It was 5:30 pm and here I was in a dusty countryside with no idea about what to do. My car had broken down and I had no idea what was wrong with it. My phone had no network. I kicked my car for the fourth time. That had absolutely no effect except extracting a cry of pain from me. Feeling cross, I took out my purse and started walking in the hopes of finding someone, anyone who could help me.
As I walked, I couldn’t help but cast my mind on the past few hours. I had received an ultimatum from my publisher. My first book had sold and sold well. But, that had been one and a half years ago. As he said, it was high time for me to publish a second one. But, my mind was a total blank. I had no ideas at all. Unless I came up with an idea in the next two weeks, I would be dropped by my publishing house.
I brooded over a future without writing. I asked myself what I would do if I couldn’t write. “Well, I can’t see any future. It’s a dead end.” I said to myself. I shook my head and walked on, feeling dejected. Suddenly, I heard the sound of construction work. I kept on walking and soon came upon a construction site. I felt relieved. Finally, I could get out of this wretched countryside!
I entered the gates and suddenly found people bustling around. I was just about to call out to a worker who didn’t look too busy when something caught my eye. Or rather, someone. It was a man, tall and lank with his hands in his pockets. He had jet black hair. His clothes were dusty. But I didn’t notice any of these. My attention was captured by the expression on his face. He wasn’t looking at me but at the under-construction building. I felt a shiver go up my spine. He wasn’t smiling. His face was almost expressionless. But his eyes had an intensity that I had never seen before.
“Who is that?” I asked a worker passing me.
The worker gave me an indifferent glance and said, “He’s the architect.”
“Why does he look so……so happy?” I asked.
The worker said something, but I didn’t hear him. When I didn’t say anything, he shrugged and walked away. But it had dawned on me. The man had a look of pure happiness, of unparalleled joy. His whole body spelled exultation. The angle of his head as he looked up, his eyes which looked at the building as if he had already constructed it with his own hands, his shoulders hanging low, all of them betrayed almost unearthly happiness. He looked as if his work was a celebration of every achievement he had ever attained. And though I don’t believe in God, I realized that if He existed, this was the face He had intended man to have. I smiled.
Suddenly, he turned and gave a few quick instructions to a worker. Then, he saw me. He came up to me and agreed to give me a lift after hearing my story. I reached the next town, had a mechanic sent over and got my car back, repaired and serviced.
It was 3:00 am when I reached home and switched on the lights in my room. A blank page greeted me from my table. I sat on my chair and took up my pen. I looked down at the paper and smiled. The next I knew, it was 7:00 am. There were two pages of notes scribbled in front of me and a huge pile of crumpled paper in the dustbin. I smiled and called my publisher. “I have an idea,” I said.
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