উড়িতে চাইলেই উড়া যায়না |
কত যে পাখি ডালে বসে রয়,
উড়িতে চাইলেও উড়িতে পারেনা |
জানে কি নাকি, সে জানেনা |
ছুঁইতে চাইলেও ছুঁইতে পারেনা |
তবু সে গগনে উড়িতে পারেনা |
তবু সে মুক্ত হইতে পারেনা |
যদি এ'চেষ্টা চালিয়ে যাওয়া যায় |
নীল দিগন্তে সে উড়িয়া যাইবে |
A huge wrought iron gate with thickly filigreed patterns has rusted over a few eons waiting for rare visitors to arrive once in a blue moon. This day my mother, my wife and my sister has arrived. They stand outside the gate clutching onto the grill, waiting to see me after a few years of my voluntary confinement. As I walk on the pathway leading to the gate, I can see them.
As I approach closer, my gaze slowly shifts towards the garden on my right and I see a few golden little chicks which have just hatched from their eggs, gnawing at each other with exuberant bursts of new found life. I stop and go closer to have a look at them. They are bigger than normal chicks, more like ostrich chicks out from their big egg shells as big as a rugby ball. They look quite strong and seem to be gaining a bit more strength every passing minute. By the time I am within their reach, they have already managed to stand upright and turn their heads to look at me. They are gorgeous and look beautiful. Such beauty in a land bird I have never witnessed before. Their structure is like a baby ostrich with strong legs and dark black eyes. They have the mature colour of a wise goldfish with bright orange spots on their head stretched till the back of their neck with fiery golden feathers standing upright through their spine. Although their mesmeric and unearthly beauty has had me under a spell, I manage to turn back towards my mother and show her what I had found with gleaming starry eyes. As much as I can understand, she looks quite pleased with my fantastic discovery and starts calling me to come towards her with her curled beckoning fingers and arms far stretched out towards me. I raise one hand and tell them to wait for a minute as I wanted to bring one of those chicks in the lap my palms and present it to her. I thought this is the present I’d been waiting to give to her all these years and finally on this fortunate day I have found it.
I join my hands in a cusp and try to go nearer to the glimmering golden chicks in hope of coaxing one to come to me. To my surprise they become highly alerted by my approach and start to step backwards. I try to make some chick sounds with my tongue and narrow lips in hope of appeasing them, but the more I step closer the more they become cautious of me. I gain my focus and zero in on one of them as my target. Slowly moving forward I reveal my agile instincts and pounce on it like a swift cat. All the chicks manage to flee in different directions with this act of mine, but I was not to give up as I keep my eyes fixed on my target and started chasing that one golden chick with quick legs into the nearby forest.
Like a classic Jurassic adventure I keep chasing the golden chick with masterful agility and a cunning focus to be able to catch it in my hands. After all I had been waiting for so many years for this unearthly moment to happen to me, this delightful sight, and I just could not make this ecstatic moment pass by without capitalising on it with my utmost power and grip. I had to have the golden chick in my hands, no matter what. I keep chasing it through tall tunnels of towering tree trunks, brushing my limbs against big and bold heavy branches, crawling through slimy slithering creepers, sliding on the seeping wet earth and gorging through thick bushes of bustling leaves. But I did not leave sight of my golden chick for a blink of an eye. This chick was visibly getting smarter as we ran, she was getting bigger, stronger and faster every passing minute. I do not know what species she belonged to, but all I know is that she was rare, probably the rarest of them all. And I had to have her in my hands, no matter what. She crisscrossed in ways I could never imagine a young bird could ever think of, but she did her best in trying to trick me into losing her. But as much as I had trained my mind over the years never to lose focus, I did not lose sight or stamina and kept following her wherever she fled.
We were now almost at another end of the forest, and with one long sprint she shot out of the bushes through a long path like opening. I came out like her tail on fire and screech myself to an abrupt halt as I see another huge wrought iron gate similar to the one before, only this one more rusted, and probably never been opened with heavily entwined creepers almost making it a part of the earth by now. Holding me back by my neck I see with astounded eyes the chirping chick run to the gate and crash into it with full speed and blow up in a burst of golden dust and magical orange smoke and turn itself into a half man and half bird on the other side of the gate. This magnificent creature slowly taking shape in front of my eyes has glittering orange scales on his skin and fiery golden feathers starting from the back of his head and down its spine. I witness this man-bird completely manifest in its whole form and beauty, and get awestruck by the sheer grace which radiated out of the resonating powerful energy space it had just created. It looks at me with its piercing dark eyes which struck me like lightning as it vanished into thin air turning itself into a faint orange smoke. I lose my sense and faint over there, in front of the gate.
When I wake up from my dream, I realize that what I had been chasing after is not really the gold or the beauty or the whole dazzling charm of all that. What we are truly searching for is nowhere else but in us, humans. What I am truly searching for is nowhere else but in me. Like a musk deer goes on roaming in the forest not aware about the beautiful fragrance that it spreads all around itself, we humans go on roaming far and wide in this world not knowing that what we are really searching for is nowhere else, but only within us.