When the order of the world was being set, everyone was keen to make it a special one for them. This created a huge challenge – how can everyone be made special – an act that would defeat the purpose by itself. But by some miracle it was accomplished – everyone was granted a special status to start with – childhood and everyone would have an opportunity to uncover multiple special gifts as they grew and had the awareness and need of these specialities. As a child each one of us would get fascinated by the simple pleasures around us. The bubbles in a glass of water would give us the same excitement as a fancy new toy. We would get a chance to be loved and adored unconditionally by everyone to make us feel special. We would be optimistic and we would believe in being positive. Our happiness would be pure, our feelings open and our smile infectious. We would find the good side in everyone, trust everyone and be trusted by everyone. In essence, we all would be the most special part of the world.
As time went by and we grew up, like we do for most of the things that we already have, these specialities were taken for granted. Slowly the effects of these specialities were hardly noticed and surely enough lost in some dark corner within us. We got engrossed in an interpretation of life and its priority so changed that the specialities we all possess meant nothing to us. Things like a simple smile, sharing happiness, being positive, trusting others, having the patience to enjoy the small beauty and of all believing that we all are special, would not mean a thing! Instead, we would look for constant reinforcements in our thoughts, we would lose the power of conviction, our happiness would get defined in material transient possessions, we would get stuck in our minds with some ill thought notions and we would continue to feed to a fear without realising that the fear is actually rooted in the devil within us.
This book is a journey that each of us craves to take; the journey back into the world where we all are special – as we always were destined to be. This book is for each one of us to realise that what we have within us all that is required to be happy. And the sole purpose of this book is to rekindle the spirit of hope, happiness and humility. This book is for that lost child in each one of us. The idea is to connect with that special person in you so that you can connect with the ones around you.
These were the thoughts that inspired Flower of the woods – the story of a special baby girl Mali. Mali is born in a very beautiful village called Floria which is nestled in a faraway land among the forests. Mali’s parents – Giri and Nadia, who were as complementary as their names, abandon her because of they see manifestations of evil in the omens at birth amplified by eerie looks she had. Little did Giri know that he had let go of the most special gift in form of Mali. Only if he could go beyond the appearance and just held Mali once in his arms unconditionally.
Mali is bestowed with a special gift that becomes visible as she grows up. Abandoned in the jungle, Mali is adopted, cared for by a hog family with piglets as her siblings. As Mali grows, her ability of making everything around her merry just by her smile manifests unbelievable miracles in the jungle. Animals, birds, plants and everything around her just blossom in unified exhilaration of her presence. The news of Mali’s special ability spreads, first within the jungle and then to the villages.
As everyone begins to experience this miracle, the news reaches Giri and Nadia who are under a severe burden of their guilt. Nadia is especially unable to bear her plight but she continuously tries to convince Giri to change his mind. She finally sneaks out into the jungle hoping to get a chance to hold her precious angel one more time. She is in for a surprise and fate does a turn for her too.
The story weaves around the interaction between good & bad as the characters and emotions mingles with happiness, grief, optimism, envy, trust, fear, compassion and resent shaping the consequences. These manifest into wonders that create a world of fantasies and dreams. Using a rhyming form I convey this message in a story woven around characters of the jungle and the village.
I would have accomplished the primary and only purpose of writing this book if you read it along with a child and rediscover your own special world full of happiness. I would feel the happiness of each child if I can weave the world of fantasy with them. I would feel even more privileged if I can help a reader reconnect with the child in them.