" Look at those twinkling stars. They dazzle the whole Galaxy with their glitter & shimmer. One day , I am sure , you will shine with equal brilliance. Say 'Yes' and the World will be your's ". Some nights were precious , when my father would promise me the whole World with it's galaxy. He is a master story-teller.
My father used to recite the same old story of Gulbakaavli ( Arabic folklore classic from ' One Thousand and One Nights '), with a new & improved twist, every Saturday night in an exhilarating manner. The prince, the hero of the story sacrifices the luxurious, palatial life in search of an unique, rare, mysterious flower named Gulbakaavli, which is the only Elixir to save king's, his blind father's eye sight.
|PC : Sujata Tawde. This picture is for illustration purpose only|
Prince's near & dear ones try to dissuade him from venturing out in the strange , unknown and unpredictable world. Brave heart prince is uber optimist as well as confident. He believes that the people all over the World are as good as him. Love & Peace can win the trust of all and conquer evils. In the quest of Gulbakaavli , the prince explores the whole world , endures lots of hardships, fights numerous demons, witches & evil forces , says yes to the world , makes many friends , utilizes his intellect to overpower the mighty guardians of Gulbakaavli. Finally he succeeds in winning the Gulbakaavli. The omnipotent Gulbakaavli saves his Father's , King's eyesight and they live happily ever after ... '
Well, that was just the story line. My father made that story utterly enticing by describing the prince's adventures in many countries. How the open minded prince wins friends in foreign countries with sign languages, were the sub plots with juicy details. Father would glamorize, the novelties such as food , clothes , houses , traditions , festivals & Marvels of each & every country explored by the prince. The nuances of all famous places in those foreign countries transported me magically in those wonderlands.
Sitting in father's cozy lap, gazing dreamily at the sparkling galaxy, I traveled the whole world with none other than the prince himself, galloping pillion on his Arabian Ferrari of a horse.
Ok, So Gulbakaavli was the story , I grew up on. But alas! the real life is not all that pretty cool like Gulbakaavli ka phool. Here goes the real life story of what opened up my mind and shaped my personality.
Those were the days, when I was an ambitious school girl. Very few of my classmates had penfriends and that too either from USA or UK. Oh yes, these two countries were teacher's pet too. I loved writing hearty, joyous letters on designer-papers to my fashionista, French pen friend Fleur. I used to show off her letters to my class mates and bask in the glory of their envious praises. But ... I had hidden another pen friend, actually his letters from my class mates.
Yes, I know some of you , smart Alex might have guessed it right. Abdul was from Qatar. My letters to him were crisp & brief. Exactly like school's time- table and progress-report. I hardly ever wrote anything interesting to him. I mostly complained about long school hours, strict teachers , boring subjects, tiring sports and less marks in Mathematics. I always used plain papers for these 'dry-cry-baby' letters.
Even though it cost lesser to post letters to Qatar than to France, I wrote almost the double number of letters to Fleur with stickers, greeting cards and photographs attached to them. I never sent or received any photograph from Abdul. He reciprocated my letters in size and numbers but the contents of his letters were always positive and encouraging. He would even admonish me , if I didn't participate in Sports, Debates and any such extra-curricular activity.
You must be wondering , why did I write to him about it in the first place ?. Well , in my sub conscious mind , I knew that I was not participating cause I was lazy and feared losing. I needed to confess , to burden off my heart by opening up my mind to someone whom I had never met , who would never judge me. Well then why I chose Abdul over Fleur ?. Simple , I admired Fleur. I was absolutely floored by Fleur's beauty & poise. How could I disclose my dark secrets to her. ? Won't she hate me and stop writing letters. Abdul on the other hand was a safe option. I cared a fig if he hated me or stopped writing altogether.
Being almost 8 years older than me, Abdul took upon the mantle of an elder brother which I never had. He always insisted on studying regularly, solving mathematical problems consistently, mugging up poems , formulas and definitions. Additionally he expected me to win medals in Sports & Debates too. Slowly but steadily, I understood his benevolent attitude. Well , I could not fulfill all his wishes but encouraged by his constant motivation, I stopped procrastinating. I started getting up early, which provided me more time to study and play. Most importantly I realized that if we open up our minds , we can be better to ourselves and to the whole world, which is spectacular with many countries such as France, India, Qatar and many more. Come , join me on this wonderful journey and #SayYesToTheWorld with Lufthansa