She is one of our own, just another face in the crowd. She’s as simple in all her complexity as any of us, for the art of being simple is a complicated one. Most nights, she screams in her sleep until she wakes up, bathed in cold sweat. She lies awake in her bed, planning and re-planning and fearing for the safety of her dreams, until sleep steals across her tired eyes. During the day, she goes around cooking, cleaning, arranging, working, busy as a bee, going through the same mechanical motions, catering to the needs of others, while her heart keeps dwelling on her dreams. For she’s somebody’s mother, sister, wife and daughter and she has to shoulder responsibilities and meet expectations that often require the sacrifice of her dreams. Therefore she has to fight tooth and nail to keep her dreams alive, to keep them from being sacrificed. So while her hands keep working and her feet scurrying to and fro, her eyes sometimes wear a lost look, as if she’s trying hard to catch hold of a thought that’s eluding her.

For chasing dreams is a lonesome, one-way journey over a rough, rocky, windswept path, with deep, dark chasms on either side of it, that are always ready to mete out a slow, painful death to dreamers and dreams alike. Many of her friends have never embarked upon such a journey and never plan to do that, ever. For we, humans, are much more a slave to comfort than we might care to accept. These friends are the ones that try to hold her back, recounting to her, often and again, the frightening tales of the dangers that lurk along the way. They are also the ones that try to persuade her to stay back, flooding her with suggestions of safer, surer, less dangerous options. There are others who give her a gentle push on her way forward, from time to time, because they have had to abandon their journey, often without having started it at all, and it gives them some peace of mind to support someone who’s still trying. Then there are those who are indifferent, like they are to most things.

She knows that, for her, chasing dreams comes at a price, a dearer one than most people would care to pay for anything, least of all for chasing dreams. Therefore, with each passing day, she makes her preparations to leave behind all that is familiar to her, the usual comfort, the old familiar faces, the little nook she has carved out for herself, when she goes off  in search of the unknown, along unfriendly ways. When doubts crowd in to seize the territory that her dreams hold – and this is not an infrequent occurrence – she steels herself with the thought that this is just a necessary precaution, so that she doesn’t end up dangling in mid-air, held back by the shackles of familiarity, when she takes the final plunge.


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