*tick tock tick tock tick tock*
There was pin drop silence as time rode away on the second hand of a wall clock.
It overlooked two perpendicularly placed sofas, with a square table in the centre.
On one of those was seated a young boy in a red t-shirt and black track pants. On the other was a comparatively older man sipping on a cup of tea and reading a newspaper rested on his lap.
“Dad, I don’t like my life. I don’t think I’m good enough. This is not how it used to be earlier. I don’t want to grow up. I don’t want change.”
He was all of 24 years of age, doing a job he liked but not living the life he thought he could love.
“Why son? Is it your job? Is it your friends? Is it us? What’s troubling you?”
“The smallest of things seem to affect me these days. Every setback feels like a failure and the worst of all, I find it difficult to trust people.”
Unlike most of the times, his dad didn’t know what the problem was, but like every other time he knew the solution.
“Son, what do you see there?” asked the father, glancing towards the window from the top of his hypermetropic glasses.
“A plant” said he, in a lackadaisical way.
“Be more specific.”
“Yeah dad that’s it!”
“What about the vase they are in?”
“What about it?”
“Is the beauty of the setup because of the flowers?”
“Obviously dad! The vase is old, chipped at places, it doesn’t have fragrance and it’s not even alive! What more do you want me to say?”
“Nothing son, that’s it” said the father, taking the newspaper under the armpit of his left hand and the tea cup with the fingers of his right, and headed towards the verandah.
The boy, was part enraged and part confused after the apparently inane discussion and headed straight to the room as the former emotion took control.
After a few minutes, he came out, took the vase and headed to the verandah. He kept it on the table and asked, “What do you see?”
The father looked at him, folded the newspaper diligently, removed his reading glasses and placed them on top of the folded newspaper. He then looked at the boy and said, “I see you my child.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Do you know how a vase is made?”
“From clay, by pottery.”
“The clay is first kneaded by someone. It is wedged and beaten until it has an equal distribution of moisture. It is then put on a wheel. A potter moulds the soft clay into a vase while the wheel keeps spinning. The vase is later put into a kiln to remove all the moisture at high temperatures, which is when it becomes strong and firm. It is then painted and decorated by an artist with different colours.
You were the clay, my son. We made sure you got all the love in the world but at the same time kneaded you when you did wrong. We gave you all the comforts in life at every step and in equal distribution. When you grew up and went outside, saw the world, tried making an identity, you were put on the wheel. You will face problems in life, always. They might be physical or emotional, but they’ll be a constant, trying to spin you out of control. Do you know the most important part of moulding? The clay is first pressed downwards and inwards. You too, at first will be pushed to the ground, made to reconsider your path, consider quitting even. If you survive this, like the pot, you’ll be carved upwards, forever. This vase was only shaped by one pair of hands. You have hundreds who shape your life. There might be a dozen who will try to disrupt your shape, but you need to focus on your friends, your family, people to whom you actually mean something instead of trying to get acceptance from those to whom you don’t. It is these hands, who in their own unique way will give your life a special shape. A shape, strong enough to withstand the kiln of life when all your comfort will be taken away from you so that you end up stronger and firmer than ever before. You’ll face different circumstances which colour your life in different ways, some will throw bright strokes at you and some will paint hues of darkness. Each and every colour will make you the person you are. Some incidents might break a piece of you, and however hard you try to stick it back, it won’t feel like before. In Japan, the cracks are filled with gold, because people believe that something that has suffered damage and has a history, becomes more special. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Yes you won’t be the same, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be more beautiful. At times you might have to let a part of you go, like these holes made at the bottom of this vase, to let something more elegant grow out of you. As you grow old, you will be filled by mud, but trust yourself and hold on to it. If you have done the right things in life to the right people, even if a 100 hands throw mud, 2 will throw seeds. It will be then that you realize, that even 2 seeds are so strong that they’ll use all the mud to grow into something splendid, into something ravishing. Something which will make you feel more alive by it’s presence than you ever felt. So don’t lose hope. Let people dump mud in your life, love those who plant seeds and water them with your confidence. Today or tomorrow, you’ll see the beauty inside you emerge more elegantly than ever. That beauty will be the best form of you.”
Trust yourself. You are beautiful.