Wednesday, 18 January 2012

This part of my life... this part right here? This is called "happyness."

I am inclined, in most instances, to deliberate and interrogate all issues in my life. I am disinclined to sway that way at this moment. At this moment I have the flower bloom spirit, I content in my little happiness. Like the blooms of spring I attract the bees and their sting. But, that little irritation will not sway or abate my happiness. I am alive, i am alive, thank God i am alive.

Do not be bothered much on why i was reading "little red riding hood". It's not what you think. Anyway, i found an interesting interpretation of the story, that made the little fable even more interesting;

"The wolf in the fable was likely fabricated out of an inherent fear of the unknown, not on the genuine threat of wolf attacks. While wolves are in fact predators, there is only one recorded death of a human by a healthy wolf; and yet, fables like this have led to the gross misrepresentation of this keystone predator. Both wolves and wilderness were treated as enemies of humanity in that region and time. Sadly, these types of stories continue to misrepresent true patterns of wolf behavior (i.e., fearful of humans) and they perpetuate the false notion that wolves are a threat to humans (all historical evidence shows that it's actually the other way around)."

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The man in the arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The year came to an end. Like most, I too reflected on all that happened. My first thought, was to look back and think it a hard year. My first thoughts were to look at the many friends lost, the uncomfortable terrain, the embarrassments, the let downs and the failures. I started reflecting on life and how it would all be much better in the comfortable fold, in the pastures of wellness. I started envying those quiet souls surrounded by calm waters. I thought about how sleep is a distant relative, and when it does come, like many distant relatives it’s not welcome at all.

I started making new year’s resolutions- how I will be a better person, I jotted down all the lovely things I will do, places to visit and all the generalities of the normal life. I almost prayed for normalcy.

I stopped in my tracks.

What solder trains and prepares for peace? A soldier’s time is in battle. I then blacked out all thoughts and remembered Hannibal, the Carthaginian General. To fight the Roman army, he tracked through the Alps and lost half his army before his first battle. Losing his eye was no worse than losing his family in battle. The Romans, called him a savage, a barbarian without superiority of mind. His fellow Carthaginians did not support him, in fact the senate stopped his food and men supplies. Hannibal, after tracking for over a year and bracing the vagaries of the deathly Alps winter did not hold back. He brought war to the Romans.

I started, thinking, what Hannibal would have wished for after that year. What was supposedly a disastrous year? Hannibal, was a soldier, what he wanted was war. He thought it fortunate, that although he had lost a lot, what he lost was what was pruned off. What remained was the most suitable for war. He wanted war. For the next sixteen years, that is what he gave the Romans.

To understand what sort of man Hannibal was, the historian Titus Livy provides useful background information;

Hannibal was possessed of enormous daring in facing dangers. He could be physically exhausted or mentally cowed by no hardship. He had the ability to withstand heat and cold alike; his eating and drinking depended on the requirements of nature, not pleasure. Not given to sleep, when he did it was not brought on by a soft bed or silence-many observed him lying on the ground, amidst the sentry-posts and pickets, wrapped in a soldier’s cloak. His dress was no better than that of his comrades, but his weapons and horses marked him out. On horse or foot, he was far the best soldier; the first to enter battle and the last to leave once battle was joined.

All of sudden it dawned on me. My heart is least settled in quiet waters. In any case it is too early to lie in my pastures, much needs conquering. Being the man in the arena, I am aware of many errors along the road and the pitfalls of any journey. It does not mean I give up my sense of adventure and my sense of building something. It’s war that I wish for and to be a better solder.