Friday, October 16, 2015


Tell me, how are literary writers expected to register their protest on mind bans?

=       a Pens Down Strike? Aah, wouldn’t the powers-that-be just love that one? 
=       a thali-belan  or slate-pen rally to generate noise pollution?
=       a quiet withdrawal all their work from the public domain?  Perumal did it last year. Remember him? What did it get him?  Yes, it  did  leave the field clear for all the Trolls and the Roadies and mass productions.

Where are the Writer former chief minister of a southern state and his thought provoking poetess MP daughter?                 Ultimately, an 88 year old writer, acknowledged for her generation of ideas and leading thoughts, took  a lead in pointing to the degeneration of thinking in a fast slipping culture and the ongoing esasure of  a cultural heritage.
Of course, the return of Sahitya awards has been dubbed futile since they are awarded by the Sahitya Parishads, not the government.
Doesn’t everybody know who nominates the members of the Parishads?  
Had they been Free Agents, would there have been craven silence at each successive instance of Stalinist/Maoist/Taliban terror wrecked on writers and thinkers?
What can be more damning than the dichotomy between a Sahitya Parishad and a Sahitya Academy, both are about Sahitya itself?
“____Sahitya Academy has not reacted as it is a government body.” 

This at a time when the Frankfurt Book Fair is slated to open with Iran, Indonesia and Salman Fatwa Rushdie. The world has, perhaps, moved on  -- while we remain entrenched in our pettiness, serving WhatsApp jokes en masse.

more to follow…..

Kusum Choppra: A DARE

Kusum Choppra: A DARE


He had dared to ride a horse for his wedding.
Challenged the age old rites of Rajputism.
Punishment instant by a kangaroo court.
His feet  shod with hooves held with nails through his soles. left to die.
They took him to the big Dilli hospital.
Recovery would take weeks, they were told.
They left him at the mercy of hospital staff n well wishers.
Returned to a threat .... don't ever see him again or else...

Dilli worked its own magic.
An NGO filed a suit; media picked up the issue.
"India wants to know" bellowed TV screens. Donations poured in.
Infections held up recovery.
From the little screen on his mobile he watched
Police rounded up those who had gored him.
The battle will be long. He was told.

Witnesses threatened, bought or bumped off. Judges selected for bias.
Will you n your village last the war?
Years later the verdict came in.
A prematurely aged groom, his harried looking wife and bored son
heard that they been convicted alright.
Leeway for the time already spent in jail
so only a couple of months were left.

The assassins would be free to roam their home stomping grounds.
While the trio could never go home again.
Home? Where was that?