Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
It’s not often that one finds herself reflecting the words of a pastoral poetry. Neither is it surprising to realise that the seemingly pastoral words actually paint a paradigm of transformation, when they have come to life from the mighty pen of Robert Frost.
Today, I’m at one of those crossroads of life, where everyone has to stop by and pay respect to the milestone at least once, for ever. I’m standing at the confluence of two streams, about to jump onto either! The only difference being that up until now, I have been ambling through but a straight path and today, I stand facing a forked pathway with every other walkway before me leading me to a future much different than another. In the ecosystem of education, the dilemma at this junction is called subject selection – the conventional or the non conventional, Science or Humanities. Well, I’ve been told that one can’t have it all — but I also believe that one cannot know the taste of something without having it. So I tried to get a good understanding of what it is that made Max Planck and John Dalton stay locked up in their rooms for hours staring at the same piece of paper that might just twist the reality of our lives, and I tried to dwell deeper into what could be the motivation that caused Max Webber and John Keats to develop new ideologies and thereby, bring in new perspectives to life. I decide to choose the latter, the one that wants wear.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
Time and again it has been echoed that non-conventional paths hold more challenges than the conventional ones. As much as I agree to it, I subside the echo by shouting that ‘that’s just why they have the better claim’. In the words of Stephen Hawking, the epitome of intelligence and master of modern science, we are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star, but we can understand the Universe and that makes us something very special. I want to use this gift to put my mind into understanding things that feed me with compassion, serve me the confidence to wander through life knowing it’s not a cake walk and present before me the opportunities to take down the rudimentary flags and hoist some of mine instead.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Point of no return. I could keep the first road – the conventional one – for another day, but in a road of complete honesty, who knows if I shall ever come back. Shakespeare, in one of his famous poetries once said, life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. At the cost of contradicting Shakespeare himself, I’d like to be audacious enough to surrender myself to the fact that life has purpose, though strange sometimes [Conditions applied, all the time]. Life has a purpose and it’s upon us to decipher what that is. We’re always a decision away from what might be a distinct reality, a new life. If I’m not doing what I love, I might be just gulping breath and accumulating sacs – filled with bygone time – tagged ‘scrap’. As such today, I consciously choose to create a unique reality – I opt to walk on the road less travelled.
I shall be telling this with a smile
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
My graffiti of apology to Mr. Robert Frost-
Your words resonated with my emotions, but with a tweak and hence, I was compelled to quote your work, at times draped in my naive words.
“might lead to inner peace”
– Manasi Varwandkar, class 11th, Humanities, Krishna Public School, Raipur
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