On a beach in Chennai, standing on the shore with the ocean before me, I watch the long straight line separating the blue of the water from the sky's cerulean.
Beyond that line, I know another land is with another shore and other people.
I can't see it from where I am, but I know it's there.
I've seen maps and read books. I don't remember the distance, but I know that if I sail towards that line and keep going on, I'll set my foot on solid ground again.
Still, despite this knowledge, the idea of sailing towards that distant line makes me shiver on this hot Indian morning.
And then my mind goes to the people standing on this same shore thousands of years ago.
Like me, they were scrutinising that long line dividing the sea from the sky. But unlike me, they didn't have maps or books.
They didn't know what lay after that line. They have no clues about other shores or land.
That line was probably the end of the world for most of them. Something better to admire from a distance, with the feet on well-known and solid ground.
For a few of them, that line was calling.
They didn't know what was calling them and what waiting for them beyond that line. Most probably the end of the world and the end of them with it.
Yet, that calling was too strong to ignore.
So, they left the well-known shore and departed while all the others were probably shouting from the beach they were fools.
And indeed, they were.
How could you depart towards the unknown if you're not a fool?
Many never got to that line. They probably died thinking that it was true; they were indeed fools.
A fraction of them went beyond that line until they found another shore, another land, other people.
And they drew maps and wrote books that expanded the world for people like me, who are standing on the shore.
Those few men and women who made it, we call them pioneers, explorers, innovators, heroes.
All the others who failed are just fools.
Because, the ones with their feet on the solid ground value the result more than the process.
I wrote today's apple at dawn while flying home from India. After the usual 15 minutes, I couldn't publish it, so I closed my laptop and decided to watch a movie. I couldn't find anything inspiring, so I watched the first documentary on the list. It's a documentary titled The Alpinist. It's about the life of Marc-Andrè Leclerc, a young Canadian alpinist. And there it was. Someone walking towards and beyond that thin line between ocean and sky, foolishness and heroism. I wept, listening to his story and his words.