Monday, October 31, 2005

Diwali, by Vikram Seth

oct 31st

happy diwali to you.

this poem by vikram seth is heart-breaking for an exile. "rest then, disquieted heart".

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rajeev Srinivasan <>
Date: Nov 10, 2004 9:50 AM
Subject: Diwali, by Vikram Seth

I send this poem out every year at Diwali time.

I would like to share it with you this year for the festive season.

"And when an alap of Marwa
Swims on slow flute-notes over
The neighbours' roofs at sunset
Wordlessly like a lover

It holds me-till the strain
Of exile, here or there,
Subverts the trance, the fear
Of fear found everywhere. "

Happy Diwali to all of you who are "abroad abroad" and "not at home at home".

Here's a toast to all of us exiles.

Rajeev Srinivasan


DIWALI --- Vikram Seth

Three years of neurotic
Guy Fawkes Days-I recall
That lonely hankering-
But I am home after all.

Home. These walls, this sky
Splintered with wakes of light
These mud-lamps beaded round
The eaves, this festive night,

These streets, these voices...yet
The old insensate dread,
Abeyant as that love,
Once more shifts in my head.

Five? Six? generations ago
Somewhere in the Punjab
My father's family,farmers,
Perhaps had a small shop

And two generations later
Could send a son to a school
To gain the conqueror's
Authoritarian seal:

English! Six-armed god,
Key to a job, to power,
Snobbery, the good life,
This separateness, this fear.

English: beloved language
of Jonson, Wordsworth's tongue-
These my "meridian names"
Whose grooves I crawl along.

The Moghuls fought and ruled
And settled. Even while
They hungered for musk-melon,
Rose, peach, nightingale,

The land assumed their love.
At sixty they could not
Retire westwards. The British
Made us the Orient.

How could an Englishman say
About the divan-e-khas
"If there is heaven on earth
It is this; it is this; it is this."?

Macaulay the prophet of learning
Chewed at his pen: one taste
Of Western wisdom "surpasses
All the books of the East,"

And Kalidas, Shankaracharya,
Panini, Bhaskar, Kabir,
Surdas sank, and we welcomed
The reign of Shakespeare.

The undigested Hobbes,
The Mill who later ground
(Through talk of liberty)
The Raj out of the land ...

O happy breed of Babus,
I march on with your purpose;
We will have railways, common law
And a good postal service-

And I twist along
Those grooves from image to image,
Violet, elm-tree, swan,
Pork-pie, gable, scrimmage

And as we title our memoirs
"Roses in December"
Though we all know that here
Roses *grow* in December

And we import songs
Composed in the U.S
For Vietnam (not even
Our local horrors grip us)

And as, over gin at the Club,
I note that egregious member
Strut just perceptibly more
When with a foreigner,

I know that the whole world
Means exile of our breed
Who are not home at home
And are abroad abroad,

Huddled in towns, while around:
"He died last week. My boys
Are starving. Daily we dig
The ground for sweet potatoes."

"The landlord's hirelings broke
My husband's ribs-and I
Grow blind in the smoke of the hearth."
"Who will take care of me

When I am old? No-one
Is left." So it goes on,
The cyclic shadow-play
Under the sinister sun;

That sun that, were there water,
Could bless the dispirited land,
Coaxing three crops a year
From this same yieldless ground.

Yet would these parched wraiths still
Starve in their ruins, while
"Silkworms around them grow
Into fat cocoons?", Sad soil,

This may as well be my home.
Because no other nation
Moves me thus? What of that?
Cause for congratulation?

This could well be my home;
I am too used to the flavor
Of tenous fixity;
I have been brought to savour

Its phases: the winter wheat-
The flowers of Har-ki-Doon -
The sal forests - the hills
Inflamed with rhododendron -

The first smell of the Rains
On the baked earth-the peaks
Snow-drowned in permanence--
The single mountain lakes.

What if my tongue is warped?
I need no words to gaze
At Ajanta, those flaked caves,
Or at the tomb of Mumtaz;

And when an alap of Marwa
Swims on slow flute-notes over
The neighbours' roofs at sunset
Wordlessly like a lover

It holds me-till the strain
Of exile, here or there,
Subverts the trance, the fear
Of fear found everywhere.

"But freedom?" the notes would sing...
Parole is enough. Tonight
Below the fire-crossed sky
Of the Festival of Light.

Give your soul leave to feel
What distilled peace it can;
In lieu of joy, at least
This lapsing anodyne.

"The world is a bridge. Pass over it,
Building no house upon it."
Acceptance may come with time;
Rest, then disquieted heart.


Kalyani said...

Happy Dheepavali to all kindred minds!

May mitras of the world get incinerated for good!

Bhootro Bhootro Ghali said...

Happy Diwali to all !
May curse befall on the jihadis who killed innocents in Dehli. May the Congressis and Communists who support these jehadis themselves one day be victims of their friends across the border.

KapiDhwaja said...

Happy Diwali/Deepavali to all of you. Looking forward to the day when all the Narakasuras of this world perish.

Anonymous said...

ANTI-INDIA FOIL (Federation of Inquilabi Leftists) are unhappy over arrest made by Delhi police so far. FOIL memberMr.Sandeep Vaidya , Email: , says police is oppressing MUSLIMS . Please take a note at his below mail to FOIL members .

Email from Sandeep Vaidya:

It is impossible that Delhi police could have so quickly cracked the case but 22 people, surely all young muslims are arrested.

Police response in Delhi fits in a pattern that is by now familiar to us. Like in Godhra, police conduct indiscriminate sweeps and pick up large number of muslims and torture them to confess to crimes that police desire to charge them with.



KapiDhwaja said...

San, this is especially for you, who has such a rosy view of American intentions towards India.

Nice, Informative Article.

Kalyani said...

The following article by Swapan Dasgupta is also nice.

Anonymous said...

Happy Diwali All!

Anonymous said...

Happy diwali to all

Talk on Indian Heritage by Dr. N Gopalakrishnan will be telecast(I think this will be in Malayalam) by AMRITHA TV at 07.15 AM from tomorrow (01.11.2005- KERALA PIRAVI DAY).

Monday - Customs & Rituals (07.15 AM)

Tuesday - Indian Spirituality (07.15 AM)

Wednesday - Indian Literature (07.15 AM)

Thursday - Indian Scientific & Technological Heritage (07.15 AM)

Saturday - Indian Messages for the world. (07.15 AM)

Kalyani said...

"blasts in Delhi were to divert public attention from thief Sonias oil bribe scam?

The “Inqalabi Sangathan”, an outfit of the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) have claimed the responsibility of the serial bomb blasts in New Delhi on 29thOctober 2005, that killed around 65 people and injured nearly 200 people. The Delhi serial blast could be for protecting Sonia, from the developing oil bribe scam report that is just released by the UN. Definitely UN will not be lying about the bribe and the media has concluded that the bribe was taken by Sonia and not by Natwar singh. Sonia is a known Pakistani spy who is now benefited from the diversion of public attention from oil scam to the Delhi serial bomb blasts. In 1966 Sonia was working in London for an ISI operative Salman Thassir who had an office in Dubai. Sonia’s link to KGB is also reported in the press. It is now confirmed that Indira Gandhi was on the payroll of KGB. As per U.S. Congressional hearing records Indira Gandhi's family members Rajiv and Sonia, were on the payroll of the Pakistani Banker the late Agha Hassan Abedi, who founded the Bank known as Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). BCCI was a drug money laundering outfit finally owned by the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zyed. Mr. Manmohan Singh when he was the governor of Reserve Bank of India was advised by RAW not to issue license for opening the ISI bank BCCI in Bombay as BCCI was funding spying in India and was also funding the Pakistani nuclear programme. Yet Manmohan simply approved it. Subsequently Manmohan was inducted in to the Congress party. BCCI was used even by Reliance for its hawala transactions. BCCI had grown as a result of it running a supply centre for ‘Pakistani minor girls’ to Sheikh Zyed and other leading Sheikhs in the Gulf. Naturally Sheikh became the leading share holder of BCCI. These details are available in the US senate reports. The BCCI is also known as the cocaine bank. The bank collapsed with a loss of $ 16 billion. It is known that Manmohan got a foreign scholarship for his daughter, and the rest of the deal is not known. Our parliamentary proceedings when the collapse of the BCCI was discussed. Some of these have become public record. Sonia had connections to the Vatican Bank which was active in Europe and American drug markets where as BCCI specialized in the Asian drug market. The Pakistani banker Abedi worked on behalf of ISI and paid Indira Gandhi and Sonia. Abedi had even paid the former US Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford as his lobbyist a fee of nearly $100 million. All these records are available in U.S. congressional hearings that followed the collapse of BCCI. Now when the oil scam has come out in the open, Sonia Gandhi’s and Manmohan Singh’s masters in Pakistan have devised a method to divert the attention of the Indian public by carrying out a series of bomb explosions in New Delhi on 29-10-05.

To understand this blast we should look at what happened after George Fernandez moved a resolution in the parliament which says that a person who is not an Indian by birth should not be allowed to hold high offices. Sonia’s sponsors got in to the act immediately. Foreign funds from Dubai came for the establishment of Tehelka, a website whose CEO was a nephew of Arjun Singh of Congress. The chief of Zee TV is close to Congress. Tehelka went into elaborate deception using even prostitutes, which was a Dawood method, to discredit the Defense department of corruption. They showed senior politicians, bureaucrats and army officials apparently taking bribes from journalists posing as arms dealers.'s sponsor Zee TV prominently featured the story, sensationalizing it in the bargain. As far as the contents of the Tehelka tapes are concerned, they are worth nothing. The 'evidence' of the tapes would be thrown of any court in five minutes. Even worse, they would not be admissible even in an FIR (first information report), without which there cannot be an investigation. To begin with, the 'evidence' was obtained illegally. Even the police need a court order to tape secretly. When the tapes were shown on TV, most people could not make head or tail of the comments provided by the broadcaster. But Sonia’s Pakistani and Russian sponsors achieved their objective of removing George Fernandez and the Parliament was paralyzed for days by the opposition.

Various external spy agencies worked behind the scenes to promote Sonia Gandhi. Potential threats to Sonia’s leadership were one by one eliminated in excellently planned natural accidents. All the deaths of potential future contenders of congress presidency were killed in accidents on Sundays. Sunday murders are a specialty of Christians and this is well proven in India's North Eastern states where the Christian terrorists murder Hindus mostly on Sundays. Muslims generally carryout terrorist killing of Hindus only on Fridays. Rajesh Pilot died in a road accident on Sunday, Jitendra Prasada died of brain hemorrhage on Sunday and Madhava Scindia was killed in a place crash on Sunday. Kamal Nath, another prominent young Congress leader narrowly escaped when a small plane he was traveling in crashed, killing some others on board. On Sunday 30th September. 2001 Madhavrao Scindia who was deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha and one of its senior-most members, and who was also one of the boyfriend of Sonia in London, was killed along with seven others. They were charred beyond recognition in a plane crash. Seventeen minutes before the plane was due to land in Kanpur, the Air Traffic Control in the city lost contact with it. The plane caught fire in mid-air and became a ball of fire by the time it hit the ground. Mystery shrouds the circumstances under which the aircraft crashed near Motta village in Mainpuri district. The Beechcraft C-90 aircraft used by Mr. Scindia belonged to Jindal Strips and was maintained by India International Aviation Ltd. In June 2000 the senior Congress leader Rajesh Pilot met with the fatal accident in the highway on a stretch between Jaipur and Dausa.

A stage has come that we Hindus have to defend our lives against the muslim terrorists. Muslims who did not go to Pakistan and left in India is giving food and accommodation and even participate in muslim terrorism. Every muslim in Hyderabad has come out to the street in support of Osama Bin Ladin who declared war on India. Muslims in India were seen distributing sweets when our Parliament was attacked. What we are undergoing is daily terrorism by muslims, yet UK and US papers did not call this as a muslim terrorist attack, but called it explosions. The illiterate thief Sonia from the mafia land of Italy, have no morals and had collected money from the dictator Sadam Hussain for passing anti war resolution in the Parliament headed by that weakling Hajpayee. India is on sale."

Sameer said...

Happy Diwali to all........
Rajeev and other like minded friends, have a great Diwali...

kp said...

Can somebody tell me why Malyalees dont celebrate Diwali (except a few brahmins). Today I had to defend that to a pakistani, and I dint have the right answers. He asked me ''isnt it a religious festival?, and what about dussera?'' Bloody hell..i had a tough time trying to explain why we Hindus of kerala dont celebrate either diwali or dussera. In the end, I just mumbled something about each state having its own religious day, and ours was onam, vishu etc...
But Im sure there must be a historic reason why malayalees dont celebrate diwali or dussera. Does any one know??

DarkStorm said...

Happy Diwali to all..

Cheers !! :)