Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gitanjali - Azara Feroz Sayed

While surfing I had come across some beautiful quotations on Rumi, the Sufi Saint. As we know from the earlier post on 'Exercising for Smartness', bulding our inner spirit - building and strengthening our intuition to stretch the mind - to increase intellectual power - to help us be smarter tomorrow than we are today - to apply those in our life to perform miracles for us - so this thought by Rumi was interesting

Love is the ark appointed for the righteous,
Which annuls the danger and provides a way of escape.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition

While browsing for books in the Asian Poetry section of the library, looking for a book on Rumi (one more of my bold step to approach Poetry), I saw a small book titled 'Gitanjali'. For some reason, I had this in my mind over the years that Gitanjali, for which Tagore, the first non-westerner, was awarded the Nobel has to be voluminious, serious and difficult to understand.

Isn't it sad that such unquestioned thoughts have kept me from enjoying life fully ('Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit' - words from poem below). The innocent mind of Mini, the daughter in Kabuliwala, had her share of fantasy with her thoughts of the sturdy Kabuliwala carrying children in his sack or an elephant - my thoughts on some of the things kept me away from so many pleasures e.g. the notion of spending time on watching TV is waste, which over the years with Feroz has changed to, an oppurtunity to catch on the wonderful world of God's creation and the wonder of God's most loved creation - man!

I couldn't help myself from ascertaining if Gitanjali was only 100 odd short poems. Quickly browsed thru the book to make sure the book was not an excerpt from Gitanjali. I couldn't believe I would be able to read a work that won Nobel prize for literature. I couldn't sleep till I completed reading the short, devotional poems that we all can relate to so well. I am sure listening to these in sweet Bengali songs would be such a delight to those who understand Bengali.

Add to your favourite and enjoy the short poems when looking for a break. I have pasted one poem below
Mind Without Fear
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

Experiencing works of Tagore were limited to Jana Gana Mana, The Kabuliwala as part of our school curiculum and to the more recent Choker Bali. I am wondering why we didn't have peoms of Tagore in school.

Till the news of the Buddas in Bamyan being taken down, for me reference to Afghanistan always brought to mind a mountainous country rich in dry fruits - Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (frontier Gandhi) and his Khudai Khidmatghar - the sturdy Kabuliwala with his sack of dry fruits from Tagore's story. With that said, were the Taliban looking for being heard, by indulging in this act, if something was preserved in an Islamic country for so many years.

Thinking about Kabuliwala, I was wondering about the importance of the written word to us during our school days due to limited or no access to TV, Internet. Unfortunately, thanks to media, the kids of today will only conjure a Taliban dominated, war ridden Afghanistan.

I read Kabuliwala once again, empathized all the more with the father separated from his daughter than I would have in my school days. How beautifully social writers such as Tagore helped us to appreciate the wonders of life! Enjoy reading it yourself or to your child.

Looking for the story, I came to know there was a Balraj Sahani movie by the same name. Refer for the review. The review has these beautiful words, 'Pyar mohabbat mein ehsaan nahin hota, sirf pyar mohabbat hota hain' [One does not do favours in love, just gives unconditionally]. These words touched me all the more as I remember hurting Feroz by telling him, "I left Wipro for him", during the difficult change management period for me, from Wipro to the new company. I thank Feroz for his patience with me as I grow and mature in his love!


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