Weightlessness | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 09, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 09, 2017


High up at the edge of a building, there stood a raindrop.  He was ten feet above the earthy surface, landing upon which would inevitably cause his demise.

“Rain drops don't fly,” his father had said to him when he was just a tiny droplet. 

“They sure can!” argued little Wight. “I've read lots of books that say if a body has a very small mass and a large surface area, it can float in the air!”

“But raindrops don't fly, son,” the aged raindrop repeated, “and that's a scientific fact.”

The words remained etched in his mind to this day.

As he stood there mustering his courage to jump off the edge, his entire life flashed before his eyes. 

Long time ago, he was born out of the transpiration of a banyan leaf. Since then, he had seen all sorts of raindrops fall to the ground. He had been told countless times that his hopes of flying were false— delusional. Senseless Wight they called him. 

Although the undeniable reality stared him in the eye, a part of him truly believed he could fly. That was his only solace, his last shed of light. As time elapsed, Wight began to question the purpose of his existence. Was he simply destined to collapse on the ground someday? Others tried to convince him that raindrops don't have any purpose; they are the 'result'. Once again, Wight refused to succumb. In his opinion, saying raindrops didn't have a purpose and that he was just a 'result' was a little unfair.

And once again, he realised he was utterly mistaken.

A single option lay before him.

According to history, no one has ever heard from the 'fallen ones', yet he didn't want to believe that jumping would mean self-destruction.

Finally, he decided that he couldn't do it. This decision did not result from the concern he held for the ones who cared for him. He knew no one did. He was Senseless Wight, and that's all he had ever to been to them. That made it easier for him to believe that he had no purpose after all.

Wight was stuck in a vicious limbo-too afraid to jump; too afraid to face the world.

He sat down on the ledge and began to quietly observe the world from a safe distance. 

He watched birds lay eggs, and then watched those eggs crack as tiny heads peeked out to take their first glimpse of the earth. He watched as they took off and flew over streams and canyons; he watched leaves grow and change colours. He saw butterflies relish the glorious sip of nectar from flowers; he saw humans in all their kindness and cruelty. 

Meanwhile, another raindrop had joined him.

Wight did not notice the raindrop until the raindrop readied herself to jump. She seemed more resolute than Wight ever was. Wight asked for her name. “Wight,” The raindrop replied. Wight laughed at the irony of nature. “I see…we can never be too alone, nature doesn't allow it,” Wight sighed, “There will always be at least one other Wight.” 

He indulged the other Wight in a captivating conversation. Unconsciously, the other Wight sat next to him, while he showed her everything he had discovered during his time as an observer. 

Before long, more Wights had come to jump from the same ledge, and each time Wight stopped them and together, they observed the world.

In a way, Wight saved them. He might not have prevented their demise altogether, but he stopped them from jumping alone.

As they observed, there came a time when each of them began to float upwards. Each drop was soaring high up in the atmosphere as if they were weightless. They rose until it was too cold to stay apart, so they huddled together to form a cloud. 

When it was time, they came pouring on the earth, pouring louder and heavier than any individual raindrop ever could. Their fall made the world pay attention.

And afterwards, when they seeped into the soil and were soaked up by the seeds sowed deep inside, shoots sprang into life. The shoots then grew up to become plants — the very plants that make the earth a habitable place in the universe.

Maybe this is why no one ever heard from the ones who had fallen before them. Because after they fall, the raindrops transform into nutrients for plants to grow. Their fall doesn't mark the end, but the continuation of the cycle of life. 

In retrospect, raindrops can fly. Senseless Wight wasn't senseless after all. And the purpose of his existence wasn't something he needed to find; it was something that was supposed to happen to him throughout his lifetime. 

Was merely observing the world his purpose? Or was it to save the other Wights? Or maybe it was to help life continue on this planet. Or the secret fourth option: all of them.

Farah Masud is a humanbean and that is all you need to know about her. Please don't try to contact her anywhere, especially not in person.

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