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The Moon and a Little Girl- Nonu's New Friend

The human mind is an autocratic tool. It is driven by it's own fancies. It will let go of the most extra-ordinary events created with the most efforts, pass by uninterested, but will pick up like pearls among the pebbles, the seemingly most ordinary ones. It is really fun to look back at time and to assess and evaluate what your mind has decided to hold and keep and cherish. Those magical moments are more often than not, inexpensive, easier to attain.

I recently drove off, annoyed by to stressful a schedule to the mountains with my wife and five year old. While a post has already been placed mentioning the tranquil beauty of Shimla and the Naldehra golf course, when today, a fortnight later I look at that trip, which did I carry back home with me? It isn't the mountains, the tall trees and the salubrious air. What I remember is the drive up to the mountain, and the Moon which chased us with all its benign beauty.

As we rose from the plains and drove up, the night spread across on the mountains. I drove watchful of the sharp headlights from vehicles from the other side and sharper turns. Nonu was slightly silent, a bit due to exhaustion and a bit due to the mountain sickness.
As we took a turn from the valley, right in front of us was happy and smiling full moon, shining with all its benevolent whiteness. So then a story was created, a ploy to keep Nonu engaged was invented. We declared the Moon to be her friend, and her schoolmate, though not of her class, not of KG-A. As we would move on the circuitous path in the mountain, the moon will play the hide and seek with the child.

As it would go into hiding, we would urge Nonu to be kind to moon and forgive him in case he might have teased her in the class. We explained his brief absence by telling her that Moon's mother has not sent her to the school today because he had too much of noodles. And then at another turn, from the front of the car, the Moon will get behind us and follow and we would tell her that the moon is following her seeking her friendship. She will play her part and scold him for wandering off here and there, for teasing her before eventually granting the poor Moon, so enamoured with her, a royal pardon and a divine friendship.

Of all the weathers, of all the mountains, it is the memory of that moon and that little girl who became friend to the moon, came back with me. I know not what she carried back, but when I look at her sleeping in the morning in her cream coloured pyjamas, which I do every day, even on day like today when I took off early to catch the flight, I wish she remembered her friend from the mountains all her life.

The moon will always be with her, and will talk to her in her moments of loneliness. It is this connect with the nature which will help her transform the desperate darkness of loneliness to soothing serenity of solitude. She will of course, have friends, but they will not be a substitute for self. Friendship thus found will enhance her being. Such friendship becomes wings which lifts the soul upwards, and will not be crutches for her to lean on and crawl through life. I hope I will be one of her friends, but then I know, there will still be moments of lonely despair as life would have it. You do not have to lead love into your life, for if it finds you worthy, it will knock your doors with all gentleness and will embrace you, once you open the door. Always remember, love doesn't come by chase, it will come with you as you lift yourself to be worthy of it. And also remember, love will always be a flowing brook and never a stagnant pond. The love survives all the fourteen phases of the moon and even the fifteenth phase of absence. True love when it finds you, will transcend the ephemeral nature of time and will carry you into an eternal tranquility. You, my child, will find the true love and true calling, as true as the bottomless tranquility of your eyes, and as playful.

Sometimes the night will fall, and silence will hang heavy through the night. Some nights, the questions will descend from the sky far more numerous than the stars which accompany the night and night will become more unforgiving than the day. As life will have it, I will by then be all spirit and a warm memory in the deep of your heart. In moments as such, just sit in the balcony and wait not for your prince to climb by your long locks like the fairy tale, with the longing of a wretched, incomplete soul, rather look out at your childhood friend. Hold the hands of moonlight which your childhood friend, the Moon, spreads in front of you. You talk to him and he will unlock all the answers which you hold in your heart, my sweet daughter. He will teach you to look within, and not without for the answers.

At such moments, long after I am gone, just close your eyes for a while and think of the rare dinners we had together on our terrace, when you were five and counted the stars. Just look up then and count the stars and you will find one of the star, right next to the moon, looking at you with a rare indulgence, a star whose face will shine with fatherly pride. Believe it then, that it is me, your father looking at you when he has become a mere spirit and thought. Just wipe off that tiny tear from the corner of your lovely, blue left eye and smile, for I will be smiling at you in all your loneliest nights, together with the Moon, your friend from the mountains. You will never be lonely ever in all your life and you will not face a challenge which will not be surmountable. You will discover peace in yourself and within that peace you will find yourself. Your moon and your father will always follow you, through all the nights, without ever stepping in your way. Your baba will always beat in the deep recesses of your heart and lovingly run fingers through your weary head every night, putting you to sleep and whisper softly every dawn as a morning breeze, waking you up.


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