A Stone's Throw From Opinionsville

Literature Serves as a Motivational Companion

by co-author Nikhil S Khandekar, owner of webwrit

On a dry Indian afternoon, as I sat mulling over the lack of work at the newly fangled Webwrit office, I recalled the confusion of a similar day long back in the past.
As a student in my third year for the Bachelor’s degree, I had just read the following lines by John Milton:

But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, ‘God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best…
…Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best…
…His state Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait…’

Heavens above! Now how could that possibly be?! Those who only stand and wait cannot possibly be serving anyone… let alone the Good Lord in all His glory!
Later in the day, there was that epiphany that helped me better appreciate the wisdom of a blind poet. The influence has always been palpable.
A fellow student was on her way home after classes and needed me to accompany her. There was that evil guy on the bike who kept following her around the university campus! She was scared stiff of him.

Ok, I would go with her, I said. What could I possibly do if that big guy decided to launch a full-scale attack?! I was—still am—too small to do anything about it. But if she felt secure with me around, I’d most certainly go along.

Many years passed and then, one day, I knew that I could scare the shit out of him if he so much as contemplated aggression. By now, I had had a few encounters with people of the worst kind and found my way through all of them without much difficulty, you see.

I had forgotten about the blind poet’s words: They also serve…

But I stood by a friend, fully intending to help her although I also fully doubted my ability to do so. I was treated to goodies and sherbet after we reached her place, safe and sound.

Her father, a top executive in General Motors, India, later on invited me and two other friends to her wedding in Rajasthan and ensured that we were treated most lavishly.

Milton’s words did indeed save a day, in my memory.

I don’t know where Deepshikha is, today. I do hope she is well.

As for me, I am standing… and waiting.

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