It was half past 5 when I saw her again; staring at her like I had seen her before, not amazed but somehow distracted, the kind when you see a familiar face in a crowded street. I stumbled.
There were commonalities I thought we shared – lines of fate carved on her by the sands of time similar to those on my palms that had frequently prayed that a day like this come by. As I moved on taking deep breaths of air, I thought to myself what if this was the last? Had I seen her enough? Will I ever see her again? What if this moment was a present?
Provoked, inspired and defaulting on time I chased her taking in wholesome views of whatever I could. Romancing her by the touch of my fingers or by the fixed gaze of my eyes she provoked me with whatever little I could see in the failing light of dusk. So I moved on chasing her wherever I could see glimpses. Reaching out to her till I touched her on the roses in her hair or passed the temple cow she had prayed to for centuries. Her beauty unraveled with each curve engraved, she spoke of the times she had seen and the people she had met. And then with the sudden interruption of foliage of plantain leaves she disappeared, leaving me alone like a child in the middle of an unfinished tale.
Leaping into short chases I ran up a hill hoping I could see more of her- wishing in case I had luck by my side. Grappling boulders with bare hands and walking where she once possibly did, I reached the summit. With the bend of the earth where the cliff ran into the horizon I looked on and there she was – laying herself bare to the enchanted orange hues in the sky - the Kingdom of Humpi. The vast golden empire built in stone surrounded by banana plantations like ornaments praising the neck of a woman. And I knew it had only begun –an affair that I would only pray ran across my lifetime. For now I knew I had seen her in full glory unlike glimpses before. And it was only this that lilted me into the love I know that has existed unabashed – timeless and redundant. Humpi – I shall return to see you again.