A Salutation to the Dawn and Auspicious Beginnings

Claire Darrow - India


June 6, 2018

Sharing one of my favorite poems written by the Indian dramatist, Kalidasa:

Look to this day!

For it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course

Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth

The glory of action

The splendour of beauty

For yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow only a vision

But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore to this day!

Such is the salutation to the dawn.


Although I have arrived at the end of my bridge year, it somehow feels more like a beginning. Maybe I can attribute this incongruous sentiment to the fact that time takes a more circular shape in India or possibly to the amount of excitement and enthusiasm I have for diving deep into my local community, going to college, and continuing the process of growth.
As I read this poem again and its warm and familiar words caress me like a ray of sun across a white sheet, I can’t help but delight in its message of possibility and distinct take on carpe diem.
Looking back on my time in India has not been as easy as I would have thought. Everything feels like psychedelic dream cast in hues of bright saffron or brilliant indigo. I can feel myself forgetting my dream of yesterday and the in between gray moments that were perhaps the most meaningful of all.
Today and everyday offers an opportunity to solve my problem. I am now motivated to work towards the glory of action and pause for the splendor of beauty. These are the lessons and challenges I lived everyday for the past year. These are parts of the gray moments that will forever live inside me when I dedicate my energy to making today count.
शुभारमभ (Shubharambh) is a Hindi word for an auspicious beginning. My host sister and I choreographed and performed a dance to the song Hai Shubharambh (Hey, It’s a Good New Beginning) at a cousin’s wedding in Mumbai. In a way it was our gift and hope for the couple to have an auspicious beginning together. Going forward, I have the hope and faith to create my auspicious beginning in college and for the rest of my life. This year was not a break nor was it an end. It was a bridge and a new beginning. Thanks to this year, I have the context, tools, and attitudes to make college count and live intentionally everyday. Consider this my shubharambh and my salutation the dawn.






Claire Darrow