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“I wish, I wish, with all my heart to fly with dragons, in a land apart”
(From Dragon Tales which I used to watch with my kid brother).
There is no particular reason as to why I wrote it up there,,except that whenever I think of 'wish' this line keeps running around in my brain. Now no particular reason has been found for this strange phenomenon and the only reason I can think of for an answer would be that it rhymes. The cartoon itself wasn't anything special, just an innocent show. Now to get going, there is no logical path in what is to follow, but order probably comes from a lot of chaos doesn’t it? Well now that all the serious stuff has been said, wishes are probably the most fun-kind of topics from all the fairy tales we have read. So I was sitting on the pot, for that is where there is all freedom for thought in this world, though not so much freedom for expression, wondering what do we wish for anyway? It got me embarked on an exciting journey to find out what people wished for in their lives. I asked quite a few and this is what I came up with:
Many people among the diaspora asked, wanted it all in bling. They said, the more the better and that there is no happiness in this world without money. There are few things that money can’t buy they said, and being extremely ‘pragmatic’ they were willing to settle for the bigger number compared with mundane things like 'love'. As I recall, one was emphatic that all his troubles would cease to exist if Lady Luck gave him one billion dollars. And that was when the devil in me, raised his head.
Me: Ok Guy1 fast one. If you were to make a wish at this moment what would it be? Now this is not one of those forwards and you will not get any funny answer at the end of this. But this is for something am writing so being as honest as you can. And as serious as you can.
12:37 PM Guy1: 1 billion dollars$$$
Me:Ok you'll squander your wish for 1 billion dollars.Thats it? Nothing else?
12:38 PM Guy1: I didn’t get you dude.
Me: Ok you only need a billion dollars? At this moment were you going about your life dreaming about 1 billion dollars?
12:39 PM Guy1: Yaw man .That’s the ultimate aim:)Why?
12:40 PM By the way it’s not much. Only 4000 crore Rupees!!! :)Did I ask too much?
12:41 PM Me: No just was gonna remind you that you’d better come up with something to cut your wealth tax. Place some tight security around your house. Plus hire some C.A guys to do your accounts for all the unaccounted cash that you are getting. And 1 billion dollars is not easy to hide either. Remember Ramalinga Raju?
12:42 PM Me: So you better come up with something to do for the fat bundle of cash that’s gonna be dumped in your living room.
Guy1: Dude I’m not a crook, I want my billion to be neat white.
12:43 PM Me: Hey, God or whoever who’s gonna do this transaction is guaranteeing nothing. It is just gonna be dumped in your living room.
Guy1: Then I don’t want it in cash; I just want my assets to be worth 1 billion
12:44 PM Me: now that’s a lot t be wishing. Even Cinderella got her wish only for one night. And she’s the luckiest I’ve ever heard of.
Guy1: Man what’s this crap all about? Did u lose it all?:)
Me: Just wanted you to know to be careful what you wish for the next time.
There ended my conversation with Guy1 who was not sure whether he wanted his 1 billion Dollars now.
Hmm...From the ‘pragmatic’ people we go to the yogi types who wanted satisfaction. Personally I just can’t fathom what it is that the real yogis want when they go and sit in the biting cold and ahem, look for ‘nirvana’. Well for one, why can’t they do it sitting here where normal people live? Now if they blame it on all the distractions in this world, I say, weren’t they supposed to be the ones with the ‘inner eye’ and concentration? Anyway the person who wanted satisfaction was far from a yogi, and he was as far away from the Himalayas as possible, in the hustle-bustle of Bangalore. Now I can understand this coming from a person in a mid-life crisis or someone with a lot of tension. But surprisingly Guy2 was neither. Well I can’t have it my way all the time and he was quite confident that a dash of satisfaction was all he would need. That got me thinking; this guy was clever. Well ‘cos satisfaction in your life was what people have been chasing for centuries and what hundreds of those yogis who bath nude in the Ganga each year, go into the biting cold and the harsh surroundings of the Himalayas searching. And that’s what my friend in his A/C cubicle in the Silicon Valley would be getting. Now that was a good deal except I didn’t think he would be far better off either. See, being satisfied has its draw-backs. Picturing his life another ten years down the road-same old car, same old house, and same old designation, with former colleagues as his superiors, not much of a problem since he is satisfied with his job, eh? Let’s look further, a disgruntled missus who now thinks she didn’t get the best deal. And so on, and so forth, ‘cos apparently being satisfied with one’s life isn’t enough, others surrounding us have to be satisfied as well. And the fairy doesn’t promise a full package.
3. Weird Requests
In this category, I have many. But only one worth mentioning:
See the future:
Here was someone who said that all she needed was the ability to see into the future and her life would be complete. And I agreed. Well at least I could remember from that Nicholas Cage movie where he manages to kill off his would-be attackers by just looking into the future. And while we were discussing about how wonderful this new gift was, a strange thought came ringing into my mind. If you were seeing your own future how is it that you are going to change it? If you change it in the present then it is no longer your future ain’t it? The reason was pretty simple-no one has ever been given the ability to change future, ’cos that’s God’s own power. I’ve heard that astrologers in India the seriously good ones and the famous ones who are now dead were in reality very good mathematicians-Vedic mathematicians to be precise. The art of astrology was in fact a science and has its base in pretty serious Math. That brings to my mind a story about one such astrologer of yesteryears. Apparently our man was lying on the floor looking at the stars and planets, performing calculations. His wife interrupted him and asked him to go have his meal. After the meal she laid out a slightly raised platform with a mat for him so that he could take some rest after the meal. She was gone for some time and returned to find him highly agitated. He was pacing up and down, muttering to himself. He told her that he could not get his calculations right anymore. After much searching it turned out that the culprit was the slightly raised platform. In itself not more than a foot off the ground, it changed calculations which were of the order of several billions. Such was the precision of our astrologers and they themselves claim that it is a probabilistic approach-never perfect. Now to have that kind of power in your hand is one thing and to meddle with it? “That is best left to God”, I told her, “remember Bruce Almighty?” And to know the future and not being able to change is like knowing you are going to ram into a ten-ton lorry as you are driving along peacefully and knowing you can do nothing to change it. That’s why most people want to stay away from knowing their future; so as to not hear impending bad news and then having to live with it knowing it's going to strike you soon enough. It's like the Midas Touch, you ask for it and then you slowly realise that you were much better off without it.
That brought me to one question that was ringing in my mind ever since I started questioning these people. What would I want, I who have shamelessly trodden on their wishes? Too late, I remember-
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
-W.B. Yeats(He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven)
Now for the world to question; I wouldn’t want all the riches in heaven, nor satisfaction, nor to look at the future. All I wanted ever since I thought about it, is to hear the roar of a particular jet-engine,nothing more, nothing less. So it is that I have waited long to see my room filled with bright light and fairies to appear, but all it gets filled up with is moonlight and shadows of the mahagony tree outside my window. I realise that the fairies of this world have taken a holiday, and the well in my backyard doesn’t throw up anything either. Just gobbles up all the coins you throw into it. All I am left with are my dreams and the satisfying feeling that no one can rob me of them...