On a sunny winter morning in Jaipur around six years ago, I listened to a young writer read. What stood out about him was not his extraordinarily handsome looks but a benign aura that few people have, 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 slightly with a few lines added by the years and messy grey hair. His voice was a little slower, as though worn with time and life. But 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 could not help thinking that it would be wonderful to 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 flowing of time, and the meaning of life, and I know that I will smile when I read him again in a moment of shared humanity that I will sense across the printed page.