Treasure Island

Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

(October 22,1972 / Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India)

Give Me That Promotion, Sir!



How are you, sir?

I was just passing by,
thought I might as well drop in
and enquire about your health, sir.
How is your stomach, sir, I am sure
by now it should be perfectly alright, sir.

And how is madam, sir
such a marvellous, gracious lady
I always look upon her as my mother, sir
Whatever she tells me is a command for me
so kind-hearted and down to earth,
even my own mother could never
inspire me so much in life, sir.

And how is your son, sir.
Such a dashing, intelligent, fashionable young man,
of all people I know, I admire him the most, sir
always in know of things, always so inquisitive,
always looks so majestic when he drives
his superbike through the crowded streets, sir

Yes, and what superb control, sir
he can be a fantastic film star, sure
and of course, any day he can become
a scientist, a doctor, a great entrepreneur, sir -
it is all your teaching, your grooming, your sacrifice, sir
and of course, it is all in the genes,
anybody cannot be like him just like that, sir.

I just came to know Little Sir had a cold, sir
I immediately prayed to God, how unfair it is
such small things like cold, fever, headaches
You give to me, Lord, instead
why should such things happen
to an important person like Little Sir, sir.

And how is the dog, sir, I mean Jimmy, sir
I even remember his name, sir
what a fine dog, sir, a superb dog
If you ever wanted to have a dog
then it has to be like him, like Jimmy only
I see you every morning, going for a walk
with Jimmy following, wagging his nice little tail
what a tail, sir, what a beautiful flourishing tail -

Such a lively, faithful and fantastic dog, sir
never barks or growls, never does anything at all
to anybody, always looks upon you so obediently
with such cheerful expressive transparent black eyes
You have perfect choice in everything, sir
That is my ideal sir – faithful and always cheerful
always ready to give your life for your Master -
That is my ambition sir, I even envy Jimmy, sir
always privileged to walk along side
such a great personage like you, sir
If I am born again, I should
Iove to be born as Jimmy, sir.

What else, sir. I was just passing by,
thought I might as well drop in
and enquire about your wellbeing, sir.
Did I forget to tell you something sir?
No sir, yes sir. You know everything sir.
May I now take your leave, sir
You must be very very busy sir
If there is anything worth doing by me
Kindly tell me, simply send a message to me, sir.
OK, sir, thank you sir.
We’ll meet again, sir
And God be always with you, sir.


*******


Notes: -

(1) Substitute 'promotion' with any of the following words - Foreign Tours, Hometown Posting, Best Employee Award, Out-of-turn Flat Allotment, Departmental Shields, Frequent HR Training etc - and see whether the meaning of the poem changes at all! !

(2) Jimmy can belong to anybody - your batchmate, flatmate, soulmate, mindmate, bodymate, friend, neighbour, colleague....anybody. Jimmy can be anybody.

Submitted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Poem is dedicated to the memory of the incomparable Shri A. K. Bera, PCGM, RBI.

Comments about this poem (Give Me That Promotion, Sir! by Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan )

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  • Melikhaya Zagagana (3/1/2014 7:53:00 AM)

    Schematic organizing with a high nose of an eagle setting its eyes high in the sky, beautifully sorted and intellectually informed Thanks i like it! (Report) Reply

  • Wahab Abdul (10/30/2013 2:54:00 PM)

    You contestant people are so serious about the poetry contest conducted by poemhunter for 2013 that I see people made phone calls and send unsolicited spasm to each other and I am not left alone , but I had never asked any to vote for my poem ‘’unique ‘’ one, let alone to receive or make phone calls and I wonder how many people understood uniqueness of my poem ‘unique’ and its intrinsic and duality in meaning …simply every one went for the author for ‘’I ‘’ but this insinuates for the universe also , the poems which won prizes some are direct copy from the poems of Rabindranath Tagore (1913 Nobel prize winner) and other two are descriptive poetry without deeper meaning or have any significance or insinuations. (Report) Reply

  • Rekha Mandagere (10/26/2013 1:00:00 PM)

    such funny characters are esteemed as high in our social order. It is really painful and ridiculous.There is so much irony which one can feel passing through your lines. It is a paintaking effort I know. (Report) Reply

  • Shiv Shanker Tiwari (10/25/2013 12:02:00 AM)

    It is not just poem. It is a mirror for the present System. Present scinerion experience is well & excellently nitted by the Writer. He is an Asset to all of us. Thanks for giving me a previledge to my mere humble comment. (Report) Reply

  • Sulochana Satheesh (10/24/2013 11:10:00 AM)

    Lovely and well crafted poem. This poem is an innovative representation of Superior-Subordinate relations in all offices. Also reminded me of the flattery Julius Caesar is subjected to in Shakespeare's famous novel of the same name. Congratulations (Report) Reply

  • H Prasad (10/24/2013 12:30:00 AM)

    The poem is indeed excellent. Though critics might comment about repetitive usage of 'Sir', believe me, that word alone has made the poem very interesting. Congratulations and Best of Luck. (Report) Reply

  • Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan (10/23/2013 10:05:00 PM)

    This is an experimental poem, quite different from my other poems. Of course, the theme is Sycophancy! ! The lines/stanzas of the poem embody a combination of the following: - (1) Actual dialogue between the narrator and his/her sir (2) the internal monologue of the narrator in the poem, and (3) the thoughts/comments of the independent observer/reader. This may appear surprising to many, but almost the entire dialogue/monologue I have actually heard in real life - in different contexts of course. I have personally seen Jimmys tail being praised in more flowery language than as modestly described in the poem.

    Of course, the poem is too long, almost verging on tedium. The repetition of sirs is almost jarring. The dialogue often appears extremely irrational. But that is exactly what the poem tries to convey: - the long-winded, irrational, repetitive, jarring and boring supplications of a sycophant - which everybody can easily see through BUT which everybody ultimately falls prey to. The sycophant very well knows that. He knows that people do not really like him for his pestering, but he also knows that ultimately his heart's desire will get fulfilled..... | (Report) Reply

  • Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan (10/23/2013 9:42:00 PM)

    I thank all the readers who have submitted their thoughtful comments below. Special thanks to Ravindran Nair for his deep, incisive analysis. I wrote the poem in about 40 minutes in a single go, with very little editing thereafter. I wanted to confine the poem to 40 lines, but my friends who read it, suggested that I keep the poem as it is, and not to bother about the contest. However, in future editions, the poem will be revised and pruned on the valuable feedback received from all readers! ! I request all readers to vote/rate it exactly on its merit. (Report) Reply

  • Ravindran Nayar (10/23/2013 2:56:00 PM)

    I would have liked the poem had it been halved in size. Also, in its 64 lines there are as many as 43 'sir's. Even for a self-seeking sycophant, this is a little too much and a trifle jarring. The poet could well have forcefully conveyed the message through subtle references to some, or all, members of the superior officer's family, as also the dog, instead of going to such detail as rendered..As for Jimmy, I think the narrators's references are stretched too far, to the point of tedium. Perhaps with a further revision, or two, this could have been made a very good poem.

    Best Wishes,

    Ravindran Nayar (Report) Reply

  • Mike Barrett (10/21/2013 10:54:00 AM)

    Hi Tapan, I find the poem interesting in as much as the input required to massage the ego there in your culture is much different that that experienced here in in the west (Canada): not that flattery doesn't exist here, but it's less employed. Poetry to me is a unique literary form of expression. Great poetry writes itself, the job of the poet is simply to channel the words as they are received... thus beauty is expressed in words; beauty which goose-bumps Soul. The English romantics - Keats, Shelly, Byron; Wordsworth are my favorites closely followed by Longfellow, Thoreau, Whitman, and Frost. The less the head, the more the heart, the more surrendered the channel, the better the poet. Cheers! (Report) Reply

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