Once Upon A Time


We are often told to keep the child in us alive. I have tried. It does make life lighter. We are also told reading habit can enrich our minds.  I have spent the best part of my formative years curled up with books of all genres. It has lent its wings to my imagination. I can vouch for that. However, these boons of life have a flipside too!

There are certain things which seemed so perfect once upon a time. I would have happily given a limb or two to realise those dreams. Yet when those very fantasies gain physicality today, they render themselves cumbersome.

For instance, the snow! The whiteness of it and its freezing touch which I read so often about in books fascinated me no end. I longed to live in an igloo, under steely grey skies, wearing parkas and making my own fishing hole when I needed amusement.

My fascination for white Christmases, snowstorms and hail seemed to unfold ceaselessly till I actually experienced snow. The cold, wet feeling which not only dampened my clothes and bones besides  my spirits led me to examine my weird wish which was expressed explicitly many times over when I was living in the truly salubrious weather of Namma Bengaluru all those decades ago.

As a child, I would invariably contract a crick in my neck craning at the occasional aeroplane flying in the skies. I would yearn to fly high among the clouds and help myself to a fistful of the toffees that were supposed to be offered by the airhostesses. Today, when I wait indefinitely at airports and get cramped in aircrafts that do not offer anything to soothe the sweet tooth I crave for the magic carpet!

The endless picnics, delightful tuck boxes and midnight feasts described by Enid Blyton in her various series of books left me drooling. A comic book where Donald duck and his three nephews lazed around on sun beds sipping lemonade from a lake which was filled to the brim with the drink was my ultimate food fantasy. I dreamt relentlessly about having orgies of junk food around the designer lake! I knew little about calorie intake, its effects on health and fitness.

One of the large castles, palaces, ranches, country houses, cottages and bungalows which peopled the protagonists of many stories would metamorphose into my dream home for a while till I took fancy to a new one. Those were the days when I had no inkling about real estate market, cost of interior decoration or the multidimensional aspects of housekeeping.

At the end of every fairytale in which began with once upon a time and end with lived happily ever after; I would wonder why all the stories ended the same way. Adult life changed all that and more. When life unfolded its vagaries which were always not pleasant, I long to be a child again and seek solace in the hope of a happy ending!



Dare to Dream


May 13, 2015, DHNS:

Our erstwhile president APJ Abdul Kalam insists that young people should dare to dream. He foresees a bright future for our country and the world at large, on the strength of our dreams. If each individual challenges his or her potential and dares to work on his or her ambition, the world will gradually emerge to be a better place economically, environmentally, socially and scientifically.   Often, some of the youngsters who listen to his solemn piece of advice tend to treat it in a lighter vein. They often misconstrue the need to consciously visualize a concrete future with day dreaming. A story from the Panchatantra talks about how once an extremely poor Brahmin found a pot of freshly ground cereals.  He brought it home and hung it above his bed using coir. The sight of the pot filled him with visions of immense opportunity.  He calculated that the flour could fetch a good price for him in the market. He planned to buy two goats with the money and once they bred, he would sell them and then buy a cow or two.  The profits would be invested in buying some buffaloes and horses, and then he would make enough money to buy a home.  He became confident his wealth would fetch him a beautiful bride. Then on, he could start his family and beget a son who would be named Deva Sharma. He then imagined that when he would be busy reading a book, his child might disturb him and he would call for his wife to take the infant away and if the wife delayed carrying out his order he would probably hit her with a stick.  The intensity of his day dreaming was so powerful that he actually picked up a stick and hit the pot which hung above his bed. His dreams shattered even as the flour scattered all over the place. Deva Sharma dreamed passionately. He was not wrong in doing so.  However he failed because he did not invest any time, effort or caution in executing his project. His virtual success even pumped arrogance in him. Many of us fall into the category of Deva Sharma because we fall into the trap of daydreaming.

At such times we seldom realise that only thoughts can formulate into ideas. It is only when ideas are worked upon they can be turned into reality. It is quite possible that we may have to confront obstacles of different sorts while working on our plans. The impediments should not put us off at any cost. If dedication, discipline and enthusiasm become our ruling mantra, the day is not far off when all our dreams will come true.