Queue

imageNothing can beat the annoyance
Of waiting in a queue with simmering impatience
Forming and waiting in an orderly line can be
A reminder of school life and its tyranny-
The tedium of enforced discipline
Where breaking rules was considered a sin
That’s where my thoughts wander to
While squirming in my place, I wait in the queue
The rational part of me reminds me again
Without a line chaos would reign
(Unfortunately I have been witness to the disorder
That ensues when people jostle with each other
To be the first to reach the counter, conditioned as they were
By scarcity, being left out is a primeval fear)
So right from childhood we do learn
To stand in a queue and await our turn
When the line moves quickly, everyone is relieved
The one ahead of you is slow, or so you perceive
When it’s your turn you are quite confident
That your transaction is going to proceed without event
In record time you would sail through
Making the wait easier for the person next in queue
To the person in front, time flies fast during business
To the ones behind, each encounter takes eternity, no less
The trouble is compounded if you are like me
Accompanied by child (ren) full of boundless energy
Keeping them entertained while waiting in queue
Can tax your patience and that of everyone else too
Sometimes having children might permit you
To skip the long line and get ahead in the queue
Usually suggested by kind souls who look at you
With empathy in their eyes, secretly glad to
Get rid of the troublesome children indeed
A small price for letting you take the lead
Enough said about the humble queue
I’ll end with this final thought for you-
That once you get to the end of the line finally
Something better awaits you usually!

Tourist destination

imageThere was a place of beauty virginal
An island unmarred by activities industrial
Inhabited by people content with being
Contained in their world and seldom seeing
The outside world, they did not care
For interaction with people beyond their sphere
The bounty bestowed by nature they respected
Quite self-sufficient, there was not much they expected
**
Then came a day when a visitor arrived
Claiming he was enchanted, with an expression contrived
As a businessman he saw the enormous potential
Of this island as an exotic destination for travel
In collusion with the government he soon began
To build hotels, grow the tourist industry on the island
The authorities saw tremendous potential
To bolster their economy by following his proposal
For the first time they invited to their island
International collaboration to build a tourist haven
**
In a few years tourism developed there
Became the industry with the largest share
Of the economy, sophisticated travelers from everywhere
Flocked to the island to sample its unique flair
Since economic growth exacts a cost always
And nothing preserved in its natural state stays
The annual tourist volume was out of proportion
To the number of inhabitants, infact ten times its population
The island rapidly commercialized and unfortunately
The pristine environment degraded considerably
The virgin beauty was now marred
By excessive construction, permanently scarred
This sparked a huge debate over preservation
Of the original land as it was, experts in conservation
Suggested measures worth a fortune extraordinary
To restore the island to its formal state of glory
While further degradation could be prevented somewhat
Irreversible were the changes that had been brought
About by the droves of travelers over the years
Thus were realized the islanders’ worst fears
Of seeing their revered land thus tainted
It looked so different from the picture that was painted
Years ago, when tourism was still nascent
And the carbon footprint of tourism non-existent
**
This is the story of many stunning destinations
That are the victims of commercial exploitation
The world is a smaller place with borders that are shrinking
And travelers can spoil a place without thinking
Therefore ecotourism is now the buzzword
To preserve the natural treasures of the world
This story in a larger perspective illustrates
How human involvement can change the natural state
This is the perpetual conundrum of civilization
The ongoing struggle for environmental conservation.

Inquisitive

imageQuestions from my child never seem to cease
His curiosity is as vast as the seas
Sometimes appropriate, at times awkward
Often asking me to explain difficult words
He bombards me with questions invariably
When I am preoccupied, and irritably
I try to brush him off by saying I don’t know
He does not get the hint, and continues to throw
More questions at me beginning with why
Until I am forced to ask him to quiet down
Quite reluctantly, my brow furrowed in a frown
I do not want to crush his inquisitive spirit
But there are times I want to just quietly sit..
I long for the day when he learns to find
Answers for himself, satisfy the curiosity of his mind.
**
This is not how I want to bring up my son
I want to answer all his queries, teach him the reason
Behind things being the way they are
Arm him with knowledge so he will go far
But a five year old’s seemingly endless curiosity
Exceeds, for patience, my limited capacity
Then I remind myself that he will older grow
There will be one day when he will know
Much more than me; these questions will end
Making me long for the days when he was my friend
With his next question I remind myself of this
And give the best answer I can to this question of his
I try to enjoy this time when I still am
An encyclopedia for my little man!

To be a story-teller

imageAs long as I can remember
A secret wish have I harbored
To be a story-teller in some way
Reach out to people every day
Tell tales built on pure imagination
Or recount true stories of different nations
Somewhere in my heart I want a vocation
Which would let me indulge in this passion
A tour guide in a city full of historic architecture
A history teacher infusing life into her lecture
Or being the smooth and witty narrator
Keeping the audience spellbound in the theater..
**
In all these roles I would tell stories collected
From external sources, though they would be injected
With my unique perception, my own flavor-
They would still not represent fruits of my labor
This I realized one day, in a moment of epiphany
I needed my own voice, not voices of many
To reach out to the world, thus a story I did need
Deeply personal, straight from the heart indeed
**
I have not found, my search is ongoing
Anecdotes and experiences I accrue, not knowing
When the pieces will come together and coalesce
Into a coherent story- this hope I must confess
I harbor within me- someday I will write
A story that reflects me in my true light
A fictional saga that would still be an extension
Of me, and my (very) skewed perception
In finding my story I hope to discover
More of myself, my true destiny uncover.

Ikigai (reason for being)

image
For centuries has mankind
Tried its best to find
A life prolonging elixir
Human beings have lived in fear
Of death, disability, growing old
A long life is more valuable than gold
While modern medicine has allowed
People to live longer without a doubt
There might be something much simpler
That adds years to life as one grows older..
**
For centuries have men and women
In Okinawa ascended to heaven
Later than their counterparts elsewhere
They have a secret that needs to be shared
They all have a purpose in life, an ikigai
That they wake up to, each day under the sky
With a goal in life to strive towards throughout
They have no time to waste, no time to doubt
Their reason for living, that angst existential
Does not plague them as much as the rest of the world
Maybe this is a rule we need to apply
To all our lives, we all need to try
To find that one thing we wake up to
That gives us happiness and fulfillment too.
**
The concept was foreign to me I must say
Until recently, when I stumbled upon it one day
Trying to find ways to live a life of contentment
I found, much to my amazement
That having a purpose in life every day
Could increase your life expectancy unexpectedly
Not being an Okinawa, I am still trying to find
The ikigai that fuels my heart and mind
Maybe it is raising my son to be
As good a human being as he can be
Maybe it is in my role as a healer and physician
Maybe writing something beautiful is my reason
Whatever it is, to find it I shall try
To live a blessed life and prolong my days under the sky!

Rumor

News

It started as a statement quite innocuous
A bored mind with nothing worthwhile to discuss
Concocted a story loosely based on
A conversation that had been eavesdropped upon
Assumptions were many, because what was heard
Was not a full conversation, just a smattering of words
Strung together with an imagination fertile
Those words formed a story that brought a smile
To the face of the next person to whom the beans were spilled
It was amusing, and in the listener it instilled
The desire to share this interesting anecdote
So to a close friend, in a text this person wrote
The details got blurry, and the story changed flavor
Still juicy enough for this recipient to savor
You get my drift- this almost became a chain reaction
The original story had been sacrificed on the altar of oblivion
Pretty soon a new story was in circulation
Believed by many to be authentic in this situation
**
And what happened to the people who had been
Subjects of the original conversation, they were last seen
Hiding their faces, unable to comprehend
How they had been misrepresented, how they were condemned
To bear the brunt of a lie that they could not trace
The origin of, but that now occupied all their space..
**
This is the life cycle of a rumor
Embedded in these words is dark humor
A rumor is like a cannon set loose
It does much more than just amuse..

Fernweh (wanderlust)

worls mapI remember quite fondly

My first lesson in geography

When to a map I was introduced

A fierce curiosity it had induced

Within me to identify places new

I wanted to explore those places too

 

Seven continents and oceans five

On the map my dreams came alive

Places with names unpronounceable

I took them all in, glued to my table

Exotic and mysterious they appeared

I might never go there- was what I feared

Unable to realize my dreams of distant travel

Maps of all kinds I continued to unravel

I built my stories around them, as if I had seen

The places to which only my imagination had been..

The greater the obscurity of the place, I must say

The more I dreamt about traveling to it one day.

**

But wishes are wishes, rarely fulfilled

I travel but that yearning has never been filled

To travel to exotic places, as remote as can be

I still study maps, quite longingly

The desire to be footloose is strangely appealing

From time to time I get that restless feeling

Then I study a map and start planning ahead

A vacation, though the concept often stays in my head

Who knows, maybe the next time my post here

Is from the Easter Islands, trembling before the Moai in fear..

Until then I study maps with my five year old

And watch his infectious enthusiasm unfold..