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Lalita Vasu

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Maya - An Illusion or the Truth
By Lalita Vasu
Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Maya is existent and non-existent at the same time, like a dream

Maya sat dejected in the garden. Nothing she had been doing lately seemed to work. She was in very low spirits and had decided to take a break and come to spend some time in the garden away from everyone around. Her project at the office was on hold due to finances not being available; her boss was taking out his anger on her every day and nothing, just nothing, seemed to be working right.

The children were playing and the old people were walking around. No one seemed to have noticed her presence in the garden. She looked at all the colours of the flowers growing in the garden and just tried to keep her mind off everything.
The sun was setting on the horizon and birds were going home. Maya did not feel like going back, but then reluctantly got up. As she was about to go, she noticed a strange looking character dressed in green loose trousers and coat with a green cap with red dots, continuously staring at her. He was actually playing with some kind of bubbles around. Must be someone crazy, she thought and walked away.
But the character was etched in her mind. She went home and rested. Another tough day awaited her at the office. Not very happy about it, she boarded the bus. Just as she took her seat in the bus, across the road she saw the same character standing with hands folded and bending on one side. She was shocked to see him and looked away. She even felt he had waved at her.
At office the day was busy and Maya forgot all about the strange character she had encountered twice in a span of two days. Her colleagues were planning a small get-together at a café close by. Maya was not in the mood but decided to join them so that they don’t feel bad. At the café while she was chatting with her colleagues, she saw the same green colored character a few tables away. She was shocked and wondered if he was someone following her for some strange reason. She whispered in her friends’ ear about the character and when her friend looked at the table she said, “Hey, there is no one there!”
Maya looked disturbed. She was not able to get the character out of her mind. She took a cup of coffee and walked towards her window. The chill breeze from the west was blowing at her face. The road below her apartment was quiet. Maya looked down, and suddenly under the lamp post she saw a figure. She knew it was the same strange character. Maya started to perspire. She closed the window and pulled the curtains. But her curiosity got the better of her and she peeped through the window pane and saw no one there.
It was a few days now that Maya had not encountered the strange character. Things had improved a little at work and she was quite busy. On and off she did think of the Green Goblin or GG (as she had now named him).  Suddenly she felt she had grown fond of him and he did not scare her anymore.
One day she was delayed at the office and was returning home a little after midnight. She lived alone in an apartment. She had recently taken up a new job when recession hit the world and the corporate world seemed to crumble down, which forced her to keep late hours at work.
As she opened the door, a hand held her shoulder. She was about to scream when she looked back. It was the same character. He signaled her to stay quiet and open the door.
“Who are you? And what do you want from me?” Maya was almost shouting. But she noticed that this time GG was different. In fact he had very pleasing manners and a serene face. He smiled at her and said, “I am responsible for your happiness in this world,” his voice was resonating. “Wha…at?” Maya thought she was dreaming. “And where the hell have you come from?” she raised her voice. “From your heart, I live inside you.” Maya’s head was spinning. “Don’t worry; I am here for you; for you to find happiness; for you to realize your dreams. I am your gift from the Universe.” Maya was in a state of shock. She asked him, “Do you have a name?” He smiled and said, “Don’t waste your time on asking me trivial questions; I am here for your happiness. ‘Ask and it shall be given’. Today you have a chance to ask for one gift, one dream to be realized.”
Maya walked barefoot on the marble floor towards the small room. She was dressed in white Indian attire and wore silver jewelry to go with it. She looked fresh and beautiful. As she entered the room, she noticed there was no one except GG as she had nicknamed him. He was not in his crazy green dress though. He was also dressed in white and sat in a serene way, cross legged and eyes closed, as if he was meditating. Maya knocked on the door and he opened his eyes. “Please come in,” he said and with a gesture he asked her to sit next to him. Maya felt this was some kind of a temple. He spoke to her at length and ended by saying, “Always remember, to be loved you must first learn to love. Your wish has been granted by the Universe. Have a wonderful time and come back a changed person.”
The vast green expanse was very soothing to the eyes. The small path towards the house was wet with the rain which had just stopped. Maya was wearing a thin sweater and a muffler. “Come in with me, care for a cup of coffee?” Mohit asked Maya. “Sure,” she replied. Mohit opened the door of the house, and told Maya, “This is where I was born. No one lives here today, but I have decided to keep it. I come here whenever I feel lonely or sad, but today I have brought you here because I am very happy.”
“Wow, this is a fairyland house,” exclaimed Maya. She looked around like a kid would look at a new toy. “I am so happy you liked it, please make yourself comfortable while I pour you the coffee,” said Mohit. The house resembled the houses she had read about in the fairy tales as a child. Mohit was talking to her about his life. “I have loved you through the ages, but you always left me,” Maya found that statement odd. “I don’t think I have met you before ever,” she said. “Mohit, believe me, the first time I saw you was in the bus the other day.” Mohit was smiling at himself. How should he tell her that she was his love through the lifetimes? They were one. They were inseparable. And every time they separated they encountered only sorrow and dissatisfaction.
Mohit led Maya to the library and showed her the books. The books dated back to the seventeenth century. “These are very old, where did you get them from?”Maya asked Mohit as she picked up one of them when a picture fell from it. It was a painting of a lady. Maya looked at it again and looked up at her reflection in the glass cupboard. “Yes it is your picture,” she heard Mohit say. Maya was mesmerized by what Mohit was telling her. Suddenly she realized that she was able to remember some of the incidences very clearly and she felt this was a homecoming. “But then why have we been separating like this?” she asked Mohit. “Because you have not yet loved me as much as I love you. The thing called ego always came in between the two of us and separated us. The balance needs to be maintained.” She remembered the words of GG, “To be loved you must learn to love, and equally,”
The alarm rang and Maya jumped out of the bed. “How was the one day you asked for?” GG stood in front of her. “Awesome!” she exclaimed and hugged him. I have come back as a changed person.
She boarded the bus as usual. Suddenly someone came and sat beside her. From the scent of the person Maya realized who it was. “Maya, welcome to my world,” Mohit held a present for her. Maya leaned over and put her head on his shoulder. Out of the window she saw GG waving good-bye to her and her cell phone had a message, “Now that the balance is reached, I will not surface till you need me, but always remember I am you, and I live in your heart, I am here to make you happy. Now take this happiness and spread it to the world.”
Mohit and Maya were inaugurating the new orphanage called “Asha –The Hope” in memory of Mohit’s grandfather, who had just passed away. The who’s who of the city and the media were in full attendance. Over the years, Mohit and Maya had learned to follow their heart and spread happiness in the life of the less fortunate. One journalist asked them, “How do you click so well together. What is your secret? It is rare that a married couple gets along so well and works together for the wellbeing of the under-privileged.”
“When two soul mates find each other, the Universe is at peace, and with peace comes true love which is the only real thing in the world, everything else is an illusion” Mohit was speaking at the inauguration. “We, Maya and I, are fortunate to have found this true love and now are trying to spread this love around, especially to those who need it the most.” The crowd in the auditorium stood up clapping.
“Fairy tales are true ”, Mohit heard Maya tell one of the girls in the orphanage, “All you need to do is to keep your heart open and the fairy comes into your life to make all your wishes come true !” Mohit was watching Maya from a distance. With Maya in his life, life is truly beautiful he thought and smiled at himself.

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Reviewed by Michael Charles Messineo 9/14/2009
This story had an existential flair to it. A subconscious guru reminding her of what can be... enjoyed.

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