Life brings with a plethora of experiences, each with a flavour of its own. I wish to share with all my readers these various experiences and observations that I have made during my time here on this planet. They may be funny, thought-provoking or simple reflections. I do hope you will find these enjoyable and interesting.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The Ballad of Father Gilligan

I love old poems.  I love nursery rhymes.  I dance to them when making my early morning coffee.  Not seldom, some random words from some poem pop into my mind or they might do so in some particular context.
Today the following two lines popped up in a different context and I wanted to check if I could quote them in that context.  So went to 'Uncle Google' to ask him.  The lines were "God had pity on the least of things  Asleep upon a chair".

It threw up the following poem.

The Ballad of Father Gilligan
By William Butler Yeats
THE old priest, Peter Gilligan,
Was weary night and day;
For half his flock were in their beds,
Or under green sods lay.
Once, while he nodded on a chair,        5
At the moth-hour of eve,
Another poor man sent for him,
And he began to grieve.
“I have no rest, nor joy, nor peace,
For people die and die”;        10
And after cried he, “God forgive!
My body spake, not I!”
He knelt, and leaning on the chair
He prayed and fell asleep,
And the moth-hour went from the fields,        15
And stars began to peep.
They slowly into millions grew,
And leaves shook in the wind,
And God covered the world with shade,
And whispered to mankind.        20
Upon the time of sparrow chirp
When the moths come once more,
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,
Stood upright on the floor.
“Mavrone, mavrone! the man has died,        25
While I slept on the chair.”
He roused his horse out of its sleep,
And rode with little care.
He rode now as he never rode,
By rocky lane and fen;        30
The sick man’s wife opened the door:
“Father! you come again.”
“And is the poor man dead?” he cried.
“He died an hour ago.”
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,        35
In grief swayed to and fro.
“When you were gone, he turned and died
As merry as a bird.”
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,
He knelt him at that word.        40
“He who hath made the night of stars
For souls who tire and bleed,
Sent one of His great angels down
To help me in my need.
“He who is wrapped in purple robes,        45
With planets in His care,
Had pity on the least of things
Asleep upon a chair.”

What a ballad!  What a beautiful description of the evening turning to night and then to dawn!

"And God covered the world with shade,
And whispered to mankind."

I could almost feel my mother's gentle touch on my tired brow, talking gently to me.

This is the kind of poems that I really miss reading in modern times.

That was not all.  I saw a video on FB after this, which showed a 97 year old mother going to visit her bed-ridden daughter who is 76 years old.  Could not help saying 'touch wood'.  Maybe mom was trying to send me messages from wherever she is today.

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Strategem

Last night I had a dream. I had a twin sister and both of us were very good cooks as well as qualified nutritionists.

We both had impeccable professional reputations.

One day, we were approached by a very large hospital and were offered jobs with a huge annual income. The only condition was that we should make sure we helped the hospital get a good reputation and everyone went away happy. We both, being professionals to the core, took those instructions to heart.

As it happened, I was put in charge of the canteen and my twin in charge of the dietary section for the patients.

Knowing how fond most Indians are of oily, spicy food, I started serving all varieties of fried stuff, food rich in fats (cooked in dalda mostly) and made sure all the dishes I served had at least half an inch of oil on them. After all both my reputation as well as the hospital's were at stake and consequently so was my job. People came, ate well, appreciated the fare and left contented. Not that they had much of choice. Outside food was not allowed inside the hospital and these people had no other choice. They were after all the patients' relatives and had to be with them. Not that they were complaining. The food was pretty enticing after all.

Many of these people soon enough felt pretty ill, eating as much as they did. Some of them were tempted enough to ignore their health problems and dietary restrictions.

No surprise then, that they soon enough landed up in the same hospital as patients. And this was where my twin came into the picture. I had done my duty by pleasing people's palates as well as by giving the hospital good business.

Now my twin being very conscientious made sure she gave these patients the healthiest, blandest and "tastelessest" (please forgive me for coining new words, but the existing words in the Oxford dictionary just do not serve the purpose of accurate description) food imaginable.

It did the patients a lot of good. It motivated them to get well as soon as possible so that they could flee the hospital at the earliest, thus freeing the beds for the next stream of patients who had been created in the hospital canteen. So the business turnover for the hospital was phenomenal, the doctors were making a fast buck and their reputations preceded them everywhere. At the end of the day, it was a win-win situation for all concerned.

And the cycle continued, until one day the hospital hosted a special function in honour of me and my twin sis (the food for which was of course catered by me - the hospital is certainly very business savvy)!!!!!

I woke up wondering how I had conjured up such a weird dream. Then I remembered my visit in the evening to a hospital canteen and the story of a patient who had eaten the offerings of the dietary department there. :-)