Saturday, 20 August 2016


Here’s a thing about... “moral values” – if I may! Well, foremost, Moral values are not easy to define. They are indeed a matter of discretion. Moral values are not what the aunt next door imposes on you. Moral values are what you trust, where your intuition talks, what your conscience leads you to. They are about your very own ways of living life, your personal belief systems, and your self-imposed principles. Moral values can only be inspired, not preached. And talking of it, well then, can moral values also not be to hope, to imagine, to reach out?

Right, Dreams!

Dream. Believe in your dreams! Believe in the law of the Universe. If you dream, and if you really persist at it, the universe will conspire to make your dream a reality someday. Dream! Cherish your dreams. Follow it up. The rest, as they say, will fall into place.

Now, this brings us to a story…

Once upon a time, there lived a poor old man. His job was to break stones. He toiled and slaved through the day under the scorching sun. He lived a very modest life, barely managing to make his ends meet. They said, they will make roadways across the hills, once they break all the stones and bring the mountain down. He would get up early each morning and get to work. He would spend the whole day, putting all his strength into the blow of the chisel, breaking fragments of the stones at each blow. However as much as he tried hard, he barely managed to break much stones at the end of each day. He had a difficult job, you see!

On certain afternoons when it was particularly hot, he would look up at the sky for solace. He was tired of his job!

One day as he looked up, he saw a seagull at a distance. The seagull flew in the air, carefree and happy. It circled above the man’s head in the sky, almost as if it was sent from somewhere to deliver a message that was meant only for his ears.

That night, this man had a strange dream. He dreamed that he has developed big wings in his torso, and that he was flying by the side of his friend, the seagull. He woke up, but the fragments of the dream stayed with him throughout the day. However, as was routine, he had to be back to his day’s job and start breaking stones with his chisel once again.

At times, he would look up at the sky. Strangely, the seagull appeared every time he looked up at the sky. As if it wanted to reach out to the man. The man wanted to reach out to it too.

“What am I breaking stones for? What will it get us?” – He wondered. “Why can we not fly instead? Why can we not fly, like birds?”

He had started to dream that dream quite often by then. That, yes, he could fly like a bird. “Imagine the possibilities,” he told himself, “if only some day, we could fly like birds? We could cover long distances in almost no time, and better still, we would not have to break mountains to make way to the other side of the world. If only we could fly…”

So one day, this man got up in the morning, and unlike every other day of his life over the past many years, he did something different. He did not go to work. And then, he did something even stranger. He dug up all the money that he had carefully saved with all these years of hard work. He took the money and went to the market. From there, he bought several quintals of wax, as much as he could afford. Back into his home, he melted the wax in a burner and started to give it shape, in form of wings. Yes, wings.

It took him several days, but finally, he could do it. He made two wings, just like his friend in the sky, the seagull. And then, he started to count days, waiting for the right time to arrive.

That too, came soon enough. One morning, the man woke up to the whistling sound of the wind that blew through the rugged walls of his dilapidated house. He quickly got up and stepped out. Yes, the day, it seemed, has finally come. It was a particularly breezy morning, just as he was waiting for. He looked up at the sky. There, the seagull was making circles in the air, almost as if waiting for him just as eagerly as he has been waiting for this day. He quickly brought out the wax wings from beneath his cot, and took them out to the field. He tied the wings tightly behind his back, against his two arms. They were heavy, indeed, but then he felt strangely light in his mind. He started to run and run, and run still faster, and then took a final leap.

There! Yes, he had done it! The strong breeze carried him with the current, and he could finally fly. He flew like a kite, like a bird in the sky. Up, up, some more… He started to navigate the direction of his flight with the strings that he had attached to the wings. There, some more…

But then, the inevitable happened. The Sun was rising at the horizon, and the sunrays were getting warmer and stronger. Sooner than he knew, the wax wings started to melt against the Sun. Before he could realise what was to happen, he fell on the ground with a thud. He… died!

But then, dreams do not die. Do they?

Several years from that day, two brothers took up the mission that this poor, old man had left incomplete. December 17, 1903, The Wright brothers flew the first airplane. The dream finally came true!

Dream. Believe in your dreams! Believe in the law of the Universe. Cherish your dreams. Follow it up. Make it a part of your conscience, to nurture your dreams, and those of others. Call that your moral value!

The rest, as they say, will fall into place.

A part of my "Story Telling" journey, and got me a best speech award. But more than the award, the dream must stay!