We reached his room and he closed the door behind us. We stood there in the dark, inside his room. He whispered in my ear, “Behold my passion” and switched on the lights. I blinked twice before I could comprehend his work. One wall of his room had a wall to wall plastered map of the United States of America, but that had been there before.

Today, it was his bed. From the four corners of his bed stood four poles and all the poles had a large flag of the United States of America carefully pinned along the length of the sides in unfurled state.

Four Flags, all painted fresh oil colours by hand, four handcrafted maps. Every star and every stripe, every edge and every margin carefully sewn.

The room dazzled in the riot of colours. The smell of fresh paint filled the room. I looked at Anil and saw his hands, hands smudged with rain and paint hues of red, white and blue.

He was grinning ear to ear. His eyes were on fire. I had no words to say. He said , “I am going to sleep surrounded by my dream.” I just hugged him and said, “Yes , you will.”

Anil made it to a Medical school residency in United States of America six months later. He left India never to return. I could not see him off at the airport but that picture of him sleeping on the bed surrounded by American Flags was etched in my mind forever. Was it an Obsession? Was it Paranoia? Or was it just the Passion of a Dream? I never knew. I never cared. All I knew was that it worked for him. —Inspirationallane.com (Concluded)