At the deck,

Between the giants,
Anchored amidst the expensive yachts
And the boisterous looking commercial vessels
Is a small little boat,
Ahmed’s boat.

He is not a seafarer
Nor is he any more experienced than his baby sister Maya
He is but a child
Still, the little boat was his own
His father but a humble fisherman
His mother a lowly washerwoman
Nevertheless Fate had different plans for Ahmed

At fourteen,
The sun was but a blob of orange paint
The horizon was all too close
And sailing all too simple.
Yet he knew he must go:
Go forth into the wide ocean
To reach foreign lands and make his fortunes.

Father questioned his motives
Mother cautioned him
Still he sailed
With unrelenting courage
And a fire that burns within his soul.

The sea was still,
The anchor pulled up
The oars taken out.

At fourteen,
He saw the world as a kaleidoscope
Each reflection in all six mirrors was poles apart
In one, he saw the calm blue waters
In another, a storm
Then the undeniable silence
That dread of what was to come
Along with the exhilaration
And the will to conquer.

Tempest came,
In deadly whirlwinds and torrential pours
The little boat overturned
With Ahmed barely holding on.
“I mustn’t die” he whispers
With a gulp of salt water
And a shrill cry
He holds on,
With unrelenting courage
And a fire that burns within his soul.

The blue waters finally settle
The little boat sails straight once more
He faces that orange blob on the horizon
Unafraid and determined
Because courage does not relent
And fire does not die.


#previously published in The Shillong Times


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