Thursday, May 1, 2008


Nissim Ezekiel is (He lives in his works) a renowned Indo-Anglican poet. He taught Modern English Verse when I was a student in Bombay University way back in 1965. All verse is not poetry, just as all poetry need not be verse. There are writers like James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and many, who in their prose gave poetry.
Here is a poem by Nissim in Indian English:

I am standing for peace and non-violence.
Why world is fighting, fighting
Why all people of world
Are not following Mahatma Gandhi,
I am simply not understanding.
Ancient Indian wisdom is 100 per cent correct.
But modern generation is neglecting—
Too much going for fashion and foreign thing.
Other day I am reading in newspaper
(everyday I am reading Times of India
to improve my English language)
How one goonda fellow
Threw stone at Indirabein.
Must be student unrest fellow, I am thinking.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, I am saying
(to myself)
Lend me the ears,
Everything is coming—
Regeneration, Remuneration, Contraception.
Be patiently brothers and sisters.
You want one glass lassi?
Very good for digestion.
With little salt lovely drink,
Better than wine;
Not that I am ever tasting the wine.
I am the total teatotaller, completely total.
But I say
Wine is for the drunkards only.
What you think of prospects of world peace?
Pakistan behaving like this,
China behaving like that,
It is making me very sad, I am telling you.
Really most harassing me.
All men are brothers, no?
In India also
Gujaratis, Maharashtrians, Hindiwallahs
All brothers
Though some are having funny habits.
Still you tolerate me,
I tolerate you,
One day Ramarajya is surely coming.
You are going?
But you will visit again
Anytime, any day,
I am not believing in ceremony.
Always I am enjoying your company.

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