Fiction

A streak of light


He taught me how to read people’s eyes.
Eyes are like mazes, the more you get lost in them,the more perplexed you become” he would say.”But yet, once you master the art of finding your way back, you can read them, just like a book.”
He, who taught me everything I came know about this world,my teacher,the corner stone of my faith.
At least a hundred years old, his skin was wrinkled and his long matted hair all white.Yet never have I seen anyone as young at heart as him, his blue eyes always twinkling with playfulness and his words like fresh air.

Every second of your life counts” he was often heard saying”..no moment should pass with your mind left idle. Even in your deepest slumber, let your mind wander. Let it race with the winds and rise with the stars. Your body,weaker than the weakest of beings, might need rest.But your mind is invincible, it does not need a pause. It has a longer distance to go! Mind is like a piece of rough rock and your thoughts like a gush of water. The more strenuously a stream flows, the more polished the underlying stones become. Let your thoughts be like a mighty waterfall, let it mellow down the roughness of your mind.Let it smoothen your soul and gift the world with ideas as colorful as rainbows!”

He was surprisingly strong considering his age. He would climb the steep rocky terrain of the hills with ease. His fasts sometimes lasted weeks, but never did he show the slightest sign of weariness.A smile always lingered on his face and his words of wisdom never ceased to surprise me.
And watching him work in his tool shed was nothing less than pure awe.Every move he made was effortless.His hands glided in perfection while etching miracles on the hardest of the metals and rocks.Every time I closed my eyes in a prayer, his glorious face would dance before me. So was his charisma!

That fall, my name was announced along with the fourteen others as the new recruits for the king’s army.It was my turn to serve the king. It was supposed to be a matter of honor! But I felt nothing but fear. Violence was not something that I was tailor made for.My passion was music and I knew no world beyond the notes and rests.

But could I refuse the decision of the village elders? The war was at its most ferocious stage.The very thought that bloodshed and deaths were going to be a part of my everyday life sent chills up my body.Would I ever learn to live like that?

With a mind as disturbed as a stormy sky,I walked into his tool shed. He was flattening a red hot iron, his hands effortlessly rising up and down in perfect synchronization.

I leave tomorrow at dawn” I told him, my voice betraying my fear. He raised his head to watch me for a second and nodded. He said nothing and went back to his work. The rhythmic clanks of the metal echoed in the room.I sat beside him, basking in the calmness that his presence radiated.

I watched him work. The untamed piece of metal was fighting its futile battle. The moment it gained strength, it was again forced into the glazing flames where it weakened and lost its pride.The molten metal reminded me of my apprehensions, ‘I need you to mold my thoughts , teacher’ I silently prayed.’I need you to beat out my uncertainty’

He paused and looked straight into my eyes, as if reading my thoughts. He then said, “When you fight your battles with an indecisive mind, you always lose.It is because you first fight against yourself .There are no rules in life, no standards against which one has to stand up to. What ever you do will eventually shape your self. No breath inhaled is ever wasted., not a step taken is futile. But first convince yourself, because without the consent of your heart you can’t achieve a thing. Whatever you do for reasons other than your own inner joy often ends up as the most selfish act”

His face was glowing from the light of the flames, giving him a divine aura. As his words seeped in, I knew I had got my answers ,I knew what I was going to do.

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25 thoughts on “A streak of light

  1. ‘“Eyes are like mazes, the more you get lost in them,the more perplexed you become” he would say.”But yet, once you master the art of finding your way back, you can read them, just like a book.” – Beautiful.

    Not only these lines, the entire piece here. Read it again . 🙂 🙂

  2. I love the continued return to the “shaping” theme throughout the story; shaping thought, shaping metal, shaping body and mind and finally intent…

  3. What’s he gong to do?! Lovely wisdom here. I paused a lot as I read this piece, to let it sink in, to learn, to try to apply it to my own life. Very nice.

  4. The elder showed much wisdom. I especially liked, “When you fight your battles with an indecisive mind, you always lose.It is because you first fight against yourself.” I hadn’t thought about it, but there is truth to that!

  5. Lovely story! I really like this line: “I knew no world beyond the notes and rests” – it says so much about the narrator. Nicely done! 🙂

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