Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What's Beyond ?

It's been exactly four weeks since I quit my job and set out to be on my own. I had tried the same gamble 10 years ago too, and miserably failed then. This time around I am more confident to making it.
One of the best things that have happened in this period is having time for myself. I have got back to reading and have devoured 'Train to Pakistan', 'The Google Story', 'We Are Like That Only'; and a marathi/sanskrit book, Leelakamalpatrani. The last one is a collection of writings by Prof. Leela Arjunwadkar. Every time I have needed anything about Sanskrit, I have always run to her. (Like the post on Palas tree earlier in this blog). Her mastery on Sanskrit language and literature is quite astounding. What's more, her writings are lucid. I suppose the touch of humility and sensitivity in her writing comes from her initial moorings in fine arts as a singer and stage actor. This aspect of her writing makes even a layman like me get attracted towards Sanskrit language. I have made a lofty promise to myself that I would now read the Bhagwad Gita and then the works of Kalidas. If I actually fulfill this promise, much of its credit would go to Prof. Arjunwadkar.
And yes, right now I am reading Sunil Khilnani's 'The Idea of India'.
Another benefit (and risk too) of being on one's own that I am enjoying is to avail of that rare commodity - SLEEP !!
When I was clearing up the clutter on my desk before moving out of the office, I bumped into a paper where I had scribbled few lines from a poem by Robert Service. I couldn't remember the context at all, but the poem did make perfect sense for the state of my mind then. One month down the line, it is still very relevant. Born and educated in Scotland, Robert decided at the age of 21 to 'Go West' in search for the elusive golden dream. In 1895, he traveled to Canada with dreams of becoming a cowboy. He instead became a banker and later an author.
So here's a poem by Robert Service that mirrors my own thoughts curently.

The Land of Beyond
Have you ever heard of the Land of Beyond,
That dream at the gates of the day?
Alluring it lies at the skirts of the skies,
And ever so far away;
Alluring it calls: O ye yoke of galls,
And ye of the trails overfond,
With saddle and pack, by paddle and track,
Let’s go to the Land of Beyond!

Have ever you stood where the silences brood,
And vast the horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold far away
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! in the night when you gain to the height,
With the vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
Still mocks you the Land of Beyond.

Thank God! there is always the Land of Beyond
For us who are true to the trail;
A vision to seek, a beckoning peak,
A fairness that never will fail;
A proud in our soul that mocks at a goal,
A manhood that irks at a bond,
And try how we will, unattainable still,
Behold it, our Land of Beyond!
- Robert Service

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