Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Rock and the Tree

“Perseverance is not that steady rock that slowly loses itself in the torrent, but that wise tree that gently sways and gives way to the storm and exists as shade to passersby and home to that which fly.”
A stranger arrived at the party offered by the richest businessman in Chalode. The businessman was in his fifties. He owned a network of restaurants and hotels in the area. Once in a year he gave party to his friends. The stranger found the businessman talking among a group of people.

“I would like to have a chat with you.” The stranger said to the businessman. Both of them settled themselves in one of the corners of the huge hall. The stranger looked restless. Before the stranger could speak anything the businessman said:
“I sent you the invitation, because I wanted you to be here. I would like to tell you my story.”

He narrated the story of how he became rich. He had started his business more than twenty years back at Chalode, which was a very small town back then. He had a small teashop. Not many of the town’s people stopped by his shop. But a young writer was his regular visitor, who was his friend, too. The writer would tell him stories of hope and inspiration, which lured the businessman with dreams for a better future.

One day another person started a new teashop across his shop on the other side of the road. Day by day his financial condition dwindled.

The businessman felt himself close to failure. Then on an evening he asked the young writer: “would you please write my story, my friend? It will make me feel good about myself, make myself important and it will remind myself that I too exist. I wish the world to know about my hardships.”

“But I write stories of hope. The stories I write should end happily.” The writer had replied. And after that day he never visited the shop, implying that he had no hope on the poor teashop.

But as the town was small, there were not many customers for the new teashop either. Before long the owner of the new teashop, having lost all his hopes on the town, moved away to a distant place. But the businessman persisted.

As the years gone by an airport was commissioned in a place nearby Chalode. Prosperity fell in love with the small town. The town began to grow and its people affluent. The business man was one of them who earned a good fortune in the turn of things. The businessman opened many teashops and restaurants. And as the small town transformed into a city, his profit too began to increase.

The businessman finished his story. He could see the stranger’s face pale.

“This is my story of survival. I have a request too; I hope this time you will not deny me, my friend: Please write my story.” The businessman said.

The stranger stood up. His eyes were raining dews and his face was twilight. “I am sorry.” Was the only sentence he cold mutter before embracing his friend, the teashop owner, the businessman. The businessman too was dabbing his eyes. After all it was after long twenty years he was coming so close to his old friend, the young writer.

“It was you who made it all possible. It was you, and your stories of hope and inspiration that gave me the courage to dream.” The businessman whispered.


The Days that are No More--7


Dear reader, with this story the series named “The Days that are No More” is coming to a close. The series of individual stories connected with the common theme ‘writer’s block’ was primarily an experiment from my part as a writer, but it had another purpose too. It was an attempt to utilize the supreme power of art. The supreme power of art: the power to transform. My attempt in writing this series was to transform one of the most uncomfortable and confusing periods of an artist’s life—writer’s blocks/creative blocks—into works of art, into stories.

Hoping as always that you have enjoyed them all,
Anu.     
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