How are we different from each other? Is it our faces, the colour of our eyes, the tone of our voice, or simply the differences in our thoughts suffice?
The answer plunges down like a gusty torrent and lies splat on your feet. Some argue it is a scientific reason; we are an evolving species after all and the process is far from completion. There may come a time when every person, every man, woman and child on Earth will resemble each other, in all biological aspects, just like zebras or lions – every other looks the same. Humankind has been wondering this world for about 100,000 years now. Society existed from time man had learnt to communicate. We also had alphas and omegas, fights for supreme leadership of our clans, and even faced perpetual exile on defeat, only to vow gory revenge. No I’m not talking signifying ‘The Lion King’, but yes, that indeed is a story more human than we could ever be.
When we look around us, we find all sorts of faces – many grinning, some straight, some pensive, others meek and a few gloomy. Well expressions may hide what thoughts cannot, and humankind had learnt the effective use of deception a long time back. Slaves deceived their masters in ancient Sumeria by cloaking their sorrow with toiling labour, spice lords of the east tricked European merchants into thinking cardamom was clover, clover to cinnamon and cinnamon with dried grapes. The Popes concealed their true desires when they asked all Catholic kings to wage bloody crusades, and Hitler honestly and truthfully made the world believe that bearded men were goats, waiting for sacrifice. What significantly distinguishes us isn’t the length of our smiles, but the weight of our thoughts. We may be dreamers, far-fetched thinkers, dead and buried in conversations but alive and kicking in reveries. Day-dreaming is sorcery without wands, without magical cauldrons, without eyes. We can just shut our eye-lids and imagine anything possible; scale the mightiest peaks, swim the deepest trenches, jump to the moon and back or visualise the galaxy as one of our many canvases.
This is where we can ‘classify’ people. Many of those who I come across just blurt out that thoughts are for retards, and that if you think too much, everyone tags you on Facebook as a social freak. But just because someone has a higher intellectual capability, is that person actually a freak? Few centuries ago, an aimless teenager began sketching his backyard, and when his neighbours complained to his family about this freakish habit, his well-wishers were grim. Those drawings didn’t make any sense. Humans occupying the same entourage with God were unheard of back them. The matter was all hushed up and the boy was shifted to a painting school to pursue his desires, but shape his thoughts. It didn’t happen. He went on to paint ‘The Creation of Adam’, sculpt ‘David’ and ‘Pieta’ and finally painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Dripping paint may have fogged his eyes but not once was “Angel Michael’s” vision blurred. Michelangelo painted his thoughts and immortalized himself on canvas, stone and history. Well, we all can’t be painters let alone the great Italian, but whose holding us back in our minds? Breaking free is not an option; it’s a choice, a choice we do not regret once we commit into it.
Simba could have gone on to be as ruthless as Scar or be weak and timid after assuming that he was responsible for his father’s demise. Enter Timon and Pumba, and show his what life is all about. They don’t have a care in the world, eat off rotten logs and spend drowsy summers in a mystical oasis on soft ferns. These are not just animals, not just figures enhanced through computer-graphics, but digital expressions of thoughts generated from sparks on nerve endings in our brains. Sculptures and oil-portraits, poems or lyrics, chimes or chords; these are all thoughts coming alive.
I, too, am a dream, often lost in lush green meadows of Wimbledon, sometimes making it to the finals only to fall graciously in defeat to Roger Federer. Where do these thoughts get me, you ask? Well, they take me to a world where creativity never ceases to exist. It is an on-going saga of expression that enables me to make compositions and draft comic essays. So let thoughts guide you on, but yes Mr Kipling wouldn’t like it if you made them your aims. We should build a golden stairway with our dreams, which sparkles and glimmers even in the faintest of lights, shimmering in the horizon like a lighthouse to stranded buoys and storm-torn vessels, offering one sole ray of hope in a hurricane.
Dream on. Hakuna matata.