The Himalayan Recluse

man in black shirt standing on top of mountain drinking coffee

The Himalayan Recluse is a tale of obsession – the kind that makes one question one’s sanity. Based on the style of Vladimir Nabokov ( author of the 1955 classic “Lolita”), it is an homage to the beauty of the Himalayas.

The Himalayan Recluse is a short story .

“She’s my insecurity,
the song with no name.
She’s my only wish.
My pleasure – My shame!

She’s the one I’ll never get.
Fly away, she will, like a dove.
The one unrequited dream,
My Carmencita! My love!”

There she goes again- clad in the same attire I first saw her in. She is wearing that same magenta coloured corsage dress which accentuates her a rather bulky figure and her agile short stature. With black boots on, she is looking phenomenal as always. Those short, hurried steps with which she walks, bopping her head side-by-side, letting the scant Himalayan sun rays provide an aureole, while she passes by me keeping that blank look which adds to her elegant physiognomy. It all adds to her repertoire of grandeur.

The tantalizing smell of the perfume which she has anointed herself with still lingers in the air, even after her leaving the place where she previously was, to meet her friends who seem to be waiting outside a car. I close my eyes and take in a good whiff of that scent – letting that intoxicating, maddening air of total rapture and mesmerisation sweep me away. Oh, that sweet, sweet sensation of olfactory pleasure! That one split second when I realize there are far more amazing vistas to be experienced by the human psyche but are denied entrance to because they belong to that fleeting realm of scent!

Her merry laughter resounds in the air when she finally meets her friends – those mediocre mechanisations of biological making whom she calls her friends. I can see her bright eyes sadden a bit when one of her supposed “lady buddies” ridicule her on the subject of her being chubby (or meaty, whatever abominable names those mediocrities call my Carmencita).Her pert almond-shaped mongoloid eyes betray her- she is hurt and is being bullied- but she tries to wave that jeer away for the sake of being part of that company.

How nobly does she do that! Like an ascetic who has amassed otherworldly knowledge tries to laugh off the abuse given to him by a lowly peasant! How great must those mediocrities feel after hurting my poor Carmencita! If only she knew she was more miraculous than all of those combined! That she is the epitome of the beauty that even veteran artists can never touch, while her supposed cronies are the charcoal sketches thrown away like litter by those same artists! Let them be lowly voluptuous courtesans, my love – you are the queen!

Eavesdropping on their conversation, I find out that they have all gathered to go to a café for the evening (I couldn’t rightly place the name of that café, also I don’t intend to go there and follow my Carmencita like a stalker). I’m just here to soak in this one moment- this one glorious spectacle that will provide me with the inspiration to live, one that I crave so much. Her loquacious demeanour, her charm makes me feel like I am one of those Persian poets, who despised all the comforts of this life and the other, just to drown in the intoxication of Wine- which Omar Khayyam considered paradise in his poetic magnum opus ‘Rubaiyat’:

“This Vine had struck a Fibre; which about
If clings my being – let the Sufi flout;
Of my Base Metal may be filed a key,
That shall unlock the doors he howls without.”

Amidst the sound of a thousand violins playing Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill Sonata” in my ear, my Carmencita gets into the car, which is being driven by one of those mediocrities’ boyfriend (I’m not sure whom).

The readers may think me a very peculiar creature since I don’t fall within either of the neatly drawn non-overlapping boundaries of a “Shakespearean lover” and a “creepy stalker” respectively. I specifically added this bit because I want to ridicule those who read my testament of love with a one-track mind. See! I am a blend of the aforementioned two entities! And I’m not the only one – there are millions like me, pining away in the basements, walking in circles in lawns, playgrounds, and roads – trying to catch a glimpse, trying to snatch away some of the glory from the sadist the world calls God. Sometimes I even think that this girl right in front of me- my Carmencita- is like the incarnation of Prometheus. She brings fire from the heavens to the frozen lake of my heart.

Oh, my love! I wonder if you’ll ever understand the only reason why I look up to the sky and throw blessings and obeisance like rocks at the gnarly Aubrey McFate, who (despite being a trickster), lets me catch a fleeting look at you. As you drive away in that dingy sedan, my entire being reverberates with that single truth – “Oh my Carmencita! You’ve made me into an artist!”

Happens every single time- she leaves me in a daze, a kind of euphoria washes over me. I’ve never cared to remember her name, and she’ll never deign to know mine. But she’ll always be Carmencita, my Carmencita. I love the intonation of the name, the way it aptly seeks to describe the magnificence of the one it has been associated with. Names, although, always fall short at capturing – no! even scraping the surface of the vast terrain of attributes a person possesses.

I long for the day when words will be thrown away- like the obsolete crap they already are – and humanity will venture forth into a new dimension of abstractions. Those same abstractions pervade you (the reader), me, my Carmencita, and this entire world. Ones which send painters and sculptors scampering for their canvas, colours, and marbles, ones which prevent men of knowledge, men of science, men of numbers to convert this entire existence into one colossal mathematical equation. Even being acquainted with any of those abstractions seem to be a reawakening. Our fragile human brains cannot comprehend this. The pursuit of knowledge, meaning, and approval is hopeless and everlasting – let us find solace in this fact, my dear reader!

Another dream sequence ends here. My trip to this earthly, mountainous paradise, where I get to see my beloved and play in the giant lap of the Himalayas, has come to an end. Look at these hills and those snow-capped mountains peaks which loom beyond those hills. It feels like they coax me in their arms of those scented rosewood trees- like they cry tears of joy for me whenever I succeed at once again rejuvenating my being by having just one fleeting look at my beloved. Must be nothing new for these mountains; they must have seen plenty of enthusiasts flicker away into the darkness after pining a day or two for the one they admire. Yet they cheer us on! I’ll be coming back soon enough to be a part of this Himalayan sanctuary – I’ll not let these fatherly mountains down.

“Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.”
~ Omar Khayyam