Most of us have this little blue book, probably one of the most treasured books in everyone’s life. Little pages covered with stamps, where each stamp signifies a dream fulfilled. Yes, I’m talking about the passport. Who knew that a tiny book as such would be a gateway to achieving so many things. I went to the visa office, and there I see hundreds of students: nervous, tensed and most of them praying vigorously. Probably the only time they would want to walk out of the office without the passport. I see the smiles on these faces which is brought in by a single word ‘approved’. All this while, I looked at a passport from a single perspective. It held the power to make so many people happy, it held the power to fulfill the dreams of budding businessmen and ambitious students. Great! isn’t it?
But has anyone thought of the other side?? I did!. It was the day my best friend was leaving abroad, to pursue her dreams of a bright career, it struck me that there is a blind spot to this little book. I stood there, amidst the crowd of many, to see her off at the airport. “Where is my passport?” she asked. And someone handed it over to her.That was the first time I loathed that little blue thing. There was this sudden urge coming out of me and I wished to destroy her passport. I realized then, that the gateway to so many dreams is also a hindrance to so many relationships. That day I saw the other side. That little book has the power to bring out a stream of tears from every one related to the person holding it.
I looked around and saw agony in the eyes of her mother, father, friends, myself. My mind went on to wander. The day my sibling left, I saw the same pain in the eyes of my mother. Every time I went to see off someone, I saw people clutching on to each other, comforting each other. I saw it all clearly, how a small book had the power to make and break dreams at the same time.
Everyone around the globe celebrates on getting their passports stamped. Maybe,it is a commendable victory in itself to be able to cross the borders of a nation. But has anyone noticed how hard that woman, who calls herself a ‘mother’ tries to smile? Has anyone realized that she is submerged in an ocean of grief? Or did anyone bother to understand the fright behind a father’s pride? No wonder he shouts on top of his voice to announce his child’s achievement. But, look at him closely and you will notice a little man, bewildered. Having lost his support system, he remains clueless about his own future.
How nice it is to be able to roam around the world in fancy cars. But what joy is it to drive in without a family to sit by? How exciting is it to see every corner of the world, earn in dollars and live in luxurious apartments! But of what use is it when you don’t have your mates to see the world with you, or spend your dollars and mess up your house? Dear passport holders! When would you realize that asking your parents to take a tablet when they are ill and staying by them and administering it with your own hands are two different sides of a coin? When would you realize that Skype and Facetime can never replace your physical presence? Are you still happy about getting your passports stamped? It’s time you see the other side!
Now I speak directly to you, dear passport. There might be people all over the world who would salute you. But I do not wish you to open gates of hell for me. I would never give you a chance to open the doors of dismay in the lives of my loved ones. The power that you hold would banish in my hands. Because I have seen the other side and would never wish that fate upon me.
My achievement lies in your blank pages.