It took me almost three days to reach the small isolated village perched amidst the green hills. Thankfully, I had found a villager, a young boy around 16, on my way up; otherwise it could have taken more time. We reached there by late evening and the boy ensured that I had a roof over my head for the night. Tired of the long walk I immediately went off to sleep.
I was woken up by the sound of wood being cut outside. It was still very early for me but I decided to come out of the comfort of my blanket to see the place that had drawn me towards it three days ago. Everything around was shrouded in mist: it brought a faint smile on my face. Perhaps, this is what I had come to witness- a place far away from the buzz of the city to the lap of the nature: a place that would offer me the much needed solace. I felt a peace inside I hadn’t felt for long. I wished life was always so peaceful. The two kids cutting the wood beckoned me.
I couldn’t understand what the kids were saying but I managed to understand that they were asking where I had come from. I tried to explain but perhaps it only confused them; they kept laughing. I wanted to ask them few questions but the language was a barrier so I smiled and decided to take a walk around.
I couldn’t enjoy the serene sight for long. My mind went back to all the problems waiting for me once I returned. The life in the hills looked so easy: a simple life without any problems, while in city everyday was a struggle. I had been through so much in last few months that only destiny had stopped me from ending my life. Why couldn’t my life be as simple as that of these villagers? I spent hours thinking about what I would do when I returned till the kids came to call me.
The old man, the owner of the house, greeted me and asked if I slept well. He could speak my language. He offered me food and I was glad because I had not had anything the last day. I devoured the simple food of rice and vegetable, while he looked at me with questioning eyes. After I was done eating, he asked me my purpose of visit. I lied to him that I was a wanderer who liked travelling and didn’t have any particular purpose while the reality was that I had come to stay away from my problems. I don’t know if he bought my answer but his smile suggested he knew more. He asked me if I wanted to join him for repair of a nearby house. I gladly agreed.
The house was badly in need of a repair. Many men from village had gathered around the house. The old man told me that when people came together work became fun. I smiled, wondering if the theory worked in the cities. The work began. They laughed at my pathetic efficiency and I laughed, too. We all worked till the house was restored. At the end, everyone sat in front of the house for what to me looked like a celebration.
The old man asked me not to drink much, the local home-made liquor. After a glass of the liquor I felt something inside my tired body. The old man came and sat by my side, with the eternal smile he had been carrying since morning. He pointed his fingers towards the horizon where the sun was going down. I looked at it as if caught by his spell. He asked me if I felt the majesty of the sight. I wanted to and though the sight was beautiful I couldn’t feel its majesty, while his expression suggested he was awe-struck. He didn’t utter any more words and kept looking at the sun and I kept looking at the old man.
Later, on our way back to the old man’s house I asked him what was so majestic about the sunset? He looked at me and said, ‘It says the day is over. What could be more majestic than that?’ I wanted him to elaborate but apparently he was done. He wished me goodnight and went inside his room.
As I cuddled up in my straw bed, I wondered what he meant. Suddenly, just before I fell asleep, I was struck by the wisdom of old man’s word. I realized the beauty of the words he had spoken. It was nothing new but I had forgotten the simple fact that it didn’t matter how good or bad the day was, it got over. I was so stuck in life, thinking about the next day, that I had forgotten to appreciate the beauty of the day getting over, taking along with it every problem. My thoughts went deeper. Right from the beginning we are taught to think about future. Farther you think, wiser you are considered. It’s all well till things are good, but when things go wrong, the same brain that has been taught to be far sighted since beginning extrapolates the problem into far future leaving us restless and pathetic. The biggest reason for human misery is that we put everything on tomorrow, while losing every today that comes our way.
It’s been few months since the trip to the hills but even today the old man’s simple words helps me get out of any situation that comes my way. I just have today in my hand and even if that didn’t go too well I know it will soon be over. Life suddenly looks much simpler than how it had seemed till few months ago. I just have to look at sun going down and I know it will go down every day of my Life.