Weary traveler, come home

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Excitement starts stirring in my chest

In anticipation of what’s coming next

Memories of the hallowed land dear

From my brain’s recesses suddenly appear-

Invading all senses in an explosion

Of images, smells, sounds and the feel

Of my homeland, making my head reel

The sense of missing something crucial

Is keener than ever, the pain is real

Nervous with excitement and anticipation

I look forward to the landing with apprehension-

What has changed in the land that is preserved

In my memory as a snapshot in time leaves me unnerved

Despite annual pilgrimages my warped vision

Of my homeland has not changed, it is frozen

In time- back to when I left the shore

To taste new flavors, new vistas explore-

As the plane touches the ground and comes to a halt

I am shaken out of my reverie, I smell the asphalt

Melting under the mercilessly hot tropical sun

My fragile nerves are finally soothed

Euphoria fills my soul, I am back to my roots!

 

 

 

 

Venus and Mars at workplace

gender gapWe live in a modern society, we think we have made strides

In the realm of gender equality, bridged gaps wide

Women are liberated, work in every sphere

Yet discrimination at workplace remains a valid fear

For women from all walks of life- sometimes disguised

In condescending tones, full of patronizing advice-

At other times overt, with inequality in pay

That persists in many professions even to this day

Sexual innuendos we hear frequently

Disparaging remarks are quite common, evidently

Support and mentorship are hard to find

To get ahead, we need a razor sharp mind

With the right measure of chutzpah, the right attitude

Navigating the workplace expertly requires fortitude..

This constant barrage of challenges unfortunately

Tends to be stressful, causing extra anxiety

Yet we working women continuously strive to do

Our best at all times, at work, and at home too

Despite all our efforts we fail to applaud

Our achievements, we keep feeling flawed

Thus perpetuating the undercurrents of discrimination

We need to be better in our own estimation!

**

Tall words, I know, but this opportunity is mine

To celebrate the greatness of all female minds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tourist, traveler

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
G.K. Chesterton

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A traveler is what I longed to be

To experience new places, with an open mind see

New landscapes, mingle with people different

From one adventure to another- that’s how I wanted life spent

I wanted to take dusty paths, offbeat

To be in the company of travelers elite

Who explored remote places, had experiences thrilling

I wanted to do that, to take risks I was willing..

**

But in a pragmatic life, now my vacations

Are far removed from the lofty goals of my imagination-

Pressed for time, with a young child in tow

My expectations have dropped way too low

Instead of being a traveler footloose

A cookie-cutter approach to traveling I now choose

I end up visiting just the major attractions

Anything eclectic is usually an automatic subtraction

With well-planned itineraries laid out months in advance

Discovering a new place is not left to chance

There is no time to wander, no luxury of flexibility

I see places like a tourist in every city

Some day- I tell myself- a traveler I shall be

Until then as a tourist new places I shall continue to see..

 

Lesson learnt on a busy day..

“The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.”

William Osler
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My schedule is full, each patient today
Is complicated in his own unique way
I am running late from one appointment to another
Have to finish on time to fulfill my role as a mother
Each patient deserves full attention that cannot be
Provided in the fifteen minutes allotted to me
I work through lunch hour, a break is not
In my stars today-oh, and I totally forgot
That I have to call back another physician
About a mutual patient, for a joint decision
In the few minutes that it takes to get a patient ready
I make that phone call, proud of my efficiency
Towards the end of my work day, about to see
My last patient, I am trying desperately
To wrap up my work, trying to be
As brief and efficient as feasible so late in the day
I am about to conclude my last visit, when in the usual way
I ask my patient to voice any questions or concerns
Almost out of habit, hoping there are questions none
When the patient seems to struggle, and then says
He cannot find words to express himself, I am unfazed
About to rush out of the room, there is a moment
Sudden-I remember what word-finding difficulty meant-
I turn around and ask the patient to name
Simple objects, he fails- he is not to blame
Though the rest of his neurological exam is benign
I have picked up, of a stroke, a subtle sign
There isn’t a moment to lose, here time is brain
I get him to the emergency room, the visit does not go in vain
He has a stroke, and I am ready to cry
In relief, reminding myself yet again why
Despite the obstacles that life poses every day
Distraction must not, ever, get in the way
Of treating a patient, otherwise subtle clues
Can be missed, a physician has a lot to lose
If that happens, and be subject to
Self-criticism, erosion of confidence too

That was a good lesson learnt, I shall not forget
The attention my patient deserves, he or she shall get.

Hope in my hands

hamsa

I looked down, staring quite wistfully,

At the lines on my palms uncomprehendingly

I had heard as a child, it was probably just folklore

That the lines on your palm represented, for sure

Your future, the length of your life and success

Were secrets embedded in these creases- I confess

I was a skeptic from the start, though I found attractive

The idea of having my future predicted, to see how long I would live

To be told I was lucky, that successful I would be

I took the advice with a grain of salt, yet unwittingly

I ended up believing in those predictions, as hope they inspired

That my life would turn out to be the way I desired..

**

The lines have not changed, but I struggle today

To keep my dreams afloat, to keep going the way

I had imagined when I was young and naive..

(I was still realistic, my dreams were goals I could achieve)

I find hope evading me, some reassurance I need

That I would find my way back indeed

And be able to make my life worthwhile

I look at my hands again, with a smile

And trick myself into believing somehow

Since the lines are the same, they would allow

My life’s course to be analogous to their prediction

I allow myself to relax, with some conviction

That this is a temporary hiatus, and I

Shall bounce back to claim my place under the sky..

**

To end, I have only this to say to you

When in despair, it is quite true

That most of us need faith in some way

Thus numerology, palmistry exist to this day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work-life balance

work life

No matter in which direction you go these days

There is talk about work-life balance in various ways

It seems like there is a sudden urgency to shout

From the rooftops about preventing burnout

So mindfulness workshops are now to be found

At many workplaces, the new idea going around

Is that mindful eating, sitting, breathing are capable

Of resolving all your issues, they can enable 

You to suddenly become doubly productive

At work and and at home, what would you not give

To achieve such a utopian state, so you attend

Seminars and workshops, trying hard to comprehend

How to set aside time for mindfulness in your work day

When the deluge of phone calls and e-mails never goes away…

Other solutions to improve work-life balance exist out there

What about retreat in a quiet mountain resort somewhere?

So you pack your bags, excited about an all expense paid vacation

Only to realize you can’t let your guard down in any conversation

Workplace politics and gossip sneak their way into everything

A loose tongue might be a heavy price to pay for a free drink..

Soon you are wondering if you only this vacation had been

With your family and friends on this lakeside pristine

It might have better restored your work-life balance 

The retreat, you realize is just a clever pretence

To know more about employees outside of workplace

You might not be working, but you get no personal space

Then there are lectures given by motivational speakers

That you are required to attend, they are powerful orators

You come out of the lecture, thinking you are a master

In maintaining work-life balance, the learning couldn’t be faster

But as with everything else, applying it to real life proves to be

Quite difficult, if not impossible, unfortunately..

**

Trust me, yours truly has suffered through 

All of the above, and I can say it is true

That achieving that very elusive work-life balance

Needs a personalized approach and common-sense

Burnout is a real problem, no doubt

To avoid it, all of us need a different route..

 

(Image source: http://www.inc.com)

 

 

Book Hangover

DSC05378I have had hangovers of varieties several
By definition, they leave me quite miserable
The one that I encounter most often, though
Is a book hangover, most bibliophiles would know
The bittersweet feeling of a loss that comes on
After you turn the last page of a good book-you feel forlorn
You were actually living in the book, you realize
Like a beautiful dream- now you find it difficult to rise
And function in the world like a normal person
You long for another book of the same variety, a similar version
You start another book but the hangover prevents
You from getting engrossed to the same extent
Until you have forced yourself to read a chapter or two
You start warming to the idea of the new book too
Then the cycle repeats, and you find yourself immersed
In new characters, you are in a different universe
Time flies by when you are reading, you stay up late
To get to the end- where another book hangover awaits!