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Showing posts from January, 2016

The Politics of Religion and Identity

There was a Supreme Court directive which banned traditional bull racing festival Jallikattu in Tamilnadu. Today, as I write this, women groups are storming into a small temple in obscure town in Maharashtra. Media is in overdrive. Times Now seeks the rationale behind why women aren’t allowed in Sanctum Santorum of the temple. Yesterday they covered a Member of Parliament, sworn to the same constitution we celebrate today, who urged people to vote for their party, else they will lose their right to eat beef, which he posited, is a way of life for Muslims and Dalits. The rationale of it? Well, nobody would ask that. The same tribe which fights for the well-being of the animal also fights for converting the same animal into their dinner. But no, we don’t have it in us even to question such inept political positioning.
Left, always boastful of being atheist, jumps in gleefully. The people who have no faith in religion, step in to modernize the religion. I am not much of a religious person…

Who Do We Write Poetry For?

I recently in The Paris Review came across an interesting quote by great poet, by Robert Graves (1895-985). He says, “Never use the word “audience.” The very idea of a public, unless a poet is writing for money, seems wrong to me. Poets don't have an “audience”: They're talking to a single person all the time…... All the so-called great artists were trying to talk to too many people. In a way, they were talking to nobody.”
I posted it on Google+, seeking the views of people. I got responses, some usual +1, I’d take it that they liked and agreed with the statement. But a dear friend, and wonderful poet Sum James, wrote that the words which are written for audience and is not something of an ante-thesis of poetry, as is seemingly contended here. It runs along. I would however, agree that the term audience here could be misleading. Every poem, I would agree with Sum James, is intended to an audience. Therein lies the reason for disagreement.
Poems are not scalar. Poems are vector, …

Reading and Writing in Year 2016

The year has just past by. Another year, another life, another sigh, another teardrop for the giant eye of the time.


Many things can happen in an year. Lives can change- a country's life, an individual's life. How does one day differ from another? Does the tide turn, the Earth revolves in another direction? It is a psychological peg we devise to measure our journey. To measure how far we have traversed from where we started. Did we travel farther than others that we measure against? It sounds such narrow-minded to measure ourselves against others around us, but what other way do we have?
This competition make us going, while in our heart of heart we know it will all end into nothing- cipher, a zero and only solace we will have, will be an unproven promise of afterlife. But as spaces around us reduce, shoulders rub against one another, we barely breathe, we sigh, long sighs, as if they would some day grow so big to swallow our whole lives.
We need friends, camaraderie, non-comp…