Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It’s awful”, is a famous line from the Play ‘Waiting for Godot’ written by Samuel Beckett, the famous Irish playwright. Its world premiere received a very poor response, and only eight months later when it was staged and performed by the inmates of Lüttringhausen Prison, it was truly accepted and recognized for what it is. The reason being nothing happens in the play as in the lives of the prisoners. Perhaps they could have related it to the emptiness in their lives, and the existential crisis the play offered to them. I must say it is the right time to watch the play, as everyone can aptly understand the meaning of the nothingness that is surrounding us in this lockdown period.
The story is about the two men who are waiting for a person named Godot, who never comes! The play grew popularly mysterious day by day, and day by day people burnt with curiosity about Godot. When asked Samuel Beckett in an interview about Godot, he answered, “If I Knew who he is, I would have shown in the Play”. His reply suggests that he was unaware of the Godot, his tramps (in the play) were waiting for, and yet he succeeded in creating the enigmatic effect. On the contrary, we all know who our Godot is and why we are waiting for him. Amidst lockdown, grooms are waiting for their brides to become their wives, wives are waiting for their husbands’ departure for work because they can’t bear to see them sitting idle, husbands are waiting to go out to get relief in babysitting, children are waiting to celebrate their official birthday parties, students are waiting for their exams (kitni bhi semester ko aag lag gayi hai fir bhi, dhua to udega hi na!) , grandparents are waiting to be with their loved ones, migrants are waiting to see their families (karo ya maro) asthey helter-skelter, on a lighter note, mango lovers are waiting for mangoes and in a nutshell everyone is waiting for something or the other.
But to many, it seems life is too short to wait, and what they are unable to understand is if they do not wait, life will become short. And in this darkest hour, patience is what is needed the most and so once again it reminds me of the end of the play, with its final lines “Well, shall we go. / Yes, let’s go. / (They do not move).” In the end no matter how much they (the two characters) are tired of waiting for Godot, and decide to leave, they do not move. The end teaches us, ‘wisdom lies in trying to find meaning in the meaningless world by not giving up till the last breath’. How can I forget the ending lines of Tennyson’s poem Ulysses at this moment?
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Let us pass the time by meditating, even if it makes us old fashioned, let us pass the time by drawing a picture or making a craft, no matter what people may think of us, let us pass the time by watching at the sky and empty streets, even though we might seem insane, let us pass the time to know yourself and others, however pointless it may appear, let us pass the time to get our Godot back, not in waiting but through our waiting. Every waiting has a meaning and carpe diem my comrades, because once you get your Godot you will not get time for all these pleasures!I must recall a quote, “Time is a wonderful way of showing us what really matters”, Margaret Peters.
Bless you! (after a sneeze), now I understand the meaning!