Venkateswaran Krishnan Sreenivasan

(JULY 14,1935 / ERNAKULAM, KERALA, INDIA)

Awards and Rewards


Awards and rewards tend to corrupt and tempt
Ambitious mortals; they deserve contempt
For transgressing our scripture’s core precept
Of selfless concept of work, hard to accept

Honors and awards are now so commonplace
That every Tom, Dick and Harry is in the race
For fame and fortune; and every wag
Who wags his tongue before the donor gets a tag.

Every field of human endeavor touts a prize;
Its glamour and fame valued by its price;
Politics, cinema and cricket bag the fattest purse
Teachers, writers and artists, their choice do curse

Awards in our land now are a dime a dozen
But they do not drop free as rain from heaven
They are oft endowed with pleasure and grace
Of our political masters you serve and praise

Awards and rewards are reminiscent
Of our royal courts and sycophancy
Anachronistic of our democracy
A phantom of pride that is evanescent

Awards are conferred for fame by fakes
“It blesseth him that gives and him that takes”
It is vanity, not sanity or humanity
That makes these petty awards an oddity

The money that comes with the package gift
Is readily spent like quicksand swift
The hunt then begins for bigger awards
Eluding peace for these diehards

Your bags are full at the journey’s end
But your mind is blank and you find no friend
Or kin at hand to share your fare
Tarry! Empty and enter! Cries a voice in the air

Submitted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Edited: Monday, November 18, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A satire borne of my experience as a doctor for half a century

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