Ling entered his room and pulled the blinds for the morning persimmon rays to stream through the cramped desk. It was a long coffee break, a time required for self-evaluation of successful procedures, and relishing the sense of accomplishment. He responded to the short sharp knock on the door.
Eva kept the files on their desk and sat comfortably. It was a contrasting sight. Eva, the Physician Assistant of Ling, was a petite lady with a small face and short curls on her crown, in comparison to Ling’s tall, muscular build, with his thick long matted hair partially tied in a bun.
“These days are going great. To date, excellent success on your path-breaking mission, Dr. Ling,” Eva beamed.
“Hope all turns out well in the end. It’ll become a life-changing achievement for many people in the future. I’m so satisfied that the physical reconstruction of Moh, especially the embedded uterus, could accept the implanted embryo,” Eva continued while evaluating the files.
“Yes, Eva. Let’s wait and watch. Thanks for all your support,” he grinned.
Eva nodded. She briefed Ling on the other cases for the day and left.
Ling reached for the files when his vision got enamoured by his fiancé’s photo. He gasped at Moh’s ravishing look and apologized to himself for the repeated mistake he made. He should get accustomed to addressing Moh as Her, not Him. After Moh’s biological transformation, she was going to become a mother, and Ling, the father.
Ling rushed from his chamber to Moh’s hospital bed and watched stealthily the slumbering face of his amorous lover. He recollected with pleasure Moh’s poem and the ferocious untamed love that existed between them.
“Shall I erupt with my intense subdued diabolical visage?
I fume and seethe deep within, confining my volcanic ruptures.
Soothe my frayed nerves with the sparkling colors of your love.
The splendid vista, where we twain meet with the hues of our passion.
Let the eternal horizon mirror a thousand psychedelic reflections.
I rejoice in the exuberant indigo impressions of your maddening touches,
You soothe my agonizing spirit, my love, my soulmate, let the magical alchemy of ours resume.”
Moh dedicated most of his poems to Ling, and Ling loved to listen to him narrate the verses as he lingered with his daily chores in their home.
A sudden burst of the bright surgical lights created a rainbow pattern and blinded Ling’s vision. His fragmented thoughts wandered to the day he spotted Moh’s picture on the desk.
Am I in a dream sequence, now?
Next to Moh’s photo on the desk, Ling’s eyes met a map with temples and pyramids among the ruins, and some money, gold coins to be precise, with hieroglyphics carved on them. He felt bizarre. His eyes widened at the photo of Moh. It was a carving of a half-woman in a dancing pose and a half-man with a lavender complexion. A sacramental triangle formed between the trio on the desk – the picture, the coins, and the map. The more Ling saw, the more he got entangled in its quantum force.
In a state of delirium, his unstable mind questioned, “Is it an enigma?”
The fierce pull of the magnetic attraction between the objects had emotional dynamics, the innuendo an irritating recurrence of volatility inside his physical self.
His psyche set out with an antsy pace to scrimmage the mystery.
The unclouded sky and the blistering heat had burned the dry land to cinders.
Ling felt physically incapacitated. His palsied face lit up when a galaxy of stars descended from the blazing sky and morphed into a celestial enchantress.
With a twirl and a condescending smirk, she queried, “Do you recognize me, my dear?”
“Yes, Moh, my beloved. You have completely transformed from your male persona to a female. You look so gentle and feminine now.”
Her laughter echoed around. “Do you see the relics of our love? The buried temple that emerges from the pyramid with the broken tomb?”
“Where am I?” Ling asked, looking dazed.
“At the right place according to the directions on the map. You’ve traveled with me to AD 900,” she stated.
“At Tikal….,” Ling recalled the writings on the map.
“These remnants still stand as the testimonies of our love during that period. We were born to two rival Mayan kings in this land. Our fathers were furious when they found out their princes were in love. They declared war, and we lost. I was taken captive by your father’s soldiers as a sacrificial offering to the Gods. The previous day, you dressed up as a princess and met me here. Do you remember, Ling?”
“In your loving memory, did I build that destroyed temple wherein a tomb of a pyramid juts out?” Ling tried to recollect.
“Under the rubble sits the entire temple at that juncture. You built it after the oblation ritual as a witness of our altruistic love on that moonlit night. Even now, the sarcophagus rests inside the temple where my soul got interred,” Moh melancholically pointed towards the east.
Ling apologized, “Forgive me, my beloved. Our passionate visceral unity, entwined with our psychic harmony, remains embedded over here, eternally.”
“I’ve reconciled with the events, and you were exonerated, dear. Your ceaseless affection towards me was a catharsis for any mortal. The kings traduced two innocent men for the pure selfless love that existed between them. We have moved on from that epoch, and I am at peace. The place got damaged by the conquering rulers, and a pyramid was built on top of the temple, but the symbol of our devotion persists among these vestiges.”
A sudden burst of thunder and lightning with showers filled the space. Their parched minds and bodies got soaked and satisfied.
A sleek ray of clementine sunshine struck Ling’s face. With blurry eyes, he visualized a person standing in front of him.
With a cocktail of expressions, he stared at the silhouette.
“Good afternoon. How are you feeling?”
Ling mumbled some incomprehensible words.
The chronological sequence of momentary disorientation continued till the day Ling reciprocated distinctly, “Good Morning.” He felt fresh and had a sense of vigor.
She turned around from the equipment with a broad grin when realization dawned on Ling.
“What the f**** happened?” He asked in concern.
Eva soothed him. “Thank the Good Lord. After a llllong time, I see our doc is ready again to be in action.”
“Shoot,” Ling demanded.
“Hold on to your horses, Dr. Ling. Time is not running out like our critical procedures. I’ve to go and inform Dr. Stevens of your progress and check on other patients. Stories are for bedtime.” She winked and left, leaving Ling disappointed.
Immediately, Ling’s thoughts revolved around Moh. He was surprised and suspicious by the absence of Moh, next to his bedside. Though inwardly he sulked, his face reflected the old cheery self to the nurse practitioners.
At the end of the day, Eva peeped inside Ling’s room. “Goodbye, doc. My shift got just over. It was a long day. Let’s catch up some other day.”
“Eva,” Ling reciprocated in a firm tone, “I need answers.”
“Not yet, doc. You rest for today. We’ll talk tomorrow.” Eva gave him a mild sedative and left.
Ling tried to avoid the fog filling his brain but failed. His last coherent thoughts were of the images – the map, his sweetheart’s photo, and the gold coins.
The milieu shifted and depicted a serene atmosphere of unification and amalgamation. The free forces of the turquoise lakes capitulated to the gurgling rivers, the gargantuan mountains and the trees acquiesced to the verdant forests and orchards, and the animals blended with the natural habitat in splendor.
The sonic clap split the sky. Moh, attired in a flowing robe and a thick band chain around her waist, danced to glory. Her long dark hair and sensuous manoeuvres stirred Ling, and he reached out to her.
The mesmerizing appearance of Moh beamed demurely, “Revisit your past, my cherished. This was the 5th century BCE when I reincarnated myself from Vishnu to Mohini, and you, Shivam, followed me like an intoxicated lover. Our synthesis brought forth our boy, Sastra. You shadowed me through the hills and the plateaus and showered your desirable passion on the earth, which turned into gold. Take a closer look at the cartouches on the gold coins. They’re my replicas inside your urge.”
The floodgates of Ling’s memories burst open. His thirsty nature became pronounced.
Moh precluded Ling and explained, “Behold, my supreme. In every era, we represent ourselves in different manifestations in this mortal world. Through the celestial benediction, our divine love is infinite. You should acknowledge, but not get entangled in its core.”
Ling, in his fragile being, anxiously questioned, “Why am I in a state of dementia?”
“You are both the cause and effect. You’re enmeshed in this period of chaos. Untie yourself and surrender your existence to destiny. Accept and negate the cycle of life and you’re back to your blissful self. My shenanigan of setting up the map, the coins, and my photo on the desk was to stir your consciousness to reality. I schemed and made the objects invisible to Eva as the desk was being shared between Eva and you.”
Moh’s calmness impressed Ling. He asked in a subdued manner, “What are we representing in this century?”
“We’re the immortals living the lives of the mortals in this unfathomable universe. It is all pre-planned – our rebirth, alliance, and my gender transformation. We represent the masculine and feminine energies of the Universe – the NaraNari. It symbolizes the exalted union of the root and the womb of all creation and existence like the syncretic forms of your modern medicines. In our current state, we have acquired the form of the inseparable HariHara.”
Realization dawned on Ling. He felt exhausted from the pressures of knowledge. Lethargy and drowsiness seeped through his veins as his eyes shut.
Ling was ready and waiting for Eva the next morning. He demanded her to explain everything the moment she arrived.
Eva dropped her bags on the floor and slouched herself on the stool. “Okay. What do you want to know? Where do I start? I don’t think you’ve recovered entirely from amnesia.”
“Wait…. Did I suffer from amnesia? How’s it possible? I remember Moh and you.”
“What do you remember?”
“Aah…. Moh was expecting our child and was in an advanced stage.”
Eva smiled and stroked Ling’s palm. “You have got a child. A boy named Shar as per the wishes of your Moh.”
“Goodness Gracious!!” Ling shrieked. “Where are they? How are they doing?” He couldn’t contain his excitement.
“Shush. Keep your tone low and let me finish. Don’t interrupt, or else I’ll leave.”
Eva’s eyes welled up at Ling’s condition. “It was a huge celebration throughout the world. A breakthrough in science and the human body. The news spread, and the media were uncontrollable. You became famous, rather we all became famous, but you were oblivious to all the propaganda. As usual, your world rotated around Moh, Shar, and your further research analysis and programs.”
“My mind is blank, circling in a penumbra,” Ling whispered.
“I understand, doc.” Eva’s concerns were genuine.
“Please continue, Eva.”
Eva extolled the virtues of Ling, but he was not interested.
“Eva, what happened next to Shar and Moh?”
“One evening Moh and Shar visited the hospital. It was quite late, and you were still in the laboratory, busy with your experiments. I suggested you both take a break while I took care of Shar, who was a few months old. Moh and you strolled hand in hand through our park, when an unexpected and grotesque incident changed everyone’s lives.”
Eva paused. Her throat choked in grief.
“What happened?” Ling couldn’t control his eagerness.
“Relax. I need to check your pulse and pressure levels before I utter a word.” Eva immediately got up and started to work.
Ling inhaled and exhaled deep breaths in the meantime.
“All fine, please proceed,” Ling urged.
“Two men with masks walked up and accused you of violating the sacred reverence. They abused you for tinkering with God’s creation and spat on your face. Moh could no longer tolerate your humiliation. She intervened and slapped them.” At that moment, Eva broke down.
Ling calmed her.
In between her sobs, she uttered, “Within seconds they gunned her down and hurtled her towards you. By the impact, you lost control of yourself, and you hit the lamppost. It took months for you to recover physically after the complex surgeries, but psychogenic amnesia crept inside your brain.”
Ling brooded over. His visage highlighted complex reactions. “Where are those b******* now? I’ll kill them.”
Eva spoke softly, “There’re seven sins and seven virtues. It’s up to us to decide what we prefer and follow. They’re in a penitentiary, let the law take its course.”
A brief pause later, she informed Ling, “I have kept all your documents and belongings inside the desk drawers in our room. The keys are with me. I’ll hand them over when you’re absolutely fine. Now, you take some rest. I’ll take leave and complete my work.”
The nurse practitioners hovered around. It was a restless day and night for Ling. He couldn’t match up the jigsaw puzzle at all, especially about their son, Shar, and his whereabouts. Which documents? Which belongings?
He had to wait till morning for Eva to arrive and solve the riddles.
In the stealth of the night, Ling left the hospital premises. To reduce the gnawing agony, he grabbed a pint of beer at a nearby pub. The nightmares of Moh followed him like buzzing bees. His guilt pricked him, and his sanity bled as if it were a festered gangrene.
The birds cooed at daybreak when Ling returned to the hospital. He entered the restroom, freshened up, and walked straight into Eva at the door.
With a sceptical look, Eva declared, “I don’t think you had a good night’s sleep, doc.”
“I want to know….”
“Don’t worry about the darling boy. He is doing fine at my place, all grown up now. Shar goes to a nursery,” Eva informed Ling in a cheerful mood.
“Thanks. Let me go and check the hospital room.”
“Sure, I’ll hand you over the keys. I have requested for the altered name to be updated in your nameplate.”
Ling looked surprised, “Altered name?”
“Yes, as per the legal documents when you agreed to the modifications Moh created for both of you.”
Ling rushed to the room. Relatively, everything was in order. He unlocked the drawer to check the records of the name changes. He was aghast.
They read – Linga and Mohana.
Stupefied, he glanced at the shining item inside the drawer. The gold coin glittered. He picked it up. On one side of it was a dancing posture of a seductress, and on the reverse, he found a half man-half woman picture of Moh. Ling held it tight in his fist. Due to the exerted pressure, a button got released. The coin opened and the picture of the map reflected two embosomed men in a temple. He shut it and held it for a while.
Eva knocked and entered the room. She turned pallid. “Are you alright? What happened to you, Dr. Ling? Your face has turned blue. Let me call Dr. Stevens.”
Ling cupped his face in his palms and replied in a muffled tone, “All’s fine. Don’t bother.”
Among all the chaos around him, Ling unexpectedly felt a sense of fulfilment and acceptance.
A few days later, with a sprinkle of acknowledgement for the unknown destiny, Linga read out to Eva a poem from Mohana’s poetry book, a final gift she had left for him.
Our existence is an infinite miracle,
A mere shadow, a tryst
And a flicker of light in the vast universe
Live, love, and smile
At the miracle around you
Think of the magic in your heart
Let it fill you with bliss and contentment
Till we meet again to fall in love in another time.
Tikal – a place in Guatemala, known for the Mayan civilization (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Maya_culture)
Vishnu – Hindu God also known as Krishna, Narayana, and various other names
Shivam – Hindu God also known as Shiva, Mahadeva, and various other names
Mohini – Hindu Goddess, Vishnu disguised himself as Mohini to slay the demons
Sastra – Hindu God, another name for God Ayyappan, son of Shiva and Mohini
NaraNari – As per Hinduism it represents the male and female forms
HariHara – As per Hinduism it represents the fused characterization of Vishnu and Shiva
Shar – Hindu God, another name for God Ayyappan, son of Shiva and Mohini
Linga – Hindu God also known as Shiva, Mahadeva, and various other names
Mohana – Hindu Goddess, also known as Mohini
Psychogenic Amnesia – is a case of memory loss often triggered by a stressful life event and can occur for a period of time ranging from hours to years
Your MC returns from a break to find a map, some money and the photo of his/her fiancé on their desk.
PC - Pixabay
I am in awe of the vocabulary used. Best of luck for the FB post and hope to see it getting good and constructive reviews