The Perennial Seminarian 


Restlessness quivering
In the fingers
In the mind
An eagerness to achieve
To correct and to mend.
Ah! For an opportunity
To arise and speak forth
In great conventions
On weighty matters
Of the Nations.
To convert in words
Unspoken dreams,
To stir the audiences
And receive the expected applause.
Then to feel content
‘You have done your job well!’
And receive unending
Stream of complements
With projected humility
Over cups of tea
And rich meals delicately served.
Glossing over the decorative mementos
Engraved in letters of gold
A heart bubbling with joy
And held high
But careful not to assume airs
Receive the well-deserved hospitality
With modesty
And make offers to reciprocate.


The comfortable stay over
The journey back home
There in the loneliness of the room
Contemplate on the hollowness of the words
The routine of the seminar
The mechanics of words
The hopelessness of the situation
And the futility of efforts.


The fallen angel rises lazily
Well past dawn the next day
Still carrying the nausea
Of the tumultuous thoughts
Lazing over the day’s work
Till another invitation is received in the mail
And the routine of preparation
For another seminar begins.
In the excitement of contemplation
On the topic of yet another seminar
The seminarian is once again
Oblivious to the increasing
Groans of the general masses
The misery of the underprivileged
The exploitation of women and children
The increasing acts of violence
The scourge of war
The apathy of the rich
The depletion of the ozone layer
The desertification of the earth.


The seminar has begun
With the lightening of the lamp
And the thundering applause
The statistics on poverty
Human rights of children
Impending holocaust of war
The injustice and inequalities…
Great awareness is created.
The solutions of all the problems
Are being proposed
On glossy paper
In air-conditioned halls
And all should be well
With the world soon.

                     © Anil Sarwal
                        Dec. 8, 2002