Taking a break from Telangana with this short blog.
This post is a bit personal but since it is about being creative & philosophical, finds it home here.
I celebrated my 50th birthday recently and my favorite maternal uncle Sastry Karra (He does point out that since I have only one maternal uncle, I hardly have a choice) sends me an audio file of ‘IF‘ by Rudyard Kipling. You can listen to the clip while reading the poem.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
A beautiful poem by Rudyard Kipling, written as a paternal advice to his son John. (As an aside, you can also notice the influence of Bhagavad Gita in its theme and in some specific lines – subject matter of another blog in the future). What was most endearing to me was the fact that my uncle made the effort of reading the poem himself & recording the same in the background of piano music. Truly a novel way of wishing a dear one with some sagely advice. Thanks SK !
A “Chicken soup for the Soul ” moment. Correction, a “Chicken 65 for the Soul” moment !