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Shankar

What’s in a name?
A name for a god
A name for a national treasure, prodigy
And his daughters, musical progeny
A name for a president
A singer, a composer, a painter, a poet
An actor, a director, a singer-songwriter
A name for the times
A good name for an elephant
That’s how it well fits
But an Indian Elephant bears it best
Not Shankar, out of Africa!
Can never go back
Gods are different over there
India’s Shankar is a sorry god
His godhead has lost the plot
It happens when a social creature
Lives a solitary life, no interactions
None of his kind, loses his mind
In essence he’s a prisoner
His name no longer fits
Fame has faded, his trumpet silenced
Nothing to do but rock all day, self-soothing
To get through another mindless, meaningless day
 
What’s in a name?
Music and culture
Talent, art, creativity
Can that get him out?
Ravi Shankar famously played the sitar
Spotlighted the musical heritage
An Ambassador of India’s sound
Shankar could trumpet, if happy
Play a duet, a pachyderm Dizzy
Two giants, one of art and culture
One far away from home
Thick-skinned, but that doesn’t help
Bearer of tusks, bearer of a burden
Solitary confinement not for a crime
Doing time undiplomatically abandoned
Should seek diplomatic immunity
Sanctuary inside a wide open embassy
Free reign in his own free range
 
What’s in a name?
Religion and State
National pride, world stage
Can that get him out?
A gift to India, side-shelved – locked away
Outliving the kudos and the purpose
A thing forgotten, no small thing
No thing, a being – housed in deprivation
On show, but for those in the know
Clearly he isn’t living, not redounding
To this nations glory, not a good sign
Not good optics on political will
But giving Shankar a life in sanctuary
Definitely would be, kindness and honour
Good faith restored
 
Musical children of India
What can you sing?
What can you play?
To make them hear and see
To save Shankar’s day
Guide him into his Sanctuary
Where he can live out his name
Overlord of a peaceful domain
Sharing with namesakes his fame
 
Politicians of India, people of fame
Anyone who would honour this name
Bearers of it, reverers of it
What can you do?
What can you say?
To clear the way to save the day
Send a pachyderm packing
To where he should be
Sanctified in sanctuary
 
Namesakes – speak out, speak up
Sing, play, film – ply your trade
Kindly Mahout your giant talents, create
Paint a picture, make a film
Put on a show, and tell
Shankar’s story – with a happy ending
Sing his praises, make him free
Restore his station
Honour your name
Do a great thing for this creature

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