Fiery breath. Shaky head. Black curls on his back and a leather latch to cover his eyes in one direction only, his track to reach the final destination. That’s how a horse is trained to win the races we want him to, not knowing what the horse wants. What we could not achieve in our races, we want the horse on which we put in our bet on, to achieve. And this is how life trains us too.

As soon as I reached my race tracks, passing out of my training grounds, there was a huge world I was oblivious to, even though I had already spent 18 years on planet earth. I could see that I was the untrained one, kept in one corner of the stable while other prepared ones were already ready for the race. Although my trainers, my parents, had already warned me of the contestants, but I think few things are better when experienced first-hand.

The first 2 months gave me enough of that experience. Unfortunately, what it taught was the real world was full of the bad. That no one can be trusted as no one can trust us. And since we all are horses meant to run a race of four years, thus, each turn, each point, and each curve in the lap was nothing but a competition.

Though I tried keeping myself the way I really was. Keeping myself intact from foreign touch. But I guess, once the competition is out there, you can’t really escape it. And then one day, an Iranian horse dropped out of nowhere and he was the new exhibit that most other people would like to visit.

He ate different, he neighed different and he thought different. But this difference happened to be the similarity between him and me. No competition, just fun. A thought that both of us, racing horses, shared. The Iranian horse somehow brought me back to who I really was.

He made me realise that horses were not just meant to stare at the direction we were pointed to and run for the carrot. We were the fast runners who could run over puddles, who could jump over hurdles and we could have fun while we run!

Things started to change. There was a division of the stable into smaller stables. Horses would get in teams to break down other teams and there was always bitching. Seasons could change, but the attitude could never change. At times it would make me wonder whether I was trained enough to be there. To be there and face the competitors. To be there and just make it to the finishing line, wining or not wining not being the point anymore.

Since it seemed difficult to be a part of the cult, I took off from the battle between the stable and chose my own path to wherever it would take me. As the fate would have it, I saw another dimension of the same race. I realised that there was another stage set for horses like me. Who had no interest racing amongst each other. There was a stage set for those ones who planned to leave a mark so that next time they looked back, the old herd of enemy horses were no longer horses but sheep. Hence, I started moving on, on the same path along with my experienced Iranian buddy.

We shared successes that would make the enemies more jealous. We made more enemies. And yet we never raced them. Because even if we lost the race, we knew that it wasn’t our cup of tea and there was a parallel world going on behind the stage for defective pieces like us.

Pretty soon the word was spreading that there were two black strong horses who could achieve anything they’d want. Who had legs, which if pounded upon some other horse, would crush them.
Horses who breathed fire. But no one knew that there another one joining the league.

The latest news is, the other one was found two weeks back. Too late but at least she realized there was no use of running the race that would never end. She has signed up to be a part of the gang, knowing fully that all she is going to get is fun and a lot of fun in whatever we are going to do ahead!

And today when I sit back writing this, I realize that the race was never between the horses. I was running a race that was meant for asses and that is why I could not relate to most of what was going on.

What I now learn is, there never is a problem with us. There is always a problem in the way we are made to look. If we look out for competition at every instance in life, then there won’t be any happiness left, just races, races that would never end.

One year and six months. Today I lead and leave others charmed. That’s who I am. And that’s the stage I want to stand upon.

I am not a horse meant to run for my carrot, because I do not like carrot. I prefer apples!

P.S. Owe you a big one Iranian and Babaji. 😀


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