Wink in the Sky [September 2010]

Ibrahim Waheed “Kalaavehi”

The man thought that the new crescent moon looked like a huge orange wink in the rich black velvet of a September night sky, looking down from the west at a couple of slow-moving boats on the shimmering waves of the sea, making up her mind to settle down gracefully into the darker mysteries and go home to rest when her work was done. Gentle waves, their ruffled heads capped with just a hint of glistening foam, lapped at the sleeping beach, leaving behind temporary sparkles of blue light wherever the plankton met the coral sand.

In the half light of the near distance, faint long shadows hinted at what he hoped were two lovers walking hand in hand on the sand, perhaps sharing the tail end summary of a day of hard work. Two young girls, probably sisters if one considered the obvious difference in age and size and their easy familiarity with each other, ran after the little crabs that came out on the sand to play. It looked like the crabs were winning, managing to escape human hands just in time, every time.

Time, it seemed, was not looked at or slotted into any apparent tables as the moon, still orange and still frozen into a wink, slowly sank towards the horizon. But the man looked at his watch and smiled at the luminous hands of the old-fashioned automatic Jaeger he wore on his left wrist, dial turned inwards like some sailors do. He noted that there were exactly three minutes left.

As the seconds slowly added up to make up a minute, the man wondered as to how anyone who cared to notice him would see him. Just like that hoary old saying about beauty and the beholder, he knew that they would see him not for what he is, but as what they wanted him to be. Some would see him as an eccentric old man sitting on the dead trunk of what was once a tree, whiling away his time on a desolate beach. Some would see a middle-aged thinker, gazing at no particular point on the horizon, wondering about the mysteries of existence, wasting precious time. Some would see him as a still-young man of joy and happiness, thanking God for putting him on that beautiful beach, while he waited for something beyond description. God forbid, he could even be a spy from a foreign land, waiting for his particular brand of Mata Hari.

At exactly zero minus one minute on the Jaeger, the man reached for the pouch on his belt that carried his Blackberry. And as the seconds began running out in their slow, measured pieces of eternity, he had no doubts in his head as to who he was to himself or to the person he had been waiting for. He had no doubts as to where he was, what he was doing and who would call and why.

“Hello!” Came the voice from the other end. Deep, yet sweet and mellow at the same time. Firm as a statement and yet with a thousand unstated questions. Hesitant in tone, yet filled with charming confidence. A dash of caring concern, just below the surface, “Are you OK? Where are you?”

“I am OK. I am sitting on a dead log on the beach. You must forgive me the noise of the breeze. It is beautiful here. Clear skies. The moon’s going to hit the horizon in a couple of minutes I think..” He said, “Are you all right?”

“I am OK… as long as you are.” He heard her gentle, musical laugh that always made him want to thank God for giving him life, “That moon is so funny tonight. I can also see it from where I am standing. To me it looks like a huge, orange-colored wink in the sky, going down slowly on her way home to rest. Please don’t laugh! But that is what it looks like to me!”

Despite the appeal not to laugh, the man laughed. It was simple, joyous, thankful laughter. Laughter of the kind that glorified God for having created two souls that created the acceptably strange, but uncannily same images out of something as mundane and as natural as the setting of a new moon. Laughter of gratefulness that allowed them to bless each other and strengthen each other, and stay with each other’s soul despite the hundreds of kilometers between them. Laughter at the quirk of fate that created them so alike in mind, soul and thought, but inserted between them so many mountains whose names were best kept secret. Laughter at the bitter-sweet irony of it all. But there was no need to explain…

“I know why you are laughing! You had the same mental image, didn’t you?” More laughter of the deep, musical kind. And if someone with a really sensitive heart, who had suffered a little in life, listened really hard, she would hear in that laugh just a hint of guilt, sadness and a delicate, desperate yearning for something that would be so hard to reach in real life but so happily cuddled up to in every night’s sweet dream.

Dear God, in all His Compassion and Bountifulness, gave them what they should say was enough. Enough for them who believed in His Mercy that night, as always. Enough was that sweet, hopeless dream. Enough? Enough, just a shared wink in the sky. Enough? Enough to make anyone cry a few, silent, hidden tears…..

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  • shifa  On September 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    beautiful description of the moon, sky ,beach and the sea….. Are these real storis? it seems so real… me

    • ldive  On September 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      Stories, dear, just stories …. or that is what I must say!
      The rest of my reply to you is contained in my reply to Silentfingers’ comment!

  • silentfingers  On September 14, 2010 at 5:25 am

    True indeed. Sometimes the gem we desire can be found on someone else’s ring. And all we could do is wish that some day it belongs to us. “Enough? Enough is this sweet, hopeless dream”. Love, afterall is beautified and glorified by the beholder’s hopeful heart.

    From my point of perception, for the very first time I am seeing infidelity and true love being expressed so eloquently. Today I am glad to know a true magician; he creates magic with all his letters, words, commas and fullstops.    

    • ldive  On September 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      The pearl on someone else’s ring? Infidelity and true love?
      Silentfingers, yet again you give me that feeling that when I write, you are there looking over my shoulders, not at the screen or the keyboard, but right into my heart and through it!
      For I am no magician, my friend! The real ultimate magician, the Creator, is above all of us….. the Latif, the Rahman, the Rahim!
      And may He, the Ghaffar, forgive us all — the pearl, the infidel, you, I …. — and may He show us a better world where the ink off a pen does not have to contain the invisible blood drawn off someone’s heart!

  • josethomas  On September 14, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Prospero’s magic wand (The Tempest) is in the safe hands of a Godgifted writer, Insha Alla. In the tempestous life, even the hope of a dream can be a consolation. Is it infidelity in love’s eyes to yearn for an iota of love? I believe the Almighty will forgive it.
    ‘Enough, enough is a “Wink in the Sky” to fill the mind with emotions and thoughts.’

    • ldive  On September 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      I hope He does!

  • lamya  On September 17, 2010 at 12:24 am

    “happily cuddled up to in every night’s sweet dream” should be the reward for these people!

  • mysterystar  On September 19, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Exotic stories you write… I am astounded by the hidden love and how you have expressed. You are ingenious with words. Your pen is a wand. And you have just touched my heart so deeply….. but they are just stories as you mentioned. Thank you so much for sharing your tales .

    • ldive  On September 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      And I might have more than one tale, with a twist or otherwise!

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