Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Let There Be Light

Suzanne Collins may be widely known for the Hunger Games trilogy, but years before she became popular, I remember being a fan of another series written by her - the Underland Chronicles. And I really liked the series! Now, in the Underland, a world within our world (or rather below it, to be precise), the word “light” is synonymous with the word “life.” This was years ago, but the only reason I mention this reminiscence is because I have only lately realized that for the current optimist in me, this was one of the earlier forms of positive reinforcement I encountered. In the words of Stephen Hawking, “However bad life may seem, where there is life, there is hope.”
So the formula goes:
Life = Light
Life = Hope
Light = Hope
Ever since we slid out of that primordial slime, our unifying cry has been for more light. Light in so many different forms – sunlight, torch-light, candle-light, neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, and the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night match at Eden Gardens. Little tiny flash-lights for those books we read under the covers when we’re actually supposed to be fast asleep. Light is more than watts and foot-candles.
Light is a metaphor. Light stands for knowledge, light is life, light is light…
When we were children, we were afraid of the dark at some point or the other. While psychologists believe fear of darkness is not a natural fear (after all, we live in dark wombs from the time of conception to birth), it is still a very valid fear – darkness stands for the unknown. It stands for oblivion. Time passes and we are no more children. We grow up. Monsters under our bed turn into monsters in our heads. Perhaps that is why, more times than often – we are afraid of the light. And what could be sadder? We are always on this never-ending pursuit of happiness, yet we keep finding reasons to lose our way. Hope is everything. Hope is the light that guides us home, to happiness.
Hope is being able to see that light despite the despair and darkness. Yet we still fear the uncertain, the unknown. Earlier, we feared the darkness, and as we grow old, many of us start fearing the light. It’s hard to say which fear is worse – a child’s fear of the dark, or an adult’s fear of the light? Or perhaps, both are just the same. Nevertheless, what’s important is that we move past these fears. Yet we seem unable to do that. Why?
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore had said, and I quote, “Happiness could be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”
This thought is iterated and reiterated throughout the series. Let’s take Ron Weasley and the Deluminator as an example - the Deluminator did not just turn off the lights, it was a beacon of hope. The light showed him the way; like a lighthouse would to a ship on a stormy night lost at sea, or a lantern to a passerby on a foggy evening. The main point I am trying to make here is that Ron Weasley was not afraid to let the light show him the way. For anyone who wonders why light symbolizes hope, this would make perfect sense…
Because light is what we wake up to every single day – to sunlight and a new beginning. It has been said that with the flight of the morning, through a heart of darkness shall always emerge the light.
If there is only one lesson to be learnt from a lifetime on this planet – I feel it would be this: light shall always trump darkness. I see it as a universal truth, if you may. A single candle is illumination enough to show you the way. Hope. Hope could mean the “light at the end of the tunnel”, hope could refer to a “driving force”, but hope is a matter of perspective. I like to believe that hope is everything. Lumos > Nox. Where there is life, there is light.

“For, the world may be broken but hope is not crazy!”
- John Green


  1. Hope is what we need to hold on to when we are sure we can't make it through... The question you asked if it is worse for a child that fears the dark or the adult who fears the light... I think it's the adult because the child will outgrow it in time... the adult has to get through the fear by believing in hope xox

  2. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.