Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Pic.: Pradeep Nanda

“The hardest walk is walking alone;
But, it is, also, the strongest walk.”

- Anonymous

There are some things in life, which we are deeply convinced about… We believe in them and we are passionate about them, so much so, they have become our ‘magnificent obsessions’… Some ideals, some dreams, some projects, some causes… Yes, there ‘are’ those things in our lives which we alone know how close they are to our hearts… we breathe them all day and all night long… all through the year and all through our lives… We wake up with those things, we go to sleep with those things… We talk about them to everyone and everywhere… And, it seems, our lives would be empty and miserable without realizing those ideals and dreams… without completing that journey, without reaching that destination…

Every dream, which is dreamt passionately, every ideal which is cherished very, very intimately… and every cause which is carved on the solid rock of fine intentions and integrity, is bound to be contagious… It ignites passion in others and inspires them to rally around us… Probably, because, everyone cannot be to the mountain-top… everyone cannot see that ‘promised land’… They need the ‘dreamer’, the ‘idealist’, the ‘leader’ to do that… It has been the story behind every great movement, every great cause or institution… Someone had to dream it first; someone had to breathe it like none else did… like a possessed man, all consumed by it. Yes, that’s the story of every dream and dreamer, every ideal and idealist.

The path of an idealist – the dreamer – is a lonely path. Though he is surrounded by many, who seem to support him, he has to be ready to walk alone, guided by his own inner light and propelled by his own inner strength…

One of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite songs was Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘ Ekla Chalo Re’. He used to find immense motivation and strength in this song. You and I may not have to lead a nation to its freedom from foreign rule. You and I may not have to crusade against social or political injustice… But, then, you and I do have our own ‘personal crusades’ to lead, we have our own ideals and dreams to realize… and, that is a lonely path… We need to be ready to walk it alone, when many do not believe in us, when they desert us.

Here is the song, as translated from original Bengali by Tagore himself:

If they answer not to your call,
walk alone
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open your mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away and desert you
when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.
If they shut doors and do not hold up the light
when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite your own heart,
and let it burn alone.

Yes, it is the path of the strongest!


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