The Determined Tiny Leaf…

After having the same fight with his father, third time in two weeks in a row, Shaun was really frustrated. He had talent and desire to study architecture but his father was not ready to listen to anything anyone has to say on the matter. His mother and sister were trying to support him as best as they could nothing was working out in Shaun’s favor.

Shaun Jones, a nineteen year old boy, son of the wealthiest man of Parbhani, a small town with a small population. His father ran the biggest sugar mill in the area. Their family had been the most powerful and most wealthy family of the town for the past 120 years. Shaun’s great grand father started the business from the scratch and turned it into a thriving unit within few years. After that, his grandfather and his father, all had proved their steel as great and glorified businessmen, who made everything even more shiny and fruitful as the time passed by.

But Shaun was not like them. His greatest strength was not his business acumen but his excellent fingers on a paper sheet with the pen and scale.  As he was an Architect from his soul but still completely untrained for the job. He undoubtedly and undeniably wanted to be an architect.

He discussed it with his father many times but every time they ended up quarreling. What could he do more to convince his father? He had won many prestigious and well known contest in the field of architect. Every one who knew him closely was in agreement that he had great talent when it comes to design any structure. His father was another matter. As the owner of such a fruitful business empire and the protector of the history of a glorious family he was utterly closed to all other ideas related to Shaun’s career.

As Shaun came out of his father’s study after a very natural row on the same topic, he just kept striding with a fuming anger. He did not realized for a long time that he was again headed to his favorite spot in the nearby forest, which surrounded his ancestors home for more than hundred years.

After reaching to his usual tree he sat down under the soothing shadow and took few very deep and frustrated breaths. How the hell did he and his father always end up at the same point. As always his father said in his firm and authoritative voice,”I know whats best for you. We shall not have this discussion again Shaun. You may leave now as I am little busy at this moment and have no further say on the matter.”

Sitting under his tree Shaun closed his eyes and did a quick analysis of his situation. He was 19 years old. Heir of a great family and progressive business. Son to loving and caring parents, brother to the most sweet sister in the entire world, he had responsibilities towards everything and everyone. What could he do? More important, what should he do?

His father was a renowned businessman, his mother also hailed from a family in which everyone had been a proved their metals as a great business persons at one time or another. She understood everything crystal clear when it comes to business and had been a great help for Shaun’s father from the time of their marriage.

Shaun closed his eyes for few moments. When he opened his eyes, nothing could have shocked him more. He saw that a tiny leaf was hanging just above his head and was shining like a treasure in the forest. It looked like that it was made with gold. It was not a solid leaf but was made of very sheen net through which sunlight was raining on his face. He felt like a shower of gold was coming onto his face. He rose and stood towering over the leaf and he was more shocked to see that it looked totally normal from the above. What kind of weird dream was he having. He shook his head so hard that his teeth chattered and pinched his own skin but he didn’t wake up.

Because he was already awake.

Shaun checked the leaf again from the down and the golden shower was still coming down uninterrupted. He stood there for a long time, watching the tiny leaf, dumbfounded. Suddenly he heard that someone was calling his name, and whoever was calling him, knew very well how to whisper in a magical way, as it was like soothing hand against Shaun,s face. He looked in the direction of the sound and suddenly felt dizzy because of the strong pull he felt towards the sound.

Two gigantic tree trunks were standing facing each other,making everything tiny and puny under their great shadows. It was funny, how he never realized, that those trees looked like two mighty guards, who stood tall above all and were vigorous enough to protect their master from any and every danger, which may fall in his path. He hesitated. Took a step forth and took a step back. Still dazed and confused either it was his fantasy or was a reality, he started walking on the path which was laid between those two trees. He followed no direction just kept on walking. The surrounding changed around him after sometime as if the earth has shifted from its axis and north pole had became south pole all of a sudden.

Turning from a normal green forest, the place became a flower valley, which had flowers in every possible color which was existed, recognized and yet to be recognized by the human race.

Shaun blinked and blinked but it didn’t go away. Finally he decided to keep walking. There were flowers everywhere. He didn’t know why but he walked in the middle of the valley and stopped. He looked up and saw a small cloud was floating over his head. When he looked closely he found that it was a collection of light fog which was continuously changing the shape. He saw a smile,than two kind eyes watching him with curiosity and for moments it was behaving as if it was taking a pause from all the activities.

Shaun was about to speak when someone whispered in the same manner as some time earlier. Shaun concentrated more intently.”You want to know the secret of the golden leaf?” Someone asked him. Shaun focused more but couldn’t speak.

Shaun heard the whisper again,”you have got to nod in agreement young man if the answer is yes.”

Shaun nodded like a big idiot who happened to know nothing about whatever was going on around him.

“That tiny leaf is the most stubborn little thing I came across in my entire life.” Same whisper again. Shaun stood there like a big confused buffoon, who just witnessed a monkey grew three heads and laughed at him loudly.

For sometime no sound came. “Oh!! where are my manners?” Same whisper again. “Let me first introduced myself properly. I am the spirit of the forest and I take care of the forest and all the creatures, from big to tiny, who wander in it day and night.

“Do you want me get on with the story that tiny leaf now?” As if Shaun would like to do anything else at the moment, even of the forest was on fire.

So called forest spirit whispered again,”that tiny leaf grew normal and behaved normal her entire life but when the time came for her to fall she just shook her head in disagreement and simply denied to fall”.

“I tried all tactics, offered everything in return if she would just follow the normal course of life but she just wont budge. All she said she liked it so much out there, she didn’t care for anything else. That leaf is fragile and such a tiny thing that I was utterly shocked at first of her outrageous behavior but she just wont budge”.

“Every time I asked her to fall she will just look at me as if I was daft and no matter what I did I could not bend her to my commands. First I were very angry. I tried storm, heavy rains and blazing sun but nothing worked. Soon I left her to be.

Once when I was roaming around the forest when I heard her conversing with the bird with golden feathers. I went close and heard more. The way they were conversing it was easy to understand that they were very very close friends. The bird with golden feathers said to the leaf,” sister do not fret because of that old spirit. I shall turn you into gold with the touch of my feather and than you can live forever “.

“I watched them with great fascination as the bird started turning that leaf into gold. She made an amazing pattern which looks kind of a web. But the bird couldn’t finish the leaf into gold as it was night time soon”.

After that the whisper stopped and Shaun became restless because he really wanted to know the complete story and he felt deep in his heart that there was more of the story. On seeing the most eager question on Shaun’s face, the voice whispered again,” The golden bird died the next day and never got a chance to turn that leaf completely golden. So the leaf, like a true friend, has been still waiting ever since for her dear friend to reborn and recognize her as her friend so they can start their wonderful journey again.

At this Shaun’s mind went blank. What was all this about? He was still wondering quite thoroughly and openly and the whispering started again. “The Golden Bird is my companion who helps me in creating and spreading the shine across all of my forests. What I did not know about my companion and that tiny leaf was that they both were best friends from the time of the birth of that tiny leaf. The Tiny Leaf denied to fall only because of her friendship with my Golden Bird. Behind my back their friendship became more intense day by day, tiny leaf tried to came up with one or other excuse and never fell because it did not want to part ways with my Golden Bird. But in their haste they forgot that Golden Bird also had a life cycle, she had to follow. Once Bird’s life cycle was over it dies and with in few days it is born again. Now that half golden and half green leaf waiting for her best friend to come back to life again so can be together again. Even i am not able to stop that. Now that tiny leaf is half golden no normal weather change damages her, she has stopped aging as well.”

The voice exhaled deeply and continue “now you shall be wondering why you never saw that leaf ever before although you normally sat in the same place where that tiny leaf always hung. Because…. you never needed to see it before. The determination of that leaf to stay with her friend forever was one of the strongest emotion I have witnessed in many centuries”.

” You must be wondering why I am telling you all this. Because at this moment all you need, is a little push and you shall be a successfully running on the path of happiness.”

“You, my dear boy, have talent and ambition but you lack determination. If you want to follow your heart wish then you must do what must be done. Don’t be afraid my boy. Just clear all the obstacles, standing between you and your destination. And see where will it take you.”

Shaun tried to look hard at the shape from where the whisper was coming but suddenly wind got stronger and everything became blur.

Shaun looked behind him as something snapped with a thin screeching sound. He turned back so sharply that he banged his head  on tree trunk but there were no trees around him in the valley.Then he realized that he was no longer standing in a flower valley. He was even more shocked to feel the acute pain in his legs. As if he walked a great distance. But he was not far from his home. What just happened to him? But one thing was clear that he was tired to his bones.

But how was that possible? He was talking to that forest spirit for a very long time in that heaven type flower valley and was definitely NOT walking.

And suddenly he remembered about that tiny leaf. Even though his legs were getting heavy like stones with every passing second, he still ran as fast as he could to have a look at that tiny leaf again. He searched and searched but could not find it.

He took a complete round of the area but still no clue of that tiny leaf.

After few more moments he lost all his patience and dropped on the ground like a broken branch.

Shaun didn’t know how long did he sleep but when he got up it was getting dark very fast. He knew that it was late evening and if he didn’t return to the house immediately everyone will worry and he will have another scolding.

Late in the night, unable to sleep, Shaun reviewed the day’s event in his brain. That voice, whatever was that , was trying to tell him only one thing. That if determination can even change the course of life and the very course of nature then it can definitely change the decision of his father.

Next morning Shaun got up and went to his father and said,”father I have got admission in a prestigious college of architecture. I am going to join that college and follow my dream. There is nothing you can do about it. I hope you will forgive me and with time, will try to understand that this was the only thing that could make me happy .” Shaun did not wait for his father’s reaction and started turning.

“Wait up young man”. Spoke his father, “you have taken a big decision and I know I can not stop you now as you have full scholarship and all the support you need to finish this thing but you are no more welcome in my house.”

But nothing could stop Shaun that day.

After ten years, Shaun stood in front of his father again as he summoned him back home. For ten long years he was away from his home and family. But he had achieved for what he made all the sacrifices.

He was counted among the very few world famous architect, whose every design was considered as an epitome of excellence and beauty.

People felt themselves lucky to get their home designed by him. Many families got their dream house because of his services.

When he did not have had a home for ten long years.

And now he was back finally and was facing his father after ten years. His father, as usual, called him one morning summoned him to come back home.

After two days of his home coming his father finally asked him to accompany him for a walk. Some how they ended up walking towards the same place where Shaun had that amazing and unforgettable experience ten years back.

His father was very quite for a long time. Shaun got impatient and asked with a little worry in his voice,” Father what is it? You have been unnaturally quite all this time? You called me back. For two days I have been waiting to meet you But never showed up or called me to you. Now when we are finally here you haven’t spoken a word to me in like one hour. I am not feeling good about this.”

His father took a deep breath and said,” I just wanted to tell you that I now realize that how wrong I was all those years back. You left and your mother and sister never were same again. I felt sometime that they hated me to break this family. I just want you to come back son and forget about all that I said in past.”

Shaun’s  father looked at him with his usual arrogance but his eyes were really different now. They were soft and full of hope. Hope that Shaun could forgive him for everything and come back home. Shaun realized that this was as close as his father could get to apologize to him. Such a proud man his father was.

Shaun took a deep breath and said with a face as flat as was possible in those times,” Father I am glad you called me back. I also missed everyone….I also missed Mom and Sis very much. Thank you for calling me back. It feels so good to be back home.

With that, everything was forgiven and forgotten.

They started walking again and out of nowhere Shaun asked his father,” Father have you ever heard about the spirits of forests?”

First his father looked at him with a puzzled expression on his face but after a moment or two he spoke,” there were few stories, my grandmother used to tell me when I was very young…. but haven’t seen any forest spirit with my own eyes so far.”  Shaun could swore that there was mischief in his father’s eyes at the moment.

His father spoke again,” the thing is son, that we have lived here for more than a century and for our own peace of mind we have started believing that to maintain this kind of honor in one’s family, could not possibly be only any man’s doing. There must be someone who must be watching out for us. We believe it because it keeps us going. Keep on fighting and keep on growing.

With that they turned back towards the house. Shaun knew that he couldn’t find that tiny golden leaf again but he also knew that the leaf was there somewhere in the forest.

That tiny golden leaf and the mysteries whisper solved the greatest problem of his life. An incident or a dream, whatever it was, showed him the right path and that path took Shaun to his destination. Determination and dedication, are the most important things one needs when it comes to fulfill one’s dreams and heartwishes.

Shaun was a firm believer now that everyone can get whatever they really want, if they show determination. Enough determination.

When Summer God Wanted A Break From Work…..

summer god 3

Day was bright because of the glowing sun in the sky, a warm breeze was brushing soothingly the whole earth and new life was stepping into the world, when our summer god, sat down heavily on the ground and thought about his life.He was the God of the Summer, it does not matter what era it was, what year it was, or what month it was, he needed to work at all times. It’s been forever since the responsibility of protecting new life from the cold fell on the his powerful and reliable shoulders. He looked around and found, that everyone was relaxed and enjoying the weather in the security of heat.
Summer God took a deep breath, closed his eyes and imagined himself in place where music was flowing in air, lots of his friends were laughing with him and he was also laughing with them because, he was not working. Suddenly Summer God got up with a jolt and sat straight. He knew what was missing from his life.
“That’s it. That’s what I need and that’s what I deserve, after such a long and hard working always busy life. A vacation. I am going for  a vacation.” Summer God spoke loudly and jumped to his feet. He looked at the sky and said,”I want to talk to you.” nothing happened for few minutes and he was even more loud this time, “helloo I understand that you are even more busy than me but it’s really important.” he heaved a sign of impatient and paced the ground.
Someplace, very fa,r Father heard his son and smiled.Father decided to make his son wait for some time and kept working. He will surely go to meet his son and talk to him, but, he needed time to think about how to keep everything in order with out hurting his own son.
It was a little too hot, when Father landed on the ground. Oh how he loves his Son’s anger, which has increased the temperature of the surroundings and intensity of the situation.
Summer God didn’t have to look to realize that Father has came. It was reflecting in everything. Peace and Beauty, these were the effects of his Father’s presence which was reflecting a little more in everything now. Summer God turned and looked into his father’s eyes. The authority in his father’s eyes told him that it was a meeting between Superior and Junior.
“You asked for me Son! I apologize for my tardiness but  I was rather, busy” unmistakable gleam in his eyes told Summer God that Father had something in his mind and that was definitely going to impact his upcoming request. He spoke nonetheless.
“Hello Father! It’s been long time since we met. I welcome you here and wanted you to grant me a very little wish.” Father smiled and said, “Hello son! you look very well. I am really happy to see you. Now please tell me what is it you want?”
“Father I am your son and your junior as well. I have worked my entire life to make world a better place to live but for the past few days, I am feeling very tired. I wanted to take your permission to go for a short break. I promise you, that I will leave everything in a very good condition and will come back very soon” Summer God added with a hurry in his voice and finished talking.
Father was so quite for a very long time, that for few moments, Summer God thought that, was he actually there or was he imagining him? Then finally with a divine calm in his voice Father spoke, “Son can you come for a walk with me. It’s been long time since we have spend quality time together. After this small walk you can go for a break.” Summer God could not believe of what he had just heard. His Father had given him permission to go for a break. Wow! he was going to have a great time.
He was so lost in his thoughts, that for few moments he didn’t realize that Father was calling him to start walking. He moved towards Father but Father stopped him by raising his hand, “Although !I have a small condition before we start this walk.” Summer God knew that this all was too easy and too fast to be true. “Please tell me Father what can I do?” Summer God asked.
“I want your full attention ,when we go for a walk. No distractions and no work. Tell me now if you have any objection.” Summer God nodded in agreement and started walking. Father was talking about many things. Few times Summer God felt as if someone was calling him for help but he had promised Father that he will pay full attention. He tried to ignore the plea of help, but it was getting stronger and stronger. Sumner God felt restless and unsure. Finally Father announced that it was the time to go back.
They came back from where they started and what, Summer God saw there, almost made him cry. Flower petals were vibrant and silky before the walk, now looked like ash. Small babies of many birds were shivering on the ground because of unbearable cold. Their parents tried to cover them with their wings, but they didn’t have any heat left to provide. Breeze was icy cold and everyone was calling him for help. Entire world turned blue and grey in such a short time. He just went for a walk. This was unbearable. This life was precious. He worked hard to protect this life. How can it end so fast? Suddenly he felt a warm touch on his shoulder. He looked up, Father smiled at him and said, “Go my son! save them. You still have power to save them from their pain. Go!”
Summer Go didn’t waste any more time and took everything into his embrace. slowly heat reached to everything and life started returning. But summer God didn’t let go. He was not sure, he was not ready to let go.
” I am leaving son and giving you permission for a break. Now it’s your choice, what you want to do. One last thing I want to say, is that we Gods don’t have a choice. We can’t choose the way we want to live our life. It has already been decided. We are not as lucky as humans. Humans can choose the way they want to live their life but we can’t. For them nothing is impossible but for us only few things are possible. He stopped for a moment and said again, “but, I want to grant you a wish for your hard work, you have done your entire life. In the month of March, when a new season starts, you can arrive a little late or a little early as per your wish. Summer will start whenever you choose to come.”

Summer God knew that Father had left and he also knew that he was not going for a break. He didn’t want to go for a break. He was happy and peaceful where he was. Although this March he will take some rest before starting a new season of summer. May be next year also or may be not. Who knows?

Source of Light….

My bitter past, slashed, the light around me like a sharp blade. Without the light it was impossible to find the right way. Everything fell apart in a blink and I forgot to breath. Stared the horizon for a long time and tried to suck some air into my body. My lungs started burning because of the effort and I knew that the end was near. But still I didn’t want to give up. I crawled forward and kept on going. Don’t remember how long it took, but, on some turn I found light.

I looked for the source of the light and realized that the light was coming from my hands. The heat in my  palms, generated that light and the struggle I put in crawling generated the heat.

 

Paying proper attention….

The other day I was sitting in the park, waiting for my daughter to finish her game which she was playing with her friends. All the people around me looked happy and relaxed. Few were talking, few were taking a stroll and few were with their kids. I was sitting alone when a child came and asked me if I could give him something to eat. For few moments I thought that he was trying to play some game with me, for he looked from a good family and well cared but he was actually asking for food. I live in a very good society where beggars are not allowed. I was still trying to understand the situation when his mother came running and apologized on his behalf and told me that recently, in his school his teacher taught him about lord Buddha and his ways of finding happiness.She also informed me that since the time her son learned about how lord Buddha used to collect his food, her son has started trying to do the same. Seeing his mother embarrassed because of his actions that boy got slightly irritated and spoke to both of us at the same time, “mother! why are you saying sorry? you only told me that I should learn carefully whatever teacher tells us. Our teacher told all of us that lord Buddha used to beg for his food and I want to do the same because I admire lord Buddha a lot”. Me and his mother looked at each other and then looked at him helplessly.We both were speechless for few moments. To break the awkward silence I cleared my throat and said, ” It’s nice to know that our kids pay proper attention in class”.

Kid’s mother looked as if I slapped her very hard. I uttered few words of goodbye to both of them and started walking in my daughter’s direction. On the way I prayed to God that  my daughter should pay less attention in the class.

Not from the heart…

I was sitting in my car on a signal when I saw her. She was a little girl of the age of 8 or may be 9. She was walking towards a car.When she reached there and said something to the woman who was sitting in the passenger seat.

That woman got very angry and scolded the girl very badly.I understood that the girl was a beggar.She ran back to the pavement and stood there again.Quietly.

After a few seconds she turned around as if she knew that I was watching her. But she didn’t move. I understood she hesitated because of the scene just happened and she knew that I witnessed it.

When she didn’t come to me I called her by waving my hand. She was a little scared but she came.

Both of us didn’t say anything. I wanted to help her but instead of money I gave her a few pieces of chocolate sandwich from my daughter’s tiffin. She ran back without looking at me.

I knew that she was embarrassed of her situation. May be she started begging on the roads after a few months of her birth but she was not a beggar from the heart.

She was still not used to the insult which is some times very obvious in this profession and she was not ready to accept it. She had selfrespect but was not able to protect it.I truly hope that one day she will find courage to change her life in better way and live happily.

Ready to fly…

Once in a green forest, on a big pine tree there lived a small blue baby bird named Nicky with her mother. Nicky was a very naughty and brave bird. Although her flying wings were still growing Nicky will try everyday to fly away from her house. Her mother will stop her and remind her that she is not ready.

One day when Nicky was busy playing and her mother was away from home she saw a snake is climbing towards her . First Nicky got scared but then she gathered her courage and jumped. After falling down initially Nicky started to fly……..she kept on flying and landed safely on another tree.Nicky waited there a long time and then returned home  and found that snake has left empty handed. When her mother returned Nicky told her everything.

Nicky’s mother was very proud and knew that Nicky was ready to leave the house.
Next morning Nicky’s mother told her Nicky is ready to make a house on her own. Nicky was sad and happy at the same time. She knew that she will never see her mother again but in front of her there was a big open sky to fly and fly and fly. Nicky was very happy.

Happy to be plucked…

A very hardworking farmer family had a farm once on which they grew cotton. Crop was so good this year as well and cotton flowers were blooming and they were totally ready to be plucked.

But one nice sunny day two plants started to talk about their future. After a long discussion about what is going to happen to their flowers they decided that they have to see it themselves and started walking towards the cotton mill. After entering the mill they saw that after cleaning, sourcing,bleaching,rinsing and drying their cotton came out as a very soft and clean fiber and realized that this fiber can help people in healing ,can keep them warm and make their life more comfortable and soft.

They had no doubt left and were so proud that they returned to their field immediately and stood there with their heads high waiting and ready to be plucked….