The rain continued unabated splattering the downed shutters. He closed his eyes and his mother’s words instantly resonated within him, “You whistle and cheer for your hero, but don’t you want to be one? Try. It is easy,” and thus, he dreamt of becoming one. Dreams were meant to come true, or so he earnestly believed.
Growing up, he had the luxury of time (perhaps the only luxury accorded to village folks) and consequently, ‘dreaming’ ranked significantly higher in his daily to-do list.
He would dream of owning a bike which admittedly progressed into a private jet. He, however, had to grudgingly settle for a big car as he found (to his utter dismay) that his village didn’t possess a stretch of long, smooth land which would facilitate takeoffs and landings. Ah! What a pity these jets can’t possibly utilize the patchy, bright red mud roads. He would fancy dethroning his beloved matinee idol and usurping (albeit rightfully) the fallen hero’s super star status. His favorite though involved swooning women, left gasping for breath at his mere sight and he, the undisputed heart breaking hero would then walk away laughing and dismissing their advances…
Somewhere in his dreams, he heard the blaring horn of a train. Not wanting to be distracted, he got back to his village and its shoddy roads. He had been raised by his parents who given an opportunity decreed him, ‘not to turn his back on the village.’ He had been offered on countless occasions the timeless diktat of elders, ‘never abandon your roots.’ The village and its closely knit community were all that he knew, but not anymore.
Not one to shy away from venturing into the unknown, big cities always lured him with their extravagant charms. He realized it during the frequent, memorable trips to Danishpur. It seemed to him as if the city held out a board, every time he went visiting, with a rather unflattering message, ‘Welcome to Civilization.’ He took in all the sights of the city and longed to stay back but alas, he had to go home, and everything would then inch back to normalcy as he began retracing the path to his village.
He had an uncanny ability to dream big and crazy. Friends and well-wishers goaded him to dream bigger (and of course work towards its realization); detractors and lay man had to settle for lampooning and ridiculing. Naturally, he had time for the former and didn’t even spare a second for the latter. He was destined for all greater glories of the society and he was convinced about it. He deserved to fly high, but then momentarily found himself falling from the upper echelons and hitting the hard bottom with a loud thud. The train had come to a screeching halt. Eyes now wide open; he slowly stumbled to his feet.
“Dreams,” he finally managed to his bemused co-passengers.