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Born Again

Age, they say, is a question of mind over matter,

If you don’t mind, it does not matter

So it was up to him, what he made of his existence,
He’d hang up his boots and live in the past tense

Or, he’d tighten the belt and take fresh guard,
For something that he was passionate, to go onward

It was tempting; the urge to lie down and rest
For he’d had a long, long life of strife and tempest

Then, one day, as he was in his Temple alone
At peace with himself, he heard a soft whispering tone

‘You are here for a reason, and had so much, oft out of turn,
It’s time to pause and think, what have you given back in return?’

The man flinched and thought, ‘Is it not much too late?’
‘For I’m now old, and have I not worked so hard to date,’

‘All my life to have earned my rightful rest?’
‘To rest is to die,’ said the Voice, ‘For, it’s always best,’

‘To push ahead; for only those who strive for others are
Truly alive; the rest merely exist, but are really nowhere’

‘That’s it then,’ thought the man, ‘this fraught Voice
Is at it again’ he mused and made his choice

‘I must get up and go. I must have something
To look forward to, a worthy cause, an escape from this ring,‘

He will, of course, show me the way as always, he was sure,
And he was not disappointed, his idleness to cure,

Teaching had been his passion for long
He’d taught his own child, and then anon,

His grandchild, who was his best friend as well
A little boy who kept asking for stories to tell

It was then that he came across the Teach for India mission
For every child, for every new mind, a broad vision

One thing led to the other, and to cut a long story short,
He found himself alone and afraid of not being accepted a lot,

At the Institute, in a village in the middle of nowhere,
For to him it was fantastic and magical just to be there

For this was Neverland, and he was bumbling old Getafix,
Among a place full of young Peter Pans and pretty Wendys

Pardon the mix up of Goscinny-Uderzo and Barrie,
But then, what is a small lapse between friends in a hurry?

He roomed with one Peter Pan, who was hardly ever there,
Before the wee hours had turned the breeze so cool and rare

He met his new mentor, a very pretty Wendy,
No more than a third his age, wise beyond her years, though trendy

And then he was thrown right in, they call it immersion
In the choppy ice cold waters of pedagogy and student vision

The classroom, the scary dark waves of the alphabet soup
LP, LC, LDC, BMC and the CD, SD, SM, PM, all in a loop,

And he had to swim; there was just no other go
For to let go was not an option he’d promised long ago

The coward in him said, ‘Catch the next bus to Mumbai,
Back to where you are comfortable, time say to Neverland goodbye!’

This is no country for old men,’ it persisted
But, in the end, it was the wise Voice that prevailed

And thank goodness for that, he struggled through bravely
Shoulder to shoulder with the young folk, wryly

The best was what they call the Summer School term,
Where fresh, eager faces looked up to him to learn

He knew that they would learn much more
Than he could ever teach them in weeks of four

But that experience only whetted the appetite keen
For learning together with the young, their minds all sheen

Then the end of that marvellous five weeks was in sight
He knew he’d started on a tough road, the future bright

A magical road where he had to change himself first
Before he tried to change those little ones in his trust

It’s never too late to start on this journey of strife
For, to stop on the way is not an option at all in life

For, he’d read in Chanakya Two, and it was now his goal,
I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul!

 

Comments

Urvashi

Urvashi

I loved your poem.Thanks for being there for me. :) Miss you.

reply

Anne Viegas

Anne Viegas

Such a lovely poem Datta!

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Monjula

Monjula

Loved every single word of it… U always did inspire us… Datta you are awesome :)

reply

Vijayan

Vijayan

Beautifully put. Its my story, except for the grandchildren.

reply

Swati Agarwal

Swati Agarwal

I just loved every word of this poem Datta!!!!

reply

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