(Based on a story by TT Rangarajan's 'Unposted Letters')
Gripped by an unknown fear
of John's absence in Sunday service
over several months - three to four,
the elderly kind pastor
visited John's humble home
in city outskirts...
Knock, knock, knock...
'Who is it? Wait a minute...'
When John opened the door,
stood in his front the smiling pastor.
'Do get in, father. Outside it is cold.'
John took him in to the fire place
and made him sit in comfort,
no words exchanged between the two though.
Both watched the fire,
the red-hot embers radiating warmth
when the pastor caught hold of the tong,
picked up the brightest ember
and put it aside in a corner.
In no time the glare in the ember dimmed,
soon it lost its heat and its shine with it.
After a few silent moments
the pastor picked it up
and placed it back in the fire.
And lo! the dead wood started burning again...
Without whispering even a word
the elderly saint got up,
took leave of the young man.
While shaking a warm hand,
John reverently said,
'Father, the coming Sunday
the Mass I shall attend.'
Nobility is a fire
that remains ablaze
in the holy company of the sage,
life is a tide,
in the bosom of the sea
the sky it can reach
but never on a sandy beach...