The times have changed. The Child King, Shoulder bearer, Pianist and the Artiste, they all are there. Yet they are not! They have slowly given way to a new reign, the reign of the “Dream Breather”. Are they really gone? Or is the Dream Breather just another face for them? Maybe they have tied them all into a single entity. The Child King springs out as soon as its sees the open fields; the Shoulder Bearer is still tied to all those heads who wanted to rest their heads; may be just a bit away from where it used to be, to let them judge the weight of their own heads a bit more. The Pianist still plays the tunes that give Dream Breather its soul and the Artiste now keeps painting the dreams. And the Dream Breather breathes and lives on his dreams and walks towards them – its his reign now!
Everyday the Dream Breather walks up to the top of the little hill; sits there and looks at the far away land, where the clouds take their shape. That’s where from the winds brought him the news, that the dreams he wants to breathe are being nurtured there. Everyday when he walks towards his little meadow on the hill top, he sees a garden just off his route. The garden is fenced closely by the immaculately designed hedges, which protect everything inside from the glare of the world. Yet it fails to hide the fragrance from many. You need to have the nose and Dream Breather knew what’s there inside.
Everyday while passing by, he waves at the garden and it waves back with all its zest. Once on the meadow, the Dream Breather closes his eyes, and he can see the bed of asters, daisies and bluebells inside the garden. He can see the tree in the middle, which looks like a storm has passed over it, barely holding a few leaves; and a little sparrow perched on its branch. The tree looks forlorn in its own thought, while the garden keeps moving all its freshness, life-streams and fragrance towards it. It keeps decorating its branches to hide its brown worn out branches and the nest of the sparrow, while the tree looks lost in its thought.
The Dream Breather had made a new friend. While looking at the cloud birth from his hill top one day he saw the image of a garden, a garden that he wanted to build long back. And he knew that garden can be built again, all he needs to make sure is that the ground is rich enough to have those flowerbeds ready before they decide to come. He knew the tree in the middle of his garden would be big enough to give the shade, and small enough to let the flowers shine under the sun. And he began speaking to the garden by the path. Everyday the garden used to release just a breath of its healing fragrance; and it never used to forget to remind Dream Breather that its not his, its is just that bit extra she has after covering her tree. The Dream Breather was happy while absorbing the fragrance, almost like stealing a king’s meal that he can enjoy for the rest of the day; and sometime for many days to come.
The Dream Breather knew he was getting addicted, but was more concerned that the Garden should not be harmed. But the Dream Breather might have already induced some of its dreams on to the garden? He saw the garden also has started to live on dreams, sometime of her own choice, but sometime very quietly the same dreams the Dream Breather loves to breathe. Should the Dream Breather be happy that she breathes on dreams like him? Or should he be worried that those dreams might disturb her present and the dreams that are so loud all around her? Dream Breather treads cautiously. He knows the yards that still separate his path from her fences.
Very rarely she beacons and the Dream Breather runs off his well-laid path, across the uneven turf, towards her fences; and then pauses; sits outside the fence, while she lifts her veil of mist to say hi. So close, yet the Dream Breather knows, that’s the limit to her sacred abode; and he knows how privileged he is to be there. He knows how precious those little moments are, to feel her breath and touch her existence. Yet he is afraid to stand up and look across the fence. Almost afraid that he might disturb the sanctity of the heavenly place. He silently collects those gifted moments and stores them in his “garden to be”. The king was accepting, the giver was looking to have more. Its for that faint hope with which he lives, he too will have a garden, and she might comedown to grace it.
She in her own way, kept Dream Breather on his path. She too knew she was drawing the sap of life from the Dream Breather. She too was collecting some of the stardust the Dream Breather uses to decorate his dreams. He knew, it might as well be to decorate the Tree, yet it was she who wanted them, and that was reasons enough to unload his entire basket. One day she silently beacons him again. Like always the Dream Breather ran towards her. With hope in his heart, yet fully prepared to just collect those sacred moments only. But this time was different.
For the first time, the Dream Breather was surprised to see the door to the heavenly abode open. She nodded in consent, yet he was unsure if he should step inside. She held his hand and took him in. For the first time he saw those beds of Asters, and Daisies, and Pansies and Bluebells. And he was surprised to see that there were also lots of Forget-Me-Nots and Birds of Paradise. She lifted the veil, she threw away the green cover of the turf and showed him the treasures which no one dares to see. He was lost; lost in his dreams and like child ran from one place to another. With silent joy, he was collecting them for himself and his dreams. He knew the time is short. He paused and then made sure he could also give something in return. He looked at her darting eyes and quivering lips, and left a few loving touches here and there. He was feeling like the king; and then she told, that she only tried to help. Helped him to reduce his pain.
Even if she helped, was it required to tell him that? The treasure he collected and decorated his own abode lay scattered. There was a king inside; a king who was ready to be a pauper, yet never ready to beg or borrow or steal? She gave her the most precious jewel in the world, but why did she had to cover it with her tar? Tears he was ready to share; pity he dreaded. The Dream Breathers dreams were mutilated and torn. He was already putting colors to his dreams, and the colors lay scattered. Those places where he put the jewels now lay tortured. Will he be healed? He didn’t care about his heal. Soon, he knew those ulcers will remain; he can not dream about giving back those ulcers, so hid them, so that not even she can see them when he sat beside the roadside to talk to her again. He knew the distance might help to hide the pungent smell.
But the mistress of fragrance might have felt it. He also realized that the road he used to take has slowly moved towards the fence; everyday sitting on the same place of the road has slowly made it move towards it. He saw her in pain and she wanted to move away. Did he hug those little plants too tightly? Was he so lost in his own need and passion that the embrace strangled her for breath? He looked at himself and saw the pollens on his chest and few crushed petals here and there. With horror he stepped back a bit. He knew it might be the time when he needs to move off a bit. He knew she will be restless again, but till she is ready, shouldn’t he be a bit more careful that the precious garden is alive? After all isn’t his own Dreams and life depends upon her life. He started moving back and forth, still unsure.
Sitting on the ledge of his hilltop the Dream Breather pondered with the setting sun on the horizon. The same persons, who once asked him to be himself, now thinks he cares only about his own dreams. The same persons who once pleaded to let him live for himself, now feel he can’t think beyond himself. The same persons who knew all about his masks, now think one of those masks is his reality. Which one is the real him? The Child King? The Shoulder bearer? The Pianist? The Artiste? Or the Dream Breather? Is there anyone who can look at his wounds and still choose to come close and sit beside him? Isn’t it normal for others to either look away or to poke at those wounds? The Dream Breather was told to show courage and go out with his wounds even if everyone makes sure to poke at them. Yes, the Dream Breather comes down from his hilltop now a days; he was already coming down and face everyone and was ready to take on all the blows. He only was hoping for an ally or at least a bottle of potion to give him courage.
Just as the setting sun threw of its pallet of color all across the sky, just before the gloom of dark engulfed the world, the Dream Breather felt a droplet on his cheek. Is it the dewdrop on the petal from the garden, or is it a teardrop that the winds carried from the land where the clouds were being made? Can his dreams that he offered her choke her? He heard a whisper floating towards him, “Is it only you who knows how to breathe dreams? Is it only you who has belief on your dreams? Is it only you who knows how to decorate a dream? I know when dreams are powerful enough they do come true.