Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A poem on India

Independence Day

India of the reaching out
Reaching forth
Reaching in
Reaching up and down and……
Where my people have either too much or too little
O India

India of the bad roads
And wide, open spaces
Environmentally virgin and raped
Polluted, happy, sad, poor, rich
"Dvd, vcd, cd, id, icecream"
No other place has such sign boards
Full of poems
Where else but in India would I be able to understand
That clichés and mistakes and typos are also part of the attempt
And lead to interesting quirks in the
Writing of great poetry
O m' India

India of the "deathly hallows"
Where each minute someone dies
Dogs men women children the old
Born, each minute someone laughs
Someone cries
Nothing changes it's horrible
The tears of the world remain a constant
O Beckett.

India of the jostling
Terrorists and betrayers of the innocent in the attempt to catch terrorists
And the terrorizers and the terrified
That bans the minority's student group that turns violent but not the majority's student group that does so too

India of the varieties of all the insane and sane
Terrible things in the world
Where everyone is crucified except the rich
And they are empty
But don't care because money lines their empty hearts
Even Buddha wouldn’t forgive them but they couldn't care less

India where I can freely plagiarize
Dylan &
Piss on the road or shit
Break traffic rules and not get caught
Give money to beggars and drunkards
And be politically passive and correct
And politically incorrect and an activist all at the same time
India of the largesse
Divides & integers

India of her independence days
Where they should hoist flags in international schools like the one I teach in
But don't usually
And hoist them where they needn't, in regional schools like the ones I learned in
Where all is inside out
Upside down
And freedom advances steadily
Like an ever vanishing mirage
Of rainbow hues
Made by the splashes of petrol wasted on the roads
Reflecting the ozone-layer affected sun

Once I wanted to save India
Now I love it helplessly
And want to leave it
Though it will never leave me

Yeah, India of the metros
Of flies and crows, not mynahs
People endlessly queued up
And no Dalits anywhere in sight
Cowshit, dog patties, human excrement
Skyscrapers that mushroom cloud up everyday
Beyond the reach of the lousy common man
Who never existed
Middle class mayhem and in between suddenly occasionally patches of white and blue skies mocking the entire tapestry of crap
"Howl." India.

I remember there was another India in my past and in history
And a future one in my dreams
Things I won’t explicate on.
This is today.
I salute
Another independence day
Free of nothing. Free
of everything, especially
Free of saying it's all gone
Down the tube
When it's only in the pipeline & arriving faster than the speed of all light still.

1 comment:

elf_asura said...

This one is good. Need some tightening but even without that it has all the right ingredients and tastes good.