He was a boy. He was scared of Gurgaon; the wide roads and the by-lanes – cemeteries carrying the clingy colossal of countless dreams caught and abandoned.
He was a boy, who finally decided to take the leap of faith into manhood, rushing the steady natural process. After all, the boy was now living in a big city. The city that houses more corporate establishments than homes. A city that manufactures several efficient solutions for simplifying several problems of the world’s superpowers. The city whose people walked as if they wanted to outrun time. The city that never waited for someone slow. The city that could just not wait.
He was a boy, but now was participating in the myriad activities of fast-paced world. But he was scared. Out of his wits! He was scared the moment he registered a clash with the downright self-serving Big Bad World. The moment he took a toll of what dreams are actually made of! He felt vulnerable the instant he glanced at the ashen face of the HR Manager, giving nothing away. He had to prove it to him, and to the rest of the world who once thought he was just too naïve and not cut out to be a part of their world. What exactly did he want to prove? And to who exactly? Nobody knows!
He was a boy, who no longer dreamed; but existed only to survive. Somehow, he had gotten himself to believe that the indurate walls of this chic cosmopolitan locale could grant him his dreams. Somehow he had muted the one nagging thought – the rock-solid walls only but a little room for his gallant self!
Amidst all the superficiality, there was only but one refuge. In one of the pictures that he now painted the 4 walls of his small room with, there was a Tree. A mighty Banyan Tree, existing steadily and braving the seasons under the sun. The tree that tamed the uncouth storms and would command the blissful showers! He, as a young kid, would often play Gully-danda in the vicinity of the tree. His summer vacations were often spent restfully hugging the strong womb of the tree. The Tree had been the single witness to his childhood – to the years gone by. Ah! How much did he love the tree? The tree was his home when he had wanted to be away from the home. The tree was his refuge still!
One fine day, after having whored himself incessantly in the shiny sleek glass walls of the commercial archetype, he decided to take an off. He had planned to take a walk amidst the “lesser evolved” neighborhoods. The same place that had witnessed his coming off age. The roads were still “work in progress” – complicated unfinished mix of concrete and mud. However, he didn’t care. For once, he knew what he really wanted. To find the mighty Banyan and hug it. He was unstoppable, driven with the mad rush to find a way back to his home. He ravaged; streets after streets, lanes after lanes, in the pursuit of the tree. Of perhaps, his childhood. Of perhaps, his own true self. He walked until he could walk anymore. He looked for the tree, until he could look no more!
Alas! Time destroyed the Tree. Time Destroyed Him!
He broke down, at the side of the road. What is left of you when everything that you were – everything that you had been, is taken away? He had walked pass the same road thrice now, and the tree was nowhere to be found. Was it too late then? Had the boy really gotten too far away from his home? As his now quivering heart let out one question after the other, his vision grew darker, overflowed with waters he had seldom shed. As he pressed his head against legs, now bent double on the floor, one montage broke in front of his eyes after the other. Somewhere amidst the reverie, he did see the Tree – mighty and strong! Just the way he had always known.
If you love, the whole world is within you, and there is no death! The words came to him just when his heart could ache no more. The words were from the lesson he had learnt, sitting under the nonchalant shade of the tree, preparing for his school-terminating examinations. He had mugged up those words then, only to score decent in the Literature. He finally understood those words today.
There is a reason why he can see the Tree still, even if it is now no longer tangible.
If People don’t go away, things don’t end, they become you; there is no end!If He arose, putting his hand softly on his heart, just the way he would run his fingers on to the nascent leaves of the Tree. The Banyan Tree was alive still, in the deep core of his heart.
As he closed his eyes once more, this time he chanced upon the wealth of his own soul. The pleasant sunsets of summer and the delectable afternoons of winter, the skies painted in a soothing shade of pink, all rested now within his soul. Seeing from the eyes of the innocence, he had carried all these priceless treasures along with him, wherever he had gone.
Sometimes we are unknown to our own divinity. Sometimes, it is a challenge for us to remember who we actually are. Sometimes we let the challenges of life define us. Until we reach a point of no return. It is in those moments of sheer darkness, when everything seems to slip off our buttery fingers, and we cannot seem to get a grip, that we realize what we truly are made of.
In my pursuit of the mighty Banyan Tree, I figured out I was that Tree! And if, walking across through the labyrinths of life, you feel that you have been losing your grip, come then and lean on me! I welcome you here now! I don’t know what I aim to achieve from this. But if someday, someway, I am able to give you hope…in the moments of sheer darkness and uncertainty, I am able to help you breathe – just breathe and be okay with whatever it is that you are feeling, I’d be completely at peace! So join me now, show your love, come and be a part of this celebration of existence.
This is for you…this is for me…because I know you know sometimes we all need to LeanOnTree!