Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

- William Ernest Henley

I would not have come across this poem years ago but for this killer who made it famous. I was mighty impressed and moved by the words. Its powerful. It can send shockwaves through your body. It can make you feel the feeling of being resolute and steadfast in spite of the apparent helplessness. In my mind I was standing on a precarious edge by the time I came to the last lines. Of course I was reading it on the internet in an A/C room. The poem helps. Particularly if you are fighting a losing battle either on a personal or a professional front.
You might be wondering why I am talking about this now. I was reading about Dr.Binayak Sen’s saga and extension of Aung Sui Kyi’s house arrest and the intransigent stand taken by the State in both the cases. Is Dr. Sen going to become Indian male version of that lady? I don’t know much about the person and the circumstances under which he has been arrested. But I know this much. This guy is not mad enough to take up gun and shoot at everybody if he is let go on bail.
If an individual commits a mistake its much much easier to own up and the chances of rectification are large. But the same individual as the head of an office or as a public representative does anything wrong, in most cases he/she would try to cover it up. And might end up bungling everything. I just wonder whether Dr.Sen’s arrest has been one such mistake.
PS: As far as the poem is concerned my views have changed to a great extent. But it would ask a whole different post, no?

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