Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pissed off I am ... because ... who cares!

The human that I am, I, too, bleed when pricked and feel that tinge of revenge when wronged.  But then the insignificance of my existence means that even that tinge of revenge is not worth any damn thing.

A long time ago, a colleague who taught literature remarked that poetry is how we deal with all kinds of emotions--I assumed it includes the emotion of being pissed off.  I was reminded of her comment as I picked up a valuable collection that I own: Poems from the Sanskrit.  I was certain that the poets of the old country, who used the mother-language of many languages, would not let me down.

They lived up to my expectations.

Varahamihira comforts me with:
The fire of envious critics' tongues
Refines the true poetic gold.
Should we not celebrate in cheerful songs
Poor fools who give us benefits untold?
Here is Bharavi:
To quarrel with them is a loss of face;
To have their friendship is a sad disgrace;
A man of sterling judgement realizes
What fools are worth, and foolish men despises.
Finally, Bhartrhari speaks for me in this:
I am not actor, nor a prince's jester,
No king's musician, nor a scheming courtier.
What place at court, then, for a man such as I am?
For neither am I a young attractive woman.
As I appreciated how much these verses consoled and encouraged me, I came across the following by Bhavabhuti, which seems appropriate as an ending to this post:
If learned critics publicly deride
My verse, well, let them. Not for them I wrought.
One day a man shall live to share my thought:
For time is endless and the world is wide.
A big salute to the poets from the old country!  I owe much to the scholar-translator John Brough for that wonderful collection.


Ramesh said...

Well, a few of us do care if you are pricked. Let me offer you a Band Aid ! Hope that brought a smile.

I can guess what the source of the prick was - forget them, for they are not worthy of getting pissed about.

Sriram Khé said...

Thanks for that Band-Aid ;)

Yes, not worth getting pissed about ... but then, human I am :(

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