My Favorite Poems and Quotes

These poems and quotes are dear to me and are now part of my DNA.  Kipling’s ‘If” for instance used to be in my wallet in all my student life in the USA. I would read it whenever  I was feeling down. Am sharing them in the hope that they will help you when you are planning your great journeys in life. I have no doubt that many of those words have magical powers.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
– Rudyard Kipling in “If”
*** I know this poem by heart.  Every stanza has a deep and resounding meaning.  You if can live this poem,  I would consider you a success.
When you learn to swim
do not enter a river that has no ocean
to flow into, one ignorant of destinations
and knowingly only the flowing as its destiny,
like the weary rivers of the blood
that bear the scum of ancient memories,
but go swim in the sea,
go swim in the great blue sea.
– Kamala Das, 1974
***This one is golden. Its says that your world should not be narrow. Go fight in a big arena.  We must imagine our world to be a world that is plentiful.  Dont have a narrow vision of anything. Thing big. Cross the borders. Go swim in the great blue sea.
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
– Shakespeare in ‘Julius Caesar’
***God gives all men the same chance to succeed. But only few take it. Opportunity does not keep knocking at your door. When it comes, grap it. Or else be prepared to live in shallows and miseries”.

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live an idea. Let the brain,muscles,nerves,every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This this the way to success. – Swami Vivekananda.

***This is a great career advice to be focused and determined. What is your big idea?

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry Thoreau

***We must never give ourselves the chance to regret in the future to ‘discover that we had not lived”. Take the risks that you need to take and now when you are young. Your ability to take risks keep reducing as you get older.
If you want to make an omlette, you have to break the egg. – V.L.Lenin

A ship is safe at its harbour. But that’s not what it was made for. (Anonymous)

*** Both the above motivated to take lot of risks in my life
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.- Mark Twain
***  Everyone is afraid. Its how well we are able to control it. This distinction was a great insight for me when I began my career.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 – Robert Frost in “The Road Not Taken”
***When I was in college it was everyone’s favorite. And still continues to be.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
 – H.W. Longfellow in ‘The Village Blacksmith’
*** Longfellow’s  “ Village Blacksmith” was the man I always wanted to be. Someone who looks the whole world in the face for he owes not any man.

“The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.”- Charles de Gaulle

“Many a man who falls in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl” – Evan Esar.

“He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong.” — Benjamin Disraeli

“Its a Harley! If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand”.

“Everybody has got to die, but I always believed an exception would be made in my case.’ – William Saroyan, American Writer, who died in 1981.:)

“Nothing is possible without men, but nothing is lasting without institutions”.- Jean Monnet, the post war architect of European unity.

Humko maaloom hai jannat ki haqeeqat, lekin dil ko khush rakhne ko Ghalib ye khayaal achcha hai (We know the truth about Paradise: it is a good idea to beguile the mind).”

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