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A fruitful conversation on a plane

US Airways’ plane headed towards Charlotte, North Carolina, flying above the clouds and suddenly an old but firm voice echoed in my ear, “Sky is always clear above the clouds.” Grandeur of that voice and depth of its message left me mesmerized. “When ever dark clouds gather over your life, rise above them, you would see a bright sun and a clearer horizon”, that voice continued. I turned towards my left and found an old American, with a broad smile on his face. I appreciated the wisdom behind his message and smiled back. He then continued and said, “There is a legend in America about a young boy named Johnny Appleseed. He was born in 1774 and his dream was to produce so many Apples that no one would ever go hungry. So he spent his whole life in sowing Apple seeds throughout the countryside”.

“You too sow the seeds. Be a shelter. Make sacrifices, expect nothing in return and move forward.”

I was shocked. It was a pure Sufi message. So it means that Americans too believe on spirituality. A myth broke somewhere inside my mind that American society is nothing else but a materialist mindset. A childish pride about East’s spiritual dominance got shattered and I started listening to him with the eagerness of a pupil. When I told him about my profession and my purpose of visiting America, he looked into my eyes with stern expressions and said, “A lie can be told in thousand ways but truth always has a single expression. The moment truth is twisted, it ceases to be a truth.”

He became silent after having said that and I turned my face towards the window, as if I was watching something out there. May be I was trying to avoid his piercing gaze over this principle of lie and truth. He changed the topic, started talking about the relationship between books and humans; “human beings and words are here to stay forever”.

“But humans die,” I said.

“Their spirit lives on”, he replied. “So does the spirit of books do. Words live on. So read books, they would nurture you like a mother and train you like a father. The meaning of every book and of a movie changes with a change in your aptitude, age and wisdom. So keep reading and keep receiving newer and deeper messages. Follow the path where your conviction takes you and then keep firm on your decisions. You will never be let down. Do not stay, follow your goals, earn them and move further.”

I asked him whether he had read Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist. Astonishingly he said no. Then I told him that it was a story of a young shepherd and an old king. A young boy had a dream and an old king knew how to achieve those dreams. I told that 78 years old American named Earl Blanton, that he was not less than an old king who appeared from no where to tell a dream weaver, the secrets to success.

Note: He wrote this article during his visit to USA on a professional exchange program for journalists.

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