Thursday 22 October 2015

Rubric for Evaluation of Written Assignment

Online Rubric for Written Assignment

Such evaluation in abstraction (at the mercy of the will of teacher)  does not help students. It must be concretized in definable terms 

Time and again, friends and fellow teachers have inquired about the way to evaluate Written Assignment. Whether it is ongoing Assessment  or final Evaluation, both require criteria, measures and it should be evidence driven. Moreover, the abstract marking or grading of student's performance should be defined in concrete terms. Some definable criteria should be set which can be used as measures and which can be supported with evidence. Here is an example which can be of some help to all those who are concerned with assessment and evaluation of Written Assignment.

We have used Google Forms for online rubric. If you are interested and want to customize it  as per your requirements, I can make you owner of the Google Form and you can use it as per your convenience. You can contact me by putting your message on the contact form given on right hand side panel of this blog. Please give your Gmail email id to become owner of the Google Form.
This 'Online Rubric is used at Dept. of English, Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar (Gujarat - India) for:

  • Peer Evaluation (Student's Written Assignment evaluated by student)
  • Teacher Evaluation (Teacher's evaluation of student's Written Assignment)
  • Self-evaluation (Student evaluates her/himself)
(If the form do not open within a few seconds, click here to open online evaluation form)

If you are preparing rubric in Google Classroom, click here for help

This online rubric to evaluate Written Assignment is prepared with the help of evaluation criteria used by An American University of Rome (

Rubric for Evaluation of Oral Presentation

Online Rubric for Oral Presentation

Students making Oral Presentations

Time and again, friends and fellow teachers have inquired about the way to evaluate Oral presentations. Whether it is ongoing Assessment  or final Evaluation, both require criteria, measures and it should be evidence driven. Moreover, the abstract marking or grading of student's performance should be defined in concrete terms. Some definable criteria should be set which can be used as measures and which can be supported with evidence. Here is an example which can be of some help to all those who are concerned with assessment and evaluation of Oral Presentations.

We have used Google Forms for online rubric. If you are interested and want to customize it  as per your requirements, i can make you owner of the Google Form and you can use it as per your convenience. You can contact me by putting your message on the contact form given on right hand side panel of this blog. Please give your Gmail email id to become owner of the Google Form.
This 'Online Rubric is used at Dept. of English, Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar (Gujarat - India) for:

  • Peer Evaluation (Student's oral presentation evaluated by student)
  • Teacher Evaluation (Teacher's evaluation of student's oral presentation)
  • Self-evaluation (Student evaluates her/himself)

For peer evaluation of sem 1 students, click here

For peer evaluation of sem 2 students, click here

For peer evaluation of sem 3 students, click here

For peer evaluation of sem 4 students, click here

This rubric for the evaluation of Oral Presentation is based on the one prepared by National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

We have taken help of ReadWriteThink, NCTE from this website to prepare this rubric. © ILA/NCTE

Saturday 17 October 2015

Life Skills from a Struggler - Shahrukh Khan

Bollywood superstar just got his second honorary doctorate from a University. He wrote on Facebook: “I am a Doctor all over again…yay!! Her Royal Highness & Prof. Jeffery & Smith & all your colleagues, thank you for the Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa.”
He also delivered a lecture to students at the University of Edinburgh, UK. The university’s official website: “The university is to host a visit by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday, 15 October. The actor, one of Bollywood’s most popular stars, will give a public lecture at the University’s New College.” SRK also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Bedfordshire.

Source of images:

Friday 16 October 2015

Postcards in the Digital Age

It's the 'Experience' to write a Postcard 

Prof. Mahendrasinh Parmar's experimental short story on disappearing Postcard inspired me to rethink about the Postcard. The story is titled as 'Postcard jetli (j) Varta?' It is in Gujarati language. If i have translate the title, it would be something like: 'Story, just as Postcard?'. I do not know if it captures the nuance of the short story.

Cover Page of the Short Story
We used to write letters and postcards before emails and SMS / Text messages / Social Media platforms / WhatsApp etc changed our habits of communication. Now-a-days, it is not an easy task to communicate with people through postcards. I would have not thought of writing this blog or writing postcard or even thinking so deeply(or shallow?) after reading the short story, but an amazing thing happened the next day of reading and having interaction with Prof. Parmar about the postcard.

And that is . . . i received a Postcard from a former student Ketan Bhikadiya. Paulo Coelho has rightly said in The Alchemist“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” 

I thought let me reply him through postcard.

I asked peon to get me some postcards. He was surprised. I showed him the cover-page of the short story and told him to get this kind of cards in bright yellowish colour from post office. Yes, he wont be able to get postcards from any other place. Is it available anywhere else? I tried to Google it but was not able to get the destination. See, even Google do not know from where to get the postcards! ;) 

Yes, some designer postcards are available but we have to fix 50 paise post-stamp on it before posting it. By posting, i mean dropping it in the red box.

I wrote a postcard!
on 16th October, 2015. After almost 15 years, i wrote a postcard.
I have some fascination for ink-pens / fountain pens. So, just to feel the exaltation of writing with fountain pen, i do write dairies, official letters (where people expect typed ones), just yesterday, i wrote two Ph.D. theses evaluation reports with fountain pen. . .  and so & so.  This fascination was one spur to reply a postcard with postcard but it is certain that - had i not come across the short story, i would have not written postcard. I may have written a letter, but surely, not a postcard.

Today, there are twenty postcards waiting on my table to be written to someone. I am eagerly waiting for postcards so that i can reply with postcard. If you come across this blog and want to give me a chance to write a postcard, please drop a postcard at this address: 

Prof. Dilip Barad, 
Head, Dept. of English, 
M.K. Bhavnagar University, 
Bhavnagar - 364002. Gujarat. India

I would be glad to reply you. Please, do not forget to write your full address with clear handwriting. You know, we have forgot the habit of writing who we are and where do we live in our communications. People, these days, just start posting messages on WhatsApp or SMS without giving proper self-introduction. Most of the emails are without proper signature-note. We have our precious time is asking who the person on the other side is. So, a reminder - please write your full address, if you wish to get a reply and . . . . more importantly, give me an opportunity to write a postcard! I beseech you! Do me a favour by writing postcard.

Some concerns about writing Postcard in Digital Age

This idea of writing postcard in Digital age is a very regressive idea. Isn't it? What do you say? Humans are designed to think progressively. Going back or thinking regressively is not natural to human mind. There may be literary expressions on the dying-ness of things and human habits, but it is not possible for the humans to go back, to think regressively. It seems that it is this spirit of progressive thinking that keeps human alive on the Earth, the only Home of Humans in this uncaring, indifferent Universe. We may cite Paulo Coelho to make a point about coincidence and happenstances in life.

We may cite examples of Il Postino: The Postman (See footnote), a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda forms a relationship with a simple postman. But in real, pragmatic life, the idea of postcard seems to be weird.

Say for instance,
Instead of typing 'hi-hello' or 'a smiley' or acknowledge receipt in form of 'Like' on mobile screen or in Social Media message box, if i write a postcard for the similar purpose, how many humans will be troubled?

The postcard which i mentioned earlier in the blog was delivered to me by a thin and lean, poorly looking postman while i was taking my class. Not only that the class / students and the teacher was 'disturbed' (we all were surprised to see a postcard and a breeze of smile spread over the class in reminiscence of the 'talk' delivered by Prof. Parmar on his story) but also the man, the postcard troubled a lot. He was all sweat, perspiring and heavily breathing as he cycled up hill to the Department. The postmen delivers their posts between 11 and 4. The countries like India are quite hot to work out in scorching sun and that too on cycle.

This is about the postman who delivered the post. There are many people involved in the process of postal communication. Like, i said earlier, i asked my peon to get me some postcards - the peon has to take pains in getting postcard and then dropping it in the Red Box. The post will be collected by somebody from the box. All such letters will be scrutinized, separated, bundled as per the destination, carried in the baggages on the shoulders of some Coolies, delivered to the destination station, from there again the entire process in reverse. So many humans hours and hard work goes into post card communication. And for what? Just for the sake of my insignificant   'hi-hello'? Isn't this entire postal system which runs on the peddles of feeble human legs, sweating out their blood, dreadfully inhuman? If a small digital device can convey the message, why should humans be engaged in such menial tasks? If cleaning of gutters, sweeping roads and similar menial tasks are categorised as inhuman and machines are invented to eliminate such work from human work list, why should we not think similarly about the work done by Postman?

Well, if one argues on the grounds of employment, like people are getting jobs, why do you want to sacrifice a few more jobs to machine? I think, that people will be requires in the offices to process the communication channels on digital platform. These postmen who are doing menial, inhuman tasks would be engaged in better working condition and will work with human dignity.
Apart from this, the time it consumes in communication can not be equated with any other loss. The speed of communication, timely communication and appropriate form of communication are very important for human happiness. It saves human lives. It gives leisure to enjoy the life. The time wasted in waiting is better utilized to enjoy the life. I do not want to say that with faster communication we can work better and we can produce better and our economy will grow at faster rate and the richness of an individual and the GDP of the country and . . . . No! A big No! It is not for economical considerations. Yes, it is getting advantage of faster communication channels. But we not born to work. We are not born to produce material things. We are not born form money. we are born to enjoy the life. And the time saved in communication and shared in communication, will give us better occasions to enjoy the life.

Even with this considerations, i would be happy to receive a postcard from you. . . and would be delighted to hand-write the reply with a fountain pen. Give me an occasion to write with fountain pen. Give me a chance to write a postcard. Waiting happily for your postcard . . . 

Waiting to write reply postcard . . .

The film is worth watching . . . Il Postino: The Postman (ItalianIl postino) is a 1994 Italian film directed by Michael Radford. The film was originally released in the US as The Postman, a straight translation of the Italian title. The film tells a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda forms a relationship with a simple postman who learns to love poetry. ( 

Sunday 11 October 2015

Zero Dark Thirty: Event, Film, Technology, Illusion (Maya)

Zero Dark Thirty - a film

The historical event, the literary expression, the illusion and freedom from time and space

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) is a film about  "the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man". Yes, it is none other than Osama Bin Laden. The film dramatizes the decade-long manhunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. This search eventually leads to the discovery of his compound in Pakistan, and the military raid on it that resulted in his death on May 2, 2011.
Watch the film dubbed in Hindi - 

Zero Dark Thirty received wide critical acclaim, and appeared on 95 critics' top ten lists of 2012. It was nominated in five categories at the 85th Academy Awards, including Best PictureBest Actress for Chastain, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing, and won the award for Best Sound Editing. The film also earned Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama,Best Director, and Best Screenplay, with Chastain winning the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. (Wikipedia).

The film is not about the brave and courageous attempt of Navy Seals in killing Osama Bin Laden. The film is about CIA agents who worked very hard in Afghanistan, Pakistan and various tough locations, at the cost of their lives, to track the trace of hidden Laden. On the morning of 3rd May 2012, we read in newspapers and watched on news channels about the tough tasks done by Navy Seals. But the real success of such operations lies not in field victory, it lies in feeds collected, organised and passed on to higher offices by secret service agents. If the best of the brains are employed for this task, the task for the field operations become child's play. That's what the film proves.

However convincing the film documents in fictional narration the events of the decade adter 9/11, the conspiracy theorists are not going to believe the story of the murder of Osama Bin Laden. With America's past records being mired in with doubts by conspiracy theorist, it is not easy to believe that some good morning, Osama Bin Laden is killed in an operation 'without casualties', except for a helicopter.

The question about the reality of this Geronimo Operation looms large. After all no body has seen the body of Laden. It is reported that it was buried in the sea.

Surprisingly enough, the film approved with edits by CIA, also remains silent and ambiguous about the real identity of Osama. In the film, except for Maya, CIA agent, no body is sure about the identity of the person in that hideout in Abbottabad. Maya, too, is in doubt. She do not have any proof to prove her claim. In fact, there were no proofs to prove that the person in that compound house was Osama Bin Laden. Several attempts to know the identity of the people failed. Even after the encounter, when the women in the house are asked about the old man, they said some other name. The photos are taken. The body is flown to US base n Jalalabad. Maya, 'visually confirms' (Yes, these are the words in the film) that the body is that of Osama. How can she? She has not seen him. No body has seen Laden for more than decade. So there is no certainty, in the film, about the identity of Osama. There are no blood samples and DNA things shown in the film. Why? It was fictional narration. Why this is not depicted? Why is the film silent on this issue of ascertaining identity of an old man killed and disposed off somewhere (film does not show that either) as Osama Bin Lade? Why the film ends with mere assumption that the man must be Osama? Why it is not proved scientifically? 

Well, there will be theories and histories but no facts or truths. Nietzche has rightly remarked that there are no facts, only interpretations. Julian Barnes in The Sense of an Ending wrote about History (citing Patrick Lagrange) that - 'History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation'. The 9/11, death of an old man, operation by Navy Seals are historical events. Very recent ones. We know that it happened, in a way, before our eyes. Quite consciously, we have experienced them. They are in our memory. And yet, the events are full of inadequate documents. Because there are no valid truths to connect Al Queda with 9/11 and certainty of the man killed in Abbottabad , they are recorded in memory as imperfect facts / truths. 

The one who are victorious, becomes the writer / narrator of the history. One who believes in this definitions are the defeated on and thus history is also self-delusion of the defeated. History and literature are deeply connected. Northrop Frye observed that Literature stands on the support of Philosophy and History. The film is a literary expression. Thus, an imaginary narration of the historical event. As time passes on the line of difference between history and its imaginary narration starts getting blurred and seems to be one and the same. Therefore, it becomes necessary to ponder upon the historical events which are near in time and consciousness and its narration in literature. This film (Zero Dark Thirty) is classic example of certainty produced at the point where inadequacies of documentation and imperfections of memory meet. Without any evidence, we are at the mercy of 'visual confirmation' of Maya. Maya is a Sanskrit word for “magic” or “illusion”) a fundamental concept in Hindu philosophy, notably in the Advaita (Nondualist) school of Vedanta. Maya originally denoted the magic power with which a god can make human beings believe in what turns out to be an illusion.

Well, the film is worth watching.Watch it for Maya. Her unflinching doggedness in pursuit of her goal. Her belief in what she believes. . . and later on she is the only one to confirm what she believes. That's where the symbolic significance of her name 'Maya'- an illusion becomes crucial to understand the film.

Brief note on Hollywood and Bollywood

Comparison of any sort is odious, but it is quite obvious. One can't escape comparison. It seems to be hard-wired in human psyche.  One thing is for sure that Bollywood (Hindi films) are very loud, melodramatic (which is pardonable looking at the way life is exuberantly lived) and 'unrealistic' (which is not pardonable). While we see films with similar themes, we find quite opposite treatment in Hollywood and Bollywood. It is not an issue. The films come from different culture and hence they ought to be different. But if the difference is breaching law of probability and necessity and dives deep into the ocean of unrealism, one's attention is drawn to it.
'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' - a Meera Nair film based on Mohsin Hamid's novel (same name) and Kabir Khan's 'New York' are based on similar theme. It is post 9/11 and muslims in USA. Apart from the loudness and melodramatic depiction, what gives us unrealistic and quite opposite images is the way FBI treats the alleged convicts. Needless to say, Meera Nair seems to be more realistic.
Even in this film (Zero Dark Thirty) and films with similar themes (Man hunt in foreign land) like Ek Tha Tiger, Holiday, Baby, Phantom etc, similar sort of unrealism is found. The agents (FBI or CIA or RAW) are picked up for their mental abilities and not physical. The Marines, Navy Seals, Military Jawans are picked up because of their physical abilities and not mental. So, when it comes to man hunt, the agent will apply his mental abilities but will never (and should never) jump in with open AK 47 or grenade bombs and start fighting with the one to be hunted. Maya (in Zero Dark Thiry) or any male agents do not do so. They feed in the information and seek help from the others, who are best for that task. Let us hope, Bollywood will be more realistic is portrayal of characters and situations.

I watch this film on YouTube. I rented the film for Rs. 50 for 48 hours. It was quite unique

experience. Though I watched on mobile phone, I had an option to screen share on Smart TV and have better cinematic experience. I rather opted for watching it while travelling in car from Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar. It is amazing to see how technology is changing the way we entertain ourselves. Technology of 21st century is giving us freedom - the freedom from time and space. There is no need to wait for the film to start (time) or to go to cinema theatre or near TV (space). Where-ever, when-ever, how-ever, we want to entertain ourselves, we can. Yes, we can!
How illusory is this freedom from time and space offered so easily by technology?

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Coleridge: Biographia Literaria

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Biographia Literaria: Chapter 14

In chapter 14 of Biographia Literaria, S.T. Coleridge thrown his philosophical-critical insights on following issues. These issues are discussed in the below given presentation.
  • Two Cardinal Points of Poetry
  • Coleridge’s views towards Wordsworth’s poetic creed

  • Difference between Poem and Prose
  • Definition of Liegitimate Poem & Function of Poem
  • Difference between Poem and Poetry

After viewing this presentation, to check your understanding of Coleridge's views in Ch 14 of Biographia Literaria, take this online quiz.

Samuel Coleridge- Biographia Literaria Ch 14 from Dilip Barad

Online Quiz


  • Write in your words the difference between poem and prose.
  • Write in your words the difference between poem and poetry.
  • Give illustrations to support your answer.

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