Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Prayer

Image courtesy-The Hindu

Give Me Strength
This is my prayer to thee, my lord---strike,
Strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown the poor
or bend my knees before insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

This poem is from Gitanjali,the Nobel Prize winning work of Rabindranath Tagore.I have fond memories of this poem for it was my school prayer.Every morning after the Sanskrit slokas we sang these lines in high school.Initially when this poem was introduced as our new English prayer,we used to blabber it off with not much of an interest.Each one of us gobbled up words and sang in our own rhythm.Our teachers taught us a nice tune thinking that some melody would do justice.The prayers then on sounded better,it took us some time to get in sync though.The best and the loudest line always was ‘Strike,strike at the root of penury in my heart’.Maybe the double effect of the word hammered our minds and made us pray so with all our hearts together.I can feel an intense and a strange strength in this prayer till this day,I am glad that I have not forgotten it.

Today May 7th, 2011 is the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.Not many of us know that there is much more to him than our National Anthem and the Nobel Prize for Literature.If we can call someone ‘Master of all trades, Jack of none’,there can be no candidate for this title more apt than him.Rarely you may find someone as versatile as him.What makes him special is that his works have a universal appeal.His creativity crosses place and time.When you read his poems and stories,or see his paintings they feel afresh and take you to his time.My favorite is the Kabuliwala,every time I read the story it touches me a little more than before.He indeed is an inspiration to us Indians in many ways.Salutes to the legend par excellence and my many thanks to him for teaching me to pray:-)

Image coutesy-Livemint

"The butterfly counts not months,but moments,and has time enough"
-Rabindranath Tagore-
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Raghu said...

Thnx for a such a lovely post..:-)

Sameera said...

Oh the Kabuliwala! I read it as a part of my Hindi course in some class. Hindi I remember taught us lot of good things. The poems were brilliant and so were the stories. I had wonderful Hindi teachers too.

Oh you made me slip back in nostalgia! Ahha Raksha- Wonderful post!! :D

Raksha Bhat said...

@Raghu: My pleasure:)

@Sam: Thank you so much..nostalgic I know:)

Sens said...

robi thakur....
hehehe..good good

Bikramjit said...

Kabuliwala was part of our curriculum in school ..

He was a Great man ...


deepazartz said...

Hi Raksha

Tagore is one of my favourites. I like many of his works though Kabuliwala is something everyone would attach their hearts to. For me, he is even more special as 'Natir Puja' (Tagore's play)- was the first that I performed in my life. I was Princess Ratnavali:)
The remember having read this prayer too...imparting strength.


Beyond Horizon said...

Thanks for sharing this R.

I think it did struck chord somewhere, It did warm my eyes :)

Raksha Bhat said...

@Sens: Like the way you called him:)

@Bikramjit: I love the story too:)

@deepazartz: Oh good:)nice to hear that.Thanks for stopping by:)

@BH: Thank you girl!:)