Tale of Desert
In the city of east, two friends, Ram and Rahim tired of metropolitan workday sat at a reserved coffee corner shop in evening and talked.
Ram shared, ‚Äė‚ÄôRahim, I absolutely loved your last movie. I was in laughers and tears, how do you manage to get such huge flicks with back to back hits?‚ÄĚ
Rahim was overwhelmed, ‚ÄúThe way you manage your enterprise. Oh! Thanks for your nice words. I absolutely need them.‚ÄĚ
Ram and Rahim, both were successful and rich. They had family, cars, yachts and high education. Both were number one in their walks of life and had mystical aura and success.
They both shared a common interest of travel and adventure.
Both sat and drank their Cappuccinos, lattes and frappuccino.
Today they were talking about desert safari and adventure. They discussed about plans to cross the great desert and hit the proverbial pot of gold, they took desert adventure as test of their strength and luck.
Few have crossed the desert for adventure and sports, and few searched the land for gold, but everyone considered it as land of sports and treasure.
Desert is a land of barren. It is hostile land. It is land of harsh‚Ä¶ It is land of devil of dust‚Ä¶ It is land of devil of storm… Yes, desert is a land of draught, greed and thirst‚Ä¶.. It is land of wiry and naked plants‚Ä¶. It is land of smelly cacti‚Ä¶ It is land of poisonous lizards‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶.BUT IS ALSO LAND OF CARAVAN.
Here In desert, live the Bushmen, hunters, herders and pirates. But here also lives a caravan, a traveler and a community.
In olden days traders travelled on these barren routes with slaves and ivory, now caravan travel with salt and gold.
Desert was always land of rare routes and priceless connections.
Some say desert is a land of holy battles; another say it is redemption of all‚Ä¶
Some days later Ram & Rahim in search of proverbial fortune lost their way into the barren desert. As they were filled with enough supplies of food and water, so unmindful of mighty land, both went further and farther deep in the golden sand. They were chatting n discussing the arid desert and golden hue.
Ram said hopefully, ‚ÄúWe would hit the fortune.‚ÄĚ
Rahim answered, ‚ÄúYes, the golden nuggets sitting naked on bedrock.‚ÄĚ
Ram said philosophically, ‚ÄúI love the desert. It connects me to me. It is a land of caravan, connection, community, ties and rare treasure. ‚Äė‚Äô
Rahim assented, ‚ÄúYes, It also connects we to we, we discover both ourselves and I‚Ä¶and it is one of the elemental core.‚ÄĚ
Both thought, ‚ÄúWe are in the land of caravan and the land of stories.‚ÄĚ
As they moved deep n deep in barren land in hot weather at the peak of day, they were tired and hazy and suddenly both of them saw a sparkle at distant Western dune.
All of sudden they had dreams and visions of sweet springs and lakes which had sprung up and formed from ground water, rivers or lakes. They saw a distant desert lark (bird) singing a mellow song and dancing in sandy bath.
A sudden distant sparkle turned more permanent and it made both happy and both wanted to shout but kept quiet for strange reason, ‚Äė‚Äėwe‚Ä¶No‚Ä¶I have hit the treasure.‚Äô‚Äô
Instead of shouting, both contained themselves and pretended to stay smug and quiet. Ram thought, ‚Äė‚Äôit‚Äôs my treasure in the West‚Ä¶my treasure‚Äô‚Äô
Rahim gasped slowly in happiness, ‚Äė‚ÄôWow! My Gold in the West‚Ä¶it is my gold.‚Äô‚Äô
Sun and sky were hot and silent, so were the sand and stones on land. The Sun in sky thought something sadly about the hostile barren land, which a while ago was a land of one caravan and a beautiful story.
A slow dusty storm started to form on the outskirts; a steady wind began to blow at distant margins of this land. Even animals had learned to keep their cool in this arid land as they knew that even rain brings no relief, but great violence in these lands.
They both took it for a cache filled with silver, gold and diamond. It was love and love at first sight. Both were seduced by desert fairy, they were hooked by desert beauty and they fevered with golden queen. ‚Äė‚ÄôToday, they had hit the elusive POT OF GOLD‚Äô‚Äô
As both of them were turned greedy and grasping for more wealth, name and fame, so sharing this pristine booty was virtually impossible now. Both of them halted abruptly and faked as if they had seen nothing. Friendship and companionship suddenly melted into hatred and greed.
Both thought, ‚Äė‚ÄôTime to use secret weapon.‚Äô‚Äô
A distant Sun thought, ‚Äú In the land of strains and fragments, where even rocks turns smooth in heat and cold or it get crushed into sand. Only fools would require secret weapon in such land.‚ÄĚ
After a long strange silence, finally Ram spoke first, ‚Äė‚ÄôRahim, let‚Äôs stop here. I am tired.‚Äô‚Äô
Rahim reluctantly responded, ‚Äė‚ÄôYes, it‚Äôs good time for rest. I think we have travelled long today.‚Äô‚Äô
They stopped for rest under palm trees nearby, so that they had enough time to plan, the next move.
It was moonless cold dark night.
As night fell more deeply, both were anxious still they pretended to sleep deeply. They planned in their minds how to prevent other from reaching the treasure. They were tempted and seduced by the language of gold; it enticed them and kept them without sleep the entire night.
Throughout night, both thought the only best way to eliminate fellow traveler was by poisoning him, as it would be most silent and unarmed finish. Ram got up in deep night and mixed the poison in the Rahim‚Äôs water, the sacred elixir of empty land. Sometime later in deep dark night, Rahim got up and poisoned the Ram‚Äôs food, the only bread of survival. At morning, both waited in smile for wealth and also frowned for other‚Äôs agony.
Both avoided each other and forgot morning greetings as if they waited for others‚Äô misery. As both had heard each others‚Äô movements in the previous night, so both avoided water, food and each other‚Äôs eyes. As greed lurked in their mind and patience ran out, so ultimately they decided to move without water and food intake.
As now Sun was up and it was another hot sunny day and the sacred illusion formed again. As now they felt excited in hope of getting this new found wealth and possibility of removal of last hurdle.
The glimpses of yesterday were still fresh, it excited them in body and soul, but made them silent in another‚Äôs presence.
So Rahim was first one to come out with mumbling pretext, he said, ‚Äė‚ÄôRam. I am thinking of travelling north. I dreamt last night that there was big storm in West. I also saw the pirates. ‚ÄĚ
Ram thought menancingly, ‚ÄúSo he also dreams.‚ÄĚ But was quick to respond with big sigh, ‚Äė‚ÄôYeah. I had another dream; I saw an oasis in south. I saw the treasure map, the Dead Sea scroll, which pointed to south.‚Äô‚Äô
Rahim thought, ‚ÄúHe saw the map, but not the gold.‚ÄĚ
Both departed in their respective directions with these last words‚Ä¶
After pretending to travel in their chosen direction till the other fellow got out of sight, both perhaps rested their hungry and thirsty bodies.
Greed had overtaken every bit of their souls.
Ram ultimately turned and walked in the sweet direction of the western treasure and rushed towards it expectantly. As he advanced towards the supposed treasure and found it a mere hallucination and realized it was the mere hollow mirage. He thought, ‚ÄúSo I was disoriented and hallucinated yesterday.I was seduced by desert sand.‚ÄĚ
Now he realized his big folly. Now He saw his huge failure.
He thought, ‚ÄúI had failed in calculation. I had failed in perception and I had failed in mission. I was failure all throughout his life.‚ÄĚ
He further thought, ‚ÄúI killed him, I am murderer.‚ÄĚ
He saw deep hollow within. Heavy disappointment and utter sadness engulfed him.
Suddenly, Ram saw a solitary hazy figure approaching the rock that once sparkled. The frail human was approaching him slowly, but cautiously.
Ram thought weakly, ‚ÄúIs it Rahim? Or I am out of my mind.‚ÄĚ
Ram smilingly thought, ‚ÄúSo, he is here.‚ÄĚ
But he felt happy to see Rahim‚Äôs face.
Rahim also felt same about Ram and said, ‚ÄúSo the dream was a lie.‚ÄĚ
Both were deeply humiliated and perturbed by this unknown ultimate defeat.
First, mad thoughts of anger came, next thoughts of survival rushed and then, suddenly both started laughing at themselves.
Ram jokingly said, ‚ÄúPlease keep all the trash.‚ÄĚ
Rahim responded, ‚ÄúIt is all yours.‚ÄĚ
At last, both humbled and looked towards each other for forgiveness. But still they had to admit their night‚Äôs folly to further survive. They had pure water and food, but would they share and exchange and live in true spirit of caravan?
A thought crossed Rahim‚Äôs mind, ‚ÄúSuccessful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers.‚ÄĚ
It was a journey from pride to humiliation and also a journey from humiliation to humility. Ram and Rahim, both found in the midst of desert the ultimate emptiness, the emptiness where success and failure loses its meaning, the emptiness where life and death are just cosmic events. It was discovery of the self.
In sky, The Sun smiled and thought, ‚Äė‚ÄôOh wise fools; this is land where traders have always moved in caravan. They travelled here, they also shared their stories and then discovered the inner treasure here; they never prospected here to hit the GOLDEN fame. The same fortune awaits you here, If only you can trust now and believe in caravan and share the follies of the night. ‚Äô‚Äô
Ram said with tears rolling down his cheeks, ‚ÄúRahim, my brother, I poisoned your water. The poison I carried since start of our journey.‚ÄĚ
Rahim was in tears but managed to say, ‚ÄúI did the same.‚ÄĚ
In Desert, either all or none survive.
The Sun in the sky smiled‚Ä¶