The king of gods,mighty Zeus was once agitated by one of the titans "Prometheus"(fire god) who siphoned away fire from the world of gods and offered it to the man for their protection, knowing full well that this theft would agitate the gods. Mortals quest for development lead to this drastic step of siphoning the divine fire, a symbol of equipment from under the nose of gods.The consequence of which were fierce and devastating.Zeus wanted to punish the whole mankind for accepting fire from Prometheus.Following his orders,the sculptor god - Hephaestus manifested the first woman, with the beauty of Aphrodite,skills of Athena and the much needed curiosity as a part of Zeus's big plan.This woman was named Pandora, made as a treat to a man's sore eyes. She was immediately put to work,the work which was not much of a difficult task for her - getting married to Epimetheus , the brother of the god of fire . As their wedding gift , Zeus presented Pandora with a pythos (jar) which hosted all the evils and spirits bestowed there by all the gods themselves.
The curiosity of Pandora served her to open the box of evil.Within the fraction of seconds of she opening the lid , all the spirits of death, despair, greed, evil escaping into space looking back through their shoulder as if to mock her naivety, howling to celebrate their release, her in a haste tightening the lid back again and taking a breath of relief, one young lady spirit with a bunch of flowers in her hand did not escape the imprisonment, or maybe she did not care to escape.She who is the daughter of Nyx( god of night ) and the mother of Pheme ( goddess of fame)She who is ELPIS -the hope.
To answer the question of why this young harmless looking lady was left behind in the jar, different Greek thinkers and poets have different perspectives,Some say gods did not want to giveaway the mere humankind this virtue of hope,the weapon which could save mankind from this cast of misery over their head and function as their sword to kill or at least drive away these spirits.While some called the same hope a beast mightier than these spirits allowing which would be too big a punishment on the mortals.
What concerns my dreamy head more is why is that this young woman placed along with demons of destruction?Is she an evil under the cover of a meek existence? Then why did she not care to set herself free into the atmosphere like other devils ?Why is she comfortable with the darkness of the petty little jar? Does the jar allow enough air to let her breathe and enough sunlight to let her live? Okay, too many questions comes with a headache! I ll get myself some coffee.
This reminds me of a poem I wrote in the beginning of this pandemic. It goes like-
Hope kills a man fiercer than the beast
She nurtures and slays with mercy at its least
She is vacant she is hollow , the shadow of mist
Thus urging to follow that still does not exist.
He follows she follows ,She follows he follows
then looses the gist, thus damaged with sorrow
He clenches his fist,exclaiming in wonder
and crying displeased , with vice-in taken
and virtue re-leased
Yet she is all a man lives for, through the calm of peace
and the rage of war,lethal is she and so a boon
The man embraces her , thus, soon
wills a man for glory, wishing never be ceased
Of the which is born to night and the hope
which gives birth to fame.
I think all the while i confused hope with optimism ,with wishes. I now know hope is'nt synonymous to optimism but is an extension to vision .She is a ritual , failing whose proceedings we fail to get hold of her.She is much more powerful and persuasive than any of the demons in battlefield. Either you tame her or she takes over.She has the power to heal chronic illnesses and also blind you with her energy only to cause you more pain than death
Through internet i learnt about one such couple who could tame hope in the darkness of this pandemic. In their eighties , Kanta Prasad and Badami Devi reach their tiny food stall named "Baba ka Dhaba" in Malviya Nagar (New Delhi) by 6:30 in the morning. They prepared all their food with much love and care , with an experience of 30 years into the business.By nine their food is ready and now they wait for customers to show up with not much success. The next day at the same early morning hours they could be found with the same zeal waiting again with faith on their flavors and hope in their aging hearts.They have now invested more than they manage to earn.But neither their will nor their quest is daunted.After they reached the state of complete darkness and helplessness,Hope manifested itself in the form of a food vlogger whose youtube video caught attention of millions of people coming forward to help them.Brands advertising for them, NGOs helping them , individuals and groups eating at them.
Maybe not the entire hope stayed behind in the jar. Maybe the part of it - the blind hope escaped and mingled with other evils and flew.What was left behind was the Elpis - the cognitive hope.The hope which brings vision,the hope which comes through n stays with you in the times of complete darkness.The hope which comes with oddity.The hope which comes with empowerment.
Discussions and critics are welcomed.