Intrepidity

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Intrepidity

Maya was like any other normal five years old girl from a small town in the Himalayan region where snow clad mountains glowed golden under the sun and silvery under the moon. The stars were so clear that one could think of them as pearls stuck to the canopy of the sky. Stars fascinated her and from the day she came to know that they were stars she wanted to reach them, touch them and live in them.
-“You can’t my dear.” Her grandmother said kissing her on the forehead.
-“Why not?”
-“Because fairies live there”
-“I will live with them. They will be my friends.”
Elders tried to show her reason. People around started feeling that she had some psychological problem and the friends of her age started making fun of her. But she wouldn’t budge. “I will reach the stars and live there with the fairies”. She was adamant. She started jumping higher and higher in her strive to fly and reach the skies.
-“Please My dear Sun God !,” every noon she would pray, “You grant so much energy to the world, you make everything - harvests, rains and heat - possible on earth...please...Oh Please….grant me the strength to fly and reach the skies.” But nothing would happen. In the nights she would again sit in the open and gaze at the stars - even on the dark nights where they were so dim and difficult to see.
Now Maya’s parents and elder brother got really scared with her insistent behaviour. They used every trick in the dictionary to convince her that it’s not possible for humans to fly and absolutely impossible to reach stars leave aside living in them. Maya started feeling sad and depressed by the thought that no one really understood her. She went to the Guru Ji in the nearby village who was considered to be very knowledgeable and had powers of healing.
She said, “I want to fly.”
-“Only super humans can fly.”
-“So make me a superhuman.”
-“I can’t…only you yourself can.”
-“How?”
-“Be determined, strive hard, defy the logic, defy the limits and try like nobody ever did.”
-“I will… Thank you!” First time in years Maya felt elated.
But in spite of trying hard, being determined and doing whatever she could nothing happened. She felt dejected, frustrated and downhearted but nevertheless still sat, as usual, under the sun and the stars making her desire stronger by the day. But there is a limit to the human strength and patience! One night as she looked up, tears started flowing from her eyes and she yelled at the stars above, “I want to reach you. I want to live with the fairies but you are not helping me. You don’t want me. I don’t know why you don’t want me.”
Fairies used to regularly watch Maya from above and listen to her. Today fairies were moved by her cries and they stated discussing among themselves.
-“Should we really get her up here?” One asked.
-“Impossible! That’s not done.” The others unanimously said.
-“Nothing is done until it’s done! There is always a first time. This child seems special. She has unwavering determination and Will like no one has ever shown before.”
All the fairies looked at each other in complete silence.
First fairy finally asked, “There are only two possibilities: Yes or No.!”
-“In view of such determination and striving,” rest of the fairies agreed, “we guess, it’s got to be Yes.”
That night one fairy came to Maya and said, “Come! I will take you to the stars.”
That night Maya visited the stars and made friends with the fairies.
-“Why have you come so late? You could help me earlier.” Maya asked.
-“We wanted to check the intensity of your longing and test your endurance,” the fairy said smilingly.
Then it became a routine. At nights the fairies-one by one- would descend and take Maya along with them to the stars and leave her back at dawn.
One day when the world woke up Maya was nowhere around. There was only a note kept on Maya’s pillow pinned under a very fine feather. It said, “I now live in the stars!”
Maya’s father went to the Guru Ji to ask whether she would have really got to the stars! Guru Ji said, “Those who are crazy about what they want, who are determined to get what they want and who leave no stone unturned to get what they want…surely get what they want. The universe is made of particles which also make us .This way we are all connected to the forces of the Universe and these forces help us achieve whatever we strongly aspire for.”
After that day- on all full moon days when the stars are clearly seen- the people in that town look at the sky, gaze at the stars and tell each other the story of Maya and her incredible unwavering determination.

-Written by Ashok Kumar
kumar_incomm@yahoo.co.uk
00 91 9892250853/ 99784 30780

About the Author: 
A creative writer/short film maker and a Professor of Media, Ashok Kumar teaches cinema,TV and advertising at prime Indian Institutes.He has headed TV Channels and has served as selection committee member at International film festivals.