Monday, February 25, 2013


If you want to enjoy what you have, never look at people above you, look at people below. If you want to count your blessings look at the under-privileged and not the privileged. If you want to succeed look at your own failures to learn from them and not at successes achieved by others. If you want to be loved never look for people who could love you, look for people whom you can love. If you want to be happy never look at what you don't have, cherish what you have. If you want to spread peace and joy, just go ahead and do it. You will be at peace and full of joy.

Invictus" is a short Victorian Poem by the English  poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). At the age of 12, Henley fell victim to tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly below the knee. It was amputated when he was 17. Stoicism inspired him to write this poem. Despite his disability, he survived with one foot intact and led an active life until his death at the age of 53. This is the poem which kept Nelson Mandela going through his prison years during his walk to freedom. 

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 punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Whenever my mind tries to list the things that I do not have, this poem reminds me of the greatest gift of all. Being the way that I am, a sound mind and body with a beautiful life full of people to love and share with. 



  1. lovely poem and explanation of it!!!

  2. I must confess, the poem is beyond me as I could never go further than "Jack-n-Jill", "Humpty Dumpty" and a few more nursery rhymes.
    But, your explanatory note made it easy to grasp the real meaning and in fact I found it rather inspiring.

    1. Poems were never my forte in the growing up years...its just that now when I read them, I can understand...I could still stumble in the literal translation department but after all these years the essence comes across simply.

      Many thanks Bhaiya...the encouraging words mean a lot..

  3. Awesome writing Shalu!
    Beautiful and Inspiring! Life is always a celebration of who we are - its all about confronting and overcoming the challenges- "Its always too soon to quit on anything"....

    1. Many thanks...but who is this.. there is no email id or name...

    2. This is me Shalu - Alka :) dont know why it came as unknown :-)