MAGIC IN THE AIR
Just recently, I chanced hearing an interesting conversation in the first class ladies compartment of an afternoon Virar local. I was on my way back home from college, and observing people around me, in the not-so-crowded compartment, was a subconscious habit.
The conversation involved a woman and a girl of about six, and the two were seated from across me. While the woman was busy leafing through a magazine, the girl was engrossed in her book. I noticed she was reading Cinderella. I returned to the world of Cinderella, my mind wandering through the story. It always felt nice to go back to something that you enjoyed as a child. But my wandering ended abruptly when I heard the girl close the book with a thud and call the woman.
The woman’s eyes left the magazine for a moment and she looked at her daughter. “Yes, sweetie?”
“Do I have a Fairy-Godmother?” the girl asked, her voice unsteady with nervousness and excitement.
Every girl wanted to believe she was gifted, special, and that there was a Prince Charming who would keep her happy in a Fairy-tale kingdom. Anyone who gets too engrossed in a story begins seeing the real world through different eyes. They start believing that imaginary things exist in reality, and they wish that something unusual would happen to them as well.
I have been through this stage before, and seeing someone else pass through it amused me, lighting my face with a faint smile, as I watched the mother-daughter pair.
“Such things exist only in stories,” the woman said firmly. “Read the story, but don’t believe any of those things. There are no fairy godmothers or magic slippers.” And then she went back to reading her magazine.
The girl looked like she would cry. It was obvious she was hurt by her mother’s words. Of course, it is perfectly understandable for parents to teach their children that fantasies don’t exist in the real. But at times, it is best to let them believe in the impossible. If children can’t even believe that magic does exist and miracles do happen, they will never want to try accomplishing the impossible as they grow up.
What’s the big harm in letting them believe that Fairy-Godmothers and magical kingdoms do exist? They would have enough sense to distinguish between the real and the imaginary as they grow up. Why steal these simple joys of childhood by declaring that those magical things don’t exist?
I felt bad for the girl and wondered if I should say something to cheer her up, but felt unsure if her mother would approve of me telling her that magic does exist. While I debated over this, the girl spoke again.
“What is it now?” the woman asked with sigh. She looked at her daughter over the top of her magazine.
The girl looked more nervous under her mother’s strict gaze.
The woman smiled seeing her discomfort and patted her daughter’s hand. “What is it, sweetie?” she repeated in a gentler voice.
“Is magic real?” the girl asked gazing expectantly at her mother’s face.
“well…” the woman hesitated, as if debating on what to say to her daughter. “Magic is well not magic…” she said thinking hard.
The girl’s brows knitted in confusion.
The woman sighed. “Magic is just a very well performed trick.”
“Yes, trick. You have seen a magician wearing a black cloak pull out a bunny rabbit from his tall hat, haven’t you?”
“well, the bunny rabbit doesn’t come out of the hat just like that. The magician puts it in there before he comes on stage to perform his trick.”
The girl stared at her mother in an expression close to disbelief.
“So magic is nothing but a trick used to fool us,” her mother concluded with a confident nod of her head.
“But the Fairy-Godmother doesn’t pull out a bunny rabbit!” the girl protested.
The woman smiled and ruffled the girl’s hair. “That’s because Fairy-Godmother is a part of the story and she does what the writer makes her do. That’s why she can turn a pumpkin into carriage and mice into horses or give new clothes to Cinderella with just a wave of her wand.”
The little girl looked dejected. “So I don’t have a Fairy-Godmother?”
The woman ruffled her daughter’s hair again, laughing. “You have me, don’t you?” she said. “Why do you need a Fairy-Godmother?”
I watched the girl’s expression carefully and noticed that she was disappointed.
It sure is hard on a child, when she is forced to accept something she doesn’t want to believe in. But its even more difficult, when someone else shatters the illusion created by the child’s beliefs, in an attempt to let their mind mature faster. Why cant people just let children live their childhood in these fantasy illusions? God is the Creator, the Source of everything, the One who watches over every little part of his creation. A Fairy Godmother is a Good Soul or a kind-hearted Fairy who watches over humans and nature. So, isn’t Fairy Godmother just a variation of the term God?
The conversation ended there, but my chain of thoughts continued.
Why is it that people don’t think magic existed? Of course magic exists. We see it every day, and yet we find it hard to believe. Every living moment of our life is a miracle and yet people don’t see it for what it is. I have often wondered why is it so that people pray to God for miracles to happen and yet when they see a miracle happen, they doubt its integrity. People tend to approach miracles and anything connected to magic or the supernatural with scientific analysis. When people don’t take the initiative to find out how any gadget functions, why do they desire to know how a miracle is caused? If they can accept the gadgets without knowing much about how it functions and why it functions the way it does, why cant they simply accept magic and miracles and appreciate its beauty?
To search for the source of magic is different from analyzing its authenticity using science. Its high time people start accepting the fact, that there are many things scientific analysis cannot answer.
Magic does exist. Miracles do happen.
Ever seen a flower bud blossom into a flower? A dew drop cascading down a leaf? A newborn child closing its fingers around its mother’s one finger?
If that isn’t magic, then what is?
But people hardly take time out to observe these things. In this busy super-fast paced life, people hardly find time to observe these miracles that happen around them. How many people have spent time watching a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly or gazing at the monsoon sky for a rainbow? How many people take time to enjoy a leisure walk among trees, breathing in the pure oxygen that they exhale and appreciating the green beauties of nature?
Nature is full of magic and miracles. A gigantic tree grows from a tiny seed, this tree flowers, bears fruits and lives on for a great number of years. Nature is always a riot of colors and it changes its form and color with the change of every season. This is what magic is.
People believe that prayers help save a dying soul, and that prayers have the power to influence one’s present and the future. People pray to God believing in the Divine Being to grant them their wishes. Is this not believing in miracles and magic? So if people can accept the fact that God exists, then they can very well accept that everything created by Him is magic and all wishes granted by Him are miracles.
Magic is not what magicians do onstage. What they do is create an illusion to entertain the audience. Magic is what everyone sees but no one recognizes and believes.
Gazing at the star studded sky with fluffs of clouds, the feeling of raindrops on one’s face, the whispering of trees in the wind, laughter of children filling one’s ears, the chirping of birds, the moon bathing the world in its silvery light, the glowing sunset painting the world in orange while sinking into the sea, the fragrance of wet soil and every other thing we experience is pure magic.
It is time grown-ups understand this fact. They should remember that they too believed in these fantasies during their childhood. Without a magical dream to lose ourselves into, life would be really monotonous and work, a burden. To believe in the little miracles of nature, in the little fantasies of children, to live in a world born of our own imagination when reality gets too tiring or dull, is how we can make life on earth exciting, worth living.
And the sooner people realize and understand this truth, the sooner they will experience every miracle that life provides.
All people need to remember is that ‘Life is Magic and Living Life to its Fullest is a Miracle’. And they can begin this by first believing in their Fairy Godmother.