Friday 25 September 2015

India in Virginia Woolf's Lighthouse

How is India represented in ‘To The Lighthouse’?

India is referred 6 times in the novel. (The blog is a draft. . .  will be updated soon with detailed interpretation of the representation of India in the novel)

Here are the lines and the context in which they are mentioned:

Apart from the habit of exaggeration which they had from her, and from the implication (which was true) that she asked too many people to stay, and had to lodge some in the town, she could not bear incivility to her guests, to young men in particular, who were poor as church mice, “exceptionally able,” her husband said, his great admirers, and come there for a holiday. Indeed, she had the whole of the other sex under her protection; for reasons she could not explain, for their chivalry and valour, for the fact that they negotiated treaties, ruled India, controlled finance; finally for an attitude towards herself which no woman could fail to feel or to find agreeable, something trustful, childlike, reverential; which an old woman could take from a young man without loss of dignity, and woe betide the girl—pray Heaven it was none of her daughters!—who did not feel the worth of it, and all that it implied, to the marrow of her bones!
Reference: India is ruled by the men-folk.

2) She was now formidable to behold, and it was only in silence, looking up from their plates, after she had spoken so severely about Charles Tansley, that her daughters, Prue, Nancy, Rose—could sport with infidel ideas which they had brewed for themselves of a life different from hers; in Paris, perhaps; a wilder life; not always taking care of some man or other; for there was in all their minds a mute questioning of deference and chivalry, of the Bank of England and the Indian Empire, of ringed fingers and lace, though to them all there was something in this of the essence of beauty, which called out the manliness in their girlish hearts, and made them, as they sat at table beneath their mother’s eyes, honour her strange severity, her extreme courtesy, like a queen’s raising from the mud to wash a beggar’s dirty foot, when she admonished them so very severely about that wretched atheist who had chased them—or, speaking accurately, been invited to stay with them—in the Isle of Skye.
Reference: India is exotic place where lies great romance, adventure and happiness

3) Holding her black parasol very erect, and moving with an indescribable air of expectation, as if she were going to meet some one round the corner, she told the story; an affair at Oxford with some girl; an early marriage; poverty; going to India; translating a little poetry “very beautifully, I believe,” being willing to teach the boys Persian or Hindustanee, but what really was the use of that?—and then lying, as they saw him, on the lawn.

Reference: Augustus Carmichael’s going to India is considered as some sort of achievement.

4) There were all the places she had not seen; the Indian plains; she felt herself pushing aside the thick leather curtain of a church in Rome
Reference: India is referred as place of desire. . . a desire to visit.

5) They had all the trays of her jewel-case open. The gold necklace, which was Italian, or the opal necklace, which Uncle James had brought her from India; or should she wear her amethysts?

Reference: Made in India jewelry is a thing to be possessed – owned with pride

6) The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flash of tattered flags kindling in the gloom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands.

Reference: Some land which is far away – unknown land, the exotic land.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Just Poems



(Bertolt Brecht)

Justice is the bread of the people
Sometimes is plentiful, sometimes it is scarce
Sometimes it tastes good, sometimes it tastes bad.
When the bread is scarce, there is hunger.
When the bread is bad, there is discontent.
Throw away the bad justice
Baked without love, kneaded without knowledge!
Justice without flavour, with a grey crust
The stale justice which comes too late!
If the bread is good and plentiful
The rest of the meal can be excused.
One cannot have plenty of everything all at once.
Nourished by the bread of justice
The work can be achieved
From which plenty comes.
As daily bread is necessary
So is daily justice.
It is even necessary several times a day.
From morning till night, at work, enjoying oneself.
At work which is an enjoyment.
In hard times and in happy times
The people requires the plentiful, wholesome
Daily bread of justice.
Since the bread of justice, then, is so important
Who, friends, shall bake it?
Who bakes the other bread?
Like the other bread
The bread of justice must be baked
By the people.
Plentiful, wholesome, daily.

2. How to Tame a New Pair of Chappals

(A Poem by Gopal Honnalgere)
don't leave them together
don't allow them to talk to each other
they may form a trade union
don't at anytime leave them near
a wall clock, law books, a calendar, the national flag,
gandhi's portrait, or a newspaper
they may hear about
independence, satyagraha,
hodidays, working hours, minimum wages, corruption
don't take them to your temple
they may at once know you are weak
your god is false and they may bite you
don't let them near your dining table
they may ask for food
or cast their evil eyes on your dinner
first use them only for short walks
then gradually increase the distance
they should never know the amount of work they have to do
pull their tight straps loose
let them feel happiness
they are growing bigger
smear some old oil on the rough straps
let them feel they are anointed
now they are good subdued labourers
ready to work overtime
for your fat feet
[Honnalgere (1942-2003) published at least six books. They include Zen Tree and the Wild Innocents (1973), Gesture of Fleshless SOund (1975), Wad of Poems (1975), The Filth (1980), and Internodes (1986). Now mostly forgotten, he was an enigmatic figure who corresponded with some of the majot poets of the time. (from 60 Indian Poets, ed. Jeet Thayil, 2008)]

3. One-eyed (A Poem by Meena Kandasamy)

the pot sees just another noisy child
the glass sees an eager and clumsy hand
the water sees a parched throat slaking thirst
but the teacher sees a girl breaking the rule
the doctors sees a medical emergency
the school sees a potential embarrassment
the press sees a headline and a photofeature
dhanam sees a world torn in half.
her left eye, lid open but light slapped away,
the price for a taste of that touchable water.

4. The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.
When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.
When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.
By Wislawa SzymborskaTranslated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh


Once upon a time
A boy and girl were
Forced to leave their home
By armed robbers.
The boy was Independence
The girl was Freedom.
While fighting back, they got married.
After the big war they went back home.
Everybody prepared for the wedding.
Drinks and food abounded,
Even the disabled felt able.
The whole village gathered waiting,
Freedom and Independence
Were more popular than Jesus.
Independence came
But Freedom was not there.
An old woman saw Freedom’s shadow passing
Through the crowd, leaving by the gate.
All the same, they celebrated Independence.
Independence is now a senior bachelor.
Some people still talk about him,
Others take no notice.
A lot still say it was a fake marriage.
You can’t be a husband without a wife.
Fruitless and barren, Independence staggers to old age.
Leaving her shadow behind,
Freedom has never returned.
© 2009, Freedom T.V. Nyamubaya

6. I ’M nobody! Who are you
By Emily Dickinson

I ’M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

7. Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow

Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow
A big tear wandering in the eye
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ, From those who have killed Christ?
Who will save man?
(Nizar Qabbani: “Jerusalem! My Love,My Town:)

9. सदियों पुराना 

तुम्हारे भीतर है
सदियों पुराना 
एक खूसट बूढ़ा
जो लाठियां ठकठकाते
अभी भी अपनी मुंछों को
तेल पिलाते रहता है
आखिर तुम कैसे
उसकी झुर्रियों के जाल से
बाहर आ पाओगी

तुम्हारे भीतर है
हमारी छटपटाती
भूखी इच्छाएं
खूनी वासनाएं

इन सबके बीच
आखिर कब तक
रह पाओगी
तुम वह मीठा झरना
जिसमें तैरती हैं
किनारे पर जिसके
पड़ी होती हैं सीपियां

तुम्हारे भीतर है
सदियों पुराना 
एक खूसट बूढ़ा
जो लाठियां ठकठकाते
अभी भी अपनी मुंछों को
तेल पिलाते रहता है
आखिर तुम कैसे
उसकी झुर्रियों के जाल से
बाहर आ पाओगी

तुम्हें बंद करने होंगे
वे सारे दरवाजे
जो खोल रखे हैं
उस खूसट बूढ़े ने
आखिर कोई कैसे
सदियों तक अपनी जमीन
बंधक रहने दे सकता है

 10. केदार नाथ सिंह की कविता- विद्रोह

आज घर में घुसा
तो वहां अजब दृश्य था
सुनिये- मेरे बिस्तर ने कहा-
यह रहा मेरा इस्तीफ़ा
मैं अपने कपास के भीतर
वापस जाना चाहता हूं

उधर कुर्सी और मेज़ का
एक संयुक्त मोर्चा था
दोनों तड़पकर बोले-
जी- अब बहुत हो चुका
आपको सहते-सहते
हमें बेतरह याद आ रहे हैं
हमारे पेड़
और उनके भीतर का वह
ज़िंदा द्रव
जिसकी हत्या कर दी है

उधर आलमारी में बंद
किताबें चिल्ला रही थीं
खोल दो-हमें खोल दो
हम जाना चाहती हैं अपने
बांस के जंगल
और मिलना चाहती हैं
अपने बिच्छुओं के डंक
और सांपों के चुंबन से

पर सबसे अधिक नाराज़ थी
वह शॉल
जिसे अभी कुछ दिन पहले कुल्लू से ख़रीद लाया था
बोली- साहब!
आप तो बड़े साहब निकले
मेरा दुम्बा भेड़ा मुझे कब से
पुकार रहा है
और आप हैं कि अपनी देह
की क़ैद में
लपेटे हुए हैं मुझे

उधर टी.वी. और फोन का
बुरा हाल था
ज़ोर-ज़ोर से कुछ कह रहे थे
पर उनकी भाषा
मेरी समझ से परे थी
कि तभी
नल से टपकता पानी तड़पा-
अब तो हद हो गई साहब!
अगर सुन सकें तो सुन
इन बूंदों की आवाज़-
कि अब हम
यानी आपके सारे के सारे
आदमी की जेल से
मुक्त होना चाहते हैं

अब जा कहां रहे हैं-
मेरा दरवाज़ा कड़का
जब मैं बाहर निकल रहा था.

(तहलका हिन्दी के संस्कृति विशेषांक अंक मे प्रकाशित। कविता संग्रह सृष्टि पर पहराराजकमल प्रकाशन से शीघ्र प्रकाश्य)

Bidesia Rang के सौजन्य से

11. पहला मारने से पहले
अंतिम इच्छा जरूर पूछता है
क्योंकि वह 
एक संविधान से बंधा है
पहले जात पूछता है
धर्म पूछता है
फिर मारता है
क्योंकि वह 
एक महान संस्कृति का अनुयायी है
कुछ भी नहीं पूछता
बस मार डालता है
क्योंकि वह
जाति, धर्म, संविधान कुछ भी नहीं मानता
और जब हम 
इन तीनों के हमले का प्रतिकार करते हैं
राष्ट्र की आंतरिक सुरक्षा के लिए
खतरा बन जाते हैं

12. Clothes:कपड़े

तुम लाए कपड़े
और सब नंगे हो गए
तुमने कहा
पहन कर इसे हम सभी
सभ्य सुसंस्कृत हो जाएंगे
सब बर्बर हो गए
फिर तुमने कहा
अच्छा ऐसे नहीं ऐसे पहनो
इतना नहीं इतना पहनो
ऐसा पहनो वैसा पहनो
पर हमारे हिसाब से पहनो
जिसे आसानी से उतारा जा सके
चाहे घर हो संसद हो या हो सड़क
कपड़े से तुम कितना खेलते हो
बंद कमरे में नंगा होओगे खुद
और स्त्री को कर दोगे नंगा
कहोगे यह नंगापन नहीं प्रेम है
फिर तुम्हीं मर्यादा संस्कृति की रक्षा में
किसी स्त्री को कर दोगे खाप में नंगा
कहोगे उसका परिवार था ही इस लायक
तुमने यह भी कहा
कपड़े से कुछ नहीं छुपता
इंसान विचारों से होता है नंगा

इस तरह तुम
सामंती लैंगिक क्रूरता से
छुपाते रहे नंगापन
औद्योगिक घरानों की सांठगांठ से
जो मेहनत की रक्त में
कपड़े बुन रहे थे
तुम करते हो भेद कपड़े से
कौन कितना कमाता है
किसकी हैसियत कितनी है
वह विकसित है कि अविकसित है
कपड़े में लिपटा व्यक्ति इंसान नहीं
अमीर है या गरीब है
वह नर है कि मादा है
उसकी जाति क्या है
उसका धर्म क्या है
कौन करेगा यह कनफेशन
कि जब तक तुम्हारे कपड़े नहीं आए थे
कोई नंगा नहीं था

~ vikas rai (not sure) from FB page Artist Against All Odd (AAAO)

13. Bonsai Tree

A Work of Artifice

The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.

But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.

Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
‘It is your nature
to be small and cozy,

domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in’.

With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.

Marge Piercy

14. Brother like Raavan

मुझे रावण जैसा भाई चाहिए !

गर्भवती माँ ने बेटी से पूछा
क्या चाहिए तुझे? बहन या भाई
बेटी बोली भाई
माँ - किसके जैसा? बेटी ने गर्व से
रावण सा, माँ ने जवाब दिया
क्या बकती है? पिता ने धमकाया

माँ ने घूरा, गाली देती है

बेटी बोली, क्यूँ माँ?
बहन के अपमान पर राज्य
वंश और प्राण लुटा देने वाला
शत्रु स्त्री को हरने के बाद भी
स्पर्श  करने वाला
रावण जैसा भाई ही तो
हर लड़की को चाहिए आज
छाया जैसी साथ निभाने वाली
गर्भवती निर्दोष पत्नी को त्यागने वाले
मर्यादा पुरषोत्तम सा भाई
लेकर क्या करुँगी मैं?

और माँ
अग्नि परीक्षा चौदह बरस वनवास और
अपहरण से लांछित बहु की क़तर आहें
तुम कब तक सुनोगी और
कब तक राम को ही जन्मोगी

माँ सिसक रही थी - पिता आवाक था


Shintsie Kumar



Javed Akhtar reciting a few of his poems:

15) Naya Hukmanama - New Ordinance


16) Yeh Khel Kya Hai! (A poem on the game of Chess)


17. Saba Naqvi performs 'Meri Saree'

18. Unerase Poetry: Mere Kavi Dost

19. The Patriot - Nissim Ezekiel

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% correct,
I should say even 200% correct,
But modern generation is neglecting -
Too much going for fashion and foreign thing.
Other day I'm reading newspaper
(Every day I'm reading Times of India
To improve my English Language)
How one goonda fellow
Threw stone at Indirabehn.
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'm the total teetotaller, 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 really 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 Ram Rajya is surely coming.
You are going?
But you will visit again
Any time, any day,
I am not believing in ceremony
Always I am enjoying your company

20. Gujarati Poems by Harshdev Madhv

21. Gujarati Poems by Harshdev Madhv

22. Poonjivaad - Capitalism - by Prachi

23. Banaras Diary - 17 - Harish Minashru

24. Shab-vahini Ganga - Parul Khakhkhar

If this link is not functional, click here to read archived page.

25. Khalasi - Saumya Joshi

26. Partition - W. H. Auden

27. Musée des Beaux Arts (Museums of Fine Arts) - W.H. Auden

28. Operation Equality - Nirav Patel

29. Ram | some unseen aspects of lord Rama! | Abhi Munde | Psycho Shayar