As constant as the twinkle of stars was the flicker of various screens in the room. All together they lit up the room brightly that else would have been quite dark. There was no lamp or light in that room, nor even a tiny window. One small door stayed shut and unused. It probably had even forgotten that it had the ability to move, though in a limited arc.
Small pictures of different people animated one screen, along with their messages for the lone inhabitant of this room. Another showed a couple dancing. On another bright and beautiful screen, an ocean could be seen. It splashed on the shore again and again, its dull roar trying to replace the missing sounds of companionship. A sea gull rose up from its waves. Two fair eyes watched its flight. A low sigh was the response of what the eyes saw.
‘How pretty!’ the words followed in a fairy’s tender voice.
‘Yeah, but guess how much prettier all this would look in real life!’
‘Ah!’ the fairy in the room cried out, obviously startled. ‘How did you come here? Who are you?’
‘Don’t you recognize me, fairy Whiterose? I am your Desire,’ said the intruder. She looked just like the young fairy who lived in the room. Only, she was fainter, as if just a reflection thrown on thin air.
‘Desire? But nobody can see their Desire!’
‘True, most people can just hear and feel their desires. But when your desires become too strong, and they call out to you again and again and still you ignore their voice, they can then come out and make themselves apparent in more obvious and hard to ignore ways.’
‘But I never ignore my desires. Only, I think I don’t have any. I already have all that I need or want. See, I have the most wonderful magical screens. And they keep me happy and occupied. And if I want something else, I can make it by magic. So why are you here?’
‘You are talking as if you have the whole world here,’ Desire laughed.
‘I do. See, here are all my friends. We have so much fun together, share so many jokes…’
‘On this screen,’ said Desire.
‘Yeah, it’s a really awesome screen. So much fun. It can do so many things, connect me to whoever I want to talk to, show me anything I want to see and inform me about anything I feel curious about. But see here, using this screen, I can listen to sweet music, watch funny and interesting things happening in the world.’
‘On this screen,’ said Desire again.
The fairy ignored her this time and went on to the larger screen that showed the ocean.
‘And see here, the whole ocean! I can see any part of the world I want to see from here. Ocean, rivers, fields, castles, sun, moon, even space!.’
‘On this screen,’ said Desire again. Her tone clearly showed that she was not impressed.
‘Why do you keep repeating that?’ Whiterose asked with irritation.
‘Do you still wonder why I had to come out to make you hear me? All this that you see here and consider yourself blessed is but a mere reflection of the world. You love your wonderful screens, I know that. But your screens can’t give you the joy of living in the real world. You can share jokes with other fairies, but can you see the spark of laughter in any of their eyes on this screen? You can listen to music here, and see interesting scenes in this screen. But can you take part in them? You can see the ocean here and hear its call, but can you feel the thrill of the mighty waters rushing at you and the delight when you keep standing upright and the waters go back, taking only the sand from beneath your feet? Tell me, just before I came, were you not wishing that you could follow the flight of that seagull and chase it across the blue sky? You are a fairy, don’t you want to fly out and roam freely riding on the breeze?’
‘If you are my Desire, you would know full well I cannot go out of this room. I cannot see all these things in reality. So why are you making me want to see them? You are being so cruel. Don’t you know the Dark Demon put a spell on me when I was just a little baby? I can’t go out now. If even one ray of the Sun, or even Moon, touches my skin, I’ll turn as black as the Dark Demon himself. And I don’t want to lose my fair beauty! So I stay indoors, living life through my magical screens.’
‘But what if I tell you that you can go out and still no ray of the Sun or the Moon would be able to touch you?’ Desire asked, her eyes shining and lips spread out in a confident smile.
‘But how is that possible?’ asked fairy Whiterose.
‘I’ll show you how to make a magical lotion. It is a very powerful lotion and it will protect you from the Sun and Moon from harming you. You can easily make it using your magic. With that lotion on your skin, not even one ray of the Sun or the Moon would be able to touch you.’
The spell was cast. The lotion was soon made. Fairy Whiterose applied it all over her skin.
‘Come on, let’s go now,’ urged Desire.
‘But are you sure? Would this lotion really work? Would it save me from the harm of the Sun?’ Whiterose asked, feeling most scared.
‘Trust me, and let’s go!’ said Desire. She pulled the scared fairy by the hand.
She looked down at her hands. Their colour wasn’t changed at all. Out in the bright sunshine, they looked even fairer than they did in the closed room.
‘It works! It works!’ Whiterose cried out with thrill and excitement. ‘I am free at last! No longer do I need to stay locked up in my home! Oh, come, come, Desire, and let’s go see the world! The real world!’ cried Whiterose and skipped away like a mischievous little deer.
She spread out her slender arms, after ages and ages, her wings unfurled and up she flew into the bright sky. No longer was she scared of the sun or its rays. From woods to hills, from rivers to ocean, from castles to towers, she flew around, finally seeing for real what she had so far only seen through her magical screens.
Laughter burst out from her merry and loud. She clapped her hands again and again, so thrilled she felt at being out in the real world. No longer was she going to be a prisoner of her room, seeing life only through glimmering screens. Her magic lotion had given her the freedom she never had. The whole world was spread out before her, inviting her to take delight in every sight and sound it had to offer. And she flew around merrily, farther and farther away.
Just like Whiterose loved her wonderful screen, I love my gadgets. Whole days go away often and I don’t even take a peek out through the window. So busy I am playing with my computer and my tab and my smartphone. So busy I am living life Online that I often miss out on the fun taking place just outside my door. But I know full well, the real joy is in the real world, with real people, not names attached to pictures in some social networking site.
And, much like Whiterose, I am scared of going out in the Sun too. Of course, I am not a fairy, nor really as fair as Whiterose. But the fear of getting darkened from the sun, I guess, lives in every girl’s heart. Since early childhood we are told, ‘Don’t play in the Sun. You will become black. Then who will marry you?’
And thus, the life giving Sun becomes an enemy and we try all we can to keep it away. Umbrellas, scarves and what not we use to keep our skin hidden from sun. It matters not to the Sun, but in the process, we lose our freedom.
But just as Desire opened the doors of the freedom for Whiterose, I have been forced out into the open world by a friend who recently entered my life, but has already become most dear. Kyra is her name, and just a little time chatting with her has somehow revived my slumbering desires of going out and living life in the real world. No longer can I be satisfied by peering into the screens.
And just like Desire, Kyra has given me a magic lotion too, one that is fully capable of protecting my skin from all harmful effects of Sun’s rays. And thanks to it, I finally have the freedom to answer my newly awakened desires, and go out in the open world, with confidence, and without worry about my complexion getting darkened or the Sun harming my skin in any other way. This magic lotion is called Lakme Sun Expert. And I am confident that it will protect me just as the magic lotion protected Whiterose.
So this summer, I am finally going to detach myself from my gadgets (though that is going to take some mighty efforts of self will, I tell you!) and go and enjoy the real world, with my new friend Kyra.
And like two birds just freed from the cage, you can already see us flying from one spot to the other. One day, it’s time to go picnicking. Another day, there’s volleyball match to be fought and won. And of course, when two girls meet and become best friends, a couple of shopping trips is a must to solidify that friendship. So trips to Sarojni Nagar, Janpath, Karol Bagh and Gaffar Market have already started and would of course be repeated till our whole wardrobe has been renewed. And now, finally, I feel free to enjoy all these activities without fearing the sun. Lakme Sun Expert is there protecting me, while I enjoy life with my new friend Kyra.
Even better than this, our tickets are already booked for a trip to ‘God’s Own Country’ – Kerela. Seeing the backwaters of Kerela through the computer screen is no fun. Now I am going to see them for real, and in the delightful company of my new best friend Kyra.
National Geographic’s Traveller magazine has named Kerela as one of the ‘Ten Paradises of the World.’ And Kyra has convinced me that it’s best to see the paradise for real, not stare at it through the eyes of some satellite.
Ah, I can already feel the delight we’ll experience there. We’ll stand long on the beaches there and feel the thrill of the waves rushing at us. And when they recede and take the sand from below our feet, we are resolved to do our best to keep standing!
Instead of long hours of staring at the computer screen, my eyes would finally be gifted the refreshing sight of the tropical greenery. Long would we gaze at the fresh green of the verdure and the clear blue of the azure spread above, talking little girl talk and weaving dreams as numerous as the clouds in the sky.
As I look ahead at this proposed trip, my sides already start aching with all the fun and laughter we are going to share. Oh, it is going to be a real joy, one that can never be experienced through the screens of computers, tabs or phones.
And this real joy we’d be able to enjoy fully, because for once, the fear of the sun would be removed from our mind The Lakme Sun Expert would be there protecting us. And in the few days of that trip, I’ll live my life fully, and freely!
The post has been written for The Lakmé Diva Blogger Contest on Indiblogger.
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