FLIGHT OF FANTASY

She soared up in the sky. It was a beautiful night. The full moon shining bright and the city lights below giving fierce competition to the moon. She inhaled the cool breeze and flapped her wings. Oh, how she enjoyed this flight! The freedom to go wherever she wanted… Each and every light below beckoning her to come to check out the fun that they are having.

She perched on a window. The mother was putting the baby to sleep and the obviously tired mother had fallen asleep but the baby was flailing his hands and legs in the air and cooing. She whistled a beautiful song. The baby enjoyed it and finally fell asleep.

She flew over a dark alley. The policeman was walking his beat. The burglar was hiding in the shadow. She chuckled to herself and gave out a loud hoot. The policeman turned in the direction of the sound and saw the burglar trying to enter an open window. “Now he will catch him,” she thought. 

Again she soared in the sky. The brightly lit market place attracted her. She perched on a street light and saw a couple in the window of the restaurant having candlelit dinner. They both had smiles on their face and eyes only for each other. 

Oh!” She sighed “Life is so beautiful.”

She looked up and saw them – the guards were coming. “Oh no! They are coming for me. They will lock me up again…  I don’t wanna go back there. I want to fly…” She tried to get away but she was caught. 

It was morning and she opened her eyes. The steady beep of the machines and the distinctive smell of hospital told her that the dream was over she was back –  strapped in the hospital bed, paralyzed waist down. 

I will walk” she affirmed “One day I will fly...” and smiled at the nurse.

‘A DREAM’ – NOT JUST ENOUGH…

Dreams are facile and gorgeous to closed eyes…

In my imaginative world, I dreamt of owning a hilltop penthouse. It was a springtime beautiful full moon evening. The hilly fresh air touching my skin and giving the comfort of nature. Small clouds were passing beneath my balcony pane. All the way, away from unwanted evening guest interruption, I was enjoying hot coffee in my yellow ZooZoos printed coffee mug, at the back in my dark living room the slow music and the two small blue lights from my home theatre were lighting my entire glass-walled living room. There were neither the bizarre sound of vehicle honks at the traffic nor the irritating midnight barking of street dogs only the dazzling yellow and blue bright lights of a busy city life down the hill was giving the feel of a calm and composed mind. A faraway from my hometown, I was enjoying those blissful evening moments with my small family. Lo and behold, Pogo (my Pug) sneezed on my face and tired I screamed out, can somebody get this pug a tissue! Mumma replied, O, hello Mr. Lazy, take Pogo for the evening walk, it’s 5:30 P.M now!

Dreams that we imagine in our conscious mind reflects in our subconscious mind while we sleep. Probably, that’s why it is said, “dreams won’t let you sleep!” Contextualizing to my imaginative world’s dream the undeniable question someone can shoot at me, “Well, WHAT’S NEXT to fulling your dream?” Undoubtedly, since human desires are unlimited and as human, I am profoundly subjected to it. Meanwhile, the Bible verse that projected me my grey-haired days –

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun;

all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

I asked myself, does that mean I should stop dreaming? Well, the omnipresent calm voice of God answered back, “Human mind and Imagination is the primordial friends, they walk hand-in-hand and My given freedom allows human to imagine everything their heart desires. But in their course of life, it is My given wisdom to reason which presents before them the final point of their chase to fulfil the dream.

To the clinical eyes the more you rise to the top, the power of visibility grows lesser and lesser. Analogically, so happens with our soul! The more and more we desire to be on the top the lesser and lesser emptied we find within. And alas, the same dream penthouse of my story may become my place to hang myself to stop dreaming. Though now, I want guests and friends by my side sadly, there may be none of those unwanted guests, probably I have grown up so high that they are unable to connect with me. 

The problem is not in the dreaming,

the problem is how do you fulfill your dream.

Dreams are seen in closed eyes but it is our passion to toil for it gives tangible shape to the dream. Again, a reminder for us is, our untamed passion to bring down the dream to reality is empowered enough to allow our futile thoughts and convinces our fragile hearts to compromise with the ethics & morals. And finally, out there on the hilltop penthouse within the glass-walled rooms we may become filled outside but EMPTIED WITHIN…

The Bible says,

“Commit your works to the LORD,

and your plans will be established.”

TOGETHER WE SAILED

Hurry up, they are reaching here, Come’ on dear, hop on. we have got to go“.

I stood amazed at what we were about to do. But then hopped on and just pushed my feet on the land to get the boat moved. And there we were sailing away…

We could see, the torch lights in the distance, approaching the banks, but we were already half the way.  Not knowing where we were off to but determined to be together.

I held him closer, cuddling in his arms. The heaven I wanted to be in all along. I did not know, whether I was crying for being happy or just sad. But somewhere deep down I knew I was happy because I was with him.

Sailing under the moonlit sky, in a boat, along with him, the moment was the beautiful one I could ever imagine. We sailed and sailed away to a direction unknown, with the moon guiding us and wind pedaling us to somewhere, where we belonged.

The journey went on and on… the night was enticing, and the moon showered the silver light upon us. He cupped my face in his palms, and there he was gonna kiss me…

Suddenly the boat began to shake… I lost my balance, but we never left the hands of each other.

There we fell off the boat…

Mamma wake up… wake up… she is fighting with me…” I was awakened by the call of my elder one… and there again I was pushed into reality.

Afternoon naps after romantic movies are quite enriching with dreams.

AN ESCAPE FROM THE PREDATOR

She knew she had to run . . . run as fast as her dainty feet could carry her. “Oh! God, please give me the feet of a deer”, she spoke aloud in her mind as she fled from the predator.

“This is surely the end of me. Even if God gives me the feet of a deer, I can never evade the prowl of a leopard”, she muttered as she made her way through the thick green foliage.

“Lord, please send your angels to lift me up from this place. Else, I will surely die.”

She did not dare to look behind her shoulder. She knew the leopard was slowly and stealthily trailing her. She kept scanning through the length and breadth of the horizon for any means of escape.

In her fearful frenzy, she failed to check her steps and tripped over a log of wood. She fell and kept rolling down the slippery terrain for a seemingly indefinite period of time, till she banged against something solid and came to a halt.

As she lifted up her eyes, she realized that it was a door. Without wasting a second, she barged inside the open door to safety. “I think it must surely have been an angel who pushed me into this safe haven”, she thought relieved. Catching hold of her breath, she cautiously peeped into every corner of the room and tiptoed ahead inch by inch.

Lo and behold, what was she seeing! A whole corner full of books! A book-lover that she was, she raced towards the book shelves. A light that hung from the ceiling helped her finger through the titles of the thousands of books that were stacked in front of her. She knelt down to pull out a book. As she got up holding it close to her chest, she hit a nearby rack and off came the books from all directions tumbling down on her one after the other.

She ducked aside from left to right unable to understand what was going on. And then she heard it! The unmistakable noise of someone opening the creaking door to where she was!!

“You are sleeping here!” shouted my sister cheekily standing near the door to my room. I jolted up from my accidental nap and realised that there was no leopard chasing and no treat of a room full of books. But, what an adventure it had been! I looked up at the Cuckoo-clock on the wall. It was 11 A.M. – a nap of only five minutes had thrust me into a wonderland of hours!

 

 

 

PHYSICS, MY DEAR PHYSICS BOOK

Magnetic effects of Electric current. Reflection and refraction. Centripetal and centrifugal force. Oh man, I haven’t even read these topics once. I’ve Physics exam tomorrow.” Thought Deepa. 

Then out of nowhere a book of Physics comes flying and falls on her lap. She finds herself in an open area that is full of book racks loaded with books. She’s sitting down on the grass and when she looks up, she can see stars twinkling and the moon shining down on her. On her sides, there’re two book racks extremely tall, which seems to be touching the sky. She cannot see the top end of the book racks. 

She opens the Physics book and finds Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice inside it. 

No, this is literature. I need Physics book”. She shouts and feels the panic rising inside her. 

Another book falls on her hand again. It says – “ICSE Concise Physics – Class 10, by RP Goyal and SP Tripathi”.

She sits down on the grass again, opens the book. It has only one chapter – Stars and the Solar system. “This is class 8th Physics book. Where’s my book? I need to study Reflection and refraction. I’m going to flunk”. She starts crying and feeling terribly helpless. 

Can’t you hear me? I need my class 10th Physics book.” She shouts to the sky. 

Another book comes flying to her. This time it has to be the right book. She opens it quickly and to her relief, it’s her own Physics book complete and intact. She’s relieved, as she opens up the page of the chapter – “Magnetic effects of Electric current”, she feels something on her legs. She ignores it, after all, she has to prepare for her exam. Slowly, she feels something tightening around her ankle. She looks down and there’s a black snake circling around her leg, crawling up her knees. 

In an impulse, she throws the book up in the air and as soon as the book is out of her hands – snake disappears. She looks around for the book, then for the snake – there’re none. She frantically looks for the book again on the book racks. She finds all other subjects of all other classes but not her Physics book “ICSE Concise Physics”. 

The book racks are infinitely extending in all directions. She kept walking looking for the book. Suddenly, all the books start flying in the air hitting each other. She tries to save herself. There’s one book that’s ready to hit her on her head. She starts running for her life but while running she manages to read the title of the book – “ICSE Concise Physics Class 10”. 

She wakes up sweating and panting for breath. It’s twilight already. Her clock reads 5:58 am. Her alarm will go off in 2 mins. She has her board exam in another 3 hours and her Physics book is sitting silently on the table. She smiles at the book, picks it up, and hugs it. “You’ll never hurt me ever I know, my dear Physics book”.

A BOAT OF HOPE

I didn’t have a bad day. In fact, it was a nice day, having fun with my cousins and friends. Why then, I see clouds all around? Is it a dream, I’m seeing?

I saw darkness hovering around me and I screamed in my thoughts, “Ah…where am I? Why can’t I see myself?” The dark clouds all around me made my vision obscure as the bright light that I was seeing a minute ago almost faded away.

Then an intense sorrow pierced through my spines, my flesh, and my bones. The dark despair within me made me walk through the hidden lanes of my life. I felt ashamed of myself. I hated myself. The rotten scent of my sinfulness broke me into pieces. I saw a defiant me, standing and asking questions about my own creation… as I found myself to be a weak, neglected and a rejected piece of morsel thrown on a pile of garbage.

A gripping fear and a distressing agony engulfed me when I saw the raging sea waves approaching me and I just tried to duck down my head to let it pass but I could not do. I tried again and again but all my efforts seem to be in vain.

I realized my inability to rescue my own self. I understood I needed someone else to bring salvation, and restore me from this chaos.

Lo and behold! I soon saw a boat glimmering in the middle of the sea.

I had lost all my hope but a ray of hope sparked within me when I saw the boat. That boat, to me, seemed like a piece of leaf for an ant floating away in the water. That boat reminded me of my God, the Saviour Himself and I remembered His assurances, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for YOU are with me; YOUR rod [to protect] and YOUR staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.”

I could not feel whether I swam through the waves or not but somehow, I reached that boat and found myself on it, cruising through the waves, going beyond the clouds of darkness.

This may not be a dream that I saw in my sleep, but I have seen it many times in my life and still see it even today. I’ve walked in close proximity to death. My life has never been easy but the good thing is, I always found myself being consoled and reassured with the promise of that small boat of hope at every dark situation of my life.

I know, God has been and will be the boat of hope all through my life, even during this pandemic situation… till I enter eternity after my death.

HOW LOUD CAN I BE?

The environment is the surrounding within which we humankind live. Humans and the environment are interdependent. The environment around all the humans were created for their benefit and they were given the responsibility of taking care of the environment as well -“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it“, this is what the Bible says. 

But the biggest question arises here – “How do humans take care of the environment?” Or if we specify it more of a personal level, then the question may be, “How do I take care of the environment?” Or “What is my bit for the environment?”

While trying to understand what is my environment first, I came across the term environmental psychology which is explained – Environmental psychology is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the interplay between individuals and their surroundings. The field defines the term environment broadly, encompassing natural environments, social settings, built environments, learning environments, and informational environments.

Now, the term environmental psychology gave me a clear picture of my surrounding, that is my environment and how I can improve it for myself as well as for the future generation that will follow after me.  

Let me give some imageries before I talk about – ‘my bit for the environment’.

Mostly people from joint families talk louder than the people brought up in nuclear families. Why and how does that happen? When there are more people in a family, one tends to speak louder to another to communicate well overlapping other conversations between other family members in that same family.

Think about the people in the slums and the ones living on the streets… they play loud music and scream around speaking coarsely. But those of us living in a proper house tend to play music with a moderate volume and have manners to speak gently. The reason is the same – to let our messages conveyed overcoming the noises all around us.

At home when our soft voices are not heard by the person we are talking to, we shout or scream after two or three failed attempts to communicate gently. I get a reaction from the other members at home when I shout, “Why are you shouting?” My responses to them goes like this, “Because you are not able to hear my soft, gentle voice”. I shout a lot as I was brought up in a joint family.

But when I was contemplating about my paternal family, I see they all speak gently than my maternal family. They even shun shouting. I tried to find out the reason behind it. One reason could possibly be, in my paternal joint family we all gather during vacations once in a year but in our maternal joint family, all the members live together throughout the year.

Why am I talking about speaking loudly, shouts, high pitched sound, etc.? Because sound has terrible effects on human health ultimately causing damage to the environment as a whole, according to the definition of environmental psychology. The social settings are disturbed because of the effects of high-pitched sound or noise.

Noise pollution is an invisible danger. It cannot be seen, but it is present nonetheless, both on land and under the sea.

Noise pollution impacts millions of people on a daily basis. The most common health problem it causes is Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Exposure to loud noise can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and stress. These health problems can affect all age groups, especially children. Many children who live near noisy airports or streets have been found to suffer from stress and other problems, such as impairments in memory, attention level, and reading skills.

Noise pollution also impacts the health and well-being of wildlife. Studies have shown that loud noises cause caterpillars’ hearts to beat faster and bluebirds to have fewer chicks. Animals use sound for a variety of reasons, including to navigate, find food, attract mates, and avoid predators. Noise pollution makes it difficult for them to accomplish these tasks, which affects their ability to survive.

The above description is about the effects of high-pitched unwanted sound or noise on our environment at large but it has adverse effects on a very personal level as well. When in the family we shout, people in front of us get irritated and shout back at us. And the tension keeps building up with further shouting and loud responses.

The Bible instructs us like this –

A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath,
But harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger.

And we all know, harsh and careless words are always spoken with loud voices (though there is gentle venom as well).

So, my bit for the environment is to promote gentle voices in the family as well as in the community I live in while I force my own voice to go down as much as possible. Sadly, I always speak in a loud voice. And it is a constant struggle for me to speak gently and wisely. I am striving hard. I am sure for the sake of my social settings, my surrounding, my environment I would change my habit.

Are you ready to follow it too – “How gentle and soft can I be?”

Stay Blessed!!!