“Alan, why are you still sitting idly? You have got your lessons to finish.” – yelled Jane, Alan’s mother. Alan was sitting by his study table but his mind was wandering somewhere else. He was sad inside. His parents always took good care of him, he studied in a well known school, he always scored very good ranks in school exam, he was good at swimming and drawing – in short, he never faced a situation where he didn’t get something he wanted. But still, today he was feeling empty. He was feeling as if jailed in a cage – spiked all over with “study”, “carrier”, “success”. His parents were always too concerned about his studies and extra curricular activities – and as a result, Alan felt suffocating at times. He had friends in school – but competition was there as well. So he always felt lonely.
So, Alan composed himself and started studying again. He tried to concentrate but failed again and again. Knowing it’s a failed attempt to study now, Alan rose and stood by the window. The clear blue sky seemed like a vast never ending ocean and the white soft clouds were like ships, sailing on a voyage in the quest for the unknown. Suddenly, a small cloud came down by the window and tapped on the window, indicating Alan to open it. Alan was so surprised that he just opened it without any word and kept staring at the small cloud, who seemed to be chuckling at Alan’s astonishment.
“Hey Alan, you want to come with us?” said the small cloud with a joyful voice. Alan was too surprised to talk. A cloud can come down!! And it can talk in a human language!! Good Heavens!! But Alan was really feeling good in it’s company. He had lots of friends in school, but this small cloud had such a cordiality in it’s voice, which mesmerized Alan and he felt it was his best friend.
“Who are you? Are you really a cloud? How can you talk like us?”, Alan had a bunch of queries obviously. “Yes, I am. We come here a lot my friend. So we have learnt your language.”, said the little cloud. “We are just returning in our home after a long trip. I just saw you by the window, standing sadly. We are very sad when we see someone sad. So I just came by to meet you. Would you like to go with us in our home?”, said the little cloud in an extremely sweet voice. “But… My Mom would worry about me, and my Dad will be angry.” – Alan sounded anxious. “Oh, no one will worry. Come with us, you will like it a lot. Quick, hurry up!! I am getting late.” – the little cloud held Alan’s hand, and soon both of them were floating side by side.
Alan was so happy to get outside. He was astonished to see so many clouds – some big guys, some lean and thin fellows, some small ones as well and so many more. The open sky welcomed Alan – “Hello my friend, hope you are feeling happy !!”. The other clouds greeted him cordially. The gentle breeze shook his hand cordially and gladly accompanied him. The Sun was smiling and guided the way towards the wonderland of clouds. The little cloud friend narrated lots of stories of their voyages, lots of new places they visited. Alan was surprised to know all those. He read so many books, but none of them showed him the world like this. Time flew away and Alan just forgot everything – his studies, his loneliness. He felt he was a free bird – he broke the lock of the cage and was flying along with the wind.
Suddenly, he felt the breeze became a bit violent. It felt like being shaken up. The little cloud was calling his name frequently – “Alan!! Alan!!”. Suddenly he came back to his senses. It was his mother, Jane, who was trying to wake him up. Alan realized he was sleeping on the study table and all he experienced was a dream. Jane was scolding him for sleeping at the time of studying, but Alan didn’t paid much attention to her. He was feeling happy. He was feeling an unquenchable thirst for adventure – quest for the unknown world around him. He decided that his aim was not to be tied in a cage of “normal life” – but to be a free bird, to sing freely and live freely. He was a bit sad that he couldn’t visit the world of clouds, but was sure of one thing – he will find the wonderland of clouds for sure.