Race… Speed… Success… Fame… Money… All these sound so good, don’t they? Competition is something everyone is taught even before they’re born. Some people get it, some take time to understand the concept, some fail to compete, irrespective of their strengths. These types are mostly the best people I have been through. Mainly ‘cuz I am one of them. LOL! I just can’t compete for anyone by defeating them. Consider it cowardly, or in whichever way, I believe in being in my best form, improving myself and working on my own dreams, at the same time not shattering anyone else’s. Maybe that’s why I used to come last in my roller skating races. I had my own speed. I knew everyone is eventually gonna reach the final line without any difficulty. Some people realize the essence of competing by improving themselves and getting better as a result. Some, who are inborn competitors, I don’t know what to say about them! I stay away from them. There are very few exceptions in this category, the ones who are on the top as well as being down to earth. Some forget the ground sometimes. They get habituated with the success around them which keeps making them work harder and harder. That comes with an uncertainty and a fear of competition. A fear of anyone else taking their thunder. This stress might get them to the top, or it might throw them underground. That moment is entirely game-changing. There are times with these guys when the “win-win” attitude become a part of their personality. They forget to behave like a normal person. They forget where they have come from. They forget themselves. I believe in Karma. Some of the other time in future, everybody gets to pay their debt.
When the time to pay their debts comes, many people ignore the message behind it and move on. That debt is as insignificant as their ignorance. Fabio had his own.
The story begins when Fabio was coming down after having another successful trek in Italy. The sky was a perfect blue to view the alpine range from the top. As he was coming down the rocky Dolomites in a synthetic mountaineers’ suit, he made sure his helmet didn’t get a single scratch. As always, he was in his best form and was excited to meet the paparazzi waiting for him at the base camp. He had just captured his best shot on the GoPro. The weather started to cool off with grey clouds from the North. The mountain area ended and the low stony slopes began among the deep woods. He heard a familiar sound which he also heard while climbing up in the first place. The sound diverted his attention formerly, as well as at this moment. Now that he had already accomplished the task, he decided to follow the source that led him away from the fame. As he walked downhill, things suddenly started to go slow. A sudden blow shook his soul and his eyes creased. His lips widened with a bright smile, a smile that was seen 23 years ago from this 26-year-old athlete. He got completely obliviated from the world. A cinematic sequence of the mountains, rivers, valleys, all disrupted the noise of the success and the greed to achieve without waiting. It became a quest for him to discover this melody. In no time he was deep into the woods. He forgot where he entered the place. Fabio kept moving on.
Slowly and steadily, the music led Fabio to Lake Crespeina. The music suddenly ceased. On the other end of the lake, he saw the most beautiful woman in the world, in a white gown, wearing a tiara made up of flowers. Her golden-brown hair was long enough to reach her lower waist region. The distance between the woman and him was quite a lot, for he wasn’t able to recognize her, but had some idea that the woman seemed familiar. He couldn’t see her face, as she kept her back towards the lake. The lady sat on the edge of the water with utmost peace, holding a flute and gazing at her reflection in the water body. She brought the flute towards her lips and continued with the heart-melting melody.
Fabio’s legs started to shiver. He fell on the stony bank. He fell powerless. All of a sudden he looked into the lake. The ripples started to convert into objects, seaweeds took the shape of trees. A fish turned into a woman looking just like the one sitting outside, and a larva converted to a young boy. The fish was guiding the larva towards the food. But what Fabio saw, was completely different. He saw, the woman playing the flute to her young one. She is lost deep in her music and in a state of complete tranquility. The lad is transfixed in her mother’s creation, probably thanking God for this wonder. No sooner does something antagonist start to occur. The boy has started to fade away, slowly and slowly with dark clouds covering the forest. The flute is still being played. Now, the tune is painful and heart-rending. Tears start pouring down the eyes of the angel mother, substituting the rain. The clouds start to thunder. Momentarily, the flute stops and it starts to rain… He has gone.
Let it sync…
Sometimes we keep running for materialistic things which might mean something to us, but in real life has no significance. We keep fighting to acquire what might not be ours, in a vision of nothing but to feel superior. And honestly, most of us aren’t as superior as our image in our own head. Ever thought of standing still for a while, doing nothing but looking into the sky, into the infinite space and realizing how simple life can be? We forget our own people but run around the entire globe looking for validation and recognition which might just be just the gold plating on lead? We are taught from the beginning, “Shoot for the stars”; “don’t look back”; “Keep grinding”; “Burn that midnight oil”… Sometimes we forget that even the jewel grinders face wear and tear while sharpening the gem. Even a coal mine is halted after some time for it to rejuvenate. What I want to say is, it is never too bad to look back and pause for a while.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- in which case, you fail by default.
-J K Rowling
Fabio gasped as he woke up from his flashback. He was sweating to the realization of what he had achieved, his awards; and what he had lost… His mother. As he raised his head towards the woman, there was nobody there. Looking around, he saw that there were no trees around. The sky was as bright as it was on the peak of the mounts. The earth was covered with green moss and an occasional bush. He got up from the bank and started trudging towards the base camp.
The paparazzi were waiting for him since long, as he came back quite later than expected. He could hear a loud cheer for him as he became visible to the fans. He did not respond to the encouragement. The people calmed down as they saw their role model not so delighted. He went through the paparazzi and did not converse with anyone. Sitting in his car, he sobbed like never before. After digesting all that happened, he decided to go to Orta San Giulio, a remote village in Piedmont. He parked his Lamborghini outside the village and started running towards the thin streets of the place where he spent before becoming independent. He kept running until he reached Lago di Orta, the lake on the side of which he used to keep his head on his mother’s lap to listen to her melodies.
There, he saw a middle-aged woman sitting on a cliff, looking at the rippling water of the lake, holding the same flute which Fabio dreamt of. He walked towards her, and without saying anything, kept his head on her lap.
She started to play the flute again…
The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness
-Honore de Balzac
Thanks to the following links for pictures to create the vibe: