Posted by: adithoughts | April 20, 2011

Open Sails

The poem is about what empathy means to me, and is dedicated to the CPD department.

I burnt out last term, and the poem is about the loss of empathy I experienced during that period. 20% of medical students in their first-year, 40% of students by their third year, 68% of residents, and 50-60% of doctors in some specialities are burnt out.

OPEN SAILS.. by Aditya Chhikara

When I was young,
the currents changed,
every 2 years
as I moved to different waters.

The changing currents
were made up of people
of different colours, brown, black and white,
but also blue, red, green and purple
different in their tongues and food
different in whether they saw the world from a street corner or castle.

Amid these changing currents,
I found that all of these people
had one thing in common
they felt the same as I did.
I used these feelings
as the wind in my sails
to navigate the changing currents.

Sometime ago, I was caught in a storm
the currents were rough
I was tired and far from harbour
and the only winds I felt
were the despair a son feels seeing his Mom slowly waste away,
the helplessness of a family seeing one of their own slowly drift away,
the panic of drowning friends sinking each other to save themselves
mirages when what I needed was a lighthouse to a harbour.

Unable to navigate,
angry and scared,
I closed my sails,
shut myself off,
I hit back at the winds,
an eye for an eye,
blinded,
I tossed and turned,
drifting aimlessly.

But this is not a story of despair,
one day, sensing a favourable wind,
I got the courage
to open up my sails,
and caught winds
both harsh and kind,
as I learned slowly,
how to navigate them again,
now amid currents and winds,
and love I recognized again.

As I get older,
find myself farther from harbour,
see more violent winds,
I find it harder,
harder to trust,
the winds enough,
to open my sails.

So I wrote this poem,
to remind myself,
that there is only one way to navigate,
to new harbours,
and that is with open sails.

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Responses

  1. Adi,
    This poem is amazing. I qualify with the details in this poem. It is quite inspiring to continue with our journey no matter how tough the waters or find alternate routes. Sometimes persistence does help when navigating towards a goal already in mind. I know I am in tough waters, wind is not in my favor, and sails are full of slits in them. But, I have a needle and string to sow up those sails and the determination to make some wooden oars if need arise. Final destination: peace, happiness, and stable life – where-ever that is.

    Sachin.

  2. “and the only winds I felt
    were the despair a son feels seeing his Mom slowly waste away,
    the helplessness of a family seeing one of their own slowly drift away,
    the panic of drowning friends sinking each other to save themselves
    mirages when what I needed was a lighthouse to a harbour.”

    (((bear hug))), chin up!, and may you always have your anchor when you need it.

  3. Adi,
    what courage and what a wonderful spirit you have, Beta.
    I completely relate to being so far away from my harbors for the first few years of coming here. When i came here I knew no one and didn’t even have a friendly phone number in my pocket. Many blessings and balmy winds for your journey.Love,
    Punam Bua

  4. Your best!
    I loved it 🙂

    Proud of you Doctor-Schientist bhaiya :-*

    ‘sis.

    (P.s. – Now a poem on me, maybe? :))

  5. Awesome! Loved it!

  6. beautiful

    • Thanks Kaif!


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