Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Let a thousand flowers bloom!

For the runner intent on winning,
It's no longer the joy of running.
The worker rushing to his deadline
Has forgotten what he is doing!

We all compete against some benchmarks
Set to make our lives miserable;
The reward lies in the effort,
Not panting for the elusive result!

Everything starts as means to an end,
Then the means become ends in themselves;
get measured and benchmarked to death,
Both of the work, and of our own selves!

Measuring anything on a scale
Reduces it to absurdity;
Every flower that bloomed in the vale
Did not compare petals, for their width!

Let a thousand flowers bloom, on their own,
Celebrating the joy of living;
Each unique, one with the soil that gave
It birth, and encouraged it to bloom!

Thursday, March 17, 2016


The Trump marches on! Both sides of the established establishment, Democrats and Republicans, watch helplessly! There is nothing that is working against him! How do we stop him?

The establishment is on edge. This is the talk in the Washington clubs where the powerful Republicans and Democrats meet:

We thought we were unassailable, 
The establishment, fending for itself;
Whoever wins is not important,
It's either we, us, or more of us!

We have learnt to milk the system,
Opposing sides of the same party;
The public, poor sods, think they're voting,
Democrat, or Republican!

A cosy club of rich power-brokers,
Cushy cartel of the privileged, 
The world has always been run by us, 
On the shoulders of the hoi polloi!

And here comes the brash outsider,
Who defines everything we are not.
Storming the powerful rich citadel,
Ready to break down its walls!

Carried on shoulders of the same mob,
Which seems to've sensed what's going on.
A joker in the pack, and a Trump,
He seems to have won their heads and hearts!

Shady businessman. Serial bankrupt.
Pandering to their basic instincts.
It's worse than Modi storming Lutyens,
With his byte-sized quotes and pea-sized brains!

We mastered the art of being pro
Everything, and saying all that's good;
Like us, he's difficult to pin down,
But his strategy's just the reverse!

Anti-everything you can think of,
He is aiming for the anti-vote.
Problem is, the mob's tired of us,
From incumbents, they need antidotes!

He's dipping into the suppressed rage,
That we, the wise, have kept bottled up.
Demagogues, spouting vitriol,
Have caused every empire's downfall!

The poor sods, the mob, they don't realise,
It's theatre; he's as shallow as us;
We wish he plays by the rules,
In the field and game set up by us!

That he's not! He's not!! The maverick!!!
He has money, doesn't need it from us!
Reaches crowds direct, talks to their gut!
We wish someone kills the bastard!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Art of Spirituality: India's spiritual leaders!

India has no dearth of colourful Godman and Godwomen. What if they all decided to take a leaf out of Sri Sri's book, whose tagline is "Art of Living", what would their taglines be?

1) Art of Hugging: Mata Amritanandamayi, the hugging devi

2) Art of Loving: Swami Nityananda, a famous lover

3) Mart of Living: The Patanjali FMCG empire, giving the MNC companies a run for their money

4) Art of Dancing: Radhe Ma, who sees no contradiction between filmi-style dance and devotion

5) Art of Silencing a.k.a. terminating witnesses: Asaram Bapu, who would make Don Corleone proud of him

6) Art of Magic: Satya Sai Baba, the master of 'apparitions'

7) Art of Chanting: ISKCON, Bhakti's flagbearers

8) Art of Branding: Patanjali, with Sri Sri following a close second

9) Art of Acting: Ram Rahim Singhji Insan with his penchant for acting in his own films, the spiritual mart's Rajnikant

10) Art of Leaving: Ramdev, an adept in the art of disguise, famous for his Ramlila Grounds 

11) Art of Bending: Baba flat stomach, Ramdev again

12) Art of Moneymaking: All the above

13) Art of subsistence: What the real Gods practice, making do with meagre offerings from their devotees

Thursday, March 10, 2016

On the AOL birthday bash controversy

All Gurus like large-scale grandeur,
Projecting themselves larger than life;
Flaunting their money and their power,
In their minds, competing with the Gods.

All Gurus like to amass wealth,
and have a court full of sycophants,
Singing their praises to high heavens,
Prostrating themselves at their feet.

Modern Gurus are even more savvy,
They have learnt to utilise the times.
They brand their every activity,
From events to breathing exercise.

Dumbing down Truth to suit the masses,
Delivered in glitzy sound bites;
It is doubtful whether they realised,
anything of what they preach.

Guru: The one who dispels darkness,
Helps remove the veil of ignorance.
It's irony in today's times,
They're the ones who propagate them!

Dinesh Gopalan
10 March, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

On Sharapova being banned for doping

Who is to judge what's appropriate?
What was fine yesterday's not so today?
There's a long list of drugs one can take,
Why only ban those on a list?

Who makes these lists of what's good, what's not?
Who decides punishment and reward?
The more one is bound to the System,
Ignore its diktats one cannot.

The lone ranger's free of such constraints,
Of fame one moment, ignominy next.
But she won't get any endorsements,
nor adulation, nor all the fame.

What System gives, it taketh away.
The rewards, always for conformance.
Freedom is when there's nothing to take,
When others can't decide one's fate.

Dinesh Gopalan
9 March, 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Women's Day

Half the world consists of women,
What need a day in their honour?
Massive version of a men's night out,
One in Two's not so exclusive!

One more occasion to strut and preen,
Or bemoan, complain, rant and rave.
Half the world assembles to one side,
Hopefully, the other half takes note!

A chance for companies to celebrate,
Anything that's holier than thou;
Half their people will bask in the glow,
The other half's used to being ignored!

A chance to trot out platitudes,
Which sound very good and do no harm;
Indians don't change their attitudes,
'cause someone said what's good and what's not!

A chance for Air India to fly
An all-woman crew on longest flight.
Hopefully, for the rest of the year,
Someone acknowledges their rights!

I celebrate all women, I do!
But one by one please, that's all I can!
They are much, even one at a time,
Why a day, to fete them as a crowd?

8 March, 2016