The Road Not Taken ~ Tulika Agarwal 

While, the whole world revolves around the ‘trends’ in season, the lingo and the style popularly being followed and the jobs that are the current favorites, there is often an alternate choice – less agreed or less voted for which gets ruled out amongst the plethora of options thrown out at a person.  Robert Frost wrote The Road Not Taken as a joke for a friend, the poet Edward Thomas. When they went walking together, Thomas was chronically indecisive about which road they ought to take and—in retrospect—often lamented that they should, in fact, have taken the other one. Well to be honest, one always weighs the pros and cons of every situation and then utilizes his ability to judge which path to pave onto. Not necessarily the choice taken by him proves fruitful and rewards him, but the satisfaction of at least basing his decision on the mental strength and cognitive acumen is suffice to lead him and convey which road definitely not to take. I have often pondered on the whys, hows’, whats’ and made myself believe that the decision I ultimately undertake would have a bearing on not just myself, but the people surrounded in my life. 

As much as I have wanted to strike a balance and listen to all the opinions from the concerned ones,  I have very fiercely held onto my gut feeling and stuck to it fully realizing that whatever be the repercussions – it would solely be based on my choice and I would be responsible for it – professionally or the personal front. Albeit, frankly not every outcome has pumped me up to rejoice in celebration, it has made me a more evolved, attentive and flared as a person than I already was. In his description of the trees, Frost defines the wood with one feature that prefigures one of the essential ideas of the poem: ‘the insistence that a single decision can transform a life’. It couldn’t more appropriate, and befitting than the contemporary 21st century we all reside in. With people hustling every day in their express paced lives, no breather to sit down and really think hard as to what do they actually want to accomplish and which path should they travel over that makes them lead to the destination always desired for, instead of settling for what is expected or made to expect. It subtly communicates how one choice will supplant another. The yellow leaves also evoke a sense of transience; one season will soon give way to another. The poet makes one imagine staving off the dual choices, wishing one could travel both and be a traveler. It evades all categorizations while the real triumph is that it does travel two emotional trajectories cohering as a single statement. We all deep within aspire to gather everything we can, go all out and strive to tick all the check boxes thrown at us hoping that one might work over the other. 

To err is human, but to not commit you from making any efforts owing to the resultant errors is cowardliness. The act of choosing does create a division and thwarts the dreams of simultaneity, coming from the simple fact that choice is always and inescapably inevitable. So go out there, make your choices, live the dreams you always wanted to live. You get to decide what you pick and stick to it, no matter how rosy or grassy the second road looks, for you never know what lies beneath what meets the eye. In the end, it does not even matter what you chose, what bails us out is the road we prayed we could have walked on, but was not taken.