Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Bubble-Maker's Son

Bubbles.....those fragile, transient balls of joys. Slowly they rise, slowly they float, and suddenly they pop, causing a sudden burst of laughter among the onlookers. Children yell and scream, many stretch to catch them, to touch them and crack them. Bubbles don't cost much either. Because of so many reasons, and perhaps many more which we do not know, the Bubble-Maker and his son would frequent the park every weekend. Nobody knew their real name. They were called just that- the Bubble-Maker and his son. Children would squeal the moment they saw them and the place would become crowded pretty fast. The bubble-maker would start his magic while his son after first few minutes would go and sit down in a corner and draw something. Often the son would play music on his wooden flute. The ritual would go on for a long time. People would come and enjoy the spectacle of gigantic bubbles the bubble-maker made. They would ask their children to drop in a few coins in the box the bubble-maker kept next to him. Some would be generous to put in a dollar and some would be content by dropping a penny. And the bubble-maker went on with his business. With the money collected, he would buy trinkets for his son - small things like crayons, colors, paint brushes, whistles, balloons - small things that no child could resist. 

There was one more thing he wanted to buy for his son - something his son loved but never asked for - a real flute, for the flute he had did not play so well. The bubble-maker knew his son had talent. Without any training, his son could play tunes he heard once. If only he had a good flute, and a good teacher. 

One Sunday, a well-dressed man in his forties came to the park. Fidgety, and frowning, the man sat near the bench where the bubble-maker and his son would usually sit. He was lost in his own thoughts, rumbling and mumbling to himself. After a while, when the bubbles floated in the air, the loud laughter of kids brought him back to his senses. He looked around. Just then a bubble, a tiny bubble touched his nose and popped. The man wiped his nose quickly. But the bubble had tickled him already. He saw another bubble rise...this one was a giant.....it floated....and floated.....and floated.....and......popped. The kids screamed. The man's ruffled brows flattened. Another bubble.....floating......floating.......floating..but before it popped......flute.....Where?.....Where did the music come from? The man sprang up from the bench and turned around. He saw the little boy playing the flute. Did the music sound like 'Flight of the Bumble bee'? Yes, it did. How could this little boy play it so well. There were discordant notes in between. But they were perhaps due to the broken flute. The man rushed towards him. 
"Who taught this to you son?", the man asked the little boy.
"I heard it and I liked it. So I keep playing it. It is so frisky and lively. Do you like it sir?"
The man did not reply. He opened a case he was carrying. It had a beautiful flute in it. The man took it out. 
"Keep playing. Do not stop, my boy."
The bubble-maker's son was delighted. The twosome started playing the tune together. Music and bubbles created such harmony that it was a feast for the soul. The world became enchanted. When the music stopped and all the bubbles had popped, the man grasped the little boy's hands and shook him with joy.
"I was agitated as I could not find someone who loved the flute the way I did. I was angry that I could not find someone who worshiped music like I did. I wanted someone who played the flute from his heart. You.....you are that someone.....Come with me....let us make music together.....let us create joy!"

The bubble-maker's heart fluttered. His heart swelled with pride for his son. He took out his dowels and made one last big bubble for the day......a might big, beamy brilliant bubble.....just like his son. 

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