The Cloud Above the Land by Tahir Mehmood


Each moment has a living spirit.

“I can’t forget that night when I saw your face, and I saw a paragon of beauty and charm. I found out that words to express your beauty were far from sufficient. Only then I understood the meaning of love as my ever free heart had been enslaved by the moment of love,” a Cloud said to the Land.

The face of Land was brightened with joy, but she casually said, “You are a vagabond, always on the move. I do not trust your words.”

“I travel to see the beauty of life. Do not accuse me for that. But my love for you has not lessened from that magical moment,” came the reply.

The Land wanted him to stay there forever, but did not say a word.

Then she said, “Do not be mistaken for my beauty. It is spring time; the time of youth and virility.”

“Spring is to be lived before autumn arrives!” he said emphatically.  

She further probed, “How can I trust you?”

The Cloud bowed in reverence, but did not speak.

The skies above, listening to the conversation, smiled and mumbled somewhat indifferently: “Do not measure love in length of time; feel it in the rhythm of heartbeats, and live it to the fullest in pristine moments of worship. Time is composed of infinite living moments. Time is on a mission to explore life. Change is the spirit of time, as so distinct is the spirit of every single moment. Time is a vagabond, a nomad; never try to chain the boundless time in a casket of coherence. The magical power of a moment is the power of life. Why be scared of change and not open the doors to the moment of love?”

She was not impressed by his act of submission. She needed an assurance through words of pledge. Her heart was smitten by his expression of love, but it was not strong enough to make him stay closer. The Land stayed there in numbness, the Cloud hovered in restlessness, and finally moved to a far horizon.

Before disappearing, he looked back for a brief moment. Their eyes met, and found the traces of budding love. She did not call him, he could not stop her; both departed, but with a burning desire to fall back to each other. The moment of Time carrying the spirit of love was not far off .


The approaching summer was cruel to her. The heat waves were unbearable. The Land was full of summer fruits and orchards, but the burdens of life were unbearable in those hot summers. A shadow was needed to calm life. And there she saw the hovering Cloud on the horizon. She looked at him, but again did not say a word. The Cloud turned back and waved with honey in his eyes. It melted her heart, and she said softly to him, “Are you not tired of your journey? Why don’t you stay in the comfort of companionship?” He replied, “No one has ever asked me this with so much longing!” And then a muted conversation began between the two.

“I carry oceans on my bosom. Have you seen the tidal waves in the moonlight? They are always intense and high, aiming to touch the sky. Such are my yearnings to reach you, dear Cloud!”

“How mistaken was I! I was always envious of the moon, and spent many nights in jealousy. Whenever I saw his bright face, I thought the summer tidal waves were for the moon. Ah, much folly lies in our judgements, my dear Land!”

“Come, and live here,” was the cry. The Cloud moved closer towards the Land. Then pleasant breeze reigned the Land, playing joyfully. Life was rejuvenating. As the Cloud drew closer, his eyes became wet due to the powerful emotions of love. The Cloud wept with joy of love. It burst the whole night. The Cloud knew, but the Land never understood that the pouring drops of rain were in fact the tears from the eyes of the wandering Cloud. The vagabond was home, surrendering to love. In the heartbeats of the two lovers, and in full grasp of the moment of union, love thrived with perfect happiness. The skies above also affirmed the fertility of love and continuity of life.

The life again started breathing on the Land with new hopes and dreams.


Then approached the autumn days of life, borne out of the pains of routine and monotony.

The Cloud, as it lived with the Land, saw many injustices there on the Land. The poor always stood easy prey for the powerful. The Land grew enough food, but the multitude often slept hungry. There was so much waste on the Land for adornment of the rich, but not enough for the shelter of the feeble. They slept hungry, walked barefoot, lived in misfortune; their cries went unheard and prayers never rewarded. The wretched of the Land always waited for a messiah, but were tricked every time. This misery and plight of many suffocated the spirit of the nomad. The Cloud could not sustain this apathy for long as the Land was busy in managing the affairs of her thriving offspring. They both argued for long. Their long talks and debates led to nowhere, but dried the love in their hearts. They were not aware of the power of silence, and virtues of solitude; lost in the desire to win over the other. The more they talked to prove the argument, the more bitterness grew in the inner caves of breast, and the love was a fallen rose in those moments of disagreement.

And one night, the Cloud looked at Land’s face and he found nothing. The living spirit of the moment had changed. She was the same, but there was no love. He thought why in life things appear the same but the feelings attached get changed? The skies above did not tell him that the objects and their adornment, love, all change under the magical power of the moments.

Their moment of separation had arrived.


On one dark night, the Cloud escaped from the sleeping love of the Land. His heart was desolate, his dreams were empty, and his destiny was unknown. Yet the Cloud was happy to be free from the shackles of love that had enslaved him to mundane affairs of life. His ideals once again touched the skies much high above the Land as he pledged to remove the stains of injustice from her once beautiful face.

Next morning when she woke up, the pangs of separation waited for her. She looked up in the skies, and saw the cloud fading away over the horizon. She was certain that the Cloud would look back. The Cloud might have, but their gaze never met. In times of great sorrows, the Land went dry and cold. There began the days and nights of cold winter in the life of love that once gave birth to life.

On one night of solitude and silence, the Land prayed from the skies for the safety of the Cloud. She also prayed for their union. There was much to share and cherish, despite her dry bosom and lifeless dreams. The skies in moments of love and mercy, looked kindly at the lonely Land. Her yearning for love and life shall not go unanswered; the skies mused on completing the cycle of life.

The nature has gifted the Spring to Life. The remaining seasons complete the cycle of Life for its continuation. Spring is always present in the Nature; it is the Life that has to find it.  

Hovering over distant lands, the Cloud felt the rejuvenation of the moments of love. He looked backed and felt his gaze met the wandering gaze of the Land in the cosmos.

After many sleepless nights and empty days of cold winter, the Land for the first time felt a pleasant warm breeze on her face. Heart filled with joy, the Land smiled and giggled. Her faith in love stood reincarnated in the approaching spring.

The continuity of Life and longing for Love are inseparable in Nature.


On a pleasant spring night, a boy was sitting next to a young and beautiful girl in the beautiful garden of life. They were laughing, chatting and giggling under the magical spell of moment of love. And suddenly, the boy said to the girl, “I can’t forget that night when I saw your face, and I saw a paragon of beauty and charm. I found out that words to express your beauty were far from sufficient. Only then I understood the meaning of love as my ever free heart was enslaved by the moment of love ….”                    


The writer is a traveller, and a student of human history. He can be reached at [email protected]


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