WAS IT WORTH IT?
The title of this theme comes from four separate sub-themes or recent events that all lead to one question… (it is taken from the refrain in Richard Bach’s “The One”, which goes – “I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?”)
1. Febina Mathew sent over details about her upcoming dance adaptation of Tagore’s Chitrangada… a short synopsis:
Chitrangada is an ancient legend of love and war brought to life with Tagore’s songs, semi-classical music and dances from India. Based on the mythological character of Chitrangada, princess of Manipur, it tells the story of a woman’s urge to transform her to impress Arjuna, the man she loves.
Chitrangada gives up her warrior image, her valor and manly attributes to embrace a feminine grace under the blessings of Madana. Her transition from Kurupa to Surupa undoubtedly enchants Arjuna. But in the end Arjuna expresses the need to meet the real princess after he learns of her courage from the villagers.
Chitrangada realizes it is not just beauty but one’s qualities that make a woman liked and loved by a man.
2. Chitrangada’s conflict and question if the change she went through was worth it,
is also the theme of the Temple of Fine Arts’ Taj Mahal, which asks -“What if Mumtaz gave up heaven to come to earth and see the Taj Mahal?”– would she eventually give up immortality and continue to live as a mortal in order to experience the monument built for her by Shah Jahan? Was it worth it?
3. The theme is similiar to Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle, who a lot of us have undoubtedly read about in school. After 20 years of falling asleep in the Catskill Mountains, he wakes up to a whole new world… kinda like a olden day version of Austin Powers getting used to the 90s after being cryogenically frozen since the swinging 70s 🙂
Rip Van Winkle’s dilemma, as he comes back in after twenty years:
As he approached the village, he met a number of people, but none whom he knew, which somewhat surprised him, for he had thought himself acquainted with every one in the country round. Their dress, too, was of a different fashion from that to which he was accustomed. They all stared at him with equal marks of surprise, and whenever they cast their eyes upon him, invariably stroked their chins. The constant recurrence of this gesture induced Rip, involuntarily, to do the same, when, to his astonishment, he found his beard had grown a foot long!….
He had no courage to ask after any more friends, but cried out in despair, Does nobody here know Rip Van Winkle?
At this critical moment a fresh, likely woman pressed through the throng to get a peep at the gray-bearded man. She had a chubby child in her arms, which, frightened at his looks, began to cry. Hush, Rip, cried she, hush, you little fool, the old man wont hurt you. The name of the child, the air of the mother, the tone of her voice, all awakened a train of recollections in his mind. What is your name, my good woman? asked he.
And your fathers name?
Ah, poor man, his name was Rip Van Winkle; its twenty years since he went away from home with his gun, and never has been heard of sincehis dog came home without him.”
4. More down to earth, Terri Gross recently interviewed a lady on NPR who had been sentenced to prison for 16 years. She was recently released and wondered at what point a mother can no longer be called a mother… what was the point at which the relationship was not worth calling by that name?
As she tried to convince her daughters that she did in fact want to still do the duties of a mother, she was also asking the question – “Was it worth it?”