By Talha Masood
A person’s heart is an ocean of memories both bitter and sweet, and of experiences both painful and joyous. An ocean, deeper and greater than any ocean of this world. It is out of these unfathomable depths that whenever a man is in trouble, a voice rises, imploring him to look inside his heart. Where he can always find the light of guidance in the darkest times of his life. Alas! if only we listen to it instead of choosing to be enfolded by the poisonous tentacles of despair and crushing our spirits in this choice. If only we look inside our hearts at such times, we will discover that human hearts are the mirrors that can reflect our past. Whether we are guided by these reflections or lose our selves in them, depends on our own choice.
Seventeen years have elapsed since the time when I first stepped in this world of shadows and sounds. Fifteen years, since fate, sudden as lightning, had snatched my sight from me. Extinguishing all light from my life, making it a never-ending night, an endless shadow, a prison of darkness. However, the interesting thing is that I may have lost my sight but found my vision.
No doubt sun never rises in the dark horizon under which I live, and the stars never shine in the life long night I spend. Yet my heart remains illuminated by the light of faith, by the fire of will, and by the gratitude towards nature for her countless blessings. These are the three elements of my vision. A vision better than most and certainly more powerful than many because now I know how to see through the darkness of despair that often surrounds our hearts.
The light of faith has always guided me when any kind of trouble tried to uproot my stance, and so kept me safe from wandering astray. Likewise, whenever an obstacle comes in my way and tries to barricade a deserving success, I face it with a tireless struggle and eventually burn it to ashes with the fire of will which burns ever so strongly in my spirit. The third and most important element of gratitude was directly taught to me by nature herself.
She taught me that whenever the venomous ingratitude spreads in a person, it often results in the blindness of heart. Blindness worse than mine, because to such hearts the countless blessings of nature appear as their rightful possessions. Hence a day came in my life, when my steps faltered as my efforts were proved, apparently fruitless. I had prepared for my O levels examination of geography, as good as any other student had, perhaps a shade better, but when the results were announced, my grade was lower than most students just because I did poorly on the map work because of my blindness. Thus the fact that my blindness had, for the first time in my life, turned a promised victory into a certain defeat, gave birth to that serpent-like ingratitude which sank its venomous fangs in my heart, and it had two full days to complete its effect on my staunch will. No matter how hard I tried to resist, my strength failed me. Perhaps because I was bitterly disappointed. Nevertheless, whatever the reason, I felt too weary to fight against those vulture-like dark imaginings and was ready to accept the darkness which was to engulf my heart, turning me blind for real. It was then that a voice, tender as my mother’s, and strong as my father’s stopped me and asked me to look deeper inside my heart, before abandoning the path of the courageous. Thus began my inwards journey.
The first thing that I realized was that Mother Nature had hidden a great deal in my sixteen years old heart. I had found myself, looking inside a world of mirrors, both great and small. Some, displaying colorful imagery of long-forgotten days, others were just clear as water but I heard voices, coming out of them. So I examined each and every mirror I could get to, before it vanished, as suddenly as it had come.
The first mirror showed an infant of three or four days, sleeping peacefully in his mother’s arms. The next one had a child of two years old, playing with a stuffed toy and laughing at his own, innocent thoughts. The third mirror projected a five years old boy in an army uniform, standing with his friends and promising each other to become a great army general.
Now, a mixture of fearful anticipation and suspense to know more was brewing up inside me. I wanted to stop, yet wanted to see it all. Thus I looked at the last and the greatest of the colorful mirrors. It displayed a boy of eight years old, holding an oval shaped object and trying to persuade his friends that it’s not a bomb. As he spoke these words, a great blast echoed in the surrounding mountains and a storm of small pebbles and stones hid them from my view. The boy’s screams, my screams, brought an earthquake in my present. So that a flood of despair tried to drown me for good, and reliving the worst moments of my life had left no strength in me to fight against it. Nevertheless the angelic voice again rescued me and encouraged me to listen to those clear mirrors as well. To get the complete picture of my life.
So I listened to the first clear mirror, a gentle and encouraging voice was saying, “careful now. Don’t put much weight on them”. Another voice replied, “Thanks doctor”, and then a joyful and triumphant laughter followed with these words, “I am finally standing on my own two feet after six whole months”. The next one had voices of my sincere friends and a teacher’s voice, announcing that I had managed to achieve fifth position in the class, and a shield as a reward for my hard work. Likewise there were many mirrors with my parents and siblings voices, and many others, which reminded me the countless and priceless blessings of nature. Hence this great realization became an antidote for the poison of ingratitude and rekindled the fire of will which burnt away the feeling of hopelessness and despair from my heart.
What I learnt from my experience in the world of mirrors is that our lives are decorated with the most beautiful flowers of relations. We all know this fact but its true significance is only revealed to him, who walks on the thorny path of pains and difficulties, with courage and determination, and wages a war till death against his own dark imaginings.