The ones who teach us to dream are special. The ones who remind us of those lessons are blessings.
I saw you, Chotu at the tea stall behind my place in the narrow lane that barely allows for two cars to pass at a single go. It was a breezy day nearing sunset with a spectacular show already underway in the heavens; like God had just decided to throw a bucket of colour out and see what happened next. The chai smelled like sugar and sandpaper brought to a boil while the chaiwalla was loud as ever. Everything was the same and yet nothing was either that evening. I stood there glum, thoughtful and undecided about everything and focusing on nothing.
As I asked for some bread, I saw the chaiwalla delegate you to the not-so-important task. All I had wanted was a slab of bread. But you gave me something I will cherish for eternity.
I was watching you more intently than you think. I watched you get some paper to wrap the bread in with the finesse of a sailor mapping his charts and start work with swift, dexterous movements. I watched in awe, forgetting my miserable existence for some minutes. I watched you stop in shock as something on the paper caught your eye.
I leaned in a little closer to see why you had stopped packing abruptly: the Amazon Sale advertisement.
I watched you devouring the slashed prices of a mobile phone with the eye of a man waiting to see his newlywed wife in his room post midnight. I watched as you shyly caressed the picture of the mobile phone; akin to running a finger across your lovers’ spine with nervous trepidation and awe the first time. I wanted to interrupt your reverie and ask you to hurry up, but I couldn’t bring myself to break the dream. I watched as you sat there, watching transfixed at the one thing you desired with a burning intensity. I watched as you took one last longing look, vowing to push for the one dream that mattered so much to you that you were willing to risk the chaiwallas wrath for dragging your feet at a peak hour.
I realised that day that the greatest disservice we do to ourselves is to stop believing and dreaming. There is no greater joy than to be able to believe that one day, we can fly. No matter what they say, failure is always an event and never a person. You can either hate yourself for the things you aren’t or start loving yourself for all that you already are.
Thank you for reminding me, Chotu, that we are miserable in the absence of an imagination and a will. We are ourselves the secret ingredient. I came for bread but walked away with food for the soul.
Image credits: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ll9r7kjXMvM/T_UiKy01ETI/AAAAAAAACjQ/FOGyi9BuxQ4/s640/541924_473494436012522_1952442337_n.jpg