sabufrancis's blog

To my daughter, when I caught her without a smile

Where are you, my daughter?
I think of you every day
You used to snuggle in my arms
And you would want me to say:

Where are you my daughter?
And I will then feign
That I did not see you
In your own little hideaway

Where are you now, my daughter?
Sixteen years passed away
In the split of a second
Before the light of the day

Where are you, my daughter?
You'll be a woman any day!
Hope you'll be a flower
Not burdened with worldly weighs

Where are you my daughter?
Not lost in thoughts astray?
I know life is sometimes
around the edges; a bit gray

In sometime you'll also have a child
When today becomes yesterday
You will then realize
The importance of what I now say

Every sigh can be a smile;
And a far mile an inch away
Just be what you are
Woes'll settle their own way

Don't wish upon a star
Or hang on to a pray
You are what you are
And that is good enough to stay

You will then be my sweet daughter
You will light up the way
You will overcome all hurdles
And your humour wont fade away

-Sabu Francis, Aug 21 2008

Happy New Year!

From the seed came the tree
from the tree the leaf
around the leaf the flowers
within the flowers the seed
the seed turned into fruit
the fruit fell downwards
some; birds took skywards
depositing them inwards
and there they all took seed
and from there they grew
and thence into saplings
who grew into adolescence
like so many other brethren
and then they all grew
and then came the grove
and in the grove some bushes
and once again came the tree
this time; sturdier genes
the old insecurities all gone
out, out with the old fear
the old tree gathered rings
the young ran around in a ring
and brought in yet another year

When you know you are too much into computers ...

I knew I was too much into computers
when my clients; all they did was whine
and all I could think of was
cast perl before those swines

I knew the build may get broken in the make
when the wife stepped on a snake
"Eek", she yelped, "is it a python?"
I said (dryly) "Can't be. Thats a TV serial"

I cannot take this stuff no more, you see
Everytime I stop to have coffee
on a warm morning and have some fun
all I can think of is Java and Sun

I knew I was gone way beyond
when the artist in me doodled
"Go search for yourself; go on!"
And all I wanted to do was Google

And then in exasperation, the wife;
she said, "cant you think logically?"
so I immediately showed her "Life"
and wrote the Prolog code systematically

Once I am gone, my friends wont sigh
to find me me a nice orbituary
My tomb would say "C, here he lies"
Its what the punning computers gave me


Happy Diwali!

Here's wishing all of you a very happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.

Here is my poem for this year's Diwali

Come my way

a song I had written a long, long time ago...1981... but was too tongue tied to sing...And oh, how life has changed me. Now my daughters want me to sing all the time. I should post an MP3 one of these days

I'm lonely I'm tired
I need someone by my side
So come my way
We can make this day together

We can talk philosophy
We can find our points of view
Or we'll simply do nothing
and stay just feeling good

We can even let things work
out by themselves
And we may find; to our surprise,
That we are one

And even if we don't,
There is nothing to worry:
There are lots of people; even friends,
Who are not lovers

We are not here to play any game
I didn't ask you to be with me
with any aim

I was just lonely, I was tired
I needed someone by my side
So come my way
we can make this day together

Together we'll laugh
together we'll cry... aha..ha.ha


We can even get into arguments
and try 'n convince ourselves
That I am right or you are right
But not together

And even if we don't
There is nothing to worry
There are lots people; even friends
who seldom agree

We are not here to play any game
I didn't ask you to be with me
to fix any blame


I'm just lonely, I'm tired
I need someone by my side
So come my way
We can make this day together

On some mornings everything is upside down

(... or The Yoga Song)
A song in the blues genre. Here is the song. There are some minor variation in the lyrics because I forgot a few lines when I was recording the song.

I woke up one morning
dragged myself to the mirror
and saw to my surprise
in front of me a stranger

I ran out of the room
out to the sea shore
there; drowning in the sea
I saw a red ball of fire

I really couldnt know
where the reflection ended

I guess on some mornings
everything is upside down

so I walked back
thought about my past
and I had some time
to reflect on my future

before the reflection ended
I saw a man doing yoga
he had his head on the floor
and his feet to the sky

So I thought to myself
that is what I should be doing

cause on some mornings
everything is upside down

the wife said its all in your head
you are not what you are
though you think you are
what you think you are

now that didnt make any sense
'twas like something Bush said
but I kept my mouth shut
and reflected on it anyway

I hope the reflections will all fade
out there in the afternoon haze

cause on some mornings
everything looks upside down

To a fisherman's daughter, on her 11th birthday

a poem for my daughter when she turned into her second decade

It is early morning now
and I need to kiss you goodbye
I can see that you are sleeping so gently
as the ocean roars outside

I need to get into my boat before the dawn breaks
there is so much to tell you
your little palm holding me tells me to stay
as you turn into your second decade

I do smell of the fish I fish;
the thoughts that I have may not be enough
but all thoughts that are sincere
may still help you still your fear

I hope you will not listen to those
who point at the smell of fish from me
and see beyond into my thoughts I pose
and even beyond, to your inner self that you see

I wish that I can tell you all about you
but I am only a fisherman, not God
just as I cannot fathom the ocean blue
neither can I explain your thoughts

so I will tell you how I fish
and I hope you will learn your lessons yourself
because I believe each one is God for oneself
and only that God can tell the right from the wrong


I fish in my own boat
and each of my fellow fishermen too
we all fish alone; but in some sorts,
we fish together in this ocean blue

I push my boat into the waves
and that is the only way it can be
I can't wait for some magic hand
or I'll wait at the shore till eternity

the waves are there in the ocean blue
they have always been there; I have seen
I cannot tell the ocean to quieten
but I cannot also let them play with me

my little boat therefore cuts the waves
for only then I can go ahead
I need to cast my fishing net
and bide my time to pull in my lead

my little boat rocks with the waves;
all those happen naturally
even if some of those shakes
come from my fellow fishermen ally

for when we fisherfolk fish together
sometimes we are so lost in thought
that the wakes of our boats cross one another
and add to the waves, our own distraughts

if it is my boat's wake that caused the shake
in the other boat; I look into the other's eyes
and if I see anguish there
I reassure the other with a smile

for we are not here to place blames
for all the shakes that we create
it is the ocean that carries us
we can never carry the ocean

sometimes in life, a large wave
makes us gasp, gives us pain
but then that wave always passes
so dont place all further shakes to that wave

sometimes we glance at the other boat
and think we don't have enough
but all I need is my own boat afloat
what others have or not is naught

often as I sit alone in my boat
I think of taking on someone in
but with the rocking thats inevitable
it may be better to be without

I then sit and cast my net
and I then wait patiently
if I get some fish I can get some rest;
if I don't; I need to move quickly

I need to be always on the move
for the ocean is not still
and the fish that are within
are not waiting for my reach

I sit and do my work honestly
I also try to see the boats beside me
and I see if they need my help
and all that without a fee

that is how we all get our soulmate:
two boats that fish together
to bring the fish into our home
and to see your face light up

it does not matter what we fished
and how much fish we got
what is important that we did bring
whatever the net had caught

as I now walk to the ocean roar
I can see that one day you will grow
and you with your own little boat
I know one day you will row

I hope you will remember then
the lessons I tried to tell you now
you need not remember me then
what is needed is not "who" but "how"

I do need to go, you know
I still have so much to tell you my dearest
so I shall have to kiss you goodbye
before you row, you should have some rest

The Shortest Distance

Between the end points called birth and death
I got involved in the infinity called life
Some called it mathematics
Some called it tripe

Between the end points of mathematics
I tried to discover life
some said its possible
some said its all lies

Between the end points of a truth and a lie
I tried to discover what's plausible
Some said it is impossible
some said you can still try

At the Shore of a New Year

-Sabu Francis

my child and I stood at the edge of a pond
and marveled at the calm beyond
my child and I went to the sea shore
and saw restless waves going to and fro

my child stood in awe and felt haltered
by nature's different ways of handling waters
in his eyes I could see his confusion
and his mind was full of hesitations

so I told him:

some changes are not obvious my son
some obvious changes are actually constants
on the pond, a ripple would be disturbing
in the sea, any stillness should be frightening

so there are many answers you must seek
are you the pond ? or the sea?
and ask what defines a disturbance:
being a wave? or being acquiescent?

and when you are at the shore of a friendship
ask the same questions of the relationship:
is that person a pond? or the sea?
and what would disturb your sailing ship?

and once you know your answers;
to handle changes just remain well armed
for nature would know what do next;
and our souls will remain unharmed

though each of us may get disturbed
that is no real cause of concern
for a pond is always destined to be a pond
and we'll see a sea remaining a sea

for every change that does occur;
comes into our lives for a purpose
nature always has a use for any change
such is the way its meant to be

without ploughing the field
we cannot have our next crop
without action there can be no yield
as apathy can easily take us to rot

Hence even if there are ripples on the pond
or if there is fright from the sea
nature has a way to derive profit
even from the most mean turn of destiny

as you get older you would change physically
but what was once a pond wont become the sea
people around you may say you are disturbing
yet only that can bring true understanding

just keep asking these questions every year
and do things natural to you without fear
don't make the pond behave like the sea
or insist that the sea should be calm to see

you'll then move on from year to year happily
you'll then know how to age gracefully
don't waste time changing peoples' definitions
instead; expend effort changing perceptions

December 31, 2004

The Hopes of Diwali

-Sabu Francis

the little child sat waiting
among his friends' fireworks and lighting
for his father who was still working
hoping against hopes that on his returning
there will be something to his liking
so he could enjoy what his friends were doing

the mother noticed the hopes of her child
alas the hopes were unfounded, she silently sighed
for today her husband was deeply mired
in issues that just about lit the house fire
and maybe a little clay lamp or two outside

yet, she couldn't bear to see her child lose
the hopes that Diwali always lets loose
and the flutter of excitement that runs wild.
she thought: what good is all that if a noose
is tied around the hopes of even one child

she therefore led the child by the hand
and showed him the starry sky;
but all that he could see
were fireworks bursting in glee;
mocking at his little hopes and pride

The mother pointed out the stars to her son
and asked him, "do you know how they came to be?"
to which the son looked puzzled,
completely distracted and bedazzled;
thus he replied: "but aren't you noticing the fun?"

"The fireworks come and go my dearest," she said
"they all try to reach for the stars,
but eventually they all fall back dead.
However, the stars will always shine above us
to teach us that some things are always ahead"

"And which is?" the son asked curiously
"Every star was once an idea my son", said the mother
"an idea that was lit inside someone's head;
an idea that stayed its course unwaveringly
till it found its place up there, in our destiny"

"the best of fireworks is not the loudest,
neither is it the one that is the brightest.
it is that little pin-prick of an idea
that will always live along with a billion others
showering a little light on us for a million years"

"you too can have your fireworks, my son;
you too can have a lot of fun
don't get swayed by the showy or the vain
just make sure that your idea is relevant
only then it would stay its distance"

"make sure that the idea is well and truly lit
by your determination; a proper fuse
and fueled by your commitment; your muse
for without your zeal; the real fire behind
no idea can ever throw even the smallest light"

"your idea can never be worked on alone
for it needs to live among other stars
it is only the pompous fireworks
that try to out-do each other
only to come down and fall apart"

thus a mother's wisdom accomplished
what no pyrotechnics ever did
the boy soaked in the spectacle
and kept on thinking in wonderment
how the heaven and earth were all connected

later that night, when the father came home
he saw his fast growing son fast asleep
yet on that happy Diwali night;
behind that child's closed eyes
were a million ideas waiting to leap

Here's wishing you and your family a very happy Diwali and a happy 'n prosperous new year. Let each of us be the owner to the wealth of at least one idea that reach the stars

-Sabu Francis (Also known sometimes as Dr. Jessy Sabu, Annabelle Sabu, Audrey Sabu and Andrew Sabu)