Friday, March 1, 2013

Lighting a spark!

Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, Let my country awake.
Robindranath Tagore
Geetanjali, XXXV

It is an effort to light a spark within myself. I have just let it out, if any of my fellow beings wants to add on more!

After a long, monotonous, stagnant materialistic life, I strongly wished to revisit the class room atmosphere with a fresh bent of mind to rediscover my learning, at my mid thirties. I know very well, it is not a simple and easy wish! Still, I strongly made up my mind to keep aside all the feathers of my cap and unload all that I have been carrying on my back all these years, which I have processed during my way towards the university of life.  I have decided to expose myself with a new enthusiasm towards the great expedition of exploring new horizons of learning. I know surely, that I may have to travel the long…long… bare roads… alone or few fellows who join in between and part in their destinations… with no trees on either side to rest upon!  Anyway it is my fate and I owe the entire responsibility on my own shoulder. But I just want to share overflowing thoughts along with the sunny roads!

I don’t believe people, generally passing comments on the degeneration of values, life, etc, in contemporary society. To me, it is sheer pessimism. I strongly believe that no values could be degenerated. They are ever lived and nothing could perish them. It is the persona of an individual that causes damages to the images of values and the process of understanding life around us. Individual perceptions, half boiled unhygienic foods for thought, lack of proper guidance and training in art of living and the ever explosive stream of information cause destructive deconstruction. Unfortunately we tend to forget that “Beauty is truth, Truth beauty” in our own day today life.

Today we are living amidst of the explosive information era. Every single minute, information burst and flood like anything and cause the same impact as the unexpected, sudden tsunamis! But, the after effect of such calamities would always be difficult to digest. Truth is always bitter and still beautiful. What I mean to say here is, that mere information, without being converted into knowledge and there by transformed it into wisdom is like tsunami! It causes only damage and proper reconstruction is possible only through inheriting wisdom! Unfortunately the present education system focuses much on information gathering and not on the efforts which would transform that raw material into wisdom, a finished product.

While processing information and presenting them in so called structured models, the essence, the means, the heart beat is missed out and brain is being handicapped! Mind is still kept under darkness. That is the area to be looked after with an immediate attention. It is the need of the hour to make the education alive by encouraging a natural, fear free environment to breathe in the fresh air and thereby making hearts to speak, brains to stimulate, and minds to blow. It is possible only in such an atmosphere where knowledge is freely available without false hurdles. Then only mind moves without fear and head is held high.

To make this brisk walk with me, more comfortable, I will narrate a recent experience and leave it to you for further post mortem. “Give respect and take respect” is a well known saying widely used in day to day life. Many times, most of such famous quotes are used as the whims and fancies of individuals in many of our circumstances. But I did not know that such sayings are used to create some kind of fear and thereby making the other person shut his/her mouth! Rather, I found this strange attitude, demanding respect! To make it clearer I shall narrate a live example. It will also reflect on the impact of modern higher education and on immaturity of so called intellectuals! 

The semester system, assignments, internal marks, compulsory attendance to the classes, though it would be a humiliating punishment even if an unworthy guest lecturer killing the next generation! All such formalities have gained more importance than the value of information converted into knowledge and further transmitted into wisdom, in today’s higher education. Very recently, I have under gone a strange, pre-primary like atmosphere in one of the Post Graduate literature classes. One of the poems of Geetanjali, the famous text of Gurudev Robindranath Tagore was being explained. I don’t want to comment the way it was read or explained. But great piece of art embraces any appreciator without much explanation and slowly it starts flowing into the veins causing a vibrant impact. I was totally lost in these lines, “Open thy eyes and see thy God is not before thee!”. Suddenly, I heard my name being called and spontaneously, I said ‘yes’. Do you find anything wrong in it? Do you feel that saying ‘yes’ is showing disrespect to the person who called your name? I was also under the same impression and started searching for God in the poem! But suddenly, I was troubled by a shouting voice. Indirectly throwing arrow like taunts, screaming, “Try to be like students. Learn to give respect. Give respect and take respect. If you want attendance go and talk to the Head of the department. I can grant free attendance. Now you can leave the class”. Geetanjali had gone out of hands! The meaning of ‘God was not before thee!’ was demonstrated live! Mocking god, who stood on the Dias started demanding forceful worship! I smiled at myself and came out of the class silently. Hope the above experience is powerful enough to explain the state and fate of the world, in which information which is assumed as knowledge, is free! In such a situation how a mind could be free without fear? How could be a head held high?

But still I have hopes. Walking on the road not taken by others will definitely lead towards wisdom! I shall continue with the same enthusiasm and sing loudly with Gurudev Robindranath Tagore,
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where the knowledge is free;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.

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