Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I am the master of my Fate: I am the captain of my Soul

This morning, I happened to read about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, how he lanced his boil unflinchingly, how he unified the country and I remembered having read how he continued cross questioning a witness, even after having received the news of his wife’s death. To give up the presidency for Nehru, to give up his pass and ticket to study in England for his elder brother, spoke volumes about the strength of his character.

Of course, one should not watch TV during meals, and with the kind of news being broadcasted, one would not be able to eat even a morsel of food. And while surfing, I found Invictus was being telecast yet again. I knew I would not be able to see the whole movie, so I did a wiki and found the source of the oft heard lines: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.“ As I read the full poem, I was wondering WHY? And then it dawned.

When I was in CMC there was a 10th standard boy Arun, my dad’s colleague’s only son who had a tumour in his right shoulder which necessitated whole arm amputation. We painfully learnt that he died few months later. William Ernest Henley, Kahlil Gibran, many polio afflicted people, amputees have such high levels of infectious energy and enthusiasm despite all odds. Am thankful to God, my limbs are not amputated. I admire these folks for the kind of resilience, courage and fighting attitude. I have been inspired by many young men with one leg, with half hands. But most young girls and old ladies with amputated limbs, simply lose heart, starve to death and die, except one Revathy Menon I read about in RD.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I am wondering about many saying that without God’s wish, not even an atom moves. Stoicism, fatalism as compared to fighting back. There are times to fight back, and there are times, when it is better to accept and let go. The question is of discrimination and discernment.

Coming to fighting and throwing a challenge, 3 years ago, I was fascinated to see the youtube video that my MSP (Managing Software Project) professor showed in class. So many virile sturdy men, with intimidating gestures, giving a war cry in unison was simply awesome. I eagerly devoured the haka performance the All Blacks gave in the movie Invictus. To the give the best, to put the best foot first under all circumstances!

P.S. Now I have discovered, why vastu says that we are not supposed to have mango trees and plantain trees around our homes. The temptations of sweet mangoes, spares no one.

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