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Mainstream, VOL LVII No 12 New Delhi March 9, 2019

Seminar on Madness

Monday 11 March 2019, by Badri Raina


Madness is a topic much discussed
From ancient times to ours;
Now a crime, now disease,
Now an affliction of lovers.

Sane men keep safe distance
From unaccounted laughter,
Wishing to know what it is
That the laughter may be after.

Madness mocks the day’s routine,
Upsetting useful work;
Often just under a civil skin,
Waiting to go berserk.

So when just one goes mad the family
Attempts a private cure;
But when there are more the state appoints
Professional counsellor.

But when madness pricks the counsellors
Of nations near and far,
The only sane thing left to do
Is to go to an all-out war.

War lets out the maddened blood
And restores sanities
Which in time promise further wars
Putting madness on lease.

Badri Raina

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