The first thought that crossed my mind when I saw this book was, ‘How could something so little have captivated the minds of so many readers across time’. As I turned the pages of the book, I found my answer. This book reaches out to that core instinct in us which makes us treasure something. Our desire to protect. Who, you may ask.
It’s The Little Prince. For he symbolises all that we’ve forgotten to be.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry takes you through his encounter with a little prince who he meets while being stranded in a desert. This little man with golden hair claims to be from another star and engages him in tales of his travel across the universe till he got to the Earth.
I must admit I found myself searching for the hidden meaning in all those stories that the little prince narrated, of the characters he met on the way. Was there something more that we needed to learn from this? Isn’t this character a reference to someone we know? Do those words from a random animal (he met along the way) have hidden pearls of wisdom in them.
I couldn’t see it.
And then I came across the lines in the book,
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
I stopped reading with my eyes and let myself be immersed in the simplicity of the words of the author. I let myself flow with the poetic beauty that the story has. I let myself be touched by the poignant charm of the little prince.
And then I understood what the author meant when he said, “All grown ups were once children – although few of them remember it.”
I found myself making a promise, that someday when I travel to the African Desert, if I were to come upon that spot under the star, I’ll wait. I’ll wait for the little man with golden hair who laughs and refuses to answer questions.
Thank you, Little Prince. Thank you for reminding me what it is like – to see with the heart.
Photos: Remya Nair