Living with tempests

‘Khuda tujhe kisi toofaan se aashna kar de/ Ke tere bahar ki maujon mein iztiraab naheen’ – May God grant you a storm! The voyage of your life is on too placid an ocean.

Muhammad Iqbal, Zarb-e-Kaleem: Armagan-e-Hijaz

Iqbal believed that human character is refined and honed when it’s perpetually on the anvil. Life of serenity and tranquillity is fine, but that makes you complacent, inert and often sluggish. Au contraire, life in a state of flux and fluctuations is the life of fecundity and fruitfulness.

Psychologists and educationists also believe that humans need a sort of a jolt that galvanises them to perform to their optimum, as they say in Scottish, ‘a little jolt becomes a revolt’. That revolutionary fire is needed to leave one’s footprints on the sands of time. Gandhiji wouldn’t have been so great had he not been thrown out of the train in South Africa for his skin colour. That episode revolutionised his whole existence.

Remember, ‘zindagi jahad-e-musalsal hai tamasha toh nahin/ Jeene wale hi rahte hain toofaan ke qareeb’ – Life is a perpetual strife, not a charade/ Those who are intrepid, live cheek-by-jowl with the tempests. Jerks and jolts in life are the reminders from the Universe that we need to gear up and take life seriously as well as positively. So, exceed yourself and script your own destiny. An exciting future awaits you.

November 9 is Muhammad Iqbal’s birth anniversary


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