A Tale of Two Territories

Once there lived a fire-fish and a water-bird… each time the water bird came to the shore and caught sight of the fire-fish, it had a strange yearning to plunge into the deep blue sea like this beautiful creature in front of him… and each time the fire fish saw that look in the water bird’s eyes, it danced around in water, exhibiting proudly her red and brown patterns, hiding the venom buried within by her highly infectious gaiety and grace. The water bird merely stared in awe, at this austere beauty in front of him, not knowing how deep the awe ran through him, or how long he had stayed like this.

After eons that seemed like a few seconds to the duo, when his friends came around looking for him they found him at the farthest of corners the sea would permit him, oblivious of his surroundings, oblivious of his own self. One of the friends called “Hey Jac! Run along mate, we are getting late” only to see Jac (Jacana) looking around stupidly, recognizing the echoes of something familiar that was spoken, what seemed like, centuries before. Looking around, Jac saw a horde of creatures that resembled his own self beckoning him from a distance. In a flash of a second he turned to the sea, but there was no one in sight… only a tranquil blue surface that seemed to have been unruffled since eternity. He started moving to where his friends were, throwing furtive glances behind, and praying to get one last glimpse of that cherubic beauty again. But deep down, he knew it was not to be… for this was how it always ended… their encounter always concluded abruptly, without a word passing between the two. But how much I know of her, he thought to himself. And how much had passed between us.

Musing to himself, not paying much attention to what his friends were saying, he flew in the sky he belonged to. And there in the sea, the fire fish gazed at the handsome bird in his flight, and yearned to fly along. The water about her seemed so suffocating, so cagey. She kept looking till the bird went out of sight, and then she stared at the point in sky she had seen his last dot of a figure disappear. He must be somewhere near there. Where does he live? Heavens? Of course, the heavens… but where are the heavens? Where does he go…? She wandered absent mindedly, and bumped into a mammoth of a figure… Watch where you go Pterois! I am not to be perturbed like this! Gasping she mumbled an apology, and rushed straight home. But the thought of that immaculate figure and those deep set piercing eyes was impossible to forget. And she waited, day in and day out, for that odd rendezvous to occur again.

 Little did she care about the practicality of the situation. Little was she aware of them. They could spend their life like this she thought… at the threshold of the two worlds. What did it matter if she couldn’t survive outside this water she so much despised? She was happy he could fly like a free soul in the world unknown… in heaven!

And so it continued for years and years… Pterois and Jac… they were happy together… happy of what they knew of each other… intrigued about the unknown, but happy to have each other, however they had… it was a secret not known to many in their respective worlds, and it was a precious little secret they shared and guarded.

They say time is the greatest of teachers. And so with time, Pterois realized the differences she had once so generously ignored. Yes, there were differences. She had started to realize how big a gap the two worlds had between them; the thresholds seemed so far now. But reminisces of the beautiful past prevented her from stating the obvious. It couldn’t last long, pondered she, every time she got to see him.

And Jac rode high on the seventh sky… his free reckless heart had never been happier. Little time did he waste in musing over things Pterois mentioned with great care and subtlety. He just shrugged it off… women!

And so it continued for some more years…

Pterois was now spending more time thinking of the differences. There were moments she doubted her sanity… there were moments she sincerely believed she was right about her doubts… there were moments she thought of the road ahead… there were moments she could find no road at all…

And Jac was still treading the unknown road… pursuing the greatest of his passions, with nothing but conviction and purity at heart. It was in moments she saw Jac, that she could see a road ahead… the thresholds aren’t that far after all! She’d say to herself… and on her way back she’d ask… are they?

But they were farther than the two had thought, and with time they were drifting farther apart…
And one fine day Pterois said…that’s the end… we can’t go on any far…

Jac refused to see the reality…but the mind of Pterois was made up already. Jac refused to accept things the way they were… and cried aloud… Tell me why did you do this to me? Tell me… Tell me!

But Pterois was already on her way…she heard the cries, but didn’t look behind… she just moved on… she just moved on, and didn’t look behind.

(Written on July 15th, 2006 in the other blog…)

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4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Territories

  1. Hey, you just reminded me of a small joke we thought about yesterday on breakfast:
    under the theme “beyond boundaries” when someone drew a flying bird and a swimming fish, it was but sensible for me to suggest that beyond boundaries should depict a flying fish and a swimming bird.

    And it seems you’d thought of such sensibilities way back on 15 July 2006.
    I feel i am yet again late to come to senses – LOLZZZZZ

    (on a serious note: wonderfully penned story – absolutely great work with use of words!)

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