I kept looking at the airplane as it took off from the airport.  As the airplane got smaller and smaller losing itself to the bluest sky, thus did my heart come to my lowest. Paro was quite a place back then. Things did sound ludicrous back then when I was a child and when she acted cutely. Everything felt so much like a fantasy. Realization right now doesn’t.

I was more of a forest guy (of course not Tarzan), it was always energizing to lose myself to the pine and its face freshening air. I could lie down on the pine needles for hours until I knew that I am going to get a scolding from my dad for being seen nowhere the entire day.

Folk tales and fantasies from ancient days would never fail to fascinate me. The tales would be from my parents or elders from a generation older. My grandma was 76 when she told me about the tree that blessed and protected the valley. She would be like,”

Long ago, there lived a beautiful fairy in that living tree…”

It so happened that one day, I fell asleep in the forest right under the pine tree. That a ravishing princess came to my dream, she gently lifted my head and laid it on her lap as I was still asleep in my dream as well. With my head on her lap, she whispered in my ear.

The dream broke off and I was awake lost in the chaos. It was already 7 in the evening and I had a promising scolding from my parents, “You have grown big enough to lure around at night huh!!!”

Trust me, I couldn’t give myself a proper sleep the entire night. I kept on thinking and thinking about the dream. Trying to recall each and every word that she whispered in my ear. You know that dreams always come out to be less remembered.

All that I could recall was a half-baked memory from when I was dreaming that I was sleeping in my dream as well. I feel the big blue pine tree does have something to do with this world.

It kept butterflying around my thoughts. The vacation was over and I had to continue with my school. It was the same boring stuff I should say because studying was not my thing for all of my primary and secondary school days.

I was in high school, it was after the summer vacation. The first day just passed by. Second day and I was in my morning assembly line, right next to my line was the girl’s line. The assembly always had a separate line for boys and girls. And right next to my line it was “that” girl that I got my dream reminiscing. For once I felt like I got enlightened with all the words getting unfolded bit by bit. It was just like receiving a vision.

The Dream under the blue pine.

*******

With myself as I lost to a deep sleep over the rhythms of wind passing through the needle leaves of pine trees. The blue sky appeared bright giving me a strong inhale of breath. I was still sleeping. You know dreams are always like that, that you see it in either 2D or 3D and so did all the aesthetics appeared in colours with beauty. Oh God, that was a perfect meaning of what we call nature.

A beautiful princess came from behind the big pine tree. It is too difficult for me to bring my experience in words but,

Incense of pine bark,
The dream ark.
To perfume the dreamland!
Ode to the fairy princess.

With thine hair rolling long thy skin
Therein a ballad of violin
A step of yours, a heavenly footprint
Facial blueprint, my heart scars

The blue-brown eyes of love
Blessing clove of fortune dove
As thee unearth thyself
Felicity fulfilment of mankind

Ode to the fairy princess
Thy beauty thy power
To author the poets of the world
To the fairy princess

My life long for thee
My life long for thee

She came right next to me as I was deeply asleep. She sat down next to me. Gently lifted my head and laid it on her lap. As she put her hand, wave through my hair. It felt like a mother showering her love to her child which I was seeking for a while, I guess. The princess brought her face down to my ear and whispered as the wind made its rhythm through the melodic nature, “

The boy from earth land
Here I come  from the fairyland
The bond you painted on me
Through pine barks of holy
It’s the ensign of
The land of Shambhala.

To the girl, you will foresee
Thus will my shadow rest in her
To the earth land shall I belong
To engrave our soulful heart
To your heart palace, I shall reside
This! Your bond from Shambala

O’ sing me the rhymes of heaven
As a human, we shall duet
The visions of a shaman
The world will be our oyster
To the fortune of ours
Our mystery shall be history

Dear water bearer
Boat me to the land of Shambhala
To the girl, she shall fountain in you
So will my shadow rest in her Eden
Permit thy heart to find me in her
So shall we fortune us together 

*******

Rain, rain, I can feel the rain on my face. As the light entered slowly through my shimmering eyes. 

Dang, it is my teacher sprinkling water on my face. Seems like her face revealed angles of rays different than what my brain could read. I had already slept for thirty minutes on my teachers’ lap while she was trying to wake me up. Other students were already back in class and,

“Go, hurry back to your class, your subject teacher has already started the session I guess” the class teacher exclaimed.

“Okay miss, sorry for causing this inconvenience. Thank you so much. I am going now.” I stood and whisked.

“Karan, do have some kind of issues with your health. Standing under the sun in assembly.”  I stopped as my teacher asked me.

“Umm! No” and I continued walking. I was eavesdropping from behind the door to make sure if the teacher was inside. The teacher was not there.

I walked straight to her and

“Hay! Did you see me falling on the ground; there at the assembly ground,” I poked.

She was the most silent girl in the class and guess what? Talking to her was like completely out of a silver-white oyster.

She was like, “huh”, and the teacher came in. I went to my desk and sat.

“Blah blah blah blah blah”. The class ended.

I lived 5 minutes away from the school until my parents and I shifted 7 kilometres away from where my school was. But I still walked to my school early. Trying every possible way to see her and talk to her. Her response was always the way it was, silent and stubborn. But it was always a beautiful thing to spend time next to her. Well, I don’t think she is stubborn. She is just the way she is and that is the beauty in her personality I feel. I wonder how many boys inside and outside the class had a crush on her till date.

It was more than a month that school days started becoming more beautiful and cheerful. I still go to school early in the morning every day. Nothing would please me more than seeing her face for even a moment other than my parents and siblings. 

A month and two passed. Three months passed and it’s the 28th day of the fourth month and here we are, sitting at the school canteen. I made her help me with some subjects. Because that was the only way I could reach her. I saw myself improve with studies. I would do an extra job back home from all the things she would teach me so that I can impress her with extra cool stuff to calculate things. That way it was already the sixth month. We had a trial exam before the finals. The school would be off for a week after the exams were over. That’s when my heart pounded more to see her.

My eyes searched her in all the girls I would see in town with a similar hairstyle.
My heart would search her in all of the places whenever I closed my eyes.
My ears would tune high every time I hear a similar voice.

Each night would end with her thoughts and morning with a hope to spend a good time with her.

I wonder what she is or was doing. Would she stay at home all day long? Would she for a chance, think about me? Wait she had my number. My phone did not serve any purpose other than to fit in my pocket. It was an ancient, black and white screen phone and it never served the purpose of receiving or making a call. I felt a natural feeling that the fairy from my dream was giving me a call. I went to the same spot where I got the dream through the fairy princess.

To my surprise, there were labourers digging the earth, building a foundation to construct something. I went close to them asked them what is happening here.

The labourers said that there is a command from the spiritual leader of the community to build a stupa on this very place. The spiritual leader said,

“This particular area which is under the blissful blue pine, it’s an entrance and exit to a place in heaven”, said one of the labour.

It just clicked in my mind. It was the loop to the valley of Shambala. I nodded thanks and went under the tree and took a long sip of water from my water bottle and gave myself an inhalation of a heavenly air that passed through the pine forest.

It was about seven minutes that I was thinking about the fairy lady of whom her face was sculpted deep in my heart that my phone was ringing. It was her. It was Karma. Well, that’s the first time I am receiving a genuine call.

“Is this Karan” she aforementioned.

“Yes, I am Karan,” I said with a joyful expression.

“Didn’t you miss me for once? I thought we were close enough” that was a statement from the most silent girl that I met.

“Karma, my star. Each beat of my heart pulse was your name. It called unto you. Perhaps I always had a feeling that I was the only one. I feel like I am not the one-sided love bird anymore.” I said as the cosy cold wind touche my cheeks.

“Let’s meet up once at Champaca café(located in Paro town), at four in the evening for coffee or so?”

“When can this loving heart say no if it is a gesture from the person whom you have given your heart”. I replied.

I sat down for a few minutes to remember the face of my fairy princess and guess what? I felt like I was seeing her face whenever I thought about Karma. Every time I saw Karma, the fairy revealed her face on Karmas face.

As I dug deeper the realization came to my mind that it was Karma’s face only that came to my dream although it was completely different aesthetically.

I went home, got myself ready and I asked my Dad, 

“Apa can I have some bucks. I want to go meet my friend.”

My dads’ reply was positive.

“But it’s a girl,” I added.

“Can a boy not be friends with a girl”, he gave me some money and I left with my overjoyed wobbly mind.

So I entered the café. I Sat near the window and waited for her.

“Waiting for someone boy”, the barista poked.

“Oh yes! One of my classmates is coming,” I replied. As I turned my head from barista towards the window. It was her coming out of the car. Her dad came to drop her.

I guess she didn’t see me sitting next to the window. She was looking around and she came quick- hugged me tightly.

“Is everything okay?” I asked. Yes, she said.

I rolled my hand to hug her tight for once.

“Come sit”, I dragged in the chair for her.

We talked for more than an hour. I never thought I could talk with silent people for this long. First of all, I am silent myself. But she is way more introverted than I am. Trust me, I can’t seem to recall what we talked about also but we did.

Actually, it’s not after a week that we are meeting it has been 8 years now. Exact 8 years. Geography played an irresponsible role with us. Finished college and education and here we are. It’s still the perfect thing you see. My love for her back then and today is still like a polished diamond. I believe the fairy living in her is the reason that we are still together although we had no contacts for all of these days. By the way, I forgot to tell one thing, I remember visiting Paro in the mid after high school. That particular place where the stupa was built it had fresh earth spring coming from its crust. I took it as a good omen. That we are together now, a word doesn’t exist which can define my exceeding joy and happiness.

We met every day, of course. she would always want to read the poems that I put on my Instagram story every day. My poetry, I try to blend human culture with nature. She was always supportive. For all of the works, I went through she was always by my side. And I never wanted her to feel that she was missing something because of me, so I kept myself next to her always. Life was such a perfect thing.

What are dumplings, milkshakes, and coffee beans? Of course, they are one key aspect that maintains our talks and helped us to work from outside. Both of us; we were interning in our own field. She loved literature and I loved playing with technology.

One day I took her to the same place where I took myself; under the pine tree.

“Come let’s walk to one secret place of mine, you will probably love this,” I added.

We talked as we walked but as she saw the pine tree with a stupa next to it pouring out fresh earth water. She walked straight to the pine tree and put her ear to the pine bark. I didn’t understand what was happening with her. I would talk but she wouldn’t talk to me back. It was her ear on the tree with closed eyes. Like she was, was literally listening to the tree through its barks. I sat right next to the stupa as I watched her. It was raining on the other side of the valley. The rain cast dual rainbow; one above another. It was surprising.

As I was still embracing the rainbow she came next to me laid her head on my lap and her eyes; she closed it. I didn’t try to wake her up. I let her take the nap, although I am not sure if it was really a nap. I woke her up after almost an hour by sprinkling the holy water from the stupa as it was getting dark. I walked her home and I went to mine.

Karma didn’t say anything about the tree experience. But I never asked as well. I just felt our bond increased.

Looking back on this year-long relation of ours. I saw we have done quite a lot. We collected numerous folk tales from monks and old people by going to distant monasteries and unreached communities. While she did the literature part I did the illustration part. Our re-narration of the folk tales has marked the highest sold record and we have hit quite a milestone I realized. Lots of people were looking up to us for what we were doing although this was what we two did as passion besides our daily job.

It was one day that she came to me early in the morning; she and her brother picked me up and drove to the airport view park. Her brother was in the car and she took me out at the park. She said,

“Karan,

I am very sorry that I brought you here early in the morning. I never thought we would end up going separate ways. I am sorry that our last meet is happening this way. Me including my entire family we are moving to New York. (I couldn’t say a word but kept myself losing to xeric sadness).”  Karma was giving me words of encouragement but my mood was not favourable to her words. Her words were like a two-sided sharp-edged sword that was piercing my heart from inside. She hugged me as I sat still. She went away while I said that I would want to stay a bit longer at the park.

I sat at the same spot where she left me. I kept looking at the plane as it took off from the airport.  As the aeroplane got smaller and smaller losing itself to the bluest sky, thus did my heart come to my lowest. Like it’s bleeding the most treasured lava-filled with gold. I sat at the same spot for the entire day until my watch struck “14:00”.

I stood, with all the rough though on my head. I walked to the tree. I saw the holy earth water had already dried off from the stupa. To my realization, the painting in the stupa has faded up to the vanishing point.

What am I supposed to do! This is the end maybe. I guess this was the reason why the fairy lady said,

Dear water bearer
Boat me to the land of Shambhala

I sat under the tree for the rest of the day. The darkness took over the daylight. It was the end. The end of the fairy lady in my heart palace.