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Of Beautiful Tragedies

“I can’t do this. I’m sorry. But I can’t. I can’t be the person who can lead the crowd. I can’t be the person who walks along with the crowd. I’d rather sit at the sidewalks and watch them walk past me.

I can’t do this. I can’t be the person you want me to be. I can’t be this person who the world looks up to. I can’t be this person who is instantly recognized amidst a buzzing crowd. I’d rather be one little person, lost in the same crowd, looking at others.

I can’t do this. I can’t be the person you think I’ll turn out to be. For I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to be the person who has perfect grades, perfect scores, perfect job, perfect family, perfect house, but not a perfect life. Perfection is delusional. I don’t want to be this person who doesn’t have the courage to chase after their dreams and is instead driven by a crowd. I don’t want to be that person.

I can’t do this. I can’t bottle up my dreams and throw them away. I don’t want to be one of the hundred people I meet on the road everyday, who don’t have dreams glistening in their eyes. Each one of us has a dream. And happiness lies in reaching that dream..in reaching close and grasping it and crying in joy. I have a dream. And I do want to hold on to it.

I can’t do this. I can’t wake up each day and live another person’s life. The person inside me..the real person struggles to express itself each day, but I shut it out, because I’m not sure if you’d like this person. This person is scared and vulnerable. This person is clueless and driven by dreams and not by plans. This person wakes up to enjoy today and not spend the day planning for tomorrow. This person takes a step first and then thinks. This person is different. This person finds hope in the dark. This person cries and never holds back. And you’d probably not like this person.

I can’t do this. I want to be something different..something different than the facade I pull up each day. I have a million dreams. I want to stand at a crossroad and take a leap into the unknown. I want to know where that way leads to. I don’t want to take the safer road. I want to take a risk and see where it leads me. If I fall, I’ll bounce back, I believe. If I fail, all is not lost, right?

I can’t do this. I just can’t. I want to be someone different than the person you want me to be. I want to be someone different than the person others consider me to be. I want to be the person I want to be.”

There was a knock at the door, and a moment later, someone entered. In the palpable darkness, the figure moved towards the little light at the corner of the room and bent over the table to peer into her notebook.

“What are you doing?” the person asked.

“Just revising notes,” came the reply.

When the person left the room, she ripped away the paper from her notebook and went back to being the person she didn’t want to be. Back to the same person, who ran away from her own dreams.

Switching off the little light, she fell back on her bed and slept away the night.

The other morning, she wrote the same thing again in a different sheet and tore it apart before anyone arrived.

For days, she kept writing the same thing over and over again. For days, she looked for a chance to scream out her words at the world. For days, she waited for someone to hear her. For days, she waited for someone to understand without her having to say a word.

Somewhere down the lane, over the years, her habit was lost. So were her dreams. Her words were muffled. The pieces of paper withered away, the ink got smeared due to the rain. The pieces of paper were trampled on, yet some remained.

And one fine day, when the world did know about this person she had always wanted to be, it was too late. She had already become the person she’d never wanted to be.

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The Dreams We See

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” – Lanton Hughes, American poet.

All my life, I’ve grown up reading stories. So have you, probably, and many other people.

I accept I was a nerd back in high school, though not your typical nerd from out of a teenage novel! I missed my P.E. classes to read books in the library. Though it was clearly against the rules, the grey-haired librarian didn’t seem to mind. Nor did she ever complain to anyone that I spent a half of the school hours hiding in there.

When she didn’t have a class, she’d choose books and give them to me. She even let me borrow two books when we were allowed to take only one!

On a fine autumn day, she asked me if I write stories.

Being only in sixth grade, her question took me by surprise.

“No,” I replied. “I only read.”

“You should try to write a story someday,” she told me.

“But no one will read it,” I stated.

“I will,” she promised.

I never got a chance to give her my story to read. I left school the same year and I didn’t really have a chance to contact her.

How or when I began writing is a memory that has already left my mind. All that I remember is that I used to write secretly. I was afraid of how my piece of writing would be received by an audience. In between classes, in the lunch breaks, I would sit in a lone corner and scribble a poem or two in the last pages of some copy. I knew no teacher bothered to look at the last pages and so, my little secret was safe.

Until one day. My English teacher interrupted a class and asked me to meet her in the staff room during the lunch break.

When I visited her, I found her reading something intently. As I walked closer, I realized that she was going through the little poems I had written.

“You write so beautifully!” she exclaimed.

I really didn’t know how to react. Was I supposed to be scared because she had found out? Or was I supposed to be happy because she felt it was good?

“Don’t ever give up,” she continued. “You have an extraordinary talent. Keep this dream alive and someday you’ll reach there.

She reminded me of my old librarian.

I found a confidence after hearing her. And since then, I’ve always shared my work with people.

People often ask me if I have ever dreamt of becoming a writer. That very question never fails to take me by surprise.

“Yes,” I tell them. “It is my dream to become a writer.”

It is a dream that has been with me for as long as I can remember. While some dreams come and go, this stays with me.

Someday, I’m going to write something for the old librarian to read. I remember her promise.

Someday, I’m going to thank her for igniting my dream.

Someday, I’m going to wake up and live my only dream.

I still remember a couple of lines from the same poem which i had scribbled at the back of my English copy. it reads like this-

“They told you, dreams are important,

That dreams are hidden somewhere in the sky, beneath the golden hue;

They told you to hold on to your dreams,

For sometimes, they find you.

The Rain That Never Came

The sweet-smelling dust of a scorching May evening settled in front of Daya’s house. The blistering sun had dipped down beneath the horizon, the salmon sky sporting a canopy of faint grey clouds which never rained. As the darkness spread its veil over the land, the clouds seemed to be devoured into the night, replaced by a sprinkle of stars. The clouds brought with them, a little spark of hope- a hope that led farmers like Daya to believe that it would rain that night. When it didn’t, they felt their hearts wrenched out till it shed the last drop of blood. This type of hope was dangerous, for it brought them happy dreams and later pushed them into the dungeons of delusion.

 That evening was no different.

 Daya sat in front of his house, on top of the weak bamboo fence that had cost him a small fortune.

When his old father had passed away, the land in front of their dingy hut had been passed on to him. With high hopes and brimming dreams, he had taken out his broken bicycle with the bent wheel frame and leather-less seat and rode to the marketplace where he had brought five fences to cover either side of his land.

 On his way back from the marketplace, he had stopped at the moneylender Govind ji’s house and asked him for a little bit of money to buy the seeds and the fertilizers. When the scrawny, greedy man with a bald head had hesitated, Daya had told him about the piece of fertile land he had inherited and how it would reap the gold. With eyes on the little land, the moneylender had given some money to Daya.

 It was strange how things had suddenly started favouring him. He had money. He had the land. He had the spirits. And he had a bundle of hopes that he was going to make it big. Perhaps, they might appoint him as a member of the Farmer’s Association in their little town of Kaman. For a man who had spent almost half of his life doing odd jobs on another person’s land, even six feet of earth meant a lot to him.

 That very evening, the rains had come lashing down on the little village, quenching the thirst of the parched soil. The rain had drenched the flamboyant trees and their leaves had turned a shade brighter. Little saplings were awoken from their slumber and they greeted the silver sheets of rain as it crashed deafeningly on the thatched roof of Daya’s hut. In a matter of few minutes, the sky had gone from an eloquent blue to an ominous shade of gravel grey.

 Daya and his wife had sat in a corner of their little hut, escaping the dripping droplets of rain. As occasional flashes of lightning lit up the dark sky, Daya had felt a uncontainable joy at the pit of his heart. Oh, how he would plant the radishes and carrots and potatoes in this little land! Oh, how generous were the lords to bring them a spell of showers in early summer! It certainly meant something good, didn’t it? Daya’s poor human heart exploited his hopes with richer thoughts.

 Daya had tilled his land with viral enthusiasm, singing songs in merry stupor and buying his wife a brocaded silk saree from the market. When his wife had complained, he had asked her not to worry for they were going to be rich! Such were his hopes that it drove him into a frenzy.

 Each night he had gone to sleep, smelling the rain that lingered in the air and the canopy of stars in the desert night sky.

 However, only the smell of rain had lingered. It never came down in a glorious downpour. It never kissed his land and never brought it back to life. It doused off all his dreams, zoning them out into oblivion.

 How he had waited for the rain! How he had waited for his hopes to come back!

 Two dry months.

 And it hadn’t rained.

 The last traces of summer wind waltzed past him, creeping into his lonely house where his pale wife lay, bathed in the glorious light of the evening that trickled in through the little windows. The same saree, that  Daya had given her months ago, was wrapped around her in a careless fashion, rough knots of her unwashed, dark hair drowning into the creases of the fabric.

 The sound of a little bird rose and fell with the wind, the wispy clouds clearing from the sky to make way for the stars.

 The chilly desert air had taken its toll, but it did nothing to the restless, thirsty throats of the couple who hadn’t eaten for a week. The land in front of their house had cracked open. The little saplings that Daya had planted had withered away, leaving no trace behind.

 A faint light from the lantern flickered inside his house and smelling the scent of the burnt wick and the smoked glass, Daya turned around to see the same, obliterated by the rapidly darkening night. The darkness of the moment devoured his sanity, transforming him into a madman.

 Everything had started chalking his doom.

 When he had visited the mukhiya the other day, he had waved Daya off. At a time when drought had taken over the land, there was very little anyone could do for anybody.

 The greedy, heartless moneylender had come to his house, demanding him to return the money. Poor Daya could only give him the brass utensils and a pair of bronze bangles that belonged to his wife. Although the man had his eyes set on the piece of land, he left, knowing that the land wouldn’t be of any use as the drought had set in.

 There was nothing left in the house. Only two pitchers of clear water stayed in a desolate corner of the house, staring at the agony of the helpless couple.

 Daya jumped off the fence and started making his way inside his little abode. The tatters, he wore were unwashed, and covered with freckles of dirt and his bony chest glistened as the low light of the lantern hit him. His wife sat leaning against the mud wall, her hand on her head, wondering if they were suffering because of some sin they had committed in their previous lives.

Oh, the heartbreaking explanations we resort to!

 The things that had seemed to be going so well had instantly stopped, driving their ripened dreams into an unfathomable dead-end. Life was a brute, wasn’t it? And so was the restless human heart that held on to the withering thread of hope, thinking that one day or the other, radiance shall come through the pain.

 Daya staggered down beside his wife, crawling up to the bed and leaning against it. Staring at the faint darkness that was interrupted by the light from the night sky, he let out a hollow laugh.

 “It will rain!” he cried in feverish excitement. “We will grow everything on our land! We will be rich! Everyone will look up to us!”

 A slight sob escaped his wife’s lips.

 On a dull, summer night, when the moon was high up in the sky, a blissful cry erupted from somewhere, the breeze carrying its echoes into forgettable corners of the land.

 From nowhere, the air became thick with moisture, the rain-laden breeze calling out to the people of the land. A clammy haze of rain spread across the land, hiding the moon and the stars somewhere behind their drapes.

 Tiny drops of rain splattered across the unpaved paths, clearing out the sand and trickling in between the cracks. A few drops trickled into Daya’s house through the thatched roof and landed on their limp bodies. If only they had held on to that hope for a little more.

 The next morning, all the people of the land knew was that, the drought had driven yet another farmer to his death. No one sympathized. They blamed it on fate and they blamed it the sins the poor couple had probably committed in their previous lives. No one blamed the rain. No one blamed the drought. For them, it had become an everyday phenomenon, waking up each day to hear how a couple of farmers had given up. They stared at their abject poverty and prayed it didn’t happen to them.

 It rained for the next few days as well.

 If only Daya was alive to see the same. If only…

Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry A Snowman Who Likes Summer

Only recently, I had this strange desire to marry Olaf. The Frozen fever had caught up to me and my room was filled with posters of Olaf. The wallpapers of my phone, that once had  Joey Graceffa in them, had been replaced by the cutest (read:weirdest) photos of the snowman and his .gif files occupied half of the memory space on my phone.

No one in my family was bothered, until I told them that I’d buy a gown that had a picture of Olaf in it. My mum almost fainted as the vague image of the fashion disaster flashed in her mind. My dad, who is the cool person in the family, decided to join me while I was watching the movie for the eighth time!

Of course, he didn’t like Olaf! Instead, he told that he liked the movie a lot. I wanted him to like Olaf.

Weeks together, I went around chanting Olaf’s quotes.

Hi there! I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs!

Some people are worth melting for!

Let’s go bring back summer!

In case, you are unaware of this snowman who likes summer, and has gotten articles and Facebook pages all over the internet, Olaf is by far, the friendliest snowman to walk the mountains above Arendelle. Goofy and naive and whimsical coupled with an extremely charming personality, he is probably the hero of the movie, unless you think otherwise.

So, I was driven to depths of delusional fervour and in a moment of excitement and giddy happiness, I decided that I was going to marry Olaf!

And that caused my entire family to fall off their chairs and roll on the ground, laughing their heads off (not literally, though). Of course, they thought that I had been joking, but I was perfectly serious. If there was a person I was going to marry, it was the snowman who liked summer.

Only, last night, I had been talking to my friend about my wedding plans, when he asked me whether it was a good idea to marry Olaf!

“Why, yes! I love him!” I had told.

“But is love always enough?”

He had an impressive point, but I wasn’t ready to listen to anything.

“He’ll be the best life partner anybody could ever have!” I argued.

“How? For all you know, he might melt under the tropic sun!”

“But, he didn’t!”

“The tropic sun! For God’s sake, it might even melt the entire North Pole in a day!”

Minutes later, the little fan-girl inside me had evaporated and we sat, discussing about ten reasons why Olaf wouldn’t be an ideal life partner.

And here they are –

  1. He might melt. Global warming is on the rise.
  2. His flurry might do something funny. Children might start to think it as an ice-cream!
  3. You might become a widow early in life. And no one, will marry someone who married a snowman!
  4. Think of the kids! They might as well be a science phenomenon!
  5. He is short. And that might not be a problem for many, but I’m tall.
  6. Eating ice-cream around him may not be a good idea. He may go into a mental trauma.
  7. He’ll always be cool (and not hot!).
  8. You’d need to change the bed sheets everyday! For God’s sake, he is made of snow!
  9. He has weird teeth. Kissing him might be a trouble. And his nose is going to butt in always.
  10. And, that is sad!So, here I am, eating lots of ice-cream after my first heartbreak. However, I’ll always love Olaf.

Someone had rightly said, sometimes, love might not be enough.