Monday, November 12, 2012

Do Yogis Dream Of Lycric Shorts?

This poem emerges after myriad experiences - reading the April 2012 issue of Vanity Fair (which describes new American yoga empires being set up in the name of famous Indian gurus), watching new yoga schools, styles and stores mushrooming in our neighbourhood and pondering over Patanjali's ancient Yoga Sutras.

This poem was written on the eve of the festival of lights and I wish all my blog readers a happy Deepavali (Diwali).  Interestingly, the word guru means 'one who leads you from darkness to light' (gu - darkness, ru - light).

The title of the poem is inspired by Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?"

Do Yogis Dream Of Lycric Shorts?

I read a hand-me-down issue
Of Vanity Fair, two-oh-one-two
Of Yoga schools, apparel new
From Texas down to Timbuktoo
And in my mind arose these thoughts,
"Do Yogis dream of lycric shorts?"

The Brand Ambassadors look so strong
Well tanned, with their hair rather long
"Try our Yoga," they all proclaim,
"Be part of our new branded name."
As I read this, my mind retorts,
"Do Yogis dream of lycric shorts?"

Neon signboards that glow next door
Announce a brand-new Yoga store
Urge you to stop and give a thought
To Yogic gifts that must be bought.
(The things that Yogis really sought
Did they include new lycric shorts?)

I took a journey in my mind
To try and see what I might find,
Dredged up a Yogi I had met
Asked him if he would like to get
A brand new pair of lycric shorts
He smiled at me and said, "Why not?"

"Really," I asked, "What would you do?
If I got a pair for you?"
"I'd give them to a needy soul,
This world is hard and takes its toll.
Creates the haves and the have-nots
Invents Yogis and lycric shorts."

A twinkle in his eye appeared
He stroked a non-existent beard
Said, "Dreams in dreams - they matter not
We aren't Yogis - and these aren't shorts.
We can but try and still the mind
Not hurt others and just be kind.

In our dreams or our wakened state
Hope that our thoughts may soon abate.
Our actions, guided by our souls,
Do not conform to chosen roles.
And when the mind is free of thoughts
There is no I, there are no shorts."

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