Mister Christopher Columbus
Sailed the sea without a compass
When his men began a rumpus
Up spoke, Christopher Columbus
There is land somewhere
Until we get there,
We will not go wrong,
If we sing, “swing a song”
Since the world is round,
We’ll be safe and sound
Till our goal is found,
We’ll just keep rhythm bound
Soon the crew was making merry
Then came a yell, “Let’s drink to Isabelle,
Hum, bring the rum, Ho Hum”
No more mutiny,
What a time at sea
Christy made his-to-ry
Mister Christopher Columbus
He used rhythm as a compass
Music ended all the rumpus
Wise old Christopher Columbus
– Andy Kirk
When we are small, we tend to drive our parents and teachers crazy by asking questions about the sky, the sea, the trees, animals, people - you get the picture. If we were really so irritating (there’s no doubt about that, really), then why weren’t we discouraged from this kind of behaviour at that age? Why were all our questions answered patiently?
It’s because we’re all born with this intrinsic quality of being curious. The concept of the unknown/unfamiliar attracts us and often puts us right on the paths meant for us. It not only is a great learning experience, but it also lets us believe in magic for that one millisecond; unless you’re a character in a horror movie and you just have to go down to investigate that tiny creak, or unless you’re busy poking your unwanted nose into everyone else’s business because you’re curious. That doesn’t feel magical from any angle, it’s just plain annoying, unnecessary and stupid.
Some fear it while the others feel ready to embrace it. But, there is one common thread binding these two ideologies. ‘The unfamiliar’ is like a bridge between you and your future self; giving you hints and cues to help you reach the light at the end of the tunnel of your journey. It’s black, which is the point because nothing is a surety and yet, with each draw towards the concealed, it reveals grand ideas, possibilities and even emotional growth to you.
Doesn’t it sound like an adventure? It should, because it certainly is one.
The sad thing is that not all of us agree to embark on this journey. Curiosity lives inside all of us. Only some decide to feed it and let it devour them; the others leave it impoverished and let it die. Think of it as this big, chunky magnet. It draws everyone towards itself, testing a person’s metal and mettle. If the human brain was filled with fuel, the unfamiliar elements would probably be enchanting matchsticks, ready to set the grey cells on fire with their unknown agendas.
If nobody was curious and nobody wanted to know more, we would probably still be living in the Stone Age.
Now, let’s come back to Christopher Columbus. If he hadn’t had that burning desire of exploring the unfamiliar territories, the ‘New World’ would’ve probably taken a few more years to be discovered and used properly for trade. He’s not the only one. If Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Robert Adler and Louis Braille hadn’t fuelled their need to know the unknown, the world would have been a little different.
You are included in the list too. Yes, you, unless you tend to dismiss your inquisitiveness as “silly” and “lame”. If that is the case, then go ahead and strike out your name. The puzzling puzzles of life are usually put in front of us so that we solve them instead of sitting on them. Your curious nature should be nurtured and not destroyed; the thirst to discover the undisclosed should be quenched only when you do taste (the water) the fluidity of the path you choose for the goal. Of course, we should know when and where to stop. Suppose you’re really curious about a cute guy/girl; it doesn’t mean that you turn into a crazy stalker to know details about their cousins’ grandparents’ pets. I think we all know where to draw the line; it’s just that some of us decide to draw it before moving a single step. Christopher Columbus, barely knew anything about the world outside of their land yet he wanted to explore and discover more. “There is land somewhere” indicates his hope, faith and desire to find whatever is out there. That must have been his notion of magic.
Life has this whole ‘adventure-inception’ going on and our inquisitiveness is what drives us into these tiny yet many trickeries. It would be a shame if we wasted our lives by being lazy and not wanting to let our urges bloom.
Curiosity might kill the cat, but it will empower us humans. (Not the ones who go down to investigate creepy sounds because they’re probably dead already.)
Sketch By: Pranavi Kanduri