Being bilingual, and almost trilingual (I can understand and read Hindi – but far too embarrassed to speak it), the advantage is, that a whole new world of literature, poetry and perspective of the world opens up to you.
There are some things that sound incredibly profound in one language, but sadly when it’s translated, it loses its impact. Sometimes you hear some lines of poetry, or a saying, or a line from a song, and at the time it means nothing to you – then you hear it again, and you feel as though your mind has been blown, almost as though you are hearing things for the very first time.
That happened to me yesterday evening. A piece of poetry that I had heard many times before, I suddenly encountered again, and my heart felt like it was going to burst, my eyes filled with tears and my throat felt like it was going to explode with pressure of having to choke down the sobs that wanted to escape from me, but I just wouldn’t allow.
I’ll share the original lines, and then the translation:
Har sant kahe, sadhu kahe; sach aur sahas hai jiske mann mein, anth mein jeet uski rahe….
All the saints and sages always say; those with true and courageous hearts and minds, in the end, they will always win…
I don’t know why those words had such a profound effect on me when I heard them again. The words were being sung with such immense passion and pain…I couldn’t help but feel moved.
So many times in life, you feel misunderstood, you feel that you know what is right, you know how things should be – yet no one listens. No one tries to see your point of view. Everyone is so busy looking at things from their own perspective, like Atticus Finch describes in ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’, “you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them”. People don’t have time for that, do they? More importantly, many people don’t have the inclination to do that. So many people are caught up with how life is so tough for them, how they do everything for everyone and no one does anything for them, how they are hard done by. You are expected to understand everyone else’s pain, suffering and troubles – people assume that you have none of your own. You do what you can to make the other person feel better, you listen, offer support, try to make them see reason – but sometimes it’s just not enough.
So what happens? In life, you have choices – either let yourself be brought down by the negativity that surrounds you, OR, think about the lines of poetry that I shared earlier, which simply say this; live your life truthfully, be honest and courageous – and you shall prevail in the end.
You cannot make everyone happy. I’ve said this before in other posts and I am not ashamed about saying this again – no one is bothered about whether you are happy or not. People only care if they are happy. This is the truth. So, if this is the way things are – then what should we do? Sacrifice, or compromise your values, beliefs or happiness for the sake of others? You’ll be a fool if you do. Why? Because it will never be appreciated. No. What you do is be fearless. Be courageous. Be truthful. Be honest to yourself. Avoid people who manipulate, emotionally blackmail or threaten others.
This doesn’t mean ‘never do anything for anyone else’; or ‘disregard those close to you and only ever do what makes you happy.’ That’s actually a pretty terrible way to behave towards others, and quite an unfulfilling way to live.
What I do mean, is live a good life, live a happy life, help others if you can, do good unto others if you can – but there are times when you can’t do that. And when you can’t give anymore; when you can’t do anymore – you can’t let yourself, or others make you feel bad about that.
People are complicated, relationships are even more complex – I know that.
Ultimately, all you can do is live your life truthfully, with honesty and courage – and know that that will be the best choice for you, in the end.