"Where have you been?" someone had asked me once.
This question has been my companion through the crisscrossing and unending alleys of life for quite sometime now. Yes, I do recall having been asked this question though I cannot recollect having seen anyone confronting me with this query.
Did you pose this question to me?
Although I couldn't discern anyone else at that time yet weren't you there somewhere besides me when you posed this question? And also I couldn't deny that the question did exist. The existence of a question that confronts us at a given point in time is sustained by that of an answer that already existed in the womb of eternity much before the emergence of that question.
Did you seek an answer from me?
In search of the answer I delved into the silence that followed this question. But I discovered that when they are intently probed the questions lead to still more questions. It appeared to me that questions were like thought waves emerging from the depths of a vast ocean of mind rushing forth to dissolve their identity in the embrace of sands of time. Where did the waves go from there? Did they cease to exist or continue their journey beyond their emergence from the unfathomable quiet of the ocean's depth and their dissolution in the infinite stillness of the sands?
But that question about my whereabouts remained etched in my memory, becoming almost a part of my being. Undoubtedly, the question echoed your concern for my welfare and me. It also reflected the continuity of our association. Since the existence of this question was definitely undeniable it dawned on me that our association too had to be an unquestionable and substantive fact.
When was it that you asked me the question about my whereabouts? When was it that we first appreciated the existence of a tangible bond of togetherness between the two of us? If there was this point in time when you asked me that question was there another point in time also that marked the beginning of our association or identification with one another? If that was so did it actually mean that we had been two distinctly individual entities from as far back into time as we could recollect?
Was the question a revelation or concealment of a profound concept? Did it throw a veil of delusion occluding a celestial perspective where multiplicity of distinctions merges into an all-pervading, eternal universality? Your question revealed to me that just as a question couldn't exist separated from the answer similarly it was not possible to experience existence when we tried to visualize ourselves as separate beings.
Had I wandered away in search of the answer that I thought you wanted from me? No, neither I had gone astray nor did you want an answer from me. Does the finding of an answer to a question give the appropriate meaning to its existence? Your question beckoned me to find more questions till the point in time where there were no answers and no resultant questions. I just had to transgress the infinity of sands and the stillness of the ocean's depths and turn towards you to lose myself in a pristine realm existent beyond the tides and waves.
Your question told me to merge into the stillness of that realm where no questions are asked and no answers sought, where palpable echoes of a pristine existence reverberate all around, transgressing all distinguishing boundaries and discriminating barriers. Did I reach that realm beyond all distinctions of questions and answers, and beyond you and I? How could I tell you that?