A Blind Wish

on Thursday, November 10, 2011

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred. 
(- Lord Tennyson, 
The Charge of the Light Brigade)

In this blog post, I have nothing original to write, but a personal inspiration to present. The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock, is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I caught the first show of this movie with my little sweetheart, Aavika, and I can only thank her for endorsing this movie when I had a dozen others to choose from. The plot runs around the relationship shared by a white mother and an adopted black son, who has not so pleasant a history to cherish as on his memory-scape. A keen essence of the movie is how in the most unlikely of relationships can one locate an identity for oneself. Personally, the valuable lesson I learnt was that when we extend our hand to someone, we when offer help, or support to those in need, it is not them we should expect to feeling grateful. It is us, who should feel grateful, for having been capable and privileged enough to help. In the pragmatic world, often a lot of us forget this thing.

Another very, very dear thing this movie left with me is an essay. Little, but worthy. The protagonist of this movie writes this essay, extremely critical for his grades, the base of which he chooses as the poem an excerpt from which is quoted at the beginning of this post. The Charge Of The Light Brigade is an oft quoted, classic poem written by Lord Tennyson themed on the Battle of Balaclava, which took place during the Crimean War of around the 1850s. The extrapolation of the poem is a thought invoking one, and made me think and think deep. Even those who claim to be genius at pansophy could not have extracted and applied the meaning of a poem on a theme as anachronistic and difficult as a war to the common life of an ordinary youngster who has battles to fight everyday and a world beyond his reach to understand. And yes, an extrapolation glazed in the beauty of simple words of a below average, struggling student. I made use of the pause button to note it whole down; that is how twisted I can be at times. But with due selfishness, I am glad I did. Here it is.

"Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or a mistake, but you are not supposed to question adults or your coach or your teachers, because they make the rules. May be they know best, but may be they don't. It all depends on who you are and where you come from. Didn't at least one of the 600 guys think of giving up and joining with the other side? I mean, Valley of Death, that's pretty salty stuff. Thats why courage is tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes, you might not even know why you are doing something. I mean, any fool can have courage. But honor, that's the real reason you either do something or you don't. Its who you are and may be who you want to be. If you die trying for something important then you have both honor and courage and that's pretty good. I think that's what the poet was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And may be even pray that the people telling you what to do have some too. "

In the most basic of ways, this piece elevates my spirits when I am on the verge of giving up on dreams and wishes the realization of which seems to be an arduous uphill task. If the dream seems difficult, its realization will be worth it. It is easy to take the easy path, isn't it? I mean, I did many times settle down on the easy course and allowed the comfort of that route to shape my future. My problem is with uncertainty. It is a condition I can't handle. Often I feel pressured when the conduct I observe and the decision I follow come imposed from above and are not a product of my thoughts and discernment. But my dreams have flowered in that very framework. And now, they are my dreams. They seem difficult, but that just about makes them worth it. I am still not comfortable with uncertainty, (which now for me with last a mammoth 3 months) but then, who is? We just develop strength and faith to deal with it, and diligence to overcome it.

So while the passage above me teaches about courage, an interesting caveat it adds is about honor. Dreams, goals, aims, are a universal phenomenon. But at times they are relentlessly pursued. Foolishly pursued. I mean, any fool can have courage. We can aim for the stars, but may be sometimes its important to bear in mind that humanly, it possible to go only as far as the moon.

I appeared for my last Civil Services (Mains) Exam on Wednesday, and now I have simply no idea what to do with life. About that I will ponder later. For now I could do with thanking a few close ones
1. Dad, for the cups prompt cups of lemon tea served night and day.
2. Ma, for being the best Sanskrit teacher in the world. 
3. Maitreyi and RLA college libraries, for supplying books which have vanished from everywhere else.
4. Vijaya Ma'am and Dr. Sales, for showing the first streaks of confidence in me.
5. Twishmay Shankar and Anup Bishnoi- for telling stories that helped me draft perfect essays.
6.Pallak Jagga and Mayank Saroha for staying connected and sending ceaseless confidence boosting wishes.
7. Cheistha Kochhar, for not just answering random, esoteric, perplexing questions all along, but for also being an inspiration for perfection.
I do not know the news I will hear in February, but all you people, are enormously special. Thank you!