Introduction

The dialogue is based on a dramatic poem in Dogri by Ram Nath Shastri and translated into English by Shivnath. The passing wind asks the question, “What is life?” to various things in the universe like the stars, the moon, the cloud, the ocean, the earth and a little girl. Each of them comes out with their own definition of life.

Characters

The wind, the stars, the moon, the ocean, the cloud, the earth- the various things in the universe personified

The little girl – a little girl lighting lamps

What is Life?

The passing wind asks what life is. The stars say that it is to shine with one’s own brightness in life. When there is no moon, the stars brighten up and every star feels it has some power. They feel that they have a large family. Life of dependence is no life. So, having their own light is life for them.

Then the passing wind goes to the Moon and asks it the same question. The moon says it is a sick, lifeless entity. Its borrowed light is the cause of its dark spots. Its light is not its own. It is the child of the ocean and this is its fate.

Then the wind moves to the ocean with the same question. The ocean says life is to realize one’s limits and maintain one’s dignity, to contain all bitter experiences- taking them as pearls and rubies. The ocean’s life is a life of penance.

Then the wind approaches the cloud. The cloud answers that what it understands about life is that when it rumbles, it only rumbles but doesn’t rain. But when it rains, it loses itself and gives away its being in joy and self-abandon. But it must know where to rain. So, life is to rain on hills which are in dire need of water.

Now the wind quietly descends to the earth with the same question. The earth says that life is love. Whatever water it gets from the clouds, rivers and streams, it stores it inside in pure trust and distributes it among the thirsty. Thus, for the earth, this taking and giving is true life. To it the sentiment of motherly love is a boon.

The Little Girl

By now, the wind is exhausted and confused. Suddenly, she sees a little girl who looks pretty and innocent. The little girl is lighting new lamps with the one that is alight in her hand. The wind asks her who she is. The little girl says that she is the life of that creation. She is lighting these new lamps with the lamp that is alight.

The wind tells her that she had left some lamps unlighted. The little girl says that those lamps have no oil in them, so there is no point in lighting them. She is lighting only those who are yearning to awake, waiting to be lighted. She loves this play of life.

Hearing this, the wind smiles as this play greatly impressed her. She is so much delighted that she forgets herself and joins the little girl.

Conclusion

The meaning of life varies from person to person. Everyone has different motivations and goals. However, these different aspects should not distract us from leading life in a good and fulfilling way, just like the little girl lighting lamps.