‘Legend says that the spirits of Baba and Bibi still live on the slopes of the Kilimanjaro.
They meet all the weary souls, desirous of entering the elephant graveyard.
They attend to their broken hearts and mend their exhausted will to survive.
They have become the custodians of the broken hearts and guardians of the broken dreams.’
The old man stopped talking and smiled at me.
‘Now, have you understood Diyaa Udeen?’
‘Yes I have.’ I bowed my head and answered.
‘Sin is submission to the desires and the way to wisdom; while virtue is the realization of sin.
Life is an experiment of the Grand Alchemist; while death is a door that opens to a new life.
Truth is God and wisdom is the devil. God tells the truth, the Devil shows the way to understand the truth.’
‘But there is a storm raging outside.’ I look at the shadow of my grandfather.
‘Yes! There is a storm raging outside and there is all chaos. There will always be a storm raging and there will always be chaos.’ He smiles.
‘But remember Son! Chaos is the fire and ashes from which a phoenix is born anew.
Be the phoenix.
Come to terms with the chaos. Understand it. Know it.
Let it envelop you and seep through you.
Be the tree and let the harsh wind blow through your branches.
Dance with the chaos and sway with the wind.
Ultimately the wind will pass and you will stand proud.’
ROUND – 1: Monday, 7:45 AM
‘Please tie your hair.’ I politely request my teenage daughter, while unlocking the car.
‘I will. Later!’ She replies nonchalantly.
‘You will. Now!’ I muster up a deep bass voice from somewhere.
She looks at me. I look back. We keep on staring at each other. I win. She ties her hair.
I won round one. I am pretty proud of myself.
‘Dreams can either be the most terrible or most wonderful of all experiences, God has ever created.’ The turtle slowly opened his sleepy eyes.
‘Why terrible?’ I was taken aback at the turtle’s response. I thought he was a dreamer like me.
‘Dreams are terrible when they remain dreams. They try to survive by raising their delicate heads and breathing in the air of imagination. But a time comes when they die. And when they breathe their last, they lose their vibrant colors and turn into the grey dust of regret.’ The turtle said, sadly prodding the dry leaves littering the pale grass.
‘But I thought dreams were beautiful things –romance, adventure and imagination.’ I felt my legs weakening and I sat down on the pale grass besides the turtle.