“What is this life if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to turn at beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance..”
‘Leisure’, William Henry Davies
Students are indeed no different from those rockets that blast off from nearly every Indian home during Diwali. They won’t take the necessary actions unless they feel the heat behind them!
I don’t state that I’m any different from them, no, not at all! Sample this – I was frantically doing my eleventh hour round-up of the entire syllabus, which of course means a plethora of notes. Although a fierce looking storm was brewing up outside, I gave priority to this internal storm. I suddenly noticed a bird that had just perched on the railing of my hostel balcony. It was looking for shelter from the storm.
I stared at it as the wind ruffled up its feathers and it staggered to stay on its feet, constantly chirping wildly, lost, scared and franctic. Its determination to survive the storm occured to me as almost comically similar to mine. Here I was, struggling wildly to survive the storm called exams, scared and franctic? What do we, the so called “superior beings”, do different from those birds? Why do we constantly keep telling ourselves that we are better?
Just at that moment, my eyes caught a glimpse of my laptop screen, 3 more notes to follow up, more to memorize. I suddenly remembered that my major wasn’t pholosophy and abandoned further contemplation of my feathered visitor. But the bird and the thought had taken root in my head.
When I looked up from my notes a little while later the bird had left and the storm abated a little. I was almost sad not to find it there. I did well at my exams finally, but a sense of dissatisfaction lingered. I wanted that moment back, wanted to ponder nature’s vagaries, enjoy its beauty.