Quote Challenge 2: Tennyson

“We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
― Ulysses (Lord Tennyson)

Alfred, Lord Tennyson – that name itself had a lot to do with my life. I was often asked about by name by my English teachers, and they have always loved my name while I was in school. I never really realized that it would mean that I could be doing a degree and also the post-graduation in English Language and Literature, but yes, even though late, I did realize what I was supposed to do. Even then the name helped; having the same name as the greatest poet of an era and the longest reigning Poet Laureate has its advantages.

To add to it, I do love his works, and my favourite among them is Ulysses which I studied more than once, and read so many times – then there is this quote “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. Well, it is a nice quote, but among those which I want to talk about and wish to relate with life includes most of the lines in Ulysses rather than anything else. Among them, the one I have mentioned here has a lot more significance, at least for this period of my life.

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The quote is about something that we all face, about not being good as we used to be. I have always thought about the same. I am sure that as of now, I am able to write better and with more variety than I used to, just an year ago. I am able to write about things that I never thought I would write about. Two years ago, when I began my other blog with the pen name, The Vampire Bat, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Why The Vampire Bat? I had no idea. But then things got better. I never knew I could bring anything new to my writing style.

But there are things with which I am not getting any better. They include most of the things which are not related to writing. I know that I won’t have the stamina to play more than one singles game in Badminton if I give it a try after such a long time. I know that I might not be able to bowl two consecutive deliveries without sending one for a wide. I also know that I might not have the energy to withstand one single football game any more. I am not that good, and I am not of that strength as I was when I was doing by degree.

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I know that I don’t understand things that well as I used to, and I feel that I won’t be able to memorize things that well. I keep having that feeling that I have done with reading, studying and all; and even when writing about a movie, I feel that I might not be able to do justice. When I understand that almost everyone that I know from my college got a job and a good number of them are married, I do feel that I am trailing, and when I get to do one of these things, I won’t be as good as they are now, because I will be tired and older.

I am always reminded of the same, by one person or the other, being the oldest person without a job, and about the rating in the marriage-alliance market going down as I get older. The strength of that old days – we all miss them, and I miss my friends from those wonderful days too. I also feel made weak by time and fate, but I hope to do well, and overcome the weaknesses that have come upon me. I am surrounded by two things, immortality of one world which I love and the mortality of the other which I have to embrace.

I cannot take a step backward, not at this period of time. May be we can dig through the dead end. There are people who want me to, and events which are fair enough to make that call for me. Inspired by my favourite single line of all-time, “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”, I still leave myself with some hope for miracles, and at the same time keep doing what I hope that I can do well till the end end of time. In the name of the great poet with whom I shares my name, it might really be depressing for his soul if I gave up. Ulysses had a sea, and I have an ocean. But I am still younger. The last times were used to inspire athletes for London Olympics 2012, so why can’t it continue to do so for me?

***The images used in this blog post are from the game Age of Empires III which I used to play.

I have been nominated by Kiran, at https://drkiranacharya.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/day-three-quote-challenge, for the three day quote challenge. Thanks for the tag 🙂

Rules for the challenge:

  • Post one of your favourite quotes (different quote on each day) on three days. The quote can be from your favourite book, author, or your own.
  • Nominate three bloggers to challenge them.
  • Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

For my day two, I nominate my blogger friends:

Ranjini (http://rangelz.wordpress.com)

Tara (http://crimsonapril.com)

Archana (http://drishti.co)

TeNy

No More Lies Needed

How can you justify a lie? Yes, there can be many reasons for that. Some people say that it was not really a lie, but somewhat the truth. But lets think about it. Lord Alfred Tennyson has given some idea about the same in his poem, The Grandmother – “That a lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies”. You can add enough ornaments to the lies and make it sound sweet or like truth, but no, that doesn’t justify anything. A lie is a lie, no matter if it comes dressed in gold, silver, pearls or diamonds. There are no sweet lies, and there are no true lies. When you add something to it and make it more believable or lovable, it is another step towards cheating.

This takes me years back, when I was striving to get my driving license, something which I wished to achieve immediately after I turned eighteen. I have had good balance for the two-wheeler and I was driving the car just okay enough. So, I thought that may be I will struggle with the four-wheeler license, but for the two-wheeler, I am surely getting that with ease. For some reason, what happened there was the other way around. I went through the “H” hurdle easily in the Maruti 800, but touched my left leg’s fingers on the ground when taking “8” on that Bajaj M80 which looked like the first two-wheeler on Earth.

I came back from the spot to see that nobody was looking. There was something going on outside the ground and people were busy staring towards that direction. So, nobody knows that my legs touched the ground. But those who studied driving with me had seen.

My first two-wheeler - TVS Centra. Didn't help much in the 8 chase though :D

My first two-wheeler – the TVS Centra. Didn’t help much in the 8 chase though 😀

“It is okay. Nobody knows that your feet touched the ground. Just tell him that you completed it perfectly” one of them said.

“Yes, just don’t tell him that there was any contact with the ground” another one said.

“It can happen to anyone. There is nothing special in saying so” the next one said.

“But the fact remains that I did touch the ground” I said.

My instructor joined the conversation with a man from another driving school, as they came back from whatever was going on outside the ground.

“Listen to the other students. You were always supposed to get the license. I have seen you drive. There is nothing wrong with that. If this happened with the car, that would have been more of a concern. But I have never seen you make one wrong move with the two-wheeler. You can do this with so much ease even in your sleep. Didn’t you see that girl who had to hit the tree to stop the vehicle? That is the kind of driving that deserves no license. This is your first and it is because of the anxiety. It happens. Just tell that you completed the 8 without the feet touching the ground” he said.

“But what is the point of getting the driving license if I haven’t actually qualified?” I asked.

“It is all about being good enough to drive. Nobody is going to ask you to take an 8 on the centre of the road. Actually it is something that you should never do. If you say you touched the ground, you will have to come here on another day after giving the application again. Do you want to do that?” he asked.

“Yes, I would like to get the license when I qualify. If I can’t do this right, I don’t deserve to have a license. I shall come again” I said.

“Okay, go ahead then. It is your choice if you want to try again” he said.

So, I went to the officer and told him that my legs touched the ground once, and I didn’t do it as good as I had expected. He seemed to have a sense of disbelief in his eyes, and told me that it happens to everybody, asking me to make a try on the next date possible with confidence, as it was not a big deal. I came back two week later to claim my two-wheeler license, and it was a quick and steady process.

Part of my license - the two-wheeler authorization added later.

Part of my driving license – the two-wheeler authorization, as you see, was added later.

These days, when I drive, I have had a great amount of confidence with the two-wheelers, something which I never had with the four-wheelers. It is because I got it fair, while with the car, I just did what I was taught to do, as any surprise could have completely taken me off the plans. If I had got the driving license the very first time by lying, I wouldn’t have been this confident. When you choose to tell the truth instead of the lie, even as lying can make things easier and better, there is a satisfaction, and this is something that you can carry on with confidence.

I know that this world will find it difficult to follow the path of truth. I have my own relatives who keep telling the stories of their own or of their sons or daughters who had told lies to overcome a situation and made people fools. They say it as if it is some kind of achievement and these were signs of smartness. They were better than others because they could lie better. They deserved applause because they could handle other people in the wrong manner. Is this the kind of example that we set for the new generation? Isn’t this the main reason for the new generation losing their values?

There is a movie called Philips and the Monkeypen from last year in which there is a conversation between the father and the son – about truth not being bitter, and there is such a feeling of bitterness because lies are just too sweet. Yes, we do get the feeling that lies can get us achieve more. But I wonder what they can gain by achieving all the things in the world if they lose their soul? It will be a permanent mark on their conscience and one day, it can come back to haunt them. Every religion speaks against the lies, from the Ten Commandments to the Noble Eightfold Path.

This blog post was written in association with the Happy Hours campaign “Kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein” from Kinley in association with Indiblogger. Do spare some time watch the video below, as this campaign from the company shows the significance of being honest and tells us to be dauntless and confident in speaking the truth, no matter how much we are afraid about the same. Remember the old saying “Honesty is the best policy”. Here is one girl showing the right example in Kinley 2014 TVC:

Let there be “Boond Boond Mein Sacchai” in our society, and not the dark lies of selfish motive 🙂 *The images used in this blog post are mine (photos taken by me on my camera), of course.

TeNy