The little paragraph was about, "If I were a bird". The class was as usual busy scribbling into their note books, the teacher was scanning through more note books and I was staring at my blank one. I could not imagine, I tried to, what possibly to write...I thought, scratched the back of my head and absent minded chewed at the end of my blunt pencil.
Well, I got to think myself to be a bird and write on. So right now, the whole class of some brats were thinking themselves to be two winged forked legged and petted beaky bird species and scribbling their mind out...pssst psst- help me, before I drop dead. Thud, I banged my head on my desk for the fifth time during the class and started off...That was my first creative piece.
I remember bouncing around my mother with my note book in my hand that afternoon. I remember how she shrugged off the whole incident, thinking it to be a child's fancy and brushing it off. I remember how others thought the same and never shared my enthusiasm, never actually heard a single word, as I kept urging them to listen.
I was hurt, I was upset and I was standing in a corner, thinking, whether writing a paragraph using my imagination was worthy at all. I thought of tearing away the sheet and tossing it out of the window...I heard him call my name.
He came up, he found me and beckoned me to sit beside him. Reluctant, yet confused and perplexed, I sat beside his tall frame.
"I heard you wrote something, can I read it?", he asked politely, with a little smile dancing in his eyes.
I studied his face and slowly gave him the notebook.
He brought out his spectacles, crooked them on his thoughtful nose and peered at my words. Then, he brought out his red ink pen and slowly corrected those millions of mistakes, I had managed to make in that little ten line paragraph. He wrote something at the end of the page and gave the note book back. I frowned at what I saw, if my pride was hurt so long, now my tears could not hold back to their self esteem. I whimpered.
"Hey, Look what I wrote below!", he petted my head and drew me close, I said, " I don't know."
" It says, " write on, for you have the power to love your words".
That was the last time he spoke to me, that was the second last time I saw.
Yes, second last time, because exactly a month later, I saw him for the last time. I saw him, lying on a make shift stretcher, made out of bamboo, surrounded by my uncle and my aunt-in-law, my mother and her cousins. All crying together. The place was hot, there were more strangers around. It was noon time, my father was holding my hand, standing beside me, the others were sitting on the floor. Beyond was the electric furnace. I saw the man operating it, I saw other dead people lying about, moaned by their living relations. I saw his face closely. He worn his pleasant smile.
After a while, the elders rose, two men came and carried him near the the red mouth of the hollow in the wall, "the furnace". I heard my mother grief aloud, felt my uncle go rigid beside me and my father holding my shoulders tight. I was calm, I saw my Grandfather been pushed inside the burning fire...
It was hard to walk this long, trying to understand, reading through books, self teaching and living through failures, without him. but I am here and will walk on and on with the lines:
" write on, for you have the power to love your words"
running in loops in my mind.