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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Miracle Worker

Still from 'The Miracle Worker'

For most of us who have been misguided (admittedly or not!) at some point of our lives, (could be in our rebellious teens, in our ‘mature’ mid twenties or at the ‘ripe age’ on the other side of the magic number thirty) – and have somehow managed to scrape through that phase (with incorrigible consequences, for me say my obsessive compulsive disorder), almost always have someone to thank for, in helping us scrape through that period.

How many things do we generally take for granted? My humble estimate would be: Many. The blessed ones like us with no apparent reason to be lost or troubled (lack of finances, education, physical disabilities, etc. etc.) are generally the ones who have a great affinity towards condemning the world around us and thereby finding the necessary justification for our acts of rebellion and protest. We are more or less ‘unhappy’ with things the way they are.

But the rebellious phase, how much ever insignificant the reason may be, always have the tendency to take one in a downward spiral. A phase that you fail to recognize as a ‘phase’, a state of being that you do not recognize as ‘downward’, it is confusing yet alarmingly assuring in your misguided confidence. How do we come out of it? On our own or may be at times with the help of ‘the miracle worker’ - a friend – a brother – a sister – mother – father – a dog – a book or a teacher?

Helen Keller fought vigorously in her dark silent world for seven years before she met her miracle worker…visually impaired, highly intelligent and extremely diligent one Ms. Anne Sullivan. All she had to do was to teach Helen one word ‘everything’. Arthur Penn directed this amazing tale for the 75 mm format in his film ‘The Miracle Worker’ (1962) brilliantly portrayed by Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen Keller. While the young Helen fought violently in her rebellious world trying to protect her very few rights, the miracle worker worked with an iron fist to break her rebellion and take her to the enlightenment that she does not know exists.

Watching the film and reading about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan made me wonder, do we thank our respective miracle workers enough? So here’s to the miracle workers of our lives – the high-school teacher, the elder sister, the tenth reading of ‘To kill a mocking bird’, the John Lenon music, a spiritual connection, strumming your guitar or beating on your drums – they do miracles and we survive.

As for me I thank my high-school teacher Amalendu Sir for giving my life a path to tread on.

(As usual, encourage you to share your stories, if any.)