There were times when he feigned that he did not see her after noticing her in a crowd - he knew her by her great burning hair, and beneath the gold dome of Saint Isaac's Cathedral - frozen forever - Moses saw God in a burning bush. In another world, Ram had asked Sita to prove her honour upon a pyre, in this world, he proved his love whenever his hand was lost in her great hair. It did not scathe him as it scathed the hearts of others.
And he, stilly as the earth, melded into his surrounding. The freshest light of the sun fell on London when it was about to set. It found its way into its great streets, through the windows of its great buildings, and if the tree beside a townhouse at Cromwell Road was willing, into his abode too. Once, when that had happened, he looked at it silently from his bed, and the bed of his past lover. This lover had sat reading a book, but she had been noticing things; that he was lost, that all the light that fell through the window fell into his eyes and falling into his eyes, did not touch the things and people about him. Sometimes you are so... still, she said.
I cannot feel you even breathe.
I don't like that. Her eyes, once full of love, now pregnant with disdain.
His eyes yearned for S's beauty, yet when it was before him, he refrained from seeing it. He revered so much what he wanted that he could not want freely what he wished for. She sat at the low barrier that lined the grassy patch before The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. For long, she had been watching a bad violinist. He walked to the busker, still evading her, and dropped all that chinked in his pocket into the violin case. He closed his eyes, turned, and opened them at her sight.
Great burning hair. He had not a word for it yet. He had not lost his hand in it yet.
Her eyes carried jasmines or daisies. Her eyes carried jasmines or daisies. Some days they were white like the patchy floor beds that covered St. James' Park in Spring. Some days - you could smell the sweetness of jasmine bushes through them. Or there would be darkness that he thought he saw - like that day - hidden from the eyes of others as though a dilapidated dog, hungry and searching, had for a moment, seen another hungry and dilapidated dog across the road and recognised in each other, a dying pulse of life only hungry and dilapidated dogs knew.
Perhaps, he said later, that was what I evaded the most.