Of unconquerable soul

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Jul 2018 09:56:13


By Vijay Phanshikar,

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 punishments the
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
- Poem ‘Invictus’,
by William Ernest Henley

THIS emotion has been expressed time and again and
timelessly by fine souls -- of bloodied but unbowed head, of search of light in the horror of shade, of how hard the
punishment written on the scroll may be but of unafraid and unconquerable soul!
Unconquerable soul!
That’s the core value of human existence. That is also the foundation of the superlative height humans often achieve -- in their standards of living, and even of dying to uphold a cause, to push a thought, to promote an idea. The situation is often very daunting, damaging, dangerous. Yet, the unconquerable soul refuses to let go. It pushes on regardless towards a goal that may appear quite cloudy to others, quite unachievable to the people. Yet, this soul believes:
...I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul!

And from that standpoint, he proceeds into that impossible zone of his petulance, no matter the odds, no matter the Horror of the shade, and the menace of the years ... Under the bludgeonings of chance ...!
Yes, fate often dodges him and ducks from view. It often dances around and distracts him from his avowed goal. Yet, this unconquerable soul does not budge. For, all he knows is his goal, his idea in which he believes unwaveringly.

So, when the temperatures are several countless degrees below zero, an Edmund Hillary stands taller than Mount Everest, aided by a little fellow named Tenzing Norgay. And even though he wins, he does not gloat that he has ‘conquered’ the tallest peak. In sharp contrast, he has only asserted his
unconquerable soul.

To others, this may appear a simple thing to do. But when the man happens to be Edmund Hillary -- with an conquerable
soul -- all he knows that he did not allow
his bloodied head to bow.
And, that is not arrogance. In other words, that is simple
confidence -- in his word and deed.
Word and deed? Yes, word and deed!

The word to himself, and deed of his own. One’s own onus!
What a tremendous height of human resolve under the most humble mental make up whose paradox ordinary mortals would never understand. But that is how human
story has been scripted and acted, that is how human history has been crafted and wafted. William Ernest Henley has captured the emotion very correctly. True, there is certain sense of defiance in his words. But read in a prayer mode, the poem assumes an altogether different glow that has the power to light up any darkened human mind.
That is the signature of unconquerable soul on time’s canvas.