It wasn’t a starry, starry night. It was, in fact, a night with cadenced breeze and shadowy clouds. It was a night that could have been the prologue to a happy story; but chose to be the dénouement of a sad one. It was a night when you couldn’t see the moon, but you could gauge its longing in a fuzzy spot of light. It was a night when plebeians entered a princess’ room in her absence. The opulence was delectable; and the thieving intrusion even more so.
The sky was the colour of soot – the kind that forms the backdrop of a Dickensian novel. It was also the colour of imperiousness – a purple-violet-blue-plum squish. The sky was, at that moment, a worthy beholder of the night.
We sat at the verandah – Dee, Rhett, and I. There was some chai that had the smoky secret flavour of being brewed at 2 a.m. in the drizzle. There were bright, ambitious embers on cigarettes. And stretching before us were long hours filled with the belated eloquence of the inarticulate - Edith Wharton’s description of a lover in the ‘Age of Innocence.’
That night we talked of destiny.
Sometimes, time tessellates into moments of quietude, only to give voice to drifters that couldn’t say anything. The leaf that floated down a river; the feather that sailed away in the night; the slabs of sand that shifted under feet when someone waded into the sea. Did they know where they were headed? Did they care?
Rhett believes that everything about this world is perfect. There is a deep underlying synchronicity in the scheme of things – so much so that even if two people were to behave really badly towards one another – each would be perfect in his or her position. Every mistake is perfect. Which, I think, essentially means that there is no such thing as a mistake. This perfection, this impeccable orchestration of ‘choice’, is fate. Dee, I think, asked about where free will fit into all this. “Is there a plan?”, she asked. “Or is it all just… ‘pffooof’?” She waved a cigarette at a lazy cloud.
Rhett leaned back and stated quietly that it was all the same anyway. “The other side of complete randomness is perfect symmetry.”
And this how we talked of destiny that night.