The darker it got, the brighter they became - GulfToday

The darker it got, the brighter they became

Shaadaab S. Bakht

@ShaadaabSBakht

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

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Photo used for illustrative purpose.

When grief explodes the ordinary crouch, the extraordinary take it by the horns, and see a newness of purpose in taking on full blast the unrelenting assault. They create light when everything turns dark. Undeterred by the fear of death, he shook us up with lines like, “Of snow    upon the mountains and the moors — No  —yet still steadfast, still unchangeable/ Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening br...t/To feel for ever its soft fall and swell/Awake for ever in a sweet unrest…” That was the English poet, John Keats. We lost him to tuberculosis when he was merely 25.

“I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks,” Keats wrote to Fanny Brawne, “...Your loveliness, and the hour of my death.”

Another riveting product of anguish was the English novelist, Charles Dickens.

He joined a blacking factory at 12. The soot remained with him forever. It is an age when children get toys, not get toyed around with.

The soot remained with him forever. It is an age when children get toys, not get toyed around with.


His disgust continued like an ageing scar. Every morning he saw the factory, every morning he hated it. He had no choice, most don’t. One can’t do a thing when destiny plays foul. He had to work because he had to live. He was like his absorbing creation Pip, the orphan.

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Items of Charles Dickens are displayed at the Dickens museum at his former residence in London. File Reuters

In his work place, were born his first lessons in man’s ego, his innate desire to pick on the tottering, his tendency to build castles on stolen land and his lust for mowing those who can’t protest.

But Dickens had the courage of his conviction to find ceaseless creative power in his sorrows. We see that in his famous book Hard Times. “In the strength of his misfortune, and the energy of his distress, he fired for the moment like a proud man.”

With every dip he became intellectually fiercer: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born…” That was from David Copperfield.

Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky’s creditor demanded a novel because Dostoevsky couldn’t repay his debt. The result was one of the greatest works of fiction, Crime and Punishment. Even destitution couldn’t defeat the genius.

The writers’ approach leaves one huge lesson. There isn’t any problem that doesn’t have an answer, including grief.


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