If you can dream- and not make dreams your master.
If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim.
One of the most wonderful truths about life on earth is this very fact, that there’s a piece of verse for every situation. Rudyard Kipling’s prescient words couldn’t have been more perfect for the situation I’d found myself in. With yet another set of mid-semester exams less than touching distance away, I had a browser window and a notepad file open detailing how my ideal trip across Europe would be. If one were to write a Wikipedia article on it, the ‘cultural references’ tab might just be the only one on the page. From fiords in Norway, to the clichéd walk along the Champs Elysees, across tulip fields in the Netherlands, and the six hundred-year-old canals of Belgium, down the Calais-Dover ferry to London, and culminating with hitchhiking across the northern countryside to my Mecca- Old Trafford. Midway, there’d also be the castles of Wales, saying ‘Why aye man’ at least once in Tyneside, and a late evening spent sipping coffee watching the citadels of Edinburgh, as high on the parapet, a Scottish piper stands alone, playing the Caledonian blues. That’s just Western Europe. But, the final tab leads to a quick reality check, as I ponder over applying to this random coding internship, with no stipend and food arrangements in either Gurgaon or Bangalore. And, years of reading novels and watching movies still hasn’t made me insensible enough to imagine a huge thud as those rosy plans come crashing down to earth. I plainly close the windows and stare at Mark Knopfler on the desktop. He’ll be touring the continent over the summer, with a week’s dates at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I try to distract myself by logging into Facebook- hoping others’ happiness on the anniversary of St. Valentine might just seep in, but the cruel cycle of events over the past year may have left me with a lot of hope, but little luck. Things get worse as I see Kondy’s status message, beaming ‘This day, last year’. I shut the lid down for good, and trudge wearily for a coffee. But the Shiv Sena or some sister society’s warnings had left all indoors and Nescafe teeming. Sighing, I called Mum and walked back to Azad. Thankfully, her reassuringly cheerful voice has remained one of the few constants from my time in R, and sunset over the main gate combined with that to gladdening effect. Formatting the magazine wasn’t exactly a welcome distraction, but it did take my mind off greyer matters. And, as I returned to my ever-welcoming quilt, I felt lucky to have somebody’s arms to fall into. Hope is a good thing.
There’s a chink of light,
It’s a burning wick-
There’s a lantern in the tower.
Wee Willie Winkie with a candlestick,Still writing songs in the wee, wee hours.