He came, he smiled, he talked, he enchanted!
At his very young age he had achieved significantly yet was very modest.
His smile that made his eyes flash was sincere.
His sparkling eyes had a story – maybe they had seen abundant reality in a very short time and now only wanted to dream.
His talk was selflessly ambitious. He wanted to bring opportunities to his people – wanted them to be as successful as he has been.
I sat there – spellbound- a very young man keen to give up his promising stable career and a comfortable lifestyle to help others achieve their dreams.
Age is cruel. I was out to caution him about something as immaterial as having the required cash flow. I do not recall his reaction but I do recall kicking myself for doing so post his reaction.
He wanted me to inspire him to achieve his dreams. I nodded. At my age we need young people to inspire us!
I met him on and off. Then 3 weeks back a red envelope came in the post. I opened it. He had achieved his dream. I was invited as the guest of honour at the opening of his education institute in Jaffna. I could not say no.
Little did I realize that this invitation would be my opportunity to become an intrepid explorer!
Colombo happened to have one of the heaviest rainfalls on that morning. The flight was delayed.
There were only 7 or 8 people waiting for the flight! I thought will have two seats to myself.
When the time came for the plane to take off, the pilot came to the boarding area to say he was sorry about the delay! He joked with us.
Then the bus came to take us to the plane.
As I got out of the bus I looked around to find a Thumbelina like plane.
People started getting on to it. I got on too when I wanted to run away.
It was the most scenic air ride but my nerves got the better of me.
It was the heaviest sigh of relief I had when I got to Jaffna.
The city impressed me with the stunning simplicity of its very educated refined people and by the earnest eagerness of its young generation to learn. I found it so incredible that young and mature alike were driven by the relentless desire to do something for their people.
They had dreams.
I went there to celebrate the dream of an exceptional man. I came across so many exceptional people with dreams, keen to do something for their people when they could have had a secure career anywhere in the world that I was left thinking dreams still have a way of making people make a difference to others.
Something self-obsessed mortal like me do not have the conviction to do so!
Maybe someday we will live our dreams too?