On a sunny winter morning in Jaipur around six years ago, I listened to a young writer read. He was not conventionally handsome but had a benign aura about him that few people do, a serene presence which radiated goodness. He spoke poignantly about his book, conveying intense emotions that sounded purer for the directness and lack of sentiment. I read his book soon afterwards with a great deal of pleasure, a meditation on the self in times of trial.
A few weeks ago, I had to look him up online for a college project and found that his face had weathered into a collage of wrinkles and dark shadows and messy grey hair. His voice was a little slower, as though worn with time and life. Only the kind expression remained the same. It sat sweetly on that seraphic countenance, invoking the memory of forty minutes of listening to his younger self during which he had held the crowd spellbound with his gentle expressions and soulful voice, talking about his memories of a home that was filled with music and love.
My project done, I wonder if I will ever see him again, somewhere beyond the impersonal place that is Cyberspace. More than once, I know that I will return to his books and hear his voice in those lines of achingly beautiful prose, and I will continue to listen to him talk on the ideas of home, the changing seasons, the passing of time, and the meaning of life, and perhaps I will weep when I read him again in a moment of shared humanity that I will sense across the printed page.