Echoes of Lost Dreams

Kochi, thought of as a can of storm clouds, synchronies with Govind's mood. With time the once lively canvasses of his dreams had faded away and all that was left were their shadows in a neglected diary. Surfing through social media at stormy nights, each photo a glorious post card from a life he was not living, Govind felt the heartbreak. Prompted by that overwhelming desire, he messaged Neha, a ray of sunshine in his college days. A reunion was arranged. The city, engulfed in gloom, acted as the setting for their meeting at a tiny café. Govind's heart surfaced, admitting the void that had consumed him. Neha was listening with a tear rolling on her face. "Life's a cruel joke, Govind," she confessed in a faint voice. "We run after dreams that vanish when we draw too close to them. Perhaps, after all, dreams aren't that much important in the larger picture of things." Govind looked outside and the buildings blurred.  Her words shattered the fragile hope clinging to him. Was this life the same as a storm, and then the return to normal routine? The café isolated him, the city lights laughing at him. It was hard to tell which day was which as they all ran into each other. Then, there was a resounding knock that broke the monotony. Here is Neha, an old photo album in her hand. It was their college album, an emblem of their dreams realized. They sat; the album a time bridge spanning years. Every old image is like a window to a time when something can be done. An image of festival, happiness glowing in the eyes of youngsters. Another, the arms slung around each other, a sign of the past closeness. Each image is like a shard of a broken mirror – reflecting joy and shattering the illusion of their imagined futures. It couldn't be the future they have been planning for. Silence was all around, only the wind mourning outside. Neha began to speak, her voice quavering. " I went back, Govind" she confessed. "Travelled, ticked things off a list. But..." That was how she saw it in Govind's eyes – the displeasure, the sense that there was no longer any magic in dreams. "It wasn't enough," she whispered. "The chasing never ends." The album fell open to a blank page – it was an abstract representation of their unfulfilled dreams. A bottomless sadness invaded Govind. They weren't only mourning their dreams; they were grieving the life they could have shared together. Neha put her hand on him, the gesture of united grief. They weren't just individuals, but rather the shattered image of what could have been. A rumble of thunder accentuated the silence. Neha stood up her chin raised and her face shining with sorrow and determination. "I am sorry, but I have to go," she said. "But Govind, perhaps life isn't about great gestures. Maybe it's these small, everyday moments, the people we meet and the love we share?" She finished and then she went but her words stayed, a small spark of hope set in the arctic of his warm heart. He gazed at the photo album and the white page before him a frightening sight. On the other hand, he was filled with gloom, but, as he tried to find it, he recalled their joint past – the laughter, the friendship, the tacit understanding that they had between them. Neha was right. Maybe life isn't about achieving the greatness. Perhaps it was about the bonds he had forged, the times he lived to the fullest, and the love he had for the people in his life. Govind was touched , a lone tear rolling down his cheek. He could no longer regain the past, but at least, he could decide to exist in the present. Maybe, yes, maybe indeed it was still possible to see beauty in the ordinary things. The rains came to an end, opening a narrow slit of moonlight. It wasn't a loud glare, but an enlightened glow, a hope for a brighter tomorrow. He approached the window, to his surprise, determination started to replace the despair. He wouldn't be a slave to his dreams but he wouldn't omit them either. He carried them with him like a memento, both a reminder of the past and a guide to the future. Kochi used to be in some sort of darken. Now, it sparkled under the pale moon. It was still alive with activity. He breathed deeply. He didn't know what would happen next, but it was the first time in a while that he felt the smallest glimpse of optimism. He might be at loose ends, but he wouldn't sink anyway. He will continue to search for meaning, for purpose, for connection and, who knows, perhaps he will find his own unique melody in the symphony of life.

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