On Writing, Writers and Books, Ways Of Seeing
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A Father’s Advice to His Son

As a young boy my mother made me learn a sentence. The magic aspect of that one line was that it did not end with a full stop rather it took a flight of fancy and inspiration even before it ended. And She must have said this sentence a thousand times by the time i was twelve as few other sentences had started arriving at her memory doorstep, but by then I had found the keys to the roots for reaching to the tree top.

“If you want to be a happy adult Nara, she used to say, read the 3R’s. And those 3Rs were; Ruskin Bond, Roald Dahl and Rudyard Kipling.

As I look back today, I couldn’t have asked for any other direction as a child from anyone. She set me up early in my life filling it with curiosity, travels and compassion towards all beings and nature.

As I will be on the Road for next one month, I might not be able to write a lot about things I had thought earlier rather i imagined sharing some of my most loved writers who have pushed me to the edge of thinking; some excerpts, paragraphs, poems that I had kept scribbling in my journal whenever i come across to share the meaning and the message with one and all.

And felt that there could be no other poem to start this series with other than the one I owe so much to. It made me an earthling first, made me learn about myself and my relationship with my parents, made me visualise and subtly taught me about vulnerability the right way. I could not thank Mr. Kipling enough as his words showed me the world in a light that must have come straight from the Sun.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

~Rudyard Kipling

Written around 1895, Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English Novelist, short-story writer, poet and Journalist. He was born in India, Bombay in 1865, which inspired much of his work.

Many Indian Kids such as myself who waited every sunday morning to watch ‘The Jungle Book’ was based on his stories that he had written while travels through the forests of central India.

At the age of 70, he died in London, on January 18, 1936.

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Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

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I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, will take you through the Ten Lessons I learnt from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

Also read: 9 Most Popular Essays of 2022

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You might also like to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday, that you must, you will be heartily welcome here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here

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If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, please feel free to write to me at narayankaudinya@gmail.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.

To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
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This entry was posted in: On Writing, Writers and Books, Ways Of Seeing


Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.


  1. I wrote before, dear Narayan, that we have an unparallel connection otherwise how would I know the topic of your today’s essay and choose to write about the same writer in my next week’s post?
    Your intuitive understanding of the meaning contained in the poem is perfect.
    Except this is not the whole truth.
    Like you and millions of others, I love “If”, and look upon it as a template for a well-lived life.
    As you are going traveling soon, please write, when you can because we are going to miss you!



    • Of course Joanna, we know we have that connection. And I ll be waiting to read the whole truth as you are the master.

      I ll be writing dear Joanna. Thank you so much.


      • Thank you, Narayan, you are the gifted one. I will write about his tragic life.

        Please, read my email to you about the pleasant surprise.



  2. This….””but by then I had found the keys to the roots for reaching to the tree top””. Of course, she must be knowing by then that her Son’s Talent is over and above the Himalayas. 🥰❣❣ that’s definitely true 😇 Happy n safe traveling Sir ji….we will be waiting here to travel through your writings.


  3. This is a great post, my friend. Your mother was very wise and as a result you too have gained that wisdom. Kipling had a wonderful way with words! Thank you for sharing! Be safe on the road!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: ReBlogging ‘A Father’s Advice to His Son’ – Link Below | Relationship Insights by Yernasia Quorelios

  5. Nara, thanks!
    It was the same poem that my dad had given me in a printed format years ago.. something that he held close and was given to him by his teacher in school!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a good advice Harini, I shall print it and probably frame it at home.

      There is so much already done and written that we only have to apply ourselves to use it rightly.


  6. Interesting. and all the best for your travel. I am sure there is going to be a lot more discovery on this trip. Looking forward to the posts.


    • Thanks Saurabh. I hope so too.
      And interestingly I also was trying to get in touch with you for a Late APRIL trek but I juat couldn’t write that email. May be if you think it’s possible we can get together to walk a path ot two


  7. The Jungle Book is a lovely book offered to me by my youngest son, Krsna. He knew I would love it.
    Narayan, my friend, I think most us writers have a fondness for reading and, I like to read your posts. I am on Twitter, Facebook et al but I am getting old. I cannot travel to more than one destination anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krsna gifted Jungle book to you, that’s remarkable Anita.

      Your words made alive Anita, thanks. And your beautiful comment made me sad as well. We all daily are the youngest we can ever be but you know when I asked this to myself, where would I be travelling to most when I get old, I thought of going nearer to a river, anywhere and spending time seeing water travel instead of me.

      Thank you so much for writing Anita.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nara, this was a poem I also read as a child. My mother assured me that it applied equally to daughters! ❤ Enjoy your trip! I look forward to some posts about it.


  9. I am glad your mom gave you sage advice as all moms do. As you are travelling in Kerala, you could take the time to visit some of the sacred groves, and if you travel to Thrissur you could stay at my home and feel the comfort of an aged home, with a warm heart 🙂 Keep going, Nara, your journey is amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

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