The Man From Nowhere

“See the nowhere crowd cry the nowhere tears of honour 
Like twisted vines that grow 
Hide and swallow mansions whole…”

— James Hetfield, The Memory Remains

He came from nowhere and he didn’t know where he was headed. He seemed lost, confused, a paper boat caught in a hurricane, with turmoil eroding the last traces of sanity and reason in his head. He was escaping, hopefully to a better tomorrow, but he didn’t know for sure. He wanted a fresh start, desperately. He didn’t know how he was going to achieve it – his bad luck seemed to have followed him here as well. Everything he tried seemed to fail, and fail miserably. He caught himself searching for straws to clutch at.

He vowed to find a muse, an inspiration, a candle in the whirlwind of his bad luck. He wanted to find the elusive abundance of good luck that had deserted him for so long. He yearned for the peace and tranquility that had been hiding from him. It was not a search in vain.

He met her on a hot, sunny afternoon and they regarded each other cautiously, unsure of just how much attention the other person warranted. She seemed harmless enough, but he was expecting his seemingly unlimited quota of bad luck to step in again.

“Been a while,” he said. Cautiously. Two tigers, one paranoid and the other indifferent, circling each other.

“Yes. How have you been?” she asked.

“Good,” he replied and they went on to talk about other things mundane.

Time flew by and a pact was etched in stone between them, unwritten yet indelible. It took time, obviously. It did not happen overnight. He began to experience her presence more and more in his life until it almost became an addiction. Over time, he started craving for her company. She became the beacon of light in the darkness that had clouded him. She forced him to embrace good luck again, though he never knew how she managed to do that.

He still had no destination in mind, but he knew that his journey wouldn’t be lonely anymore; the journey that he had started from nowhere and had seemed to head nowhere; the journey that she had spectacularly derailed and made more bearable. He had a lot of things to be thankful for. And for a million things more.

He had found his muse. He had found his share of good fortune. The man from nowhere was finally home.

Play Your Part!

Earth Day 2008!

I won’t join the ranks of all those do-gooders who seem to be hell bent on reminding everyone of how much damage our planet has suffered and how we need to pull up our socks and save our Earth from a certain destruction, which has been round the corner for the past three decades.

Instead, on Earth Day 2008, I’d like to remind everyone of how beautiful our world is and how lucky we are just to be born in it and to experience the pleasures of a warm sunrise, a gentle breeze or the lazy lapping of the waves against our feet.

Take one day; just one day. We wake up to the warmth of the sun streaming from the windows and from the light peeping in from behind the curtains, know that it’s already well into the day. The birds have been up for almost an hour now, their chirping audible from the branch of the tree outside the window. If we listen carefully, we might even hear the rustling of the leaves and the soft whistle of the gentle, early-morning breeze. We stand up, stretch our arms and legs and walk over to the window and pull the curtains aside to reveal the vast expanse of open skies, dotted with white, fluffy clouds here and there, moving lazily with the breeze, casting distant, benign shadows on the ground below. Here and there, flocks of early birds fly towards wherever their instinct takes them. The breeze, now uninhibited by the curtains, move in to the room in soft waves and wash over us, bringing a satisfied smile to our faces with the least effort.

Even as we stand there, the bigger of the clouds move and make way for the brilliant morning sun, still low over the horizon, and throwing the occasional red-orange ray amidst the shining yellow. No amount of words can describe this sight, and no camera however powerful can do justice to it, and we know it. So, we refrain from describing this splendid sight and move over to splash our faces with cold water.

The water cleanses our sleep away and wakes us up in a way that coffee can never do. The cool water, trickles down our faces, accentuating our smile, and we hesitate and reach for the towel. We don’t want to dry our faces. Water has that lingering satisfaction.

We then pick up a glass of water and walk over to the tiny potted plant in the corner of the room, where the young, green leaves are bathing in the gentle warmth of the morning sun. As we trickle the water on to the plant’s roots, we almost feel the leaves breathing and we see the tiniest, almost imperceptible shudder as the cold water hits the stem. we feel light inside. A perfect start to the day.

When we look at the calendar on our way to the kitchen, the date reads April 22. We start thinking of ways to play our part in keeping our beautiful home clean. No plastics today, we think to ourselves. Recycle everything and don’t litter.

No matter how much money, rock shows and propaganda go into spreading awareness about the state of the planet, we know that the change must come from within ourselves. We glare at our neighbor, who throws a half-empty packet of potato chips out on the street and roars away on his motorbike. Al Gore can preach and make all the movies he wants and win all the Nobel prizes he wants, but we know that unless we realize the truth ourselves and unless we intend to make a change, we cannot. Keeping our planet clean for just one day in a year may not sound like enough, but if only we knew the amount of abuse the Earth takes in one 24-hour period, we wouldn’t wonder about it.

Play your part. Be clean. After all, it’s just for one day! 🙂