It has been thousands of years since that day. Lord Rama and his vast army stood before the mighty Indian Ocean, water as far as the eye could see. Pressed against time, they must be in Lanka (present-day Sri Lanka) to fight a righteous war against the evil Lankan king, Ravana.
याचना नहीं, अब रण होगा, जीवन-जय या कि मरण होगा। It is either victory in life or a glorious death.
How should we measure ‘life,’ though? Life is a continuous stream of actions. Can there be an adjective such as ‘large’ right next to the ‘action’? Should the criteria be its impact? In our world obsessed with the synonyms of grandeur, how does a word as simple as ‘action’ stand on its own? You see, fitting in, standing out, these are all modern constructs. The Universe doesn’t need to fit in. It just is.
The other day, I was deliberating whether to pursue ‘big’ things or not. Don’t we all? Even if there was such a thing as ‘big,’ it would be only relative. Did the squirrel come across such a conundrum before jumping in to help? Aah, the squirrel!!
The little animal decides to plunge right in to help make the bridge. Suddenly, our rational minds begin to revolt. How? Why? We are also greeted with such questions. We all do. It matters not. The significance lies in what we choose to pursue. Possibilities or limitations? For if the will is pure and intentions noble, can there be resistance to the objectives?
The path begins to appear once we start to walk. The squirrel takes a dip in the ocean, rolls on the beach, and dusts itself off on the bridge. Compared to the giants, this perhaps is negligible. But does it matter? The tiny giant did the best it could, given the abilities bestowed upon it. At that moment, it became immortal.
Did we give it our all? That is the measure of our actions, the one that holds significance.
The remnants of the bridge stand to this day. It is called ‘Ram Setu.’ All that is needed is our will to pursue defiant action.1 ‘Ram Setu’ is a gentle reminder of this.
- This line is taken from a poem written by my friend Priyam Verma.