Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chemistry- A road Not Taken

Chemistry- A road Not Taken
Haunts of people asking me why I shifted to the Arts stream after completing one year of the TDC course in Science with Chemistry as Major subject surrounded me the last quarter of the year. Yes, I accept that such a sudden shift of subjects invites curiosity to everybody’s mind. Teachers of the Department of Chemistry were horrified when they came to know about my decision. The HoD of the Department of Chemistry insisted me not to change my subjects. She said that it will be a mere loss of time and money. My best friend along with others also went on insisting the same. But the least did they understand that I had to take the heaviest part of the grief of leaving Science. Parting with the Department of Chemistry was the most sorrowful thought in me at that time. I had always loved the experiments, the labs, the teachers, my friends there and everything else other than the books.
The greatest thing in life is reality; we can not deny it even if we want to. I knew that my first year exams were not up to the mark required for making a future with the subject. Indeed, I was never attracted in making a future with the subject. I had taken up Chemistry as major just because I liked it. I never thought if I could bear it or make a pace along with my friends. In this century of competitions, one must be able to cope up with others; but I just failed to make up. I felt that the Organic Chemistry was not my dish of rice; I could not digest much of it.
The wary suggestions from my teachers and friends on one side and the realization of reality on the other kept me trapped in a dilemna. At that time my only support was my Ma and a precious poem. I could take such a big decision only because my mother supported it. At that time also a ‘tricky’ poem by one of my favorite poets provided some mental satisfaction. The poem is ‘The Road Not Taken…’ by Robert Frost.
Robert Lee Frost's personal life was plagued with grief and loss. He was born on 26 March 1874 in San Francisco. He lost his parents and sister in the early part of his life. Later he also lost his wife, his co-valedictorian and sweetheart from school. Only two, out of his six children outlived their father. The four-time Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, teacher and lecturer had to undergo more sufferings when his poems were summarily rejected in his own country, the USA. He somehow managed to sell his farm and move his family to England.  Then finally it happened; after writing poetry and trying to get noticed by publishers for over twenty years, Frost’s first collection of poetry A Boy’s Will was published in England in 1913 by a small London printer, David Nutt. A year later Robert began teaching English at Amherst College. Mountain Interval was published in 1916 which contained many poems including ‘The Road…’ written at Franconia. He was also starting lecture tours for his ever-growing audience of avid readers.

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;

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,

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

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.

Though it is very easy to understand what the poet means in the poem, it is basically a reflection of the hard routes he had to take to get his fame. In it he symbolises the two ways of life- Materialism and Spiritualism.  The first one is the most frequented, but the other one is less trodden. He had taken the one that lay desolate. The choice that he had made years ago had made a great deal of difference to him.
I too hope that something successful lies infront of the rushed decision I took. I know that the path I had now chosen to advance in life is also not very easy. I am now a student of Arts with English as Major. As Changmai sir says, it is true that apart from developing our writing and communication skills in English, we will also have to keep a record of all the trends of the decent of the English literature and language starting from its origination to the point it had reached today. Having a will to do it, a love for reading literature from a tender age and a habit of writing, I think I can get along this time.  Some other lines by Frost keep me strong and fixed..
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep…

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