Years ago, when I and my brother would want to eat something special, we would play a guessing game with our mom. We would say, “Mom, the color of our hunger is yellow.” She would laugh and make all kinds of wild shots in the dark and then would end up rolling ladoos for us. I don’t know what ended first, our childishness or mom’s patience but that game slowly turned into a fragment of memory layered with the piles of dust.
Yesterday while sitting in my terrace watching the unending rain and the gloomy weather, I wished for a speck of sunshine, the warm rays to touch the damp earth and take away all the squelch and madness with it. Don’t get me wrong. I love rains and the romantic vibe they bring along. The fuller clouds are always brimming and are ready to tumble down and the trees keep moving in slow motion. The leaves suddenly look so green as if they have been freshly painted by an artist up there.
But that’s one side of the story.
When every time you step out, you jump over a puddle of water and inevitably land in a damp and clammy mess of mud and raincoat becomes your constant companion, you ache for the air that does not feel wet. You ache for the dry piece of earth where your newly bought sandals don’t end up gathering more squishy mud than the compliments. You ache for an evening walk where you don’t have to suddenly run under the shade because the rain decides to play a spoil sport.
So I wished for the sunshine and longed for the brightness much more than anything else. My hunger still had the color yellow but it was no longer material; it was the craving of my soul. The child right below my terrace wished for something else. As he jumped in the puddles and had a hearty laugh, he looked up in the sky and asked for more rain. His mom playing a vigilant asked, “Will you ever be satisfied with playing in water?” And they both started laughing. Then there was this homeless boy I bumped into while saving myself from a sudden outburst of a cloud few days back. He was busy rolling his tattered and by now completely wet mat as he was also caught unawares. I looked at him and wondered whether he was also wishing for God to be little more careful next time and throw a warning drizzle first. Or was he wishing for a shelter to sleep tonight?
We all wish, we all pray and we all crave but for different things in life and many times same things but at different points in life. It can be a plate of sunshine or a bowl full of love, a glance that you have been longing for or a touch that you have been furtive about. It can be the first mangoes of the season or just enough food to get you through the night. It can be that promotion that you have been eyeing for so long or that creative hobby that you long to turn into a career. It can be the admission of your kid in that ‘the best’ school of the city or the first look at the report card that he or she hands out to you.
There is always a hunger to satisfy, a craving to take care of and rightly so. Because what is life if you don’t have any desires left, any wishes waiting to be fulfilled. These desires make you and make your life worth living. These wishes – fulfilled or unfulfilled – give you a reason to smile, to celebrate, to strive for, to die for, to fight for and to live for. And for those elusive wishes, you try even more hard.
So though yesterday the color of my hunger was yellow, today it is a deep blue as the pool in front of my eyes simmers with rain drops and two strong arms push behind the waves to make it to the finish line. What a pleasure it is to cross that finish line and then look back at the distance you have covered!
So what are you hungry for today?