Project 365: Day 287 — Big City. Big Dreams.

She was the kind of person no one would pick out of a crowd. Inconspicuous. Ordinary. Like most of the other 6 billion people inhabiting the planet.

She had little interest in academics. She liked drawing. She drew everywhere. On walls. In books. On furniture. On her grandmother’s sari — frequently. Fed up with her, her grandmother sent her to a temple with her grandfather. She liked the temple. Her grandfather would take her along and lift her to ring the bell when they entered. She liked the place, despite the loud bells ringing all around her during the pooja. The clash of the cymbals and the priests chanting their mantras loudly. She found a lot of peace in the noise.

She was the sort of small town person people in big cities made fun of. Stars in her eyes and so many small town stories. Stories that only she would find interesting. Stories that would endear her to no one. The kind of stories that would make people think of her as a lost puppy. She didn’t like the unkind souls either. They made too much noise — either their mouths or their heels. She didn’t care for that kind of noise. Her heart danced to a very different beat. But there was no one to listen to those beats in this part of the world.

So she turned into a shy introvert. The big city didn’t take her dreams away. Reality was just quite different from her dreams. That didn’t stop her dreaming though. She made great strides in her profession. Became a young force to be reckoned with. Got her name on the list of 30 under 30 somethings to watch out for. Got her name on many lists actually.

A magazine of this kind found its way to the sleepy old small town she had once belonged too. The one her heart belonged too. People gossiped. Mostly about how she had forgotten them all. But really, what part did they ever play in her success?

The local postman showed a copy of the magazine to her grandfather. He smiled as he saw the picture of his now grown up granddaughter. He read her interview and smiled at how wise the big city had made her. The end of the article made him smile. She spoke about wearing your identity proudly, no matter how small someone else thought you were.

He really was proud of the person she had become. Her dreams had become her reality. She had her own design label, and though he had no idea what that meant, he was sure being a tailor with a fancy name was a big deal. Even if the fancy name was all too familiar — Mandir (temple).

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