Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Frost

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

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Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

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And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

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I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"

I see the last verse everyday at work. It welcomes me on a large blue plastic banner nailed to a brick wall at KIPP. I am very much taking a road not taken as I approach the silver jubilee of my life. Twenty-five years of relative normalcy. There are a few moments in these twenty-five years where I feel I've lived, experienced what one might term as "thrill". Volunteering in Bhopal for six months was one of those moments. Visiting Rupantar in Chattisgarh was another. Oh, and let's not forget riding the Superman roller coaster at Six Flags for the first time. That was thrilling. I am not just talking about the thrill of adventure. I also speak of the thrill of emotion. Falling in love was one such thrill, as was going through my extreme mood swings. What does this have to do with Frost you might ask?

I am about to embark on another such thrill. Simply put, it is a complete change in my life's direction. I just completed two memorable years of teaching at KIPP Austin College Prep. In less than two weeks, I will be travelling to Peru and Bolivia with Nikhil and Sucharit. In November, I will be moving to India for good. Oh, and getting married. That's happening too. The move to India is something that has been on my mind for a long time. I want to volunteer. I want to work with a grassroots organization that will help me understand. Understand what, I am not sure...yet. I want to understand myself - what I want, what I care about.
I have left my pre-med aspirations behind, ended my short-lived teaching career, and am now planning to volunteer in Rajasthan for six months. It's unconventional. Some call it unreasonable. I quote Frost. It's the road not taken. Naturally, it seemed like an appropriate title for a blog.

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