Majnu was a poor young man, with tremendous love and a great heart, and he fell in love with the richest man’s daughter. The marriage was not possible; even meetings were not possible. He could only see once in a while, from far away, his beloved, Laila. But the rumor about his love started spreading, and the rich man, the father of Laila, was afraid that it will contaminate the family’s name and he will not be able to find the right man for his daughter. So he left the village to go to a faraway country, where nobody will know anything about Majnu.
The day they were going, a great caravan…because he had so much money and so many things to take, hundreds of camels carrying things. Majnu was standing on the way, by the side of a tree, hiding himself in the foliage of the tree – because the father was so mad he could even shoot him, although he had not done anything. He had not even spoken to Laila.
He was standing there just to see her for the last time. It was enough for him that she was happy and healthy – and he would wait. If his love has any power, she will come back. There was tremendous trust in him. He had seen the love, the same flame that was burning in his heart, in the eyes of Laila too. Laila was also searching and looking all around from the camel she was riding. She knew Majnu must be waiting somewhere on the way, and then she saw him hiding under a tree in its thick foliage. For a moment, without a single word or gesture, they were one; and then the caravan passed.
For Majnu time stopped then and there. He remained standing by the side of the tree waiting and waiting. It is said years passed. Laila came, but came a little late. She inquired. People said, “We have never heard about him…since you left he has not come to the town again.”
She rushed to the tree where she had left him. He was still there, but a strange thing had happened – he had become one with the tree. That’s why I say it is a parable; it is too good to be true. He relaxed so utterly because there was nothing else to do but to wait. He relaxed with the tree, and slowly, slowly they started merging with each other. The tree became his nourishment; they were no longer separate, they became one. Branches grew out of his body. He was no longer hiding under the foliage; the foliage was on his body – beautiful leaves and beautiful, fragrant flowers.
Laila could not recognize him. But the whole tree was saying only one thing, “Laila…Laila!”
She was getting mad, and asking, “Where are you hiding?”
And the tree said, “I am not hiding. Waiting so long, doing nothing, and just being relaxed, I have become one with the tree. You came a little late.