It was a very long road at one side of which, were thick and shady trees. At this hour of night, the shade of those trees was making the dark night darker, and if those street light poles with dimmed orange light, would haven’t been present at the other side of the road then perhaps it would have been difficult for him to walk on that darker road. The road was wide and deserted.
He was walking quietly; unaware of destiny, both hands in the pockets of his pants, like his only purpose would be to walk on that long road.
For a while he kept walking like this then as soon as he turned his neck on the right side, saw a human shadow walking parallel to him. He stopped and tried to see the man who was walking under the shade of the trees and that’s why it was difficult for him to guess who he is? He kept looking him with a surprise standing at his place.
That human outline had moved somewhat ahead by walking but then he looked that shadow stopping and turning back and the style of his turning was like as he would be looking him.
“Why did you stop, Ilaaf? Come.” He heard a grave, commanding and little bit kind tone of an old man. On an unknown way, hearing his name from a stranger was certainly surprising for him.
He walked and came ahead in a mechanical fashion.
“Who are you? And how do you know me?” The man moved towards him and just after his few steps, Ilaaf was able to look him because the man was coming out from the shade in the light of street poles. Ilaaf looked, he was an old man but his health was admirable; age would probably be between sixties and seventees, had softness on his face but his white hairs, white eye brows and white beard was enhancing his looks as a commanding one.
Ilaaf kept looking his mysterious personality for a while. The man was wearing long blue color robes and had a girdle around his waist of the same color; had a turban like cap on his head whose color was like his robes.
Ilaaf really had seen him from head to toe. The man was not felt to him of his city or country; neither from his clothes and perhaps nor from his features. His eyes were big and shiny whose color was unrecognizable for Ilaaf in the orange light. His complexion was a mixture of white and red.
“I am your friend.” The oldman said smiling.
“But I don’t know who you are. I am meeting you first time today then how can you be my friend?” He was puzzled.
“When a child is born into the world, he doesn’t know anyone but then he starts recognizing everyone. You too are born in this world just now therefore don’t know anyone but there is nothing to be worried about it, you will know everyone slowly and gradually like as you are knowing me right now.” He smiled in a very meaningful way and started walking on the road again.
Ilaaf was so confused, but was not able to understand anything so he had no other option except to walk along with him.
Then while walking he said again.
“What is your name?” Perhaps he was supposed to say due to his nature.
He turned his head and looked Ilaaf smiling.
“I have no name or if had even then now I don’t have any name. Some people call me guide, some call alchemist. You can call me whatever you like to.” He was talking to Ilaaf just like a friend.
“Are you really an alchemist? Do you really have capability to transform the metal into gold, water into elixir of life and stone into gem?” The smile of the man grew deeper.
“This can’t be decided by me. This has to be decided by you, Ilaaf. Stay with me in this journey and decide yourself that do I possess the quality of an alchemist or not?” For a while, Ilaaf couldn’t say anything then another question came from somewhere.
“What’s this place? Where are we right now?”
“This is a city, Ilaaf. A city every man has to visit at least once in his life, however somebody spends many years out here while somebody can’t stay just for few moments. Everybody here is in search for something, the wish to get or acquire something or anything brings everyone here. Here everybody will found to be in search of answer of a question. Questions, whose answers can’t be found in books, can’t be searched in words of a scholar, can’t be filtered from the lesson given by a speaker, just are found on having a quest for them. Sometimes even after searching hard the books for the entire life, man remains unsuccessful to find the answers of some questions, and those answers are found in a unique way again and again on the roads, on the paths, on the round-abouts, on street corners, on the house tops of this city and open a gate of awareness on man which was hidden earlier. The right to ask question is given to those, who are blessed with the courage to find their answers, Ilaaf.” He became silent.
The road was turning towards the right side somewhat ahead. Ahead from that turning, there was a lake at the left side. He was moving towards the lake.
Ilaaf was quiet and in a deep thinking. He understood half of the words of the alchemist while half of them passed above of his head.
There was a bunch of trees near the lake. One after other both of them crossed the bunch and came out, there was a road and across the road there were many houses in a series. All of those houses were double story and were completely identical; somebody could be just able find a difference among them with so much difficulty.
Ilaaf with alchemist kept walking between the streets of the city being so much amazed and kept praising the architect who had designed the city. It was a piece of architectural beauty. Ilaaf had never seen so much organized and amazing infrastructure in his life like this. Streets were wide; houses were the outstanding evidences of the art of construction. The doors and windows made up of elegantly cut wood and polished artistically, and the piece of art engraved on them. The airy balconies that were opening towards the road and charming floral plants hanging with them; the chimnies of red bricks and the gloomy lighting of colorful bulbs set on the walls, spreading in the form of the patches; on round-abouts the fountains bathing in blue lights; the endless series of trees on both sides of the roads; the big marble pillars on both sides of the street corner, and the arch that was connecting those pillars with each other.
Ilaaf kept looking everything being stunt. The city was deserted at this hour of night; perhaps it was a resting time for everyone.
Both of them came out of a street and then sat on a wooden bench that was set near the marble pillar, and just then Ilaaf remembered that he should ask another question.
“Alchemist! I want to ask a question from you?”
“Ask.” He looked Ilaaf smiling.
“The city is so beautiful but neither I saw this city before nor heard anything about this city. Where is this city? I mean where is it situated?” He looked the smile of the alchemist grew deeper on this question.
“Inside you.” The voice of the alchemist went strange and the tone was mysterious.