Thursday, June 24, 2010

Soulful Saturday

So if Friday evening was well spent in suspense then Saturday night was no less with a well balanced Chinese meal and lots of inspiration.The second option taken, we settled into our couches with plates and cutlery and this amazing film by Clint Eastwood already rolling and showing the previews of other movies.
That's another thing cool about DVD'S that it keeps you well informed through teasers and you already have your next list ready. Although i feel youngsters like my son have no patience for all these previews as most of the stuff they already know thanks to the internet.In any case INVICTUS the movie was my son's selection for us as a must see movie maybe a few months back as we had missed the theatres when it was running in town.

This Biography, Drama, History and Sport had so many endearing scenes that i got goose pimples each time emotions were displayed.Whether it was the animosity of the white and black security guards for each other in the start of the movie or the close encounter of Nelson Mandela aka Madiba played by Morgan Freeman and Francois Pienaar, Captain of Springboks the South Africa's Rugby Team played by Matt Damon.You could see the captain's awe for the leader as they looked into each other's eye.Definitely the climax of the movie the World Cup match has to be the most emotional but there were many such scenes which leave you nothing less than being inspired and that sense of warmth that banishes malice from your thoughts.You feel that greatness and that power to do good.And that i should say is the mark of an exceptional movie that you would love to watch again with family and friends.

i felt transformed as the poetry was recited in Pienaar's thoughts through Nelson Mandela's voice as he stood in the tiny cell imagining how Mandela would have been in that meagre cell.That's how i had my reconnoitre with this Victorian Poet William Ernest Henley. Invictus which is the latin for unconquered/undefeated is the title of that poem that inspired Mandela to" stand up when all he wanted to do was lie down ."

                                                  William Ernest Henley

                                         ''Out of the night that covers me,
                                         Black as the Pit from pole to pole
                                           I thank whatever gods may be
                                            For my unconquerable soul.
                                         In the fell clutch of circumstance
                                        I have not winced nor cried aloud.
                                        Under the bludgeonings of chance
                                        My head is bloody, but unbowed

                                       Beyond this place of wrath and tears
                                        Looms but the Horror of the shade,
                                         And yet the menace of the years
                                         Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

                                         It matters not how strait the gate,
                                    How charged with punishment the scroll,
                                           I am the master of my fate:
                                           I am the captain of my soul. "

It is really hard to point out what is so inspiring in the story.If it is the words of Mandela when he says that to be able to inspire sometimes you need the inspiration from others .Or is it the words of that Victorian poet himself whom i met only through this film.Cause in his own words when Mandela says," Rainbow Nation starts here.Reconciliation starts here.Forgiveness starts here too." he is truly very inspirational himself.
The film has many memorable dialogues and the one i found the most touching was when Francois Pienaar says to his girlfriend when referring to the upcoming match, ''No.Tomorrow's  taken care of, one way or another.I was thinking about how you spend 30 years in a tiny cell and come out ready to forgive the people who put you there."

In my earlier blog on roads i recollected a few poems including one of my favourites by Sam Walter Foss and i feel so glued to it that it shall feature again on this blog of mine.The fact of the matter being that following Friday the very next day i was introduced to yet another MASTER. Strange while i dwelled on the new entrant to my collection  i realised both having a deep connection in a way that both had to say the same.Both inspire and talk of Liberation.
While one talked about liberating oneself from the shackles of 'calf mind' that bind us to be as we are- rigid and unquestioning to precedents, the other had to convey the liberation from these shackles.As no prisons in any part of the planet can imprison and break the soul which is unconqureable. And it is the same soul that resides in all of us.Even the wobbly calf.

                                                                   THE CALF PATH
                                                                     Sam Walter Foss
                                                          One day through the primeval wood
                                                      A calf walked home as good calves should;
                                                          But made a trail all bent askew,
                                                          A crooked trail as all calves do.

                                                      Since then three hundred years have fled,
                                                              And I infer the calf is dead.
                                                            But still he left behind his trail,
                                                          And thereby hangs my moral tale.
                                                           The trail was taken up next day
                                                         By a lone dog that passed that way;
                                                         And then a wise bellwether sheep
                                                        Pursued the trail o'er4 hill and glade
                                                     Through those old woods a path was made

                                                         And many men wound in and out
                                                      And dodged and turned and bent about
                                                       And uttered words of righteous wrath
                                                        Because 'twas such a crooked path;
                                                       But still they followed--do not laugh--
                                                           The first migration of that calf,
                                                  And through this winding woody-way stalked
                                                       Because he wobbled when he walked.

                                                           This forest path became a lane
                                                        That bent and turned and turned again;
                                                          This crooked lane became a road,
                                                       Where many a poor horse with his load
                                                          Toiled on beneath the burning sun
                                                        And traveled some three miles in one.
                                                             And thus century and a half
                                                         They trod the footsteps of that calf.

                                                        The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
                                                           The road became a village street;
                                                           And thus, before we were aware,
                                                             A city's crowded thoroughfare.
                                                          And soon the central street was this
                                                               Of a renowned metropolis;
                                                           And man two centuries and a half
                                                            Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

                                                          Each day a hundred thousand rout
                                                            Followed the zigzag calf about
                                                         And o'er his crooked journey went
                                                                The traffic of a continent.

                                                         A hundred thousand men were led
                                                       By one calf near three centuries dead.
                                                        They followed still his crooked way,
                                                         And lost one hundred years a day;
                                                           For thus such reverence is lent
                                                           To well-established precedent.

                                                           A moral lesson this might teach
                                                      Were I ordained and called to preach;
                                                          For men are prone to go it blind,
                                                          Along the calf-paths of the mind;
                                                          And work away from sun to sun,
                                                          To do what other men have done.
                                                            They follow in the beaten track,
                                                          And out and in, and forth and back,
                                                          And still their devious course pursue,
                                                             To keep the path that others do.
                                                           They keep the path a sacred groove,
                                                            Along which all their lives they move.
                                                           But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
                                                               Who saw the first primeval calf !
                                                             Ah ! many things this tale might teach-
                                                                But I am not ordained to preach.                                                                                                                                                                                    .                                                                        
So two poets, one American and one English and two movies, one a thriller and one an inspirational drama later the coming week actually saw me recovering from some unsettling moments that had left me doubtful.
Now i agree when Nelson Mandela said that just living by example may not work and sometimes we have to get assistance from the work of others.And it neccessarily may not be someone who is a great artist or a great writer.It could be someone who has been crushed for ages and yet is a master of his unconquerable soul and a captain of his fate.And on one look it could even be a wobbly calf who started a trail .For being masters of our own fate it is upto us to decide whether to follow that crooked trail or develop that trail into a bottleneck free smooth highway.
And i say to myself, " Forgiveness liberates the soul.It removes fear that is why it is such a powerful weapon.  Reconciliation starts now! Forgiveness starts here too."


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  1. Told ya.. you will enjoy the movie... but i have often wondered why these inspirational movies are somehow very under appreciated .
    A typical Clint Eastwood film. Morgan Freeman as splendid as always.
    Matt Damon (always will be remembered as Jason Bourne) perormed at his best according to me.
    Next movie : Go watch A-Team for action

  2. @Aakaash yeah sonna now you are in and Rajiv Masand is out.No longer wait for his reviews.Will go by your word.Thanks a ton sonna!! and HAPPY Birthday.God Bless You!!

  3. yet again ! i want to watch this movie with you !
    great post !

  4. @Gauri Thank you dear and we will watch it together soon.Start counting days and it will be movies...tears...handkerchief sharing yet once again. :)

  5. you two will Laugh and make others around conscious you see... ha ha

  6. @ Aakaash but sonna this isn't a comedy...this particular movie will see us both at awe...feeling greatness and then later bringing instances in our own lives and asking each other if we are forgiving too or have we reached our reconciliation.

  7. What I meant was in General scenarios :P .. not in these exceptional cases. haha