Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action -
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
- Rabindranath Tagore
These words have been stuck in my mind from the very first time I read them in school (St. Xavier's Collegiate School, Calcutta - incidentally the only formal school that Tagore attended)... I was in class 5, quite an impressionable age. As Ms. Sarma read out these words in class, I was mesmerized but never really figured out why… till the 9/11 attacks happened. I was in Hyderabad then, in college (St. Joseph’s College, King Kothi) in 2nd Year – and those were very scary times. My college was in the heart of Hyderabad and there were polarized opinions flying around about the attacks. Man kills man and gains what?
Subsequently, every time terror raises its ugly head, Tagore’s words come back to me – I dream of the same uptopia that he did… maybe someday, we’ll be there… I’ll sign off with words of a certain Mr. John Lenon:
You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.