Saturday, July 30, 2011

Aim at The Stars

They were five of them sharing a flat on the top floor of a four storey building in one of the upmarket areas of Bombay. They called it The Guest House. Perhaps because none of them intended to stay there forever. Friends and family visiting Bombay would be most welcome, not only because then there would be a few more hands to help specially at breakfast time, but also because they all loved to have people from "home".
Young men belonging to respectable families from Uttar Pradesh. Quite an assorted lot, their educational qualifications varying from graduation in Arts to Engineering.

They had just found the fun independence could bring. A job in hand and a roof over their heads in a city like Bombay, they knew their journey in life had begun well. Shared hobbies included drinking infinite cups of tea on a rainy Sunday at the restaurant across the road, chatting with the waiter, getting updated on all the local gossip.
They would also loaf around the beach at Girgaum Chowpatty if there was not much to do in the evening. After dinner the most preferred acitivity was a walk down the Marine Drive Promenade.
Life was good.

All but one of the five apparently had logical (and thus predictable) approach to future. They treasured the security of a stable job, understood the meaning of saving-for-a-rainy-day and were aware of the limits life posed before them.

Agreed they were all dreamers.
The one who was different was a dreamer too. The difference was that to the rest of the world around him, his dream seemed far-fetched.
An unachievable fantasy.
His dream was big indeed. Nobody except The Dreamer himself was sure how, if he ever would, realise it.
He had no fixed job, no fixed working hours. In fact he always seemed to be around. Like a joker in a pack of playing cards he was most often the one who would help out friends in chasing a tight schedule.
He did odd jobs at five-star hotels and film studios. Never discussed the kind of work he did.
He knew no one really bothered.
For all who knew him, he was a little more than being completely worthless.
His friends, the responsible citizens of a developing Nation thought he was but an irresponsible day-deamer wanting to go to Germany.
Why Germany...? They would demand.
The dreamer kept the answer to himself.

Jokes were cracked at his expense. The cruelest would come from the girl-friend of the senior most occupant of The Guest House.
"When are you flying out to Germany?" She would ask sacastically pressing her lipsticked lips and fluttering her eyelashes stylishly, adding a few piercing words mocking his dreams.
Amid the roaring laughter that would emerge no one would notice the glitter in his eyes or the strange smile that he tried to conceal as he moved to a lonely corner doing nothing.

After the release of "Devdas", one evening the legendary Suchitra Sen was shopping at a showroom opposite The Guest House. Fluttering hearts gatherd in a crowd outside the posh shopping Center to catch her glimpse. But our dreamer had the guts to go inside cutting across all barriers, stand beside her, and say : "Paro...?!!"
It is said that she looked back at him, perplexed for a while, then she smiled and said,
"I like your style!!!"

One fine day The Dreamer declared that he was going to attend the Filmfare Awards Nite. Where was his invite the friends asked jokingly. He was quiet and thoughtful. Preparing for the grand evening, he polished shoes, ironed clothes, searched for the right colour in ties that would go with his suit. Paying no heed to the fun being poked at him, he went about diligently through the day working on his looks and appearance.
A little after lunch he disappeared.
His four home-mates wondered what a cock-and-bull story he would try to pull on his return.
But he returned with a broad grin on his face and in his hands an authentic proof of his attendance at the gala.

Some more months passed. Life for the residents at The Guest House was bringing some happy changes. Now settled comfortably in their careers the next logical step forward would be marriage. Plans for a secure future which included owning a few hundred square feet of land-in-the-sky in the city of money and fame, would be discussed on Sundays.
It was a sobering revelation as independence also graduated from being fun to becoming a bundle of responsiblities.
They tried to councel The Dreamer too to come out of an imaginary Dream World and settle down. As a final effort to make him see their point they would tell him how his family back home yearned to see him happy and secure. What was he gaining from aimless flights to nowhere.
"But I do have an aim...and Germany is a real place not very far...!!!" The Dreamer would adamantly insist.
They would shrug in a frustrated huff wondering how an almost hand-to-mouth income with no wonderous eduactional backup or professional skills could take him to the land of his dreams, while The Dreamer wondered why his dream seemed so unattainable.
What was so extraordinary about settling down in Germany?
And what was so unusual about he wanting to achieve his dream on his own strength.

Then one day he disappeared.
Days, weeks and months passed.
A couple of years passed.
The "family" at The Guest House moved on too.
With the passage of time they spread and scattered over the city, getting busy with the daily grind, but sharing joys and concerns and remaining in touch.
They did miss that one wonderful friend and companion.

One morning phones in four homes started ringing as if in a chain reaction.
The Dreamer had surfaced.
Like the sun on the horizon.
He was actually in Germany!!!
His business had now started giving him some profits.
And so the next logical step was on his mind...
Did he say "Marriage"...???
Yes...Yes...Of course!!!
Dream was to marry Logic. What an absolutely fanciful union this must be.
Everyone was delighted. Genuinely happy for The Dreamer.
He had earned respect and admiration for his earnestness.
He was no more the Joker in a card game.

Please Note: There is a moral in this story!
Dare to dream. Work diligently towards reaching the goal. No dream is small or ridiculous. What makes the difference is the manner in which one realises that dream.

Hence never laugh at anyone's dreams.
Never ridicule a Dreamer.
You never know while the slurpy tongues are making fun of him, his intense conviction in himself is driving him to the fulfillment of his aspiration, allowing him that envious last laugh.


suhail zaman said...


Zohra Javed said...

Thankyou Suhail...I'm happy to see u ...but really wonder how did u get here... :))????????