Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Candle & her story...

When I was a kid, I heard stories about candles. This inspired me to be one but later I realized that it is not something everyone can achieve. Therefore I wrote a story about a Candle named 'Shine'.

There is this Candle named Shine. She lives with all the other items in a room. Shine always feels that she is useful because when night comes, Human uses her to light up the place.

One day all the items in the room heard heavy footsteps. Human opened the door and walked in with more Human bodies. They are talking....

Human A : 'You have to run a wire from here to there. The bulb should be in the center of the room. Have you picked the hood to go with it?

Human B : 'Yes, I have done all that. Where do you want the switch to be located?'

Human C : I think beside the door. Once you open the door you can feel for it and switch it on.

Humans are talking and walking out of the room. Conversation dies down and footsteps’ fade. The items in the room start to talk.

Books : What are they talking about? I am not able to make head or tail out of it?
Chair : Me too?
Framed Picture : 'Shine, you know what they are talking about? They are pointing at the ceiling and also on the wall where I am hanging.'
Shine : 'No, I suppose we will know soon'. Shine is puzzled as well but tries to comfort the others with kind words.

A few Humans came back two days later. They make so much noise by drilling and knocking and running wire and putting a hood like thing and a white round ball. They also put something they call 'switch' on the wall. Picture is relieved because they did not take him down.

When all the knockings are completed, Human A came in and by putting his finger on the wall, WOW! we are all blinded by this white lights from the hood. Instantly the room brightens up and everything can be seen clearly. The Humans are laughing and talking and are happy that the installation is successful. They left the lights on and walk out of the room.

Book : Hi, who are you. You are so bright. Now we can see each other clearly in the room.

Bulb : I am a conduit to bring light to the room. Hood and me are together, we are a pair. We go everywhere together.

Hood : (snobbishly) I am Hood, I come in different colors, sizes and shapes.

All the items in the room were quiet. They are thinking 'Shine' has always been the one that gives light, so what now?

Bulb to Shine : Hey, you are a candle aren't you? You are old and troublesome. You are a fire hazard too. Although we are related, I am sorry you will be phased out. We all do not need you around.

Some of the items in the rooms are curious about Bulb and hood and forgotten about Shine. They found new friends and are excited about it.

Human A walks into the room again. He did some packing. Automatically he picks up Shine and shafts her into a drawer out of sight. Human A has no need for Shine anymore.

Shine lies quietly in the dark drawer. She wants to cry but she can only cry when she lights up. Now all her tears are contained inside, kept in the heart.

Times fly. Shine is forgotten. Only drawer knows that Shine is inside her.

Drawer : Shine, don't be sad. Humans are ungrateful. They like new toys and they forget the old ones.

Shine : Thanks Drawer. If not for you, I really have no friends. Out of sight, out of the word. (Shine smiled sadly to herself).

Drawer : I think this thing called 'Electricity' is great but one day these Humans will need you. Look at it this way - they still use you to create ambient in a room, they use you on dinner tables, they use you for religious purposes etc.

Shine thanked Drawer for her encouragement, for her friendship and for understanding that she is still useful.

One evening, the sky outside is raining. All of a sudden lights go out.

Wife : Oh! it is so dark in here. I cannot see myself and where are you Dear?

Human A : I am here. I have a candle somewhere, let me look for it.

Human A found Shine. He lights up Shine. Shine is happy now because she can cry. She cries and cries and cries tears of joy.

Shine silently burnt herself. As her tears melt away, she becomes shorter and shorter. She simply burnt herself happily. She wants to serve her purpose. It is her duty to provide lights in the darkest hour. She accepts the fact that people will forget her when Electricity is on. As she silently tears and gives out lights, Wick is burning out too.

Wick to Shine : My dear friend, we have served out purpose. I will have to die first. Shine, it is good having you as a buddy. I know your tears will take time to dry. You are great and remember that. Without you, there is no light in this darkest hour. Even as Wick is burning out, he did not forget to give a word of kindness to Shine. Such a big heart!

With this Wick dies and Shine slowly dries up too. Her tears are hardening wax. Human A and Wife are asleep. They did not know that Shine has expired.


How do you like this story? It is my story, created by me and not taken or lifted from anyone. There is morale behind the story - Shine and Wick are doing their duties. They are burning themselves for the sake of others. In the course, others forget them but when opportunity arises, they are happy to do their part. Such are the actions of Bodhisattva. Do everything silently. No need to argue. No need to advertise greatness, just gently serve. No one will notice that Shine is gone. No one will miss her. There are many Shines in the world.

CANDLE lights themselves to bring lights to the world. If you ask Shine what she would be in her next life and she will tell you "I will still come back as Shine." Such is the greatness of selflessness.

Chinese has a saying ' Light oneself to light up others'. An easier said than done philosophy.

So may all of you who are enjoying remember the Candle that once lights up for you. Have you forgotten a Candle somewhere?

by....Lian莲. You are welcome to share this story with friends