The temperature measured mid-thirties as breeze wafted across the mountains. The monsoon had just set in and the first showers danced above as the nature was waiting for the first drops of rain to touch them. The leaves crooned from behind the barks and stems, just to catch a glimpse of the dark clouds now pregnant with their elixir. They wished to be bathed in the rainwater as a reprieve to the long summer. Seeing the dark sky shielding them from the sun, they swayed in unison and smiled across their midrib. Each one of the tiny leaves wanted to stay directly under the cloud and receive the rain drops without any dilution; they definitely didn’t want to be bathed in water that was already used by someone else. All of them envied those at the top of the tree, every drop they receive would be direct, undiluted and in its original shape.
A tiny little rebel leaf, about a few weeks old who hadn’t experienced a rainfall stared at the sky. She had heard stories from about how beautiful the scene was. Taking birth just before the summer was a curse. The scorching heat waves would almost roast each one of them. Water provided would be rationed as there would be a very limited supply in the ground. Some of them would lose their color, becoming pale and old. Food, that was prepared in-house was also limited due to lack of raw material. Due to excessive heat, even the littlest of moisture on itself would be robbed away by the combination of two deadly forces namely wind and the sun. The tree folklore had it that unintended mistakes made them bear this brunt, where the sun would heat up as much as it could and with the help of the wind, act as a tyranny to all the beings on the planet. It would cause immense harm on the world during this three month period. Otherwise, it was the life giver to one and all. She remembered the warning of the crept within the family before the start of every year, “Never join bad company, or else you would be picked up by a demon named loo during the summer”. However, she never cared for it, in spite of seeing many fall off their designated establishments.
But, all the baby leaves were given importance during the summer. The youth sacrificed their share of minerals and water in order to help the young ones to grow up healthily. Sustainability was a hereditary practice from generations.
Expecting the cloud to burst anytime now, the rebel grew super excited. She turned to others and planted an idea in them. “Let us experience the first drops of the rain by going out there”, some leaves stared at her while others condemned the idea. A few elder ones also rebuked her saying that she was thinking illogically. She then turned to some of her cousins at the next twig and spoke to members of the same age, though they seemed convinced, they were hesitant and wary of what the elders in the family would comment. After picking up courage, one another asked her, “What do we need to do?”. Her answer was simple, “we would all jump across to the ground and feel the droplets”.
“Can we set ourselves free” asked another. “Individually it would be difficult, but collectively we can do it” she said, unsure which would be easier.
“But isn’t that amounting to breaking the rules of the house?” Looking at the person who asked this question into the eyes she said – “Who cares of the rules now-a-days? Do you want to be stuck here all your life and bathe in the same water that the ones in the top do?” By now many other started to listen to what she was speaking “Do you not want to have some of the cool breeze for yourself? Don’t you want to walk in the open spaces and see what lies behind those mountains? We have only heard of the ocean and the seas, beyond this mountain there definitely must be one, don’t you all want to jump into water and relax peacefully? Her mini speech had attracted all the families on the branch. The sound of thunder could be heard. “We are losing time Folks, in any moment now the first drops would be on us”.
“Where would we get food from?” asked an elderly person about three twigs away. The aspect of food was not at all considered by her however, the question drew in many more eyes upon her as she drew a blank face. She looked at everyone’s face as they stared at her. This did make her feel uncomfortable but she kept up confidence, raised her voice and let her spirit speak “Ladies and gentlemen” by now all the families in the branch were keen to hear what she had to say. “We definitely know that right now we are being fed by an organized system. How much more should we depend on it? Should all our lives be so simple and stagnant? We must learn to go out and do new things. To the question posed, I do not have an answer but I can tell you that we could find new things to survive on. I am sure water would be available wherever we go, we can make methods to extract minerals from the ground. We can invent new implements to help us do it. Do we not have enough trust in ourselves that we can survive by creating our own ecosystem? Let not the fear that something might happen to you, crash a dream. We all are mature enough to survive on our own, aren’t we?” she asked. By now all the branch mates were completely inspired by her. They appreciated her courage to dream beyond their limited universe. Slowly everyone began to nod in appreciation. “Tell me fellow leaves; are you all ready to try something new?” All of them shouted in unison, “Yes we are”. That affirmative shout pushed the rumbling of clouds to the background.
“What do we do now?” asked the cousin just next to her as lightning struck and thunder roared. The pre rain breeze began to gain speed and the visibility further reduced.” Let us all in unison firstly move along with the breeze and then against it” roared this young rebel. “On the count of three” she said, “three – two – one and go” nothing happened, none budged. “This force would not be enough” she yelled, “look at the system that is binding us, we would have to exert all the energy we have. Come on folks, together we can push harder and swing together.” Another count of three and after the fifth such try, the branch felt a shiver. This sent panic signals throughout the branch. A messenger reported to the grandsire seated at the base of the trunk, that there was a rebellious outrage caused on the lowermost branch. He replied in a calm demeanor “hold on to them as tightly as possible, they do not know the consequences of their actions”
Five more tugs and pushes had been incorporated and finally that particular branch was swinging ‘to and fro’ from the main system. The branch held on to its little children as tightly as possible. The mass of clouds gathered above gave the leaves a lot of encouragement. Suddenly it struck the rebel that, it would be a lot easier if each of them would jump off separately. Together what they were doing was trying to break off the branch and even if the branch would be taken off, it would be necessary to detach each one separately. “Fellowmen” she yelled and gave instructions on how to work on an individual basis. Sure enough, the swinging of the branch ceased. Movement of each leaf individually raised a lot of onlookers from different families all around.
The cloud would burst in a few seconds and all the leaves were yet trying to detach themselves. The little rebel looked at all others and signaled them to be ready for the jump. Another round of lightning and thunder and drops of water began to accelerate to the ground. “Get ready folks”, many of them shouted in excitement. The smell of rain intoxicated all of them, the wind had become cool and the moment to achieve the dream was nearing. There was an immediate message sent across the tree that the first drop of rain was received by “so and so family” and they were really blessed for the whole year.
“Five, four, three, two, one and jump” shouted the rebel.
Watching some of them jump, the rebel cut its last bit of connection from the branch. She jumped into the wind and glided along. This was once in a lifetime feeling. The wind blew itself all around her and she loved it by every inch. Within a few seconds she observed a tiny little drop come and kiss her on the head. That feeling was simply beautiful. Another one this time, a little larger fell on her impacting reduction of her altitude though she was flying with incredible speed. She was twisted, turned, pushed down, lofted upside down, and spiraled in concentric circles. This roller coaster ride was truly exhilarating. “This is amazing, I am flying” yelled someone a few feet away. She then turned across to see each and every leaf enjoying the first drops of the rain and floating with the wind. All of them truly contented.
That evening, Mother Nature witnessed a beautiful sight. A branch abandoned by its leaves in a damp environment against the setting sun. Probably they lasted only for a little while after that, but they dared to dream big and most importantly achieved it.
“The beauty of the creation is awe inspiring” exclaimed the rebel happily as it travelled meters away from the tree and fell to the ground.