Us who know death

Us who know death-2Hence walked Rosaline, over her naked feet to reach a path that feigned a giant gravel snake. With the barrel in her hand, its metal yet clung to wetness on the outside, owing to the river that also gave sparkles to the mountainside. And basket in her other, dried and empty, but of the snowed air of the breaking dawn, she walked the path that feigned a giant gravel snake.

Through the head she entered, through the tail she left, all the way reciting a wordless tune to herself and the flowers she picked, which lived a day to see the sun, and to the buds she watered, which would be picked on the morrow. No bud knew, she sang the same to its ancestors, and no flower in the basket recalled the song it heard the day before. Not one retained a memory, save the love for water and the zeal to reach the sun.

The basket, she carried through the valley beyond the tail, through the woods, and till the spot, fifty yards from the fruitless tree, that the men and women and the young and old, called the sacred.

She sat on a rock and traded her pickings, to the men and women, and the young and old, their faces always still as grave. They crushed those ones, who smiled to death, despite their zeal to reach the light, and coughed out perfume when mutilated and spread, beneath the feet of the man who made the tree which bore no fruit, be called the sacred.

Covered in saffron from head till toe, no one knew his colour, as he sat and spoke. He spoke on a life which has no death, and spoke of the spirit that lived forever. And then he saw Rosaline sit at a distance, when he smiled at the men and women and the young and old. Spread all around him, all starved of spirit, more dead than the flowers they crushed for him, and traded out their earnings for his words, which more or less said the same, on every day of the season, with his smile as grave as the stillness on their faces.

Then Rosaline worded the tune she sang through the path which feigned gravel snake, a song to herself and the flowers that were crushed.

“He speaks of life, oh smiling dead ones, a life without death and a life after death. What does he knew of life more than you knew in a day you have lived!

Oh the ones with no memory, the ones with zeal, the ones who can die and hence have lived! The ones that pure, that you have no memory of this man who says he has no death.

What he meant in truth was he knows no death, and he bears no need, ergo he knows no meaning, nor thanks no value. 

He cries out, but in twisted words, that he was like any of them. The words they can’t try to grasp, thus trade out their earnings for what he has not said.

I say to us, oh sweet ones, what he dare not say nor know, the simple things we know in the least, for the small and simple minded we are. 

We live and we die and do something interesting in between. We zeal to do the interesting because we know our death, and we zeal to do it quick and well, and we call it life.

Is it not why, oh sweet ones, the creator gave us death, so that we live with zeal and die with smile? Or how are we to know any value in life, if not for the truth that we are all set to die?

None shall die before his time, smiling ones, and none shall be here again, after once gone. He says he has no death, but the truth is he knows no death, and he has no life.”

Hence Rosaline worded the song to herself and the smiling ones that were crushed, and she waited till the dusk, for she saw through the man, more than the crowd ever did.

When he saw to it that everyone left, he took Rosaline under the tree which bore no fruit, and made her naked from head till toe. He has no life, hence she has not shied. For the dead and rocks and graves shall dare not see Rosaline shy. And then she saw his colour under his saffron hood in the fading light, as he tried to reach for life, for once in truth, but reached his climax first, and slept on her lusty hide.

She woke up not too late, yet not from the sleep.And knowing too well that he shall be still yet only till the dawn. She turned the saffron into a sack, but as silent as the grave of his smile, by wrapping in with every last coin he piled up through the season by trading words that he twisted as a puzzle that would not solve. She picked up her clothes under the moon, and left him under his sacred tree that bore no fruit, with nothing but the colour of his ill grown hide.

She walked off into the woods and entered the tail, then through the sleeping flowers drunken well in the rich moon light, and out of the head and into the river that gave sparkles to the mountainside. And it washed her of all memories but the living, with rushing currents sparkling off the moon over her lusty hide. Then she unfolded the saffron sack to let the coins drop off, one by one and all, before she let go of the cloth into the current.

She crossed the river and stepped on to the bank, with basket over her head that bore only the coins she earned and the barrel in which no water was left. And when she saw her man coming out of her hut, through the moon, and towards her, Rosaline shied and blushed at the life in his eyes, which made the wetness of her clothes cling to her lusty hide.

– Avinash Kumar


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