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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cruelty by Vivekanand Jha


Cruelty by Vivekanand Jha

Cruelty like sediments into water container
Even inadvertent stirring spoils
The serenity and sanctity.

It suffers from insomnia
Unleash its irritation of sleepless night
On orphan and weak.

People are poor by kind
And rich by cruelty
As if goddess of learning herself
Were blessing them
To deliver the speech extempore.

Everyone is embodiment of explosive
All we need is to light one spark:
Calling wrong a wrong
And get ready to sing a swan song.

A group of trigger happy youth
Making to and fro of road
Like venomous bees around honeycomb
Provoking and tantalizing to say something
All you have to do is to stir up the nest
And they would do their best
Better we know the rest.

Intolerance on rampage
And tolerance victims of stampede
Now none trembles with fear
All shudder with anger
The strong with one
But the weak with all cylinders.

Gone outside to seek entertainment,
For week-end refreshment
Wife suffered molestation
I suffered frustration
We flavoured hot juice of insult
Returned home with hurt inside heart.

Author's Bio: Vivekanand Jha is a poet and research scholar from Darbhanga, Bihar, (India) and is presently doing Ph. D on the poetry of Indian English poet Jayanta Mahapatra from Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Darbhanga. He has authored four poetry titles: Hands heave to harm and hamper, Spam: A Satire on E-Sex, Songs of Innocence and Adolescence, My Poems Falter and Fall and Time Moves Clockwise Only.

He has the credit to have published his writings with over fifty literary journals all over the world, some of them highly reputed. His works have also been included in many anthologies.

His poem has the voice of a man who has tasted the life in its brute face.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

India Wins 2011 Cricket World Cup, India Deserved It by Khurshid Alam



India Wins 2011 Cricket World Cup, India Deserved It by Khurshid Alam

India hit the final six to bring the cricket World Cup 2011 home at the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai, on April 2, 2011. Team India is endowed with so much admiration. Suddenly we are able to see the strength Team India has. Many good things are being said about the team, the captain, the players and many other things. If, God forbids, Team India (I say Team India and not we, pun intended) had not won then we would have highlighted so many bad things ailing the Indian cricket team. Even if it had had not any, we might have exhumed many. But then victory belittles everything negative.

People across the country started celebrating as the “cricket heathen” was approaching to the victory run by run. They came out in the streets and started shouting, and playing with crackers. This went on for long till late Sunday night. This was the first time in near history when the entire country was singing a winning lore in a single voice. Vande Matram! We did not need any politician, or political party, or a social group to make a call to come out for the grand celebration. We were simply moved by the feeling that we won, that was enough.

But that is the big thing. This raises a query whether a game plays a class leveler’s role. In the case of India, of course yes. And it is cricket only.

Cricket is understood and talked about by one and all. An American travel writer, Michael Y. Park, who was on a visit to India on the eve when India lost to Australia in 2003 narrates about the story of a camel driver who hardly had any knowledge about anything happening in and around his home town Jaisalmer but did talk about cricket. Michael says: “Even when I tried to escape civilisation deep into the Great Indian Desert in the northwest, near the border with Pakistan, cricket dominated conversation. I was on a three-day camel trek, and my camel driver … played only camel polo and had never seen a professional cricket match because he’d never watched television. But … this man who had never been more than 20 miles from the fairy-tale fort of Jaisalmer and who had never heard of nuclear bombs or Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous State, rattled off statistics about the national team and details of the players’ private lives. He even worked in a few disparaging remarks about the Pakistani team. (He) noted my astonishment. `You have to understand,’ (he) said, spitting out a gob of betel nut and saddling up his camel. `Indians are crazy about this cricket.”

When there is any match, in which particularly India is playing and if the match is reckoning, people even shun from going to office and business and are attuned to the TV sets. They react to all shots as if they are in the playground and they themselves are playing. They talk that this player should have done this and that player that…blah…blah… This shows how passionate we are about cricket. Many books have written on the craziness of cricket among the Indians.

Cricket is seen as a pitch to victory over the opponents—the real opponents. When India is playing against its opponent, every Indian wishes India wins the toss and sets such a high record that it is hard to reach by the opponent. At every four and six we exult; at every wicket fall we spell anguish. If we are chasing a record we wish the record itself must be easy and we reach it with wickets in hand. And when our opponent is Pakistan we are tense more than required. We are ready to hear nothing less than the victory. In a world cup match, at whatsoever level, if India takes on Pakistan we feel more than satisfied if we win against it. We feel victorious on defeating Pakistan even if we do not win the final match.

Cricket is a dream lived by the Indians. Upneet Grover in his debutant novel Cricket Till I Die shows how crazy we are about cricket. The protagonist in the novel dreams about cricket though he has an engineering job. He does not like the routine job but dreams about cricket. Once after being inspired by someone he follows his dream. In yet another example, such a dream was visualised by Bhuvan, the protagonist character in the movie Lagaan, played by the Bollywood actor Amir Khan to get rid of taxes from the British and he won the game with his humble team.

Cricket is very much like a religion to the Indians. Cricket is a widely popular sport in Asia. It is popular in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh and people are too crazy in these regions. Given the population of these countries we can say more than one sixth of the entire world civilisation is crazy after cricket (excepting those countries which also play cricket). But India stands stalwart in regard of craziness and favours cricket receives. Cricket attracts the largest investment from the government; India has a very strong cricket board, that is, Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) whose say is respected even by the International Cricket Council (ICC). It attracts the highest endorsement from the business organisations and media than any other sports.

Given these realities, it would not be enough to say that India won the 2011 cricket world cup. India deserved it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

2 Poems by Sonnet Mondal

2 Poems by Sonnet Mondal

Poignant Words from a Miner

Descending into a mine,
Piercing darkness of five hundred metres
Questions popped up in my mind;
I felt unsafe while murmuring those.

My sagging nerves were pulled tight
As a miner overhearing me spoke,
‘We imagine us as zombies
As we get inside and
Imagine getting a new life
Each day when we see
The Sun again.’

Lotus-reused as a metaphor

A Lotus afloat in a clear pond…
Is What I had dreamed to be
While I was inside my mother.
No, I don’t remember it
I realise it from a call
That’s nods me against my soul.
The tarn was quite clear, unambiguous—
Pure, scenic, serene waters
Made me cry in joy at first.
Now see, not even I had been
To enough towns, not even I’ve
Completed my fiftieth visit
To my maternal quarters
And I apprehend the dirt and unwanted weeds
Creeping in the clear water around me.
I learned to wear specs, not out of fashion
But out of pain my eyes had suffered.
My parents perhaps favoured me for this!
They waited to ease me off
With the heavy bangles of marriage.
They were preparing me for that;
‘A satirical smile to their irony’.
Don’t get me wrong again,
I had learnt to love someone also
While he had learnt to impress so many.

Oh, the pond had grown quite black,
And there is no municipality to look after.
The thousand flowers thrown at me
Seemed like thousand stones at humanity
To turn it into evil but my arms
Were heavy in metals and red in chemicals.
What harm it would have caused,
If I could invent something upon these!
Anyways, I have learnt to move now,
With responsibilities in my head and
Keys of weakness in my hand.

I had never wanted love from my husband,
I never got it hence. Should I be happy?
I was frustrated upon myself,
Losing the power to demand and
Let others demand and before I could
Conceive the magical juice that’s restores
Soul into rebirth, I had to turn bald
For they had pulled my hair so hard
To uproot it from its base.

The waters were muddy now—
The blue hue was replaced by brown.
I dreamt of giving birth to somebody like myself,
And that haunted me, for acting like
A fox against my very blood.
I knew the ways to protest but
My muscles had turned compromising,
My stomach aches to warn me…
I can’t be foolish—I have learnt so many things.

Now, that this night is silent and calm enough,
I have carefully picked the lotus up
And crushed the bud within.
Oh, don’t misunderstand me again,
The water is no more here,
It is killing clay out there now and
Swamps all around to share nutrition.
I am happy now that I have been a lotus,
Floating in a clear sky and about death?
That is no more a worry for me and my bud.

Author's Bio: Sonnet Mondal has authored five collections of poetry and is a widely published poet. He has been bestowed with honors such as Poet Laureate from Bombadil, Sweden, Doctor of Literature from United Writers' Association, Secretary General's honor and appointment from Poetas Del Mundo and many others.

His latest books include Penumbra of Indian Verses and 21 Lines Fusion Sonnets of 21st Century which introduces a new genre of ‘21 Lines Sonnet’. He is also the youngest Indian to be invited at the Struga Poetry Festival, Macedonia to represent India in their Golden Jubilee celebrations to promote the cultures between the two countries. He was featured as one of the five famous among Bengali youths by India Today in 2010 and as an achiever by the Herald of India. His upcoming books include a novel in verse and the second part of ‘21 Lines Fusion Sonnets’.

Sonnet Mondal delves deep into the heart of a miner in Poignant Words from a Miner who fears to go into the mine. A miner feels reborn each day he comes out the mine safe. In Lotus-reused as a metaphor Sonnet dreams to be a lotus but at the same time he is satirical about many things but nature at prime.

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