Thursday, June 12, 2008

Prisoners of birth?

"They're both oaks, even if they were planted in different forests. But then, m'lord, we all suffer in our different ways from being prisoners of birth.", thus spoke a wonderful character called Mr. Munro in Jeffrey Archer's 'A Prisoner of Birth'. Profundity !
I wonder how many of us are able to grow into oaks, irrespective of which forest we're planted in. No doubt, a few do manage, but the majority live a life that derives a lot from the forest it grew up in. Getting set into patterns and stereotypes that somehow define us irrespective of what we are and what we attempt to be. From the name that reveals your nationality, religion, to the tags that make you middle class/ cosmopolitan/ south indian and everything in between.
And by the time we pause for breath, and care to reflect on where we have reached, we can only wonder how life might have been different, if the settings chosen had been different. And sometimes we look around and end up thanking the higher power for the setting. The place, the time, the parents, the economic conditions which perhaps make up the where, when, who and what, but leaves us holding the one question that we'd love the answer to - why?

until next time, the path to freedom...

13 comments:

austere said...

Reminds me of a not so recent Freakonomics column I'd read- just being born in a developed country makes a six-level difference to how you start out in life, no matter if you're a shoemaker or a software sophie.
Fortunately, not too many realize this, ignorance is a cozy cocoon.

Epiphany said...

I do thank god every time I see a kid begging at a traffic light...

Pallavi said...

hmmm.. its important to step back and reflect on one's own life.. a reality check to see whether we are following the crowd or whether we are paving a path suited for us.

No matter where we are going.. the power to be me and have my own path to be that Oak tree is enormous.. I revel in that thought. .:)

Kavi said...

I got reminded of the poem "The Road Not Taken" !

How wonderful it would be to be that oak tree !

chandni said...

have been meaning to read this one but just haven't managed to pick up a copy still!!!!

shruti said...

beautifully expressed ... a thought that is not unfamiliar to me and one that inspires me to become like the oak ..the power lies entirely with us and its that simple ..as to the whys I read a beautiful line recently in " Who will cry when you die ? " by Robin Sharma that says we need to just be with the questions and the answers will come to us automatically ..and its that simple actually ..
Whatever be the forest its always fertile for the seed planted there it depends on the seed to recognise the inherent potential that that particular forest has for that particular seed and for none other ...imagine the fairy tale /enchantment for the little seed who realises the beauty of the forest created for it to become that oak .. true for each and every seed and the knowing is the source of the joy within .

manuscrypts said...

austere: the book (freakonomics)was interesting, except for the last part.. i would agree with the column

epiphany: yup, i do too, and many other times as well

manuscrypts said...

pallavi: ah well, the trick is to understand whether we are the oaks we were meant to be..

kavi: :)

manuscrypts said...

chandni: you should, excellent read.. have posted a review on facebook

shruti: i guess a lot of us are intimidated by the potential, and lack the confidence to pursue it..

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