Whenever I hear this word, my mind recalls the image of the seashore and a single file of footprints. The famous poem of Footprints is about how the child learns that the single set of prints are those of God who carried the child in times of trouble.
It was a rainy evening in Bangalore, yesterday. I was listening to Rahman’s high-energy music and was literally dancing in my mind to the tune, with my feet racing and pacing to the notes in the song. I got drenched in the rain and happily so, after a long time. I was just enjoying myself thoroughly when I saw a footprint on the concrete pavement.
Just one file of footprints to me seemed to tell a history note - of someone who had walked on the pavement, as soon as they had finished making the cement layer on the concrete pavement. How careless!! was the first impression. The concrete dried, pavement became operational, but the footprint stayed. I smiled.
This morning, on my way to work, I got off the bus on to another pavement. It was a different song this time by Ilayaraja, another maestro in Indian music whose music is tangentially different from Rahman. I recalled the footprint of yesterday evening, the rain, Rahman's music and the footprint poem. It was a natural instinct that made me look at the pavement today.
I saw a leaf fallen off the tree just then, among many other litters. The leaf looked so out of place - clean, fresh, green, and new. It was fluttering in the breeze that was threatening to sweep it off to the busy road. The green leaf might just die underneath one of those car tires or become brown with the little brown puddles on the road from last evening’s rain. The fallen leaf will not have a history note if it happens. I smiled, this time with a tinge of sadness. That such a leaf - new, beautiful, fresh, clean and green - existed will not be recorded anywhere. It will be gone without a trace!
"Someone took the first step to betterment, the world followed and gradually it became a path”. This someone actually has left a trace for the rest of the world to believe, follow, use, enjoy, or be.
Do we want to leave a footprint?? On the freshly concreted pavement, No, but in life, Yes.
Some thoughts that flashed:
“ Every idea is a footprint of someone’s intelligence or wishful thinking or well-intended purpose”
“ Every step that we take in life leaves a footprint in someone’s life”
“ Make a mark - a good one at that!! Leave a trace that will live longer than your mortal being. Leave a footprint!!"