Sunday, 17 June 2007

Many of us have lived in India or visited India. An incredible country.

But we often hear the phrase 'Why not?' And 'Why Not.'

I wrote this last year while living in India and recently polished it up a little.
Mother India calls us back and I answer 'Why Not ?


Why Not

Is it an expression of surprise?
Or non commitment of the wise
After 15 years in India hot
I am still searching for the meaning of WHY NOT.

There is yes and there is no
But who wants to be nailed to the spot
Safer to nod and sway your head
Smile or grin and say WHY NOT

Can I get a ticket on the 2.40 or 5 pm train ?
I’ve made the stationmaster an uncomfortable sot
So why lose your face with a trivial request
He examines the timetable and says WHY NOT

It can be a little of dis a little bit of dat
Planned nebulousity or ‘hard is my lot’
Grin and bear and shrug it off
Better to smile and say WHY NOT

Under the colonial yoke since yore
And bowing to hundreds of wily despots
Better to keep your head and pride
So when questioned just say WHY NOT

Collapsed one day on a Calcutta street
From Delhi belly and Bombay trots
I asked the doctor “Will I be cured”
He smiled professionally and said WHY NOT

Why Not and Isn’t it have got on my nerves
And I am convinced it is a sinister plot
Asked a friend from the intelligence service
‘Am I right’ I said, he replied ‘WHY NOT ‘

Some nights when wending a weary path
I drop into my local for a jug or a tot
I ask the waiter “Will India win”
He glances at the TV and says WHY NOT

Incredible India pulls you to her breast
Where the food and climate are equally hot
So many questions and answers you need
The one that will never let you down, is WHY NOT

Concentrated research I did for years on end
Questioning people for the meaning of its lot
Now I am none the wiser for my time
For when I asked positive or negative, I got WHY NOT

After years of tears frustration and all
I am beginning to fathom the reply of WHY NOT
So I phrase questions to avoid the phrase
And instead I get an equally frustrating “Is it Not ?

So after travelling in search of the truth
I discovered the master in the valley of Swat
Enlightened Sir ‘give me the meaning of life’
He mediated long and wisely said, WHY NOT

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