Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Woman Behind The Veils

"Your tent is ready. One shall not go without bath for more than three days so go refresh yourself. There is fresh cloth, toothbrush and perfume you can use them. Please join us for the feast when you finish, insya Allah." The keeper says as he motions a nod, a signal for someone to show me the way to the tent. 

I was away for 15 years but I did have my regular wash except for the time when I was in the woods where the lake is too far and no streams nearby. 

A beautiful young maiden appears. Her blooming fairness on her face where her cheeks are blushing like cherry blossoms is a sight to behold. I am aware that The Keeper who is more than a father to me is studying my reaction from the corner of his eyes.
There are two soldiers escorting her. One is thin, of fair skin with friendly disposition and the other one is dark skinned endowed with generous muscles, taller and fierce looking.

It is by traditions that all the women folks in the garden are not to wear perfumes but as she greets me, her fragrance overwhelms my sensitive nose. I am familiar with the likeness and now she has no veil covering her face. She was politely well with manners, with very beautiful pair of soft turquise blue eyes.

"This is our beloved sister Jamilah. You shall go with her now!" The keeper's commanding whisper into my ears awaken my eyes from savouring the enchanting  perfection in front of us.

In my haste I forget to take leave from the old keeper as I usually do  as show of respect and endearment for the man who in my life is the dearest person. This incident would later becomes a favourite example in my discourse to students of my own who aspire to lead a life as slaves. 

Purity of intention and actions in the face of calamities and fortunes. One is always awaken by calamities but with fortunes not many can remember how fortunate one is. Blind to the gifts, nay even forgetful   when taking things for granted.

"Be always on guard that our Lord grants Iblis the power to be invisible and can enter your blood vessels. He enters your body through the eyes to stir up desires. However he is powerless over hearts that are sincere and empty of wants! Lower your gaze always so he will not enter you." The Keeper says.

I know for sure that the first glance is permissible but the subsequent looks are from devilish blood in the veins that can blur vision and judgement. The sight of the straying beholder can only be redeem by pouring molten silver onto his eyes. 

Truly the eyes are windows to all kinds of heart's desires and wants; beauty, golds, status et cetera et cetera the list contents is as long as one eyes can see. Only two types of desires are admirable and the rests are all burners burning one with envy and jealousy enveloping one's soul like dark clouds before a hurricane.

The young maiden is now walking gracefully behind me and our two escorts are trailing behind her. I slowed down so we are now abreast but she was trying very hard to avoid my nearness. I can feel the great strains of discomfort running inside her although I harbour no ill intention whatsoever towards her. Far from it I am not  one who likes to earn the displeasure of the keeper who loves her very much.

"We met before?" I asked her, attempting to recall my memory of the occasion. Her fragrance lingers on filling up the entire garden but as I find out sooner than expected she is one who never perfume herself except for her husband. Even so her perfumes are not the types that are put in little bottles such as one see in many marketplace.
"Yes!" She stopped her paces to answer without even looking at me. 

Still in extreme politeness yet the single word she utters is so stern. The perfect beauty with certainty and so strong in her seductive demeanour. The veil on her face is on with small transparent windows around her eyes. I can't see her but she can see me through it! It is so unfair but for very good reason that is defense for the cupid arrows against the weakness of  man. 

To contain is better than to control. Prevention is better than cure. No. Not few but many good men falls and some turns into stones by the gaze of Aphrodite.

Modesty is sacred and when it is carelessly reveal nothing will be left to imaginations thereafter gone is all  the mysteries that are intriguing to the minds. All interests will be abandon for the funs are no longer exist. If the interest is still there what remains is only Lust but not Love. Lust which is a form of desires of the eyes  is like wild fire, it is hot only at the beginning then turn into coals, worthless. Love is like water, it is not only thirst-quenching but it nourishes our body and spirits. Lusts or desires are temporal where love is unifying, eternal and indestructible.

"Sir, you should walk in front. It is not proper for me to lead you!" She gestures for me to lead her. There is no softness in her voice. Her hands moved then lowered impersonating A Girl Called Jeannie except hers I feel is without  the smile to hint any affection towards me. 

Her full long gown in light green  with brocades of precious stones sprinkle on her shawl and the lower arms of her garment make her chaste body luminiscence in vibrant colors. All the flowers in the huge garden pale in comparison.

Protocols always put me off but this protocol standing infront of  me I can't  live without. She is merely obeying the traditions of the garden that ladies are to walk behind men but this time around I am really in the dark about the whereabout of the tent.

"I am still learning here and it seems to me that you have made it. That is the more reason for you to  lead! I honestly think that you should show me the way since you know better than me where the tent is!" My reply is gentle but the tone is slightly out of character for which I am well-known.

I dont really know if it was the tone or the way I string my words to get her to disarm but certainly the words must have relieve her for I can feel her warmth that is all to familiar to me now. Not much later in bed together she reveals that her uneasiness is of a different kind and that her pretty smile never leaves her since the day one of the keeper's wives tell her the news that I am coming to pay a  visit to the garden.

She walks on my left side almost abreast but behind me not too far unlike before. One of the guard, the thin one overtakes me only to lift up one of the flaps which unfolds as the opening into the tent. 

She gives greeting for permission to leave that sounds more like her when she was a little girl, and in a hurry but quietly she closes the flaps and left after  giving some orders to the guards outside.

The spartan tent is spacious with no bed as it is common here with all the rest of the tents in the garden. The square walls have two windows that opens or closes by simply putting or removing their wooden supports. Carpets and some pillows in matching colours fill up the space with a modest two-seater sofa and big baskets made of rattan nicely arranged by the sides of iits armrests. In one corner there is a study table crafted of solid wood that comes with a chair that is equally tasteful as it is comfortable to sit on. A bookshelf completes the section with two cushions in soft beige leather thrown in on the floor. A lamp from Turkey with fresh candle inside its glass and bronze frames decorates the table top. A rope ties itself to a wall and when one pulls it, two flaps separate to form a window to the sky. 

The study is simply beautiful like a piece of artwork. Either the decorator is an avid reader or maybe its the keeper's order for he knows me well that I prefer burying myself with books than doing menial tasks in the garden.

The wash area is made up by one medium size vessels and an aluminium jug to scoop the water that is inside it. A mirror hangs to the lower end of one  pole of the tent where at its feet I find the toothbrush, towel and soaps on a wooden chest. Some bricks are placed on the earth floor near where the vessel is for someone to wash himself with much care so as not to splash the water too much or else the tent will get wet.
A moveable but heavy square tub made of marbles and tiles occupies the rest of the area which is separated from the main chamber by a simple flowery curtains or two-flaps as I prefer to call them. This tub bothers me because I prefer a splash in the river nearby. This tent has curtains which are nice but bothersome for me to wash. 

All the signs telling me that all these things come from a woman touch and not the keeper's wish. Since she was a little girl unlike some other girls her age she likes to spend time reading all kinds of books she could obtain by permission from the keeper's library. But the tub has always been one of the keeper's collections although he really never has any use of it. 

"Be not like those folks who have eyes but blind have ears but deaf and minds they never think! They make their sublime status lower than beasts!"

The time has come. I see her beautiful loving eyes and her soft creative hands inside this tent. If before I am a little hesitant I am now fully loaded with signs and signals so I take out the handcrafted gold ring and the pearls necklace from my safe and put them inside a nice little  chest made of sandal woods together with some gold coins.  

Signals are very clear and everywhere unless you truly are blind. Even so without eyes, the sense of smell sometimes help unless you are also not bless with both eyes and nose there is still your ears. Unless this hearing aids too are useless then you should still be thankful that you are still alive.

That is the way of the keeper's traditions. Soft to the souls and touching to the hearts that one cannot help but to surrender oneself to love him. That is the way here in this garden. Every single thing has meaning to it. Powerful meanings behind subtle words. Signs and clear signals are orders to follow. Ears, Eyes and Minds are supreme translators. I see and  I hear therefore I think. When I think thence I am free to choose to submit or to defy. This is the science of the senses which in itself is an art one must learn to perfect. The art of listening and obeying is a mandatory skill to sharpen and master until the end. This is the only path to full conviction.

 I now am ready for her as she is ready. I surely am a fool if I cant read her signals.

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