From sunrise to sunset
Of a level of hope
May remain the regret
Of unfulfilled scope.
One belatedly reflects
In wisdom’s hindsight
If in retrospect
One’s choices were right?
It seems that one wandered
Through a winding maze
Precious time squandered
In unfocused gaze.
One may choose to migrate
To fresh territories
To dream and contemplate
Yet seen in broader view
All one’s choices are right
Experience has its due
As a beacon light.
Like the birth of each dawn
Which has seen one before
Lessons are drawn
From yesterday’s store.
In the quest to grow
To our dreams’ measure
Are debts that we owe
To the past and its treasures.
Millennium bells are set to chime
The triumphal march of Father Time
Two thousand years incredibly unfurled
In the recent history of the world
Which seems a time to celebrate
The glory of the human state.
Millennium shirts, millennium cars
Are meant to raise you to the stars
It may be folly for the wise
But it’s the advertiser’s paradise
Parading hordes of trivia
As treasures of millennia.
The affluent make fervid plans
From Australia to the Andamans
To welcome the sun’s first rays
Setting on two millennia’s ways
While others dread the coming day
Of unpredictable Y2K.
Piercing the festive air
Are pervasive cries of despair
The doomed ones whom Time forgot
And abandoned to a wretched lot
Some by Mother Nature seemingly disowned
By earthquake, draught, flood and cyclone.
As you sip champagne and vintage wine
And the band strikes up on Auld Lang Syne
While the new millennium seemingly takes birth
Feel a kinship with all the earth
So that the coming years will be
A partnership in sensitivity…
His limbs are aching, his feet are sore
Yet strangely he yearns for more
Chances to worst the devious foe
Oblivious of personal woe.
On frozen snow he steals some rest,
Not dreaming of medals on his chest
But of wife and children far away
From craggy mountains and skies of grey.
He hears agonising screams
Gunfire puncturing fitful dreams
Whirring helicopters in cloudy skies
Dropping spartan, sparse supplies.
He always aimed to do his best
Never envisaging the brutal test
Of courage, strength and fortitude
At such a murderous altitude.
Another day of marching in line
The icy dawn brings no sunshine
But the creeping, inevitable chill
Of defending cruel, distant Kargil.
He’s steeled for the impending sorrow
As an unsung hero of tomorrow
Where cricket bats earn more adulation
Than the true defenders of the nation.
Yet, his grim tryst with destiny he will keep
Even as loved ones nightly weep
Accepting with resigned serenity
The snows as home for eternity.
For some it’s a goddess to revere
To endow life with a buoyant cheer.
A means to earthly paradise
Despite the scoffing of the wise.
For others it’s every evil’s root
Of plundering avarice and loot.
It unleashes myriad anarchies
Defining social hierarchies.
Should it be hard labour’s meed?
Or that of enterprising deeds?
Money’s ownership and distribution
Have lit the spark of revolutions.
It’s seen the inside of many prisms
In the elusive search of the perfect “ism”.
Faith and ideology differently preach
About the path it’s power should reach.
While they jointly urge it should not ensnare
But with the less endowed be shared.
Often, its irresistible lure
Breaks family bonds that should endure.
It constitutes a miser’s hoard
It acts in philanthropic Mode.
Either way there can’t be enough
Of that crisp or jingling stuff.
Can you find a greater paradox
Than the riddle of the money box?