Sunday, May 02, 2010

A prophet's words

Dear reader,

Sometimes it is in the words from the past, can we find the path to the future. I look at the way India has become today and the more I read about the ridiculousness of how the truth is 'managed' in our land, the more I am drawn to look up literature from our history books to see if there was a clue somewhere - somehow - of the debacle India's condition is fast becoming. With misguided jingoism and an entire body of hollow 'intellectuals' who continue to paint bright colors on the most mundane and dimwitted of caricatures, I just had to look at something from our grand forefathers that could hopefully take me to the right perspective. And in that quest, I found Tagore's classic - 'Where the mind is without fear'. In these 11 sentences of word patterns, I could see such relevance to the kind of celebrated mediocrity and narrow-minded fanaticism that we are experiencing back home, that I doubt any of the current authors/poets can produce such fine literature about our future. If anything, all we have is a bunch of reactive self-appointed ambassadors who 'opine' on events rather than 'visualize' about what needs to be. As, in this brilliant example, Tagore did. I intend to read more of Tagore's work since I am convinced it will help me maintain my sanity in a time where the insane is the King.

I decided to start with this one.

Where the mind is without fear
By Rabindranath Tagore
Originally written as 'Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo' in Bengali
Circa 1912

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

My respect for this visionary, nay this prophet, who not only saw the dream of an independent India but also drew for us such a wonderful road map to follow once freedom did find its way into our lives. A map we probably quickly abandoned once we were handed our liberty.

0 reflections: