Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Wind, The Cloud and The Tree

I am the strongest, said the wind, bloating to the cloud, I can carry you anywhere I want, It doesn’t matter how much you want to rain in the dry places, I take you to places where I please and there you come down.
The cloud was silent because he knew it's the truth. But he hated the wind so much for his arrogance. So he thought of this. “I know you are strong but you are not strong enough to take on whom I nurture.” he said.
“Oh come now, there is none like that. I can create cyclones and storms, I can carry things to another side of the world, I can do whatever I wish.” the wind said. After a long pause, he added, “thank to God” which he felt will prove his humility which was not really the case.

The wind became suddenly hopeful when he realised that it will be difficult for the wind to challenge whom he is thinking of. He said, listen wind, I know what you can do but still you can't make this one, the one I am talking of, obey to you or listen to you.”

Wind was really irritated by now. “Lets go and see cloud, your admirer will be as weak as you and I will win over him in no time.”

They both agreed, and flew together, the wind carrying the cloud, to the forest where the wind takes the cloud every monsoon and the cloud stays there and for three months, watering the trees. The old trees find life, the new trees grow faster when the cloud is there and all these trees loved him.

There is one tree, however, which is the challenger the wind has thought of. This tree is a strong one and almost at the middle of the forest. He is the tallest of them all and looking at his trunk and the branches, he is the strongest of them all. He shelters numerous birds and insects on him. He guards those from the rain with his leaves. He tries to stay still when these tiny nests have eggs or new born so those don’t topple over. And when these newborns jump and try to fly for the first time, he smiles and watches. Then when they can fly, the parent birds teach the young ones to thank him and they all fly away together, after thanking him from the deepest corner of their heart. Everybody loved him. Even weaker trees look at him and relies on his strength to handle the strong storm.

This is the tree which the cloud had in his mind as the challenger to the wind. They flew and both reached him. From up above the sky, the cloud pointed the majestic tree to the wind. It is easy to recognise him from that far above as there is no other tree like him in the whole forest.

“That is the friend who I am talking about. He is the king of the trees. Listen wind, if you can make him obey you, the whole forest will listen to you” the cloud said.

The wind started to work immediately. He went down to the tree and said, “hello sir, I am wind and I am having an argument with the cloud, your friend. He says if you obey me as superior, he will accept me as superior. As you know I am the strongest force in the world, please accept my powers and I shall reward you”

The tree was surprised. He said, “cloud is my friend and he helps me maintain this forest and all its inhabitants. When my leaves are dirty, he washes it, when my roots are dry he waters it so I can live and bear fruit. He waters my whole kingdom. How can I leave him and join your side?”

The other trees were listening to this conversation. The wind felt insulted. He said” if you don’t listen to me, I will ruin you. First I will break your branches and then uproot you. Then, while dying, you will see me running havoc and destroying everything you love. Do you want that?”
The tree said, “the cloud has done many things for us. What have you done? Go back to where you came from.”

The wind was really angry. He went up in the sky, took a deep breath and started to blow at the tree.

The tree was a strong tree. He started shielding nests with his leaves. At least 2 nests have eggs in them and 1 has 3 new babies. They must not fall. His powerful branches covered the initial attack.

The wind blew hard

The wind didn’t give up. This one is stronger than I thought. He started blowing harder. The branches started shivering. The tree put its root firmly in the earth and started protecting. But even with all his strength, he was shivering slightly, from this very strong wind. He started losing the leaves which were covering the nests.

You are so stubborn, shouted the wind from the up above, give up else I will blow stronger. The tree didn’t reply, his whole body ready for next attack.

The next attack was vicious, the wind didn’t blow directly this time but came down in a circular way right on top of that tree. The roots were holding to the ground as fast as they could and the solid thick branches were really trembling from this incredible attack from the wind.

Finally, the wind could twist one arm and break it. The thick branch fell on the ground with a thud. Noooo, the tree screamed, less from his pain than from realising that one nest with eggs and another with new borns were on that branch. They all crashed on the ground. The forest watched in horror, nobody saying a word, in fear of the great wind coming against them.

The wind, from far above, said, “say I am the strongest and the greatest and save whatever dear is remaining. “

“You might be the most powerful but you are never the strongest and you will never understand the difference between them.” the great tree, wreathing in pain, replied.

“Fine then”, the wind went for a stronger circular wave and hit the tree. This time, three major branches, all weak from previous attacks, fell down. The tree screamed in pain every time one branch fell off. He cried, loud enough for the whole forest to hear clearly, for his physical loss and loss of every nest, insect, bird, eggs, newborns and orchids which was living depending on him.

The large tree swayed as the cloud watched helplessly.

Now he stood, naked, only the main trunk remaining along with some smaller branches.

The wind might be the most powerful force in the world but he is surely not infinitely strong. Nobody, except God is infinitely strong. When the wind summoned his final strengths and prepared for the final assault because even now the tree denied considering him the strongest, the tree prayed to the God.

“God, dear God, don’t make me fail. If I fail, all the trees will fail. I am their king, their courage and their hope. Their sovereign and their strength. Let me stand and face this final assault.”

The wind launched his last assault. The weaker surviving branches gave away easily as this was the fiercest of all the attacks. The roots almost gave up as the wind put each drop of his power behind this attack. The tall naked, bruised body of the tree swayed helplessly, bending and the tip almost touching the ground. Then it broke from midway. The wind also stopped because he was totally spent.

“I have done it, I have ruined him” the wind panted to the wind.
“but you said, you can make him agree that you are the strongest. He didn’t confess that. He broke staying true to his principles.” the cloud replied. The wind was silent.
New sprout came where the great tree broke

The God, to whom the tree prayed, was not idle either. He saw everything and saw how the tree stayed true for what is true and just. He sent his angels to the tree who healed the wounds and the cloud rained him his sweetest water and next day, there was a sprout, just where the body of the tree was broken.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Dogs And The Moon

The ugly dog called for a meeting. Not that the other dogs were very fond of him. But they agreed to meet in the park, after all human have gone to bed. They met there, all 17 of them. These are the dogs of that village, who eat whatever are leftovers and stay awake all night protecting the people of the area, even when people didn’t ever care about them. If they ever breached the trust, especially when hungry and trying to take a little more food from someone's house, they never said “oh you poor thing, you must be so hungry, eat as much as you can, for without you we couldn’t have slept peacefully at night.”. This sulk was evident.

The ugly dog suffered the most. Once while being chased away, he ran in front of a passing cart and was severely wounded. Nobody really cared, except for a few other dogs. This ugly dog was a young and strong dog that time. He survived, but his wound, which later grew into ulcers, was never cured completely. With one eye almost gone, a great big raw patch of meat without the cover of the rotting skin, he was really ugly. This is why he doesn’t even take part in the night patrol either.

The village looked like the heaven on full moon nights

People, all the dogs believed, are only crazy for the moon. However, what good has it done to them? Nothing, just nothing. It doesn’t even glow brightly enough to make the jobs easy for the dogs or for the widow of the tailor who needs to sew all night to raise two young children. It doesn’t glow brightly enough to put the scare of the dark away from the children. It doesn’t help grow the corps. It doesn’t let you stay warm during those freezing cold nights. What good is it then? Why do people keep on talking about the moon. Why they mention the moon when mentioning the night and not the dogs who really own the night ? 

The ugly dog, who had nothing to do, except to curse the people and the destiny which put him in this condition and wait for a miracle to get cured, fuelled these ideas. This is why the meeting is there. One must protest about this injustice.

They all gathered in the park. The ugly dog, who never failed to take the centre stage, even when nobody wanted, took the centre stage. In a deep, hatred-filled voice, he started, “friends, its we who always work. Its we who serve the community. We sacrifice our night sleep to keep them safe. Yet, have you heard them ever talking about us? It's always that moon, which serves them no purpose. I say, we must protest against this. The human are too powerful to protest against. Moreover, they can't control the moon. We will demonstrate our agitation directly against the moon.”

All the dogs listened to the ugly dog.

Aye, aye, a few dogs agreed half-heartedly. Others remained silent,wondering what is it all about or how it can be successful.

“We will put the moon to shame” the ugly dog continued, “and we will shout slogans till it withdraws and never shows up its face again. Its we, who must be praised, adored and talked about. Let dogs replace the moon and reclaim the place we rightly deserve”

Hear hear, said a few dogs, more in number this time, and the voices finding strength as well.

“We will go every night to the big vacant field outside the village boundary, which is barren nowadays as the farmers have taken the crops home. There we shall achieve our goal, in the name of whatever is holy”

A loud and exuberant approval came from all the dogs.

Then they followed the ugly dog to the big barren field outside the village. Determined to bring this to an end, for once and all.

The moon, unaware of these happening, realised, it's his time to show up. The nightingale must be waiting to sing. The kids must be waiting to watch the old woman who stays on the moon. The loving couples must be waiting for him to make their heart feel the purest love for their partners. The night queen is waiting for him to blossom. The mothers must be waiting for him so they could sing and call him to their aid and help them put the baby to sleep. The poet is waiting to find new inspiration for his new poems which he must read in the court of the king tomorrow, he needs the moon. Removing the cover of the cloud, the moon, the bright moon of the 12th night, showed up smilingly.

Everything happened as he expected, the nightingale welcomed him crooning her sweetest songs. The night queen blossomed, just beside the tiny dilapidated house of the poet. The poet looked at the moon and smiled and took out his paper and ink. The kids excitedly tried to guess what the old woman must be doing and the babies started falling asleep looking at the smiling and beautiful face of the moon.

The dogs were ready, there there, screamed the ugly dog, with his broken voice. “Let's make this happen brothers”, he demanded. The dogs started to bark, loud and hoarse at the moon.

The moon is too far up high to for their voices to reach him. The moon, neither expecting nor hearing anything didn’t pay any attention to them. Instead, he moved even high up the sky and started to smile even brighter. The world, the village, washed by the soft white moonlight, looked like a poet's dream of the early hours of the night, or like the the heaven.

“Its not working, its not working my brothers” the ugly dog urged as loudly as his weak lungs allowed him, “lets go even higher”. “Get lost you shameless moon. What good have you done to anyone? You can't even makes the work of the dead tailor's wife easy.”

The ugly dog barked loudly against the moon

Picking up from him, another dog shouted, “we serve many more purpose than you can with all your might. If you have little of shame, get behind the clouds and never come out”

They started to bark with zeal and louder. So louder that even the villagers could hear it. Something must have gone wrong. They decided to check out.

They followed the sound and reached the barren field and realised that the dogs were shouting at nothing. Irritated, they chased the dogs away but didn’t say anything. They went home. Some of them went to sleep. Others sat near their wives and said, isn’t the moon so beautiful my love?

The dogs ran for their lives and escaped the villagers. “But we must not give up” said the ugly dog and others agreed.

The next night was 13th nights. The anticipation was there, moon came, the usual appreciation followed. The dogs, ready this time, with more members, barked as hard as they could to the moon. “Oh, only if you were really beautiful. Only if you didn’t have those ugly marks right on your face. You can't even talk, you are dumb” they screamed.  Nobody was there to tell the moon what’s happening and he continued to smile all night.

The villagers, followed the noise this time again and was again disappointed. They chased the dogs away harder and further this time. They must have gone crazy, the villagers thought.

It was the next night, the night of the 15th. The ugly dog has preached his doctrine to other groups and found members. That night saw the biggest assembly of dogs and they started to scream at the biggest, brightest full moon of the 15th. The moon was unaware and busy in noticing the nightingale pleading her love to him, the poet finding new rhymes and words to read for his lover, the lover couple embracing and kissing right under his light.

“Tonight is our make or break night my brothers,” the ugly dog injected enthusiasm, “lets make this happen.” The dogs, irritated at how the villagers didn’t care about their side of the story, started barking. They barked the loudest and with zest. The large group which assembled at the ground made so much noise that the faint sound reached even the moon. The moon was puzzled, have I done something wrong, why so many dogs are barking at me?

The noise was not so faint in the village. “We must teach these dogs a lesson else we will never sleep peacefully at night: the villagers said to each other. They went to the field, armed with sticks and started chasing the dogs who started to run. But the ugly dog, physically incapable and weak from so much barking, couldn’t run fast enough. One strong blow hit him and his painful existence on this world ended.

The moon noticed the agitation has ended and started to smile brightly once more.

There was one, in fact, two, who noticed the whole episode over three nights, the mother owl and her young son. They also stay awake the whole night as their nature. Every night the mother owl brought the young baby to the barren field to teach him how to find food. The death of the ugly dog shocked the young owl. Looking at him, the mother owl smiled.

Mother owl and her son watched it all from treetop

“When you reach heights my son, when you become glorified and bright, when you are admired and adored by one and all, you will always find a small group who will find flaws in you. They will try to pull you down with all their might. They will argue against you with reasons which will seem just. Pay no attention to them my son, ever, and just keep on doing whatever you do. Neither stoop down to answer them nor let them influence you. Stay proud and high as the moon did and carry on your work. Soon, they will cease to exist.”

They both looked up at the moon which was glowing brightly and watched its beauty for a minute before they flew away together.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Little Boy And His Dream

Oh I am so confused, the little boy said, irritation making his baby face even cuter. He has just come home from school and was removing the bag from his shoulders. With a tie, half pants and a white shirt, carrying fresh evidence of his engagements on the play field, he is as much a baby as anyone expects him to be. He is turning 7 very soon and yet his cheeks are fat and swollen from baby fat. His eyes are black, long and drawn, which can undoubtedly be called his best features. He has jet black hair of fine texture and thick. He was solidly built, without being overweight and has the exuberant energy which signifies his age. With his water bottle hanging from his neck, no man can stop smiling when he tries to look frustrated and his childish appearance betrays his sincere effort.

His father was home early as that was a Saturday. He observed his son and smiled. Poor thing, he doesn’t know how complicated life can be and already he says he is frustrated. When his mother took him away, changed his clothes, made him wash himself thoroughly, put on fresh clothes and lots of powder to fight the summer, he actually looked a very cute kid who promises to be dashing handsome when he grows up. Wearing a half sleeve shirt and half pants, hair combed and parted on the left, he came to sit beside his father with his mother getting busy in the kitchen.

Father, why did you become engineer? His father, not willing to reveal the true reason which might be a bit complicated for the young boy, said, well, I wanted to be an engineer, I loved it, why? What is bugging you my baby?
Oh its my teacher. She wants me to write on what I want to be. the boy replied.
And why should that bother my baby? The father asked, lifting him and placing him on his lap.
Because I don’t know, I am confused, the little boy said, I want to become so many things. I want to play and also want to be a diver underwater. And I want to be a writer, and also an engineer like you. He scratched his head. Sometimes I want to be a pilot and fly over countries. And also army and serve my country.
The father smiled and ruffled his hair, the boy leaned back on his father.
“why do you want to be so many things? Can't you make up your mind?”
“nooooooo, the boy screamed, I don’t know. Huh huh huh, he started to express his frustration.
The father smiled remembering his own confusion during his childhood. “What about your friends, didn’t you ask them?”
To this the boy nodded, playing absent-mindedly with the button of the shirt he was wearing.
And what did they say? The father asked, love for his only child making his voice soft.
Oh they all have their dreams. Scientist, oh I also want to be a scientist, then painter, engineer, car racer, player and soldier and...hmm, and many more things, his attention now on the sofa cover.

Father, what should I become? Suddenly the kid asked his father.
I can not tell you that my love, you have to decide for yourself. Father replied.
But tell me pleaseeeeeeee the boy said.
The father thought for a while. OK, why don’t we do this? Tomorrow we go to meet different people and then you can decide what you want to be.
It was a Sunday next day and the boy had an instant big smile on his face. He loved to go out with his father. It means seeing new things, knowing new things and lots of candies n and ice creams. Yessss, I want it, the boy said.

OK deal, the father said, but now you must dine and then pray to God for every person you know and you don’t know and every animal in the jungle and every bird in the sky. If you pray for them, they also pray for you. The father lifted the kid in his arms and carried to dining room. Eating happily what his mother prepared, he fell asleep after praying like his father taught him.

Next day, he woke up early, bathed and wore a sky blue soft shirt and a pair of jeans. His belly is still like a baby and he held his breath when his father buttoned him and zipped him. His mother combed his shiny hair and kissed him on both cheeks and murmured prayers for his safety. Then the boy left with this father. Today he must decide what he should become.

They went to the centre of the district. Their house was a bit on the outskirts. They reached the marketplace and they went to the biggest shop owner in the market. The moment he entered the shop, his eyes lit up. So many toys and dresses, oh he wanted each of those. His father could sense it so he followed the boy’s eyes and bought him the gift he looked at most passionately. But buying things was not their purpose there. They went to meet the owner of the shop.

The father said, sir, my son is confused what to become in his life. You have accumulated so much wealth, so I thought you can spare a few minutes and guide him well. The rich shop owner smiled and said, surely I will do that. What a lovely boy he is. What is his name?
What is your name? He asked to the boy.
Saabit Imaan, the boy replied proudly.
Nice name, what does it mean? The shop owner asked the father.
A person whose faith on God doesn’t weaver. The father replied pleasantly.

The rich shop owner spoke to the boy. Do you want all those toys in my shop?
The boy looked at his father, confused what to say to this weird question. The shop owner smiled and said, do you want them, if I give to you?
Yes, somewhat hesitantly the boy nodded, again looking at his father.
Do you know, you need lots of money to buy all those?
To this, the boy nodded confidently, he knows it will need lots of money to buy all those.
See, when you grow up, you will need many things, for yourself and for your kids and for your parents. and you need to earn lots of money for that. You need to have own business to earn all this money. Then with all the money you can buy whatever shirt you want, wherever you want to go, whatever you want to eat, cars big house and everything. For everything in this world, you need money.

As he was getting ready to speak further, there was a knock on the door. Enter, he shouted, and one of his employees entered.
What is it? He asked
Sir, the employee said, I need some advance money as my daughter is sick and I need to take her to the doctor immediately.
You already have taken 2 months’ salary as advance and I can't give you more.
But sir, I need it really, my daughter needs medicines.
Sorry but I can't break the rule for one employee. He dismissed the employee.

The father also stood up, with a smile and the boy somehow climbed down from the high chair he was sitting on. Thank you sir, for your kind advice and time. I think he loved it. They shook hands and they left.

Father, why didn’t he give that man money? He has much. The son asked when they exited from the shop.
Because my son, if he starts giving away like that soon he has no money for himself.
But that man really needed money father. If I had money I surely give him.
The father stayed silent and smiled.

There lived a great scientist in that area. They went to him. He was a really busy man. Even on a Sunday, he was busy in his huge laboratory. They were stopped at the gate by the guard. He doesn’t want to see anyone?
But we will just take 2 minutes, the father said.
It is something about my boy, the father pointed to the boy.
The guard looked at the boy and instantly smiled for his face was slightly puzzled and his eyes, big and naive, was watching a city house with intensity. The guard said, I can't get him but I can help you meet his assistant.
The assistant came, what is it? He asked impatiently, holding a sheaf of papers under his arms.
Sir, my son wants to decide what he wants to become and I think your professor can really help him in this.
I don’t think so. the assistant said, without paying much attention.
Please sir, just few minutes.
OK, just five minutes. He is busy with a very important experiment. He took them in.

It was a vast laboratory. Complex things were going on. so many heaters, beakers, chemicals and test-tubes were placed. Strange machineries worked on, making noise. It was literally beyond the comprehension of this little boy who only has only one science book. 
The scientist was busily and attentively watching something. The assistant whispered something to him, his eyebrows went up. With irritation, he looked at the father and the boy. Then he came to them hastily.
So, what do you want to know about science? He started aggressively with the boy, ignoring the father completely.
Or, tell me what do you know about science? What have you read? Do you know what is photosynthesis? What are the components of water? Table salt? Tell me how you measure weight and mass?
Not that he didn’t know the answers, but never ever someone spoke to him like that. Everybody loved him, kissed him, hugged him, played with him, ruffled his pair and lift him in his arms. Scared he held his father’ arms even tighter.
See, you know nothing. The scientist continued. To be a scientist you need to study, study and study, learn a lot, give up everything, forget everything. You know what? I sent my son to a boarding school because I don’t have time for him. He stays there alone. This is the dedication it takes to be a scientist.
The little boy shivered at the thought of not staying with his parents. He cants live alone, he loved both of them too much.
The father smiled and thanked the scientist for his time.
When they left, the boy asked, why did he shout at me? I didn’t even run in his place or touch anything? You never do that to me father. His big eyes were filled with tears. The father took him up in his arms and wiped his tears, kissed him on his forehead and bought him his favourite green mango flavoured ice-lolly from an ice cream seller.

Little calm, the boy, still in his fathers arms, asked, why he sent away his son? He cants play with his father on Sundays, like I play with you.
The father smiled.

It was getting late, so they went for lunch. When the Biriyani came, his eyes lit up, he loved it with all his heart. He ate as much as he could. Now, happy, he went to see the local member of the parliament. He was the most powerful man in the area. Even the big moustached police uncle listens to him, he informed his father. The father, who knew the local MP, went to see him. As he wanted to be a popular MP, he actually asked them inside, hold the boy in his arms and happily shook hands with his father, the bloody election is near.
When the father told him the of the purpose, he first laughed a lot, which puzzled the boy. Why does he laugh? My father is so educated and can solve all the maths in my book and also has so many people working under him in the office.

The MP took little time to start. With so many people around him and addressing him, it was difficult for him to concentrate really. His phone rang constantly. He had to listen, understand, order and even shout at the callers. The boy sat there and observed the people in the room. Everyone looking expectantly at the MP.
He received a phone where the caller informed him that the slum dwellers are protesting the eviction and the factory owners are giving up on this. He became furious, he called the caller inefficient and then rang the local police and ordered them to go and help the factory owners. Forgetting the purpose of their visit totally, he started discussing about this slum with the father.

“You see, I try so hard for the improvement of this area but some stupid will remain stupid. They simply don’t want to understand that whatever I am doing is for greater good. If this factory starts, there will be so much employment. These slum people, they can find some vacant area and build another slum there, for all I care. I hope an educated person like you understand this.” The father nodded silently.
By the way, this coming election, please vote for me for continuous improvement of this area” he added smilingly.
Again there was a call where they informed him, the police has been unable to evict the slum people. He became really angry and called every person in the room, “get on the car, today this factory owners will get the land even if I have to burn the slum” he left forgetting the boy and his father completely.

As they started for their home, they were crossing the busy market place again. The boy said, father, my closest friend, lives in that slum. He is very good. Everyday we share lunch and he says, one day he will take me there and show me the strange flower I saw only on the natural science book. And he plays with me too.
Suddenly his voice became worried, will he really burn his home? Where will he live then? Why can't they build the factory elsewhere?
I don’t know baby, the father lifted his boy.
The boy wasn’t very happy with his father, he isn’t telling me because he thinks I am a kid. I am grown up now.
The father sensed this, what expressive eyes my kid has, he wondered. OK, the spicy street food should calm him down.
At that very moment he realised someone has pinched his purse. Oh no, we are far from home, how do we go home?
The changes he has are not enough to take them home. He became worried.

Forgetting his plan to buy his son anything, he said, Saabit, can we just walk home? We can see the sun setting down slowly and also enjoy the breeze. And I will teach you the names of the flowers and trees and show you how the tailor bird builds its nest.

The boy was indifferent, OK sure, is all he said.
But the home was far, even for an adult, it would take two hours to reach there on foot. They started walking but the father could see his son panting, his little feet becoming slower with every step. He had a very engaging day and walking for 2 hours was simply not possible for him.
The father took him in his arms and started walking. But he was a big boy now and his father was slowly ageing. After walking for some minutes, they sat down on a big stone beside the path and there he started resting a bit, the son being equally tired.

ho ho ho, came the happy and cheerful sound of a man singing. The boy looked up enquiringly, so did the father. It was an ox-cart driver, going home from the market after selling his vegetables there. There was no worry on his face. The father raised his hand expectantly and the cart driver stopped. The father hurriedly lifted his son and went to him, sir, we need to go this way but someone stole my money. Can you be kind enough to take us with you?
hahaha, the man laughed. Why not I say? What do I lose if I help you? Come on, sit behind me and hold tightly.
Hey sonny, you ever enjoyed an ox-cart ride? He asked the baby smilingly.
No, the son said, his eyes lighting up at this unexpected opportunity.

They rode and the driver took them slowly to their way. Singing happily, talking cheerfully to the father and laughing at the excited son. He took out a banana he bought for his daughter and offered to the boy. As the father nodded, the kid took it and ate it, oh he was hungry.

Then came the turn from where their home wasn’t far. The driver needs to go the other way to the neighbouring village. He kissed the son and said, you have a lovely boy. The father shook his hand warmly and thanked him for his kindness and also invited him to their place next Sunday. The driver said, I am sure you would have helped me if I were in your position brother. They all smiled and he went his way, again singing.

It was a very enjoyable day but yes tiring. They reached home just in the time for breakfast. As they got fresh, the son was drowsy in sleep. They al sat their after bathing, the drooling kid on his mother’s lap. Hi smother fed him while he kept falling asleep.

Then the father took him and carried him to his room. Placed him on his bed and pulled the blanket up. His mother, who was also there, kissed him on his forehead and murmured, so what does my son want to become?

Almost asleep, the son, replied, an ox-cart driver.

The mother looked at the father, somewhat puzzled. The father smiled.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Cowboy and The King

The king was running after a deer on horseback. He must hunt it down. All day long he had tried but he could not hunt a single animal. His companions asked him not to go because the evening was dark. But he was determined. But in the dark, he finally lost his way and the deer hid itself in the forest. The king ran restlessly but he could not find it. To add to his worries, he could not even find his way or his companions. He shouted but in return only the unknown animals mocked his voice. He rode and rode till it was night. He was dead tired when he finally saw a valley. He raced towards it. Oh dear God, there is a hut there and light is coming out from inside it. The king called for his last few drops of energy and reached the hut. Stumbling, he reached the door, knocked on it and fainted.

The hut belonged to a poor man. He opened the door. He saw a man, in lovely and costly but dirty clothes, lying on his doorstep. He carried him inside, placed him on his bed, washed his face and made him comfortable. Then he realised the stranger must be hungry. He added extra potatoes and rice in the boiling pot.

The king resumed consciousness a few hours later. Where on earth am I? He wondered. Slowly his memory came back to him. He moved and saw his costly clothes on him, his rings, jewels and precious stones on his body all there. He was lying on a cot. Then he saw the man who recovered him. He sat up and the man smiled to him.

It was a small hut with only 1 door and two windows. The boiling pot was still warm and the smell of rice made the king hungry. Why can't my royal chefs prepare this? He thought. On an earth plate, rice and boiled potatoes was given to them. He ate them and felt he was eating the tastiest food he ever ate. Full, he drank no sorbet but cold water from the well nearby and fell asleep.

When he woke up next morning, he felt so ashamed. Forget thanking, he didn’t even ask the name of the man who did so much for him. Giving him the only cot, that man was sleeping on the bare floor. As soon as he sat up on the cot, that man woke up hurriedly and smiled to him.

The king embraced him like a friend and said, if I thank you it will only belittle your kindness on me. I am sorry I didn’t thank you last night. You came like an angel to me.The man, who was wearing a very poor clothing, became visibly embarrassed. “My king, I am only a cowboy and your subject. What I did was my duty to my king. I wish I could offer you better food and better place but this is all I have.”

The king hugged him once more and said, “your days of poverty ends now my brother. From now on, you shall be stay in my court and be my right hand.”

The cowboy didn’t know how to reject this offer. He agreed and together they left for the capital. When they reached the palace, the king allocated him a big room there, royal tailors sewed for him most magnificent gowns and the maids bathed him perfumed rosewater. He started living a new life.

Time passed on. The king became so fond of the cowboy. The king started taking his advice in every issue, ignoring his old advisers. The cowboy helped the king always and always stayed grateful. He was appointed the chief judge of the city because nobody could match the wisdom he had nor the unbiased judgements he passed. Everywhere people started talking of the new judge. The king used to take the cowboy everywhere with him, be it the sporting event of visiting the neighbouring state. After making him the chief judge, the king appointed him as the chief treasurer next because he knew the cowboy is so honest that not even one guinea he will take from the treasure. The cowboy, as usual, thanked the king for his trust on him and started taking care of the royal treasure. The king started loving him so much that he announced that the princess were to marry him when she finishes her education.

The other courtmen became jealous of the cowboy. They were of noble birth, they had education from the best university and they used to be the important members of the court before this new cowboy replaced them in the king's heart. Boiling with revenge, they started a conspiracy. Somehow they need to get this cowboy out of the king's heart. They started monitoring the activities of the cowboy.

Time passed and soon these enraged courtmen noticed something strange. Every night, when everybody fall asleep, the cowboy leaves the palace secretly using the back-door and early dawn before anybody wake up, he returns to the palace. The noble courtmen followed the cowboy one night and saw, he reached the valley where he used to live and entered his hut. Then he closed the door and stayed there till dawn. From there, at dawn, he emerged and rode to the palace. They followed him for many nights and saw the same thing every night. This new cowboy must be up to something devilish and the king will throw him out and probably punish him if the king comes to know about it. They didn’t delay in reporting to the king what they have seen.

The king, at first, dismissed the report. The courtmen they swore and promised and took oaths that they were not lying. With great reluctance, the king agreed to check it himself that night. The courtmen were happy.

The night came. Like other nights, the cowboy presented the report to the king and thanked him for his kindness and trust. Th eking said nothing in return. The king started watching the cowboy's room in silence when everybody fell asleep. Incredibly, after a few minutes, the cowboy emerged from the room and went to the royal stable. There he chose his horse and rode it. The king started following in his horse along with the courtmen. Following him, they reached the valley. Then near the hut, the cowboy climbed down and entered his hut. The king was watching from behind a tree. The courtmen said, “see my king, we were right. He does this every night. What is he doing? We think he is stealing from the royal treasure and bringing those to his hut. You should check it, O great king of us”

The king was boiling in anger. Why did the cowboy not tell him anything, the cowboy whom he trusted so much and whom he wanted to make his son-in-law and the future king? He took out his sword from the belt and ran to the hut and banged on it with all his might.

There was silence and it made him even more angry. As soon he was to bang again, the door opened. The cowboy was standing in front of him. The cowboy's eyes expressed that he was stunned to see the king there. The king, panting in anger and with a naked sword in his hands, noticed that the cowboy was wearing the same old and poor clothes he first saw him in.

What is going on? The king shouted. Why are you here? Why do you come here? Why every night? Why are you wearing these clothes?

The cowboy looked down. He paused for a long moment and took a deep breath in. Then he looked at the king and said, “I am sorry I couldn’t tell you this earlier because I didn’t know how to explain this to you. I was a cowboy when I met you. With your kindness, today I am the chief judge and the chief treasurer of this state. I spend the day in the palace and live the life which you gave me. At night, I return to my original self which was true me. Today you are kind enough on me but tomorrow you might not like me. God gives us better life only to test whether we forget the root and become arrogant or not. I return here every night, wear these clothes and live this life to remind me of my root. Like a tree can not stand if its root is cut, no man can have a life if he denies his roots.”

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Midnight Daydreams

Statutory Warning: This writing lacks coherence and is full of SPAG errors. Proceed at your own risk.

It's early dawn. Might be called as very late night, the wee hours. None is awake. I woke up. Partly because I missed you, partly because it is raining and I felt cold. Lying awake, I thought of you. And the rain. It had a different fragrance when I had you, didn’t it?

Going to that park, finding a dry spot on a bench and somehow sit there, close to each other. The air is chilly and to counter it, we needed that heat from each other, didn’t we? So close that your head is near my face, and do you remember my irritation when your hair, flying with the breeze tickled my face, the noises I made and how I used to rub my face, and smelling you. Desires awaken. You used to stare into my eyes, asking, what is it that you need? My eyes, half embarrassed half hesitant, could never say, its you that I want, don’t you feel it? You would suddenly place our head on my chest and my arm goes around you, to tell the world I own you.

The afternoon turned into evening and the light-stands lit up. Lovers, like us they probably longed for each other as well, started to leave. We have to leave, we both realised it with a pang. But can we? Can we stand a second of separation? We look each other, eyes urging, find an excuse not to go. Begging each other, just don’t go. Like in a trance, we stood up. Walking was so difficult when we hug each other so tightly, isn’t it? Trembling from the chill, tumbling due to our awkward embrace, we took steps towards a separation. God knows when shall we meet again, if ever. Each step cost us a day of our life.

Now we are near your place. The alley is dark, thank God someone broke the lights in the stand. We walked together, closely holding each other. Heartbeat raising, for soon is the time when this society and its rules will take you away from me. What will I do if it rains tonight again? We are there, in front of the gate. Standing face to face, eyes glistening, no not from love, but the tears we both are trying our best to control, putting up a brave face. You touched my face, from my forehead to the chin, you had this unique style, remember how it made me feel awkward when you did in the full view f the public? I smiled, lips closed and pressed together and patted your cheek. Took a sharp about turn and walk away as fast as I could, never looking back for I can't go if I look back. I always felt your eyes on my back, I never checked but I always knew it.

The first birds are singing, hey another day is breaking. The rain has stopped, like we did. Its another long sunny day, another day without you. I have to start now but before I sit up, I murmured for one last time, hey I miss you.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Coconut Tree And Gratefulness

There was no coconut tree in the world at first. So a farmer prayed to God and God granted coconut to grow on earth. The farmer, when he woke up next morning, saw the coconut in the yard. He never saw anything like that ever before. He couldn’t understand what it is. He tried to bite it but it was very hard. He tried to cut it but it was very hard for that too. So, he thought it is worthless and he decided to throw it away, because is wife wanted him to go to work. While going to the field, he threw it to the roadside where it is stony and dry and nothing else thorny shrubberies.

The coconut stayed there, among the stones and the garbage. No water was there. God told it to grow into a tree but there was no water. He was thirsty. He wanted to grow his roots and go high up so his head can be as near the heaven as possible. There he is to grow coconuts and serve the human with a new taste.

But how can he? He was so thirsty. The area was so dry and the rainy season is still few months away. O God, why did you send me to this cruel world, he cried aloud. But none could hear him because that was a lonely strip of road where seldom someone passed. The first day, he tried to drink from the water he holds inside. On the third day, his stock was nearly empty. He is to grow root, because God has asked him to. But how can he, for he himself was so thirsty. Why did you send me to here if you wanted me to suffer like this? I was so happy in heaven, near you, he wanted to say but then he realised what God taught him, “never be ungrateful to me for I am the reason you are here and alive”. He broke down and started crying, help me God help me, I need water.

God never leaves anyone. All you need is to pray to him and he will help you always. He can do impossible so even if you need a miracle, just pray for it with all your heart and believe that he will give you. When the coconut broke down crying, God decided it is time to send help to it.

There was a tramp nearby who wanted to go to a far land but he has lost his ways. Walking, tired and hungry, he was passing the area just where the coconut was lying. He sat there to rest because he couldn’t walk any more. He took out his water bottle, he carried it because he knew there is no water around. He sat on a big rock near the coconut was lying. When he was drinking, his eyes fell on the coconut. He never saw anything like this. It has a smooth yet hard surface almost slippery and silky and is so heavy, even though he realised it is some kind of fruit. The tramp thought it must be a fruit of a tree of this region and as he was from far, he must have missed it. But, wait, it is drying. The tramp was confused. What should he now? God decided to have a miracle that exact moment and like someone spoke in his ears, the tramp realised he should plant it.

So the tramp carried it a bit far where there was soft and fresh soil, instead of the stony surface. There he dug a hole, placed the coconut inside and pulled the soil back to cover it. Now, he opened the water bottle and he started pouring water. The area was surprisingly dry. He almost emptied half his bottle and the soil was still absorbing water thirstily. He poured more. His bottle is almost empty now. He also knew water isn’t available nearby. With only 3 mouthful water remaining in the bottle, he was confused. Should it keep it for himself or give it the poor fruit? “Oh I can walk and find water somewhere else, this poor thing can't move and needs it more than I do” he thought and emptied his bottle on it. Then resting for a while, he picked up his motley and slowly went away, carrying his empty bottle with him.

The coconut tree was drinking happily and thanking God for his endless mercy, singing a hymn with all his gayness and cheer. It was like a second leash of life for him. But suddenly he realised that the tramp has given him all his water and soon he will be thirsty. He was so ashamed for being so selfish. How could be he so heartless, the coconut was really embarrassed. “I shall return him his water when he comes back this way” he decided.

Years passed, the coconut tree grew up into a magnificent tree. His long and slender body is like a prince most well groomed. When he sways with the breeze, he resembles all the most magnificent ballerina ever. His head is above any other tree now. He can see far in every direction. And using his ability to see far lands, he searched for the tramp to return. He must pay back and apologise else how can he, the coconut tree, stand in front of God. He has stored the sweetest water for him and carries that on its head, packed inside fresh coconuts. But, the tramp never returned.

The coconut tree was growing old. His vision was becoming blurry. He was still waiting but he knew he didn’t have many days left to meet God again in heaven. One day when he realised he has to return to heaven the next day, he called all his sons who grew around him. “Listen my sons, when I came to this world, I was very thirsty and someone gave me all his water to save my life. Thanks to him I stayed alive and from me came you. Thus, you all are as indebted to him as I was. I have to return to God tomorrow but from now on, you and all your sons and their sons, will keep water on your head and serve anyone who is thirsty. May be that way we can pay that kind man back.”

Next day, everybody saw the magnificent body of the first coconut tree uprooted and lying on the ground dead.

But, his sons still carry out his last word. When you see a coconut tree, look up. You will see how they still carry water on their head and serve to every thirsty man because once one stranger did good to their first father.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Is afsane ka gar ishq hi naam hota

Is afsane ka gar ishq hi naam hota
Betaab umango ko tasalli o araam hota

Hote namuraad bas na hote yun bewajood
Jazbon ka mera fir bhi ehteraam hota

Shaq hota hai kabhi apne iradon pe bhi
Hota gar ishq e afzal, yun na nakaam hota

Seekha nahi tareeqe se muhabbat karna
Kucha e ishq me fir main bhi badnaam hota

Dekha gaur se har ek mazhab ke qitaab
Kahin ek toote dilko ek paighaam hota

Bekhatah wo nahi,hum bhi to junoon se faarig
Duniya me aur koi layak e inteqaam hota

Jab chali gayi hai khwahish e jannat bhi
Na Socho akhiraat me kya Faiz ka maqaam hota