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The Promise of Shangri-La 

(By Satis Shroff, Freiburg-Kappel)


Ah, Shangri-la,

Land of mysterious rites,

Global telepathy,

A paradise on earth,

Behind the majestic Himalayas.


Where the wise monks live long,

Where dreams come true,

Where people are a simple folk,

With pure, innocent hearts.


A land where people have

Precious feelings,

Noble thoughts.

A must-see experience

For souls who seek themselves,

Who want to attain blitz nirvana,

Through travel, dialogue,

Meditation and mystic.


* * *

Horizon Found (Satis Shroff)


I made a discovery

The other day:

Shangri La

Was within me.


I spent a lifetime,

Searching for it,

Out in the West.


I crossed the Indian Ocean,

Leaving behind an ancient country,

Where kings did as they pleased.

The earliest dynasties in Catmandu Valley

Were the Gopalas, Mahisapolas and Kirats,

Who were succeeded

By Lichhavis and the Thakuri Mallas.


One day a dreaded king from Gorkha

Ravaged the fair vale of Catmandu,

When its people were celebrating

The Feast of Indra,

The God of the Firmament,

The personified atmosphere,

Bringing Nepal under his rule.

King Gyanendra the eleventh Shah king,

Was ousted by his own folk,

With the help of the growing Maoists.


I left my country to land

In an old Allemanic town,

That had been the subject

Of a dispute between

Austria and France.

A town under the Hapsburg,

Then Napoleon’s soldiers,

To end under Baden-Württemberg.

A twisting town with a stream,

Flowing along its cobbled alleys,

And a Gothic cathedral

Under the Black Forest.


In the holidays I went

To many different cities,

Saw museums and pompous palaces.

One such palace was the Schloss Neuschwanstein,

Built by the Bavarian Ludwig II.

A castle with breathtaking beauty,

A dream in marmor,

Akin to the dreams

Of a young man from the Himalayas.

Another dream came true,

When I entered the Palace of Glass in Versailles.


I learned about life,

Comparing the East and the West,

Only to realise

That the rituals and cycles of life,

Were the same,

Everywhere I went:

Humans nagged by anxieties,

Fear and angst,

Complexes, phobias,


Fear of losing jobs,

Husbands and spouses.

Houses built on mortgages,

With exorbitant interests,

Patchwork families galore. 



You are in me,

I am in you,

In the nature of our spirits,

Wearing a mantle of light,

A reassuring sunlight,

That brings hope and compassion.

Om shanti. Shanti.


* * *

Death Parade (Satis Shroff)


Love parade in Duisburg,

Street Parade in Zürich,

Panic among the masses,

A big party society.


On July 31,2010

Helvetia celebrated her birthday

With eighteen tons of fireworks,

Fired from two ships,

Across the sky over the Rhine,

With 100,000 visitors.


In Germany the people are shocked,

To learn that 20 young souls,

Out dancing ecstatically,


Were stamped to death,

By fellow ravers,

Who turned into a thoughtless mob,

Out to save their own lives

In panic.


A quarter million ravers were invited,

Half a million came.

Those who couldn’t find a place,

Didn’t go to the city of Duisburg.

Eleven young women,

Eight young men,

Out to rave,

Were carried

To the grave.


The authorities and organisers,

Washed their hands in innocence,

Blamed it on individual weakness

 And folley,

The tunnel was for 20,000,

We’ll budge no more.

 * * *


Your Happiness (Satis Shroff)


You scrutinise yourself

In front of the mirror,

Want to remain young and beautiful,

Clutch your share

Of love and happiness.

Deluding yourself,

Tai-chi or yoga would be preferable,

You have eyes

Only for younger night creatures

As you look ‘em up

In their nocturnal haunts.


Can’t get rid of

This nagging and gnawing cancer

Called anxiety.

Ah, anxiety

The cause of premature ageing.

Sleepless nights,



A younger partner and viagra,

Is the road to distress.

Your psyche,

Your looks might improve fleetingly.

The aerobics, facials,

Ginseng, anti-wrinkle creams,

The bio-diets won’t get you there.


Your platysma betrays your age,

The folds of blubber above fifty,

Under your belly too.

Pretence in front of the mirror,

With dimmed lights,

In front of others,

Proves you’re still vain.


Ah, younger blood,

Vampiric connotations,

Can’t give you the elixir of youth,

You crave for.

You’re only kidding yourself,

Spending a fortune

In the process.

There must be something,

When love is not offered grudgingly.

You desire,

Are desired.


Why watch Casablanca

Or the Bucket List?

You’re not dying,

Not a vegetable yet.

Go out and seek

Your happiness,

Your wellness,

Whatever you call it.

This world is an illusion,

A maya.

You’re the eternal seeker.


* * *


O, my Luve's like a red rose

That's newly sprung in June:

O, my Luve's like a melodie

That's sweetly play'd in tune

(Robert Burns)




The graveyard,

A repose for the dead.

For those who still live,

A place with memories,

Both good and bad.


If the grave is cared for,

It makes the dead unique,

As can be seen

By the flowers

Upon the grave.


‘Please don’t bring red carnations

To my grave,’ said a lady.

One likes it,

Others don’t.

Flowers do mean

A lot to others,

Symbolising years of happiness


‘My wife has long passed away,

I feel she loves the roses,

I lay on her gravestone,’ says a man.


The Hindus and the Romas

Covered their dead with petals.

The Romans even had a festival of roses.

After wars are fought,

A day is chosen,

To pay respect to the deceased.

In Germany it’s Allerheiligen,

Allerseelen and Totensonntag.

Memorial days with religious backgrounds,

Palm Sunday.


Evergreen plants

Symbolise eternal life.

The lily,

A sign of innocence and purity.

The pain felt by those left behind

Is shown by the marigold.

The poppy evokes a gentle demise,

Mimosa and the sunflowers,

Turn to the sun,

Signifying the soul,

That seeks the All-mighty.


A rose on a birthday

Brings joy to your Milady,

Or as a message between

The living and the departed.

The sunflower is her ,

The rose our love,

The daisy reminds you

Of journeys together

In the wilderness.


Flowers don’t need words,

They speak a mute, tender and resolute language.

Say it with flowers.



Allerheiligen: All Saint’s day

Allerseelen: All Soul’s Day

Totensonntag: Memorial Day

Palmsonntag: palm Sunday

Nelken: carnation

Ringelblumen: marigold

Mohn: poppy

                                                     Gänseblumchen: daisy

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