Sunday, October 11, 2015

The hotel

Tales yet to unfold
May have already been told
Through drizzles at the back of the eyelids
That have come in long forgotten dribs

Involved in farcical fights
That keep out grander lights
Lost in the appeal of the real
Missing the gifts from the realm of the surreal

Not that of dreams, they are unsparing
Enticing us with images that may have little bearing
On the true state of affairs
Of what it’s really like upstairs

In the mind, there is never a vacancy
Rushing back and forth with a sense of urgency
Filling each room of that dream hotel
Hoping to forever dwell

Checking in for a long vacation
The mind is without fear of starvation
One may walk in with empty hands
But thoughts have other plans

There’s always a smile on the bellhop’s face
Knowing what dwells in the hidden space
That job is secure
Very few guest will leave fully mature

The world’s not designed for distraction
Nonetheless there is helpless attraction
Each hand turns into a spade
Digging under everything that’s displayed

One can never reach the foundation that way
The earth is built to stay
Designed to perfection
We’re lucky someone made that reservation

At the grandest hotel in the starry skies
Which is safe from prying spies
Allowing prototypes of life to slowly bloom
It’s a living garden, not a tomb

The guests may never meet the owner
May be a recluse, but never a poser
This resort is always in demand
That’s how it was always planned

It’s hard not to get lost in its maze of corridors
The mind isn’t the great outdoors
Many excursions are planned
By thoughts that constantly demand

Freedom of movement
To seek joy, that’s abstinent
Sleep is the only common ground
Where peace may be found

The hotel is always welcoming
New arrivals, without questioning
Few pause and listen
To the silent rendition

In the cavernous lobby
Easily missed if the attention is sloppy
There is always a chance to listen again
For we cannot easily leave that domain

Until the vacation is over
And we have to cross another border
Souvenirs we may want to bring back
Will have grown into an enormous stack

Whatever is wrapped in the mind
Will have to be enjoyed in kind
The stay is fully paid for
Why leave anything unused and in store?

Five housekeepers remain forever busy
Running back and forth in a tizzy
When the storehouse is bursting at the seams
Cleaning up on moving day would require endless teams

Only guests who leave with empty hands
Would not suffer separation pangs
It is a hotel afterall
A temporary port of call

The stay may be finite
But the joys experienced can remain infinite
When that is seared into our being
One may rest without dreaming

When one know that there is only one
Separation between the temporary and permanent is done
No more a guest
Longing for a quiet rest

Quietly busy
But always privy
To the owner’s realm
Where one is always free to be at the helm

There is always a room available
With a view that is unchangeable
It may seem dark and lonely
But that’s where the owner may feel homely

It’s a good place to pose a deep query
The answer to come will be anything but dreary
With curtains drawn
In the silence before dawn

A trapdoor may open
It bodes a good omen
It isn’t like the hollow corridors
Filled with fellow competitors

But to a place where everything recedes into one
A step there can never be undone
No need for a concierge here
The mind can no longer be a puppeteer

The fate of the hotel
Now determined by minds that work like a cartel
Is it collective good or greed?
We must decide the nature of our creed

Not based on passing conversations
In life’s many stations
But by taking a long view
Unafraid whether another may misconstrue

Mankind was never part of the planning stages
Having survived the dark ages
It is incumbent on the present trustees
To carefully guard the keys

There is no fear of an alien invasion
Only that of thoughtless coercion
All we have to do is look at history
Then the future of this hotel will no longer be a mystery

  • N. Seshadri