Pain resides over love. Love breeds around it.
Like a vine; wrapping itself round the massive and un-yielding tree of pain. Twisting, covering, inch by inch – hiding the tree itself.
And the people passing by fully enjoy the breathtaking view of the vine. Experiencing it. Smelling it. Touching it. Without knowing what it encloses. Without seeing what lies beneath.
The last breath is never easy just like the first breath; however, for Wali, the trauma of breaths has been different. His first breaths were as conscious as the last ones. Always. He always knew the purpose, the journey, the struggle; yet failure was destined for him. The pursuit remained not for a decade or a life but for lives along with echoes of requests in parallel universe.
Yet here he is again at the Gate of Transactions with God, with the same request and the same vehemence in his eyes, to ask to pass the same journey again. Just like a moth to a flame, he has to burn. He has to die. It is his destiny. And perhaps the purpose too.
The Gate of Transactions is unlike any of the other gates. It is a combination of the physical and metaphysical dimensions. Time exists in the physical dimension and there is no limit to the time you can traverse. However, contact remains elusive; bound by a silent command. The command of ‘Kun’
This is Wali’s 6th transaction with the hope that it will be the last one. He may not have had any eminence in his four lives in the world, yet he has the royalty to be here for a conversation.
God loves to give chances. He loves to give hope. He will easily grant you another life. But He will sternly refuse any assistance. He will not reply to the old-wretched-soul of Wali. He won’t look. He doesn’t need to look.
He knows. Everything.
“Here I am again, at the mercy of You and Your creations of time and life and hope.”
“I need to go back again. I need to start again. I need another chance. Another life. Like Adam.”
“O Dear Lord! Grant me another chance. Send me back. Forgive me but I don’t want the eternity of heaven. I need the life of the world.”
“I have failed but my failure is not mine alone. I am limited. I am restricted. I am confined. In a body. In a soul. I deserve another chance.”
God has always known.
Time continues to race. At the edge of chance, his heart – barely able to beat – slows down. He looks up at God, silently imploring with his eyes as words fail him.
The Guardian of the Gate approaches Wali to escort him. He has had his chance. He has had his meeting. He has had his failure. It was meant to fail. Requests, pleadings and lives are turned to ash like that.
“The vine is nothing without the tree. It lives, breeds and produces because of the strength of the tree. Pain and love go hand-in-hand like your parallel lives.” Pointing to the gate, he says, “Please leave.”
The gate closes behind his back with a clang.
Each prayer accepted and each wish resigned.
“Is this it,” he wonders.
This is it.
“KUN!” comes the Commandment and the universe echoes it for the sixth time.
… follows a conscious gasp somewhere near a small hut near a cold river passing through a cold desert.