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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Playing it cool

Thick puffy gray clouds crowded in the sky for an important meeting. Not even an inch of the vast sky, above, was left unoccupied. The clouds were not messing around. They were all pretty gloomy and grumbly. A few of those loud rumbles actually had my blood run cold down my spine. Even, though it was mid afternoon one summer day, it had grown almost as dark as if it was right before nightfall. The cloudy discussions grew worse. One of them thundered at the opponent. The enemy flashed back in rage, cracking up the whole sky. I actually did not have a lion's heart, so I trembled in fear as I waited, under a mature banyan tree, for the inevitable meltdown.
I felt the first cold drops on my face as I ventured to look up at the sky. Pitter patter. It fell on the thick big dusty leaves. Pitter patter pitter patter. It fell on the dusty mud road making it dark. It fell on the green grass by the side of the road. I looked at the big lake right behind the grassy patch. The rain drops were falling on the water surface, making lovely round ripples , that grew bigger and bigger till each one faded into the other. The round ripples were friendly and had a nice calming effect on my heart. I smiled.
Just then a monkey came down from the tree, he seemed frustrated about the pouring rain. He was totally drenched by the time he climbed down to the ground. "I was having such a nice and peaceful siesta and the best dream ever too. I was in the palace garden of the most beautiful monkey princess in the world. What a wonderful sight it was! The princess was smiling at me from the low balcony of her bedroom. But before I could say anything, it started to rain very heavily. I woke up that instant and found myself, soaked. Ha! so much for my dreams. I'd rather I was awake all this time." All this while he was busy trying to brush off all the water from his light brown coat of fur.
The monkey was not really talking to me for he stopped as soon as he caught a glimpse of me. He then peered at me, funny, for a whole minute. I looked away after a few seconds. I felt uneasy and wanted him to stop staring at me. I kept counting the secs and breathing deeply to calm myself down. I had no idea what the monkey was upto. Without a doubt there was some monkey business going on. From time to time, I tried to steal a glance at his direction and would feel the hot intense gaze as if it was going to burn me. I felt I was going numb as if being hypnotized. I felt the earth beneath me was caving in. "What was happening to me ?", I almost tried to shout. But I was incapacitated to the extent that not even a whisper was coming out of my mouth. I was totally dumbstruck.
I was scared just trying to anticipate what the monkey's next move was going to be. I could feel my heart beating like a bladder pump almost hurting my rib cage. I felt I would die. Then I remembered my mom. Her reassuring smile, the big dark eyes and powerful horns. If only she was here. I also remembered how I followed her advice all these years when I grazed. Mom had asked me to always think of the grass as being sweet and healthy and to be thankful for every mouthful I got. It really worked like magic for I always made the most of my meals and hardly ever got sick. It suddenly dawned on me that I too had grown over the years and had by then grown big strong horns of my own. This quick insight, unlocked some hidden power in me. I turned around without fear to face my enemy. The monkey was huddled near the tree trunk. It looked at me but hid his face in the next instant. I looked at it carefully and realized that he was scared too. I looked at all the lush green grass around me. They were laughing sweetly and drinking the glistening rain drops. I was feeling relaxed and relieved. With all the courage and goodness in my heart I looked at the monkey and said "Hi there Mr. Monkey!". He lifted up his face and revealed a playful mischievous smile. "And all this time you thought I was scared. Didn't you ?"

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