To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—
~Hamlet; Act III, Scene I
Most of us have heard, used or thought about these lines by William Shakespeare, “To be, or not to be…”. It speaks about a mind which has to choose between death and suicide, between existing pain and the pain that is sure to come in future, between the moment of thought and the possibilities of troubles in its execution.
In October, I was fired by a certain college, ironically celebrated as the best one to offer ‘journalism’ in bachelors, over recitation of a poem which students understood but the faculty couldn’t. In fact, I was framed by the person/s who I trusted the most. But no need to name him/her/them as I would rather leave them with their ignorances and petty politics.
The moment of being unsure, the moment of indecision, the moment of looking in to the future and not knowing the answer to ‘where to?’, started to cross my mind. I didn’t even bother to look for a job as the bullshit was too much to consume. I was aghast to see the true faces of my ‘friends’ and ‘well wishers’ and on the fact that why someone does something like this to anyone!
A month later, I came across this thing called Jagriti Yatra. Applied for it and got selected and I am at TISS Campus, Mumbai as it is ready to take me from Mumbai to Hubli, Banglore, Madurai, Chennai, Vishakhapattanam, Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Deoria, Delhi, Tilonia, Ahmedabad to Mumbai. It is going to be one journey that will throw open many possibilities.
I am still undecided on where it will lead me. Unsure as anyone of the lot about what awaits us, I got down at Bandra passing all those stations which I heard in Hindi films: Virar, Boriwali etc. I am almost a nobody. I have ideas with me. I have ambition. I have the courage to stare in to the eyes of darkness.
That’s what gives me strength in this situation. I can take any path from here on. I can choose to write poems that they never understand, I can choose to earn money at a staggering pace that they can never dream of, I can choose to work for fellow human beings that their narrow brains disregard as non-existent or I can inspire a thousand who inspire another thousand to work towards a better society.
I never had time to think about harming people, I never thought someone doing better than me is a threat to my existence, I never thought those smiles can have such wretched face muscles beneath them… Because I had better things to do and I have better things to do.
Life doesn’t start and end with one place. For some that is the only destination they see for themselves. They know in the heart of their hearts that they are incapable to compete and so, the best way to stay afloat is to sink others by any way possible.
But what they forget is: a person with abilities and talent along with a will to do can survive at hundred other places and people like them can never shed their negativities and hence block their own vision for themselves.
I know society is crippled, that government is not working, that people will try to drag me down. But at the same time I know what it takes to survive as I have always survived. I know why I need to stay afloat. I know how to laugh. I know how I can make a small dent in to the universe in my own way.
I stand today to take a leap of conviction with positive people around me, I stand today to welcome and be welcomed among people who think and do as myself, I stand to know this diverse society better in order to contribute for its betterment. And all they would be doing would be to sleep in bed, set an alarm and start for the same mundane life that they have been living for last ten years.
Why shouldn’t I be happy when Hamlet’s words cross my mind: To be, or not to be, that is the question…