‘Unbridled first class beauty; hub of grandeur; home of comeliness’ was how best Alli could describe his final destination after his exhilarating odyssey. He turned right, left and then looked up confused with the sight before him. Everywhere glimmers and shines with the brightest of lights of different colours putting out any trace of darkness. He suddenly felt his joy level was raised to one he has never seen in the whole of his double decade life span. Everyone he saw was brimming joy as well. Colours of glee laced their faces showing how satisfied they are with life.
“Nothing better exist anywhere else” he said sniffing into his cold nostrils the sweet-perfumed atmosphere.
Golds, pearls, corals, topazes, emeralds and other elegant decors he know not was embellished at every possible space – as far as he could see. Soothing scent of mint oozed in and out of his nose and mouth. And he relished every moment of his journey as he forged ahead.
At a corner, he saw some intricately carved ivories glimmering with different, beautiful colours. These must cost the earth, he thought. As he continued to savour the beauty and ecstasy that dominated his present destination, he kept seeing beauties of nature far better than where he came from.
He could see birds around him chanting and humming. Some were tweeting in their most melodious voices of all time. Tiny, beautiful birds he thought to be nightingales. But, he was wrong. He definitely was. Because their sound was alien to his ears. So he was only hallucinating and fantasizing! The birds showed him his first familiar sight. They hovered around a see-through pond. This was typical of a water body, he knew. So far, this is something he had seen before but anything else, he hadn’t.
The pond sparkles with absolute cleanliness. He could see through it to its root. “How clean! So clean” he said more to the pond than to himself.
The flavoured smell and cool soothing breeze caressed his skin with great fondness. He felt like he was fondled by the breeze’s mildness. Feeling eager to drink, a flash of sight struck him. He saw a glassy stand upon which different utensils were set. Seeing golden, silvery and even platinum utensils, he was confused on which to use. Nor did he know which to admire more – is it the glassy shelf shimmering with brilliance or the utensils sparkling with precious and bright colours?
At last he selected one cup made of platinum. With great enthusiasm, he took a gulp down his throat like he had been tasty for years. At first, the touch of the cup sent a signal from his palm to his brain and then to the root of his foot. The signal of ‘No Where Like Here’. “I have come to stay here. I am going nowhere!” he said, repeatedly smiling.
With the water now in the cup, he thought of the satisfaction that accompanied the sight of what he was holding deep down in his heart. He then drank it with much nervousness like a politician staring at the television expecting himself to be declared the winner of a keenly contested election. And he was astonished by the taste once more, this time more than any other thing he has experienced so far. Within a few seconds, the water settled all the rumble and tumble in his tummy which he had hardly noticed all this while. Again, he could see, hear, breath, think and even walk better than he could before or has seen any one does all his life. To his surprise he could see his inside. The structure and chemistry of internal organs were now visible. And he sensed their perfect functionality. Even his chronic ulcer had vanished. “This is a Spring of Life” he said as he cuddled the remaining water in the platinum cup in his hand. Still, he couldn’t fathom everything that was happening until he ate.
All through his adventure so far, he had seen a myriad of trees – colourfully embellished flowers; tall and short shrubs and even well trimmed grasses with perfectly levelled stretches. Everything showed vegetation in its impeccably beautiful state. They are signs of the greatest horticultural dexterity.
He saw fruits of various kinds – most of which he hadn’t seen before, despite been a fruit freak. His family doctor Dr Salman advised him to eat lots of fruits like never before to convalesce over time. Ever since, he had fallen in love with fruits. In fact he educated his peers and four siblings – three boys and a girl – on nutritional values of all fruits. Some pals of his tease him, calling him different fruit names depending on the occasion.
The fruits hung in the air staring at him saying: “Come to us and have a taste” And he did. He plucked one which caught his attention the most – a purplish fruit with silver stripes all over. As he pulled the fruit, which was almost the same height as his, he felt the succulence and fragrance that was enough to satisfy him even without taking a bite. He thought of the name of the fruit. But, no name popped up.
“This isn’t a fruit anyone has discovered. Or perhaps no one can discover it except me” he said taking his first bite, and second and then third. It was so sweet with a lasting fragrance oozing out of his mouth like he had used a mouth wash. He at last gave the fruit a name. He gave it “DOUX” – which is the French word for sweet. French class was always boring for him but he managed to squeeze out this one. “My Doux!” he exclaimed. The taste of Doux – how best he could describe it – has seventy different sumptuous tastes. Each bite was a moment to savour!
Now the houses. The houses there were lovely. Very lovely. Houses of varying sizes and shapes. Some all gold, some shiny glass houses. Just different types displaying impeccable beauty, architectural masterpieces second to none. “These are quintessential” he said looking up to the top of one of the houses to his left. One thing that stood out from what he had seen before was that a lake flowed underneath them. Lakes of honey gushed underneath showing the golden colour that characterizes pure honey. Milk as well, creamy and tasty. And wine – devoid of intoxicant – blended with sweet fruits and spice. It was lavishly prepared to attain such richness. “Before water, now honey, and milk and wine…” he said not knowing what else to say now sitting on the lawn of one of the houses.
His first year was nostalgic. He kept reminiscing the past years as each ticked by – each day bettered the other experience-wise. He was on his fifth year – which seemed like 5000 years – when he noticed he had never released any form of waste. Nor had he experienced any kind of pain. There had never been any distress. No panic, no fear. Everything was just running smoothly. Perfect world! Perfect Adventure! It was then he knew he was in another world. A world that transcended human realms.
Suddenly, his adventure was cut short by a hum – the hum of a female anopheles. It sang to his ears: “Wake up boy! Wake up! Else…”
He opened his eyes and stared at the blank ceiling of the dark room. He breathed deeply. Angrily, he closed his eyes trying to return to his dream.
“So it was a dream” he mumbled under his breath.
Again he forcefully closed his eyes. This time burying his face into the pillow that lay beside him. It never returned. Welcome to the real world – earth. He was battling with his thoughts when a call from the entrance echoed in his ear making him fully awake now. It was his mum.
“Alli!!! Alli!!! Alli!!! It’s time for morning prayer. Get up and get dressed son!” she ordered.
Immediately, he slipped out of bed, pulled off his jimjams and wore his jalabiyyah hung on the wall. Now set, he headed for the mosque. He checked the time; it said 5:38. He knew he had only two minutes to catch up. He ran as fast as he could and his mother watched as he disappeared into the darkness of the early dawn.
“I must return there!” he said aloud, engulfed by life and vitality.