The explorer

Going on for and wide
chasing new horizons
speaking unknown tongues
asking strangers for the way
walking by the sidewalks
observing others on her path
befriending some street dogs
waving to women in stores
running up the mountains
waving to young shepherds
laughing at the frolicking sheep
reaching the top in ecstasy
gasping though, and heaving
willing still to traverse all over
enduring the shadeless seas
exploring unchartered territories
reading, she goes everywhere
being despite in a merciless cast

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Versatile

During sibling wars
a child’s bat it becomes

On icy cold days
a holder of hot beverages

On sleepless nights
a companion for open eyes

When confusion clouds
a comforter for sought minds

At a loss for gifts
a lifetime purpose it offers 

If a question strikes
a resounding resource it’s 

On them tired moments 
a beckoning pillow it makes

When challenged by techies
a living breathing thing it proves

So if you ask me why books
a truer friend there seldom is

Discovering

Dog-eared in each page

happy, anxious, sad, sorry

a new emotion

Books be like

An exciting start,

dragging, then tumbling to close

a story’s story

Hey, universe… A little help?

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Does it, though?

When I read The Alchemist years ago, this particular quote stood out to me more than any other. It wasn’t just me, everyone spoke about Paulo Coelho’s declaration that the universe accommodates the dreamer. It was aspirational, and it led me to believe in myself a little more than I did before.

That was years ago.

As I grew up and dreamt of bigger and more worthy goals, I realised that the universe was far from helping me. It started to seem as if the universe was going out of its way to prevent me from reaching my heart’s desire. Every task turned sour. Every day, and every want became painful to swallow. I started channelling my anger and frustration at Coelho for stuffing my head with false promises when none of his claims worked for me. Not that I failed in all of my endeavours, but the process of achieving them often seemed like sheer luck or extensive effort. None of my successes came easy, and by the time I completed a tiny goal I was too tired even to celebrate. And for that I pitied myself and hated everyone else. Jealously crept through me as my colleagues and acquaintances succeeded without expending even half of my efforts. It infuriated me that they had life the easy way when I—who craved for it more than they did—struggled to stay afloat.

It was unfair.

Here I am stringing bits and pieces to capture the bigger picture while the undeserving got all the opportunity I should have.

I’m ashamed now, But I was so jealous then.

I still believe in Paulo Coelho’s aspirational words, but instead of trusting them in a blind way, I take them with a grain of salt.

I’ve realised that sometimes the universe tests us, torments us, and taunts us to see how much we want what we want. Sure, some people might not face challenges, but it’s the challenges and the way we meet them that determine how deserving we are. More often than not, we give up even before we face those challenges.

I’ve wanted to give up so many times—I’d considered all the negativity as a sign for me to stop trying. As if all the hurdles in the path towards my goal are omens telling me I shouldn’t pursue my goals.

And I think that’s where most of us fall behind. We get so close to achieving our goals, after striving for years, and as we encounter one more step back, we decide to step back altogether.

But if we hang on, persevere despite all the world telling us not to, the universe just might turn in our favour. It won’t happen in an instant, and it may not happen for a long time, but some time the horizon will come.