The Numbers Game

POETRY FORMAT, 12 Jul 2021

Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Numbers or numerals are very important in our lives
Or should we say even before we can draw a line
A woman gives birth to a baby after nurturing it for months nine
The baby cries when born — if not, give the baby a gentle slap

And after the baby comes into this life the nurse tells the father
It is a girl, no, a boy and she is so cute, she informs all who gather

They weigh the baby — two or three kilogram weight — kg
Recently a record was broken by a baby — he weighed 5 kg
He broke the world record without knowing it, how sweet
In future his aunt will keep reminding him about his weight

After birth it is again a game of numbers
At three years or so, the baby must go to a kindergarten
Which means garden for kids — children
At five a regular school till age seventeen

After education, a job with a fat salary — a thousand or million
Who to spend this money with — a wife who knows how to spend
Really spend — thousand or ten of these for a new robe that fits her
A million for buying some gold or diamond jewellery that glitters

Let’s stop here — birthdays are joyful till age of fifty and pimples
After which use a cream or skin care to hide the wrinkles

When a child asks your age and you answer sixty years old
Innocently he asks ‘Were you always so old?’
No, no but who cares what you were half a century back
Your past is really your past, you must hide the hunchback

Let us stop here, otherwise the TMS Editor may perhaps say
I know enough of your past— give me some news of your future
Who can speak of one’s future
Unless you are an angel or perhaps a Devil?


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 12 Jul 2021.

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