- Rumi

In a remote area of the mighty Indian Ocean, lived a farmer and his troupe. From atop the only hill of their island home, theirs was an idyllic existence. They loved their close-knit community, consisting of just 36 other families. Each living in harmony with the other.

It was their paradise. And every full moon night, the whole village would gather to celebrate this slice of heaven.

On one such evening, everyone had gathered on the beach. The festivities were kicking off when there was a sudden, palpable change in the air. The ocean breeze stopped. A tense silence descended on the gathering.

That’s when they saw it. A gigantic shadow was approaching swiftly, from the horizon. Disbelief shattered into a cacophony of panic.

“Head inland.”

“Hold on to something.”

“Run to higher ground.”

Screams and cries pierced the still air.

Before they knew it, the tsunami crashed around them. Some clung to trees, while others were tossed effortlessly into the deluge. The second wave was worse, destroying everything in its path.

Disoriented and gasping for breath, the survivors stumbled uphill. Among them, the farmer’s family. Wretched and in shock the few who remained collapsed in despair.

The night gave way to daybreak, revealing a bleak vista. The island had all but been washed away. Only the handful of homes on the peak of the hill had survived.

The farmer’s family gathered everything they could to comfort their neighbours, but it wasn’t enough. They could only scrounge up enough food to get through a week.

The days passed. With no rescue in sight and no way to contact the outside world, hope was fading fast.

“We’ll have to do it,” conferred the farmer with his wife. She nodded her assent. They would need to make a sacrifice, for the greater good.

The night, with a heavy heart, they lit their beloved homestead on fire. The blaze and smoke, they hoped, would serve as a beacon to any ships on the horizon.

It was a long shot, but it worked. The survivors were rescued the next day.

Sometimes you have to be the light that scatters the darkness.

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