mother courage and her children


I do not why I am reminded of Brecht's Mother Courage as I sit today my head filled with unanswered questions the day after the loss of a human life no one really mourned. Why does Brecht's play written in nazi germany and set in the seventeenth century, ring so true today. I read it many years ago when I still belived that life was beautiful and hope existed and I could not quite feel one with Brecht's cynical talk about the inconvenience of dignity, the efficacy of taking (as opposed to giving or, what's more foolish, waiting for someone to give), and the worth and/or worthlessness of human life, and the faith you might still have in human nature is challenged at every turn.

Why is it then that six years down the pwhy line it all makes so much sense.. I am too headed the Mother Courage way, albeit for different reasons, and going to be left pulling an empty cart off an empty stage after having tried and lost all..

You may wonder why I feel this way.. and I guess all of you deserve answers before it is too late. Those who stood by me without faltering because you were too few, those who waited too long as they thought there were others, those who waited for me to prove my worthiness, those who could not shed their cynicism, and those who thrive on writing epitaphs and statistics.

Any process involving change is a long one set with many obstacles and though these are not unsurmountable, they often take time.. that is something many did not understand.. to succeed in getting people to shed old ways many roads have to be tried and only a few may work out, that too many could not accept... age old traditions are so deep seated that they have to be carried like dead wood no matter how galling, that too was not comprehended and the list is endless...

That the change has to come about in a world that tends to look more and more like the one out Brecht is known to portray seems absurd but is true: personal egos clash and children die unattended at the doorsteps of hospitals, children are duped away from the right path by promises of quick returns and those trying to make a difference are sneered upon and cast aside.

You carry on for a while because some still believe, because some still trust, because you see hope in the eyes of a child, because you see pride in the eyes of those you love.. and then those very people become more demanding, intransigent at times, unaware of the weight you carry and then the cruel blow as oblivious that you are almost there, they chose to abandon you... just like that.. saying words that do the one thing that is irreversible: kill your spirit..

It takes everything you have, what you have learnt from your experience, from your elders and peers, from your achievemements and failures, from every smile you gave and every tear you shed, to muster the courage to carry on pulling the cart till the end of the show..