Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Indomitable will

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will". 

Mahatma Gandhi said that and it comes as no surprise. He was the man who protested through fasting for days together. And isn't that one of the classic examples of the triumph of mind over matter?

Every one of us sees this playing out in our everyday lives, including the times we need to drag ourselves from that warm bed on a cold winter morning. Or when we try to stop from taking that second helping of that very delicious dessert. We see this at play more visibly in sports when the sportsmen / sportswomen push their bodies to the maximum. In hospitals sometimes, we see people survive ordeals by the sheer strength of their will. Is it any wonder that it is said "Where there is a will, there is a way"? Of course, there are variations to this, one of which says "Where there is a will, I want to be in it".

During one of my trips, I was on a glacier visit which required me to walk from the car park for about 1.5 km to the place where I was allowed to have a view of the glacier. The walk is on a very rocky & pebbly terrain, a river bed on which the rainwater from the surrounding peaks during rains and the water from the melting glacier will flow during summer. This river bed is expansive and is interspersed with several rivulets that keep crossing our path in many places. This walk needs decent shoes. One can safely add another kilometer or two to the already mentioned 1.5km, if they want to reach the viewing point closest to the glacier. Most part of this walk is on the above mentioned river bed.

Add the cold temperature and windy conditions and we have jackets clad huddling masses moving quickly over this rough terrain.

In this condition on the way back, I suddenly came across a lady maybe in her mid-thirties or late thirties in a wheelchair wheeling herself on the same path I had taken towards the glacier. Though she had a companion, it appeared that she wanted to wheel herself. The determined look in her eyes and the brisk pace at which her hands turned the wheels left no room for doubt that here was a lady who refused to be beaten into submission by her inability to walk.

Rocky Terrain on the way to the glacier seen in the distance; The lady in wheelchair is on the bridge heading to the glacier.

I almost raised my hands to applaud this gutsy lady but was not sure how it would be received. I just stood there and watched her progress in silent admiration, awe and respect. I must say that the way she carried herself inspired me. I realized that we need to come across more such heroes in our lives to really motivate us into achieving more.

I won't be surprised if she went all the way to the foot of the glacier and back, on her own steam that day.

Hats off to your indomitable will, lady. May others draw inspiration from you, to persevere.


  1. Wow, what a lady! Yes, if thats how she was, she might not have appreciated an applause :) But she sure is an inspiration, thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Thank you for visiting and for your comment, Seeta. True, that lady might not have appreciated, hence my hesitation.

  2. When life throws problems.. serious problems at you, there are only two non-medical things that can get one going.. Love & will power, and it will always be that way... :-)

    1. True. Love, will power and a good support system works wonders.