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Sabu Francis

The Hopes of Diwali

the little child sat waiting
among his friends' fireworks and lighting
for his father who was still working
hoping against hopes that on his returning
there will be something to his liking
so he could enjoy what his friends were doing

the mother noticed the hopes of her child
alas the hopes were unfounded, she silently sighed
for today her husband was deeply mired
in issues that just about lit the house fire
and maybe a little clay lamp or two outside

yet, she couldn't bear to see her child lose
the hopes that Diwali always lets loose
and the flutter of excitement that runs wild.
she thought: what good is all that if a noose
is tied around the hopes of even one child

she therefore led the child by the hand
and showed him the starry sky;
but all that he could see
were fireworks bursting in glee;
mocking at his little hopes and pride

The mother pointed out the stars to her son
and asked him, "do you know how they came to be?"
to which the son looked puzzled,
completely distracted and bedazzled;
thus he replied: "but aren't you noticing the fun?"

"The fireworks come and go my dearest," she said
"they all try to reach for the stars,
but eventually they all fall back dead.
However, the stars will always shine above us
to teach us that some things are always ahead"

"And which is?" the son asked curiously
"Every star was once an idea my son", said the mother
"an idea that was lit inside someone's head;
an idea that stayed its course unwaveringly
till it found its place up there, in our destiny"

"the best of fireworks is not the loudest,
neither is it the one that is the brightest.
it is that little pin-prick of an idea
that will always live along with a billion others
showering a little light on us for a million years"

"you too can have your fireworks, my son;
you too can have a lot of fun
don't get swayed by the showy or the vain
just make sure that your idea is relevant
only then it would stay its distance"

"make sure that the idea is well and truly lit
by your determination; a proper fuse
and fueled by your commitment; your muse
for without your zeal; the real fire behind
no idea can ever throw even the smallest light"

"your idea can never be worked on alone
for it needs to live among other stars
it is only the pompous fireworks
that try to out-do each other
only to come down and fall apart"

thus a mother's wisdom accomplished
what no pyrotechnics ever did
the boy soaked in the spectacle
and kept on thinking in wonderment
how the heaven and earth were all connected

later that night, when the father came home
he saw his fast growing son fast asleep
yet on that happy Diwali night;
behind that child's closed eyes
were a million ideas waiting to leap

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