“Shubh! What should I write about this week? And don’t say, “I have no idea! I’ve done that as well.” Shubham looked around his room and looking at a little curio his friend gave said, “Umm, write about friendship.” “No way, I’m done with it.” “Okay!” He looked around some more and fixed his eyes on the monitor of his laptop. He checked the new logo that he’s designed for his so called ‘company’ and said, “Write about fire.” ” Blah!” I leave his room. I wonder, why not, as I get into my bed. So, here I am, all fired up about fire!
My best memories about fire are the lamp lit up in our little temple in Jaipur where my grandparents sat doing Pooja and that of all of us sitting in the kitchen while Mumma made hot chapattis or parathas as we ate. After growing up a little I remember going for the Holika Pooja, a day prior to Holi and also Lohri at a much later stage. Then there were times before the inverter when we would sit around candle at times of power outage and play games with Papa. The most wonderful memory of fire is of Papa getting us hot peanuts from the seller who would put a pot of burning coal over a heap of peanuts in the cold winter months. I remember the lessons on how man discovered fire and also on how fire can be the best of friends and also the worst enemy.
Family weddings in winters means sitting around fire and listening to anecdotes after anecdotes from the wonderful seniors of the family and having a good laugh. It also reminds me of a candle lit campfire in Binsar and a proper campfire in Kausani. Speaking of winters and fire, the mention of the story ‘Birbal ki khichdi’ is a must. But another story that I want to mention today is the ‘Fire of friendship’ by Paulo Coelho from the book ‘Aleph’, which I’m reading at present.
A man called Ali was in need of money and asked his boss to help him out. His boss set him a challenge: if he could spend all night on the top of a mountain, he would receive a great reward; if he failed, he would have to work for free.
When he left the shop, Ali noticed that an icy wind was blowing. He felt afraid and decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if he thought he was mad to accept the wager.
After considering the matter for a moment, Aydi answered:
“Don’t worry, I’ll help you. Tomorrow night, when you’re sitting on top of the mountain, look straight ahead. I’ll be on the top of the mountain opposite, where I’ll keep a fire burning all night for you.”
“Look at the fire and think of our friendship; and that will keep you warm. You’ll make it through the night, and afterwards, I’ll ask you for something in return.”
Ali won the wager, got the money, and went to his friend’s house. He said to Aydi, “You said you wanted some sort of payment in return. Here, take how much you want.”
Aydi said, “Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if ever a cold wind blows through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”
Many a times our own inner fire goes cold and it is at times like this that someone we encounter reignites that flame within us. These people who rekindle the spirit are our true friends. So, when the fire within you is bright and burning, don’t keep it to yourself but spread the warmth through all the hearts that you touch because it is when you are down and cold, there are many fires lit up for you which will keep you warm.
That’s all the fire my phoenix can manage for the time being. Hope it has warmed your heart too.
Now, do tell me what should I write about next?😀