Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dear Old Prof

The din of the coffee break is not there anymore,

The delegates disappeared

Back to that lecture or conference, whatever

To listen to the latest

Opinions, findings, results

And debate about it

And this old man,

Hair all grey

Spidery veins crawling on his delicate hands

That pair of hands

That pair of hands, That must have

Written many a great scholarly papers,

Corrected many rubbish-ish or distinguished papers

Scrawled many blackboards

In this well known centre

Oh, did I tell you, his photo seems to be on the wall?

Great achievements of so and so

Great contribution of so and so

Professors spoke to him in a revered manner

During that coffee break

But now the break is over,

Prof is here alone

Dozing off

His hand delicately hanging on to that walking stick

I felt like asking him

“Prof, which came first?

Age or illness?”

I hope that age came first

For illness before age,

Is like vomiting before you eat

After which, food is tasteless

Or you don’t even get to eat.

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