptional rarity of an ‘understood enigma’.” The little white bird hummed to herself, gazing at the dry leaves that made her nest.
She felt intoxicated by the workings of her soul and flapped her wings with the speed of light.
Landing on the rough ground blotched with the mud from the shoes of all men, this white little bird marvelled at the ordinary journey that she had just made. Her heart ripping with the desire to taste the tranquility gifted by prostration, she bowed down her little head and lost herself in the whirl of what was the crescent of her moon – devastatingly beautiful, soulfully resonant.
“What are we?” she choked
The electrons revolving around the nucleus create the gravity that deceives science.
“Why are we?” and she choked again.
The forces of attraction holding this little universe makes you, you.
“What is this?” she was in awe.
The planets are the electrons. The sun is the nucleus. YOU are a little universe. Men and women in white and black revolve around the Ka’aba; they are the planets and the electrons.
She looked up. Her bird was looking down at her. Before she could wipe away her tears, he was perched next to her, sharing the same ground, the same sky. He looked towards her, daring her to keep drowning. She was never the shy one. She dared him to drown together. It was a pair of cool eyes – a magnetic force for the secrets of the soul – that drew the inexplicable, charismatic bond that they would both later struggle to give a name to. And in that moment, she knew that this was dangerously different and beautiful and irreplaceable. Instead of wiping away her tears, he too shed tears of wonder – over God, His universe, EVERYTHING.
“Kun faaya kun,” she slowly chirped.
“Kun faaya kun,” he chirped back.
And the two white birds flew back to their nest and the call for the morning prayer echoed throughout the universe.