God was sitting on His throne. Content, He was smiling a most tranquil smile. The crescent of the smile was sharper, more expressive.
“Your Majesty, today you seem to be happier than usual. Is there something special that has happened, or is going to take place?” asked Doot, one of His disciples.
“I indeed, am happy. Seeing children happy, despite all the hurdles the modern world throws at them gives me great joy and peace.”
The contentment soon curled up into a question mark, as he saw the disagreement on Doot’s face.
“It seems you don’t agree with me?”
“Ummm…not really, Your Majesty…” remarked Doot, with an undertone of hesitation.
“Well, I am omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. Are you questioning my divine skills?”needled in the inevitably loaded question.
“The supremacy of your greatness cannot be fathomed by a mere disciple like me, Your Majesty. It is just that I have seen otherwise…”
“Sights that show your inference in poor light, Your Majesty. What you infer is merely the facade, there is much to look within the monument that these children are.”
Sighing in a pensively agreeable tone, God asked Doot,”Well, does that mean that children aren’t happy?”
“Of course they are. But only a very few are genuinely happy and content, like You would wish them to be,Your Majesty. ”
Seeing his master puzzled, Doot explained,” Here, let me show you what I am trying to say. ”
Using the chants taught to him by his Master, he created a peering hole out of thin air. From the hole, was visible the world below. With a few more chants, the aperture of the hole focussed on a girl.
“Observe this child, Your Grace.”
“Hmmm! A hard-working child! Studying, toiling, working! No wonder she is the brightest in her class!”quipped God.
“You see, Your majesty. She is just one of those vast number of students who go about their day similarly. What I showed you is just an example.”
“Well, they seem happy and satisfied to me..”
“That is the facade I am talking about, Your Majesty…”
Quizzically, God looked on as a new round of chants took them into the soul of the child. What thrived there was shocking and painful to look at at the same time.
“My goodness! Such a stark contrast their faces embroider within!Look at the grief, the flame of childhood, choked so mercilessly!”
“Exactly, what I wanted to show you, Your Majesty. While these children may look content, happy-go-lucky, and at peace from the exterior, internally, there is a war going on within them. A war, sadly, which gullible childhood is losing to the shadow of hopes,aspirations,expectations-darkened endlessly by the social mirror the mortal world examines each one with.”
God listened on.
“Well, children don’t get to live their childhood to the fullest anymore. Fullest would be an over-exaggeration, they hardly get to do so. Overburdened, they toil, like masons building a wall in the scorching sun-mindlessly, listlessly, heartlessly. ”
A sigh of empathy was all that He could utter, as Doot continued.
“Like masons, these children become tough and resilient with time. And they go on fulfilling the whims of the judging world. But not all children possess this already unfair capability, which is impressed upon them. And these are the children who are often times shunned, laughed upon by the cruel society.”
“My,my! I can hardly imagine what life must be for them.”
“To put it bluntly, Your Majesty, they are scampering on a loop that is expected to take them forward on the path to progress, while tightly gripped by the unrelenting vise-branding them as weak and wanting of help. An endless toil of frustration ensues, while childhood continues getting trampled.”
All this was too gloomy for God to digest. Was that how He wanted Creation to thrive? Was that the world He had crafted for His most wonderful Creation? Was His grandest masterpiece, in fact, a fallacy?
Seeing his master aggrieved by the palpable questions, Doot continued.
“I can only try to fathom the dejection and grief You must be facing, Your Majesty. There is a glimmer of hope though, which I hope serves to console you.”
Saying this, he shifted the focus of the viewing hole to another child.
Both God and Doot peered through. This child was no different. In fact, to the mortal mind, a far cry from whatever promises the second category could barely even hold onto.
“Look at this child, Your majesty. Society, community, order and convention have browbeaten its childhood into one of most injustice. Burdened by what the first child so painfully heaves, while stretched to the absolute last shrivel of toughness their tiny childlike bodies can muster-something too tedious for the second child-they carry on. An endless gauntlet surrounds them-taunting, sniggering, mocking.”
The description got Him burning with rage.”This is too tortuous! How can they live like that! I am sorry, dear children..” a shroud of guilt covered His already overwhelmed voice.
The guilt was just taking over, when He saw a glimmer. Squinting and peering,what He observed was most endearing.
“Look, I can see them smiling! Haha! Their spirits are singing the merry tunes of childhood! They look content, they look happy-careless, spontaneous, truthful, innocent-like children should be!”
Doot stared at his Master’s expression, replete with delight. Slowly, but steadily, it was eclipsing the previous gloom.
“But how, Doot? Such a cruel world. So unforgiving. Yet these children live as if they haven’t a care in the world.”
“You see, Your Majesty. These are children that bite the bitter pill and enjoy it like candy. They have a force within them-unbreakable, inexplicable, rarest of them rare. This force is their Spirit, my Lord, that guides them through the Mundane and the Herculean, in equal measure. Enriched, rather acquired-fortitude, courage, patience, contentment, love, runs like an ever flowing valley, irrigating this force-something that can only be labelled as an anomaly.”
A long silence ensued. God took several rounds round his throne, while Doot stood, admiring the look of wonder on His face.
“Well well. My Creation could not have been able to live the utopian lifestyle I wanted for it. And it would seem foolish to want that, I realise now in hindsight. There is a reason why Mankind is the masterpiece of all my masterpieces, best reflected in these children-throbbing, thriving, breathing spirits;gleaming with virtues I could never even think of. Yes, a tough spot Creation is in, but it knows how to go about, on its own. These misfits, these anomalies guide it. May their spirit spread like contagion, inspiring, teaching, guiding all those in want of it. ”
“Well said, Your Majesty. And Amen to that. ”
Finally, after much observation, inference and blessings, God went back, content on His throne, peace residing within.
20th August, 2017
3 thoughts on ““Misfits””
A well written story,delineating layer by layer, what all are going in the minds of the present day children and their gradual yet perceptible effect at their subconscious level. Alas, all these could have impacted the present day academician, policy makers and of course, parents. Childhood is dying, it’s changing colour and is being replaced by mechanistic emotion. Doesn’t augur well for the well being of the society. Every child is unique in this world. Their uniqueness needs to be acknowledged and respected. We as society, should refrain from measuring competence and performance of our children with the same scale. Must admit, it’s easier said than done.
I acknowledge your novel way of unravelling inner turmoil of present day children.
So beautifully describes the innocent souls that children are 😄. Really wonderful… Everyone can relate to it in one way or the other 🤗… Truly heart warming 💜
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Thank you! Yes, you have perfectly encapsulated the essence of this story.