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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE fearless?


Illustrated and compiled by Ridhima Bhutani


In October 2015, I spent ten days working on a mural with Shilo Shiv Suleman in the Bangalore Flower Market. In true ‘Fearless Collective’ fashion, this mural was inspired by the location and the people that inhabit it. We worked with the idea of masculity and softness, painting on the wall a composition that was a beautiful amalgamation of flowers and the flower men, seamlessly merging the two elements that make the flower market what it is. Throughout the experience, I found myself thinking about one question consistently, what does it mean to be fearless? Is climbing a thirty feet high scaffolding for the first time being fearless? Is navigating through and inhabiting a public space as a woman being fearless? Or is shedding the hard exterior one is supposed to have as a man and showing emotion, considered being fearless? Just by taking one quick glance at the poeple I am surrounded with and the risks we all take on a daily basis, I came to the conclusion that being fearless, means very different things to different people, and not one is any less than the other. This idea of being fearless in different ways, is what I have tried to portray through this collection of poetry and quotes. By using synonyms of the word ‘fearless’ and accompanying each word with a different story, the book shows that while each is different in some way, they all represent the same thing - the feeling of overcoming fear.


DYNAMIC positive in attitude and full of new ideas

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.� - Marianne Williamson


AUDACIOUS showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks

Still I Rise Maya Angelou You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.


Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise


UNDAUNTED not intimated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment


“I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down — that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.” - Steve Jobs


Casabianca by Felicia Hemans The boy stood on the burning deck, Whence all but he had fled; The flame that lit the battle’s wreck, Shone round him o’er the dead.

Upon his brow he felt their breath And in his waving hair; And look’d from that lone post of death, In still yet brave despair.

Yet beautiful and bright he stood, As born to rule the storm; A creature of heroic blood, A proud, though childlike form.

And shouted but once more aloud, ‘My father! must I stay?’ While o’er him fast, through sail and shroud, The wreathing fires made way.

The flames rolled on – he would not go, Without his father’s word; That father, faint in death below, His voice no longer heard.

They wrapped the ship in splendour wild, They caught the flag on high, And streamed above the gallant child, Like banners in the sky.

He called aloud – ‘Say, father, say If yet my task is done?’ He knew not that the chieftain lay Unconscious of his son.

There came a burst of thunder sound – The boy – oh! where was he? Ask of the winds that far around With fragments strewed the sea!

‘Speak, father!’ once again he cried, ‘If I may yet be gone!’ – And but the booming shots replied, And fast the flames rolled on.

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair, That well had borne their part, But the noblest thing which perished there, Was that young faithful heart.


UNFLINCHING not showing fear or hestitation in the face of danger or difficulty


INDOMITABLE impossible to subdue or defeat


Invictus By William Ernest Henley Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul



What Does It Mean To Be Fearless