Sunday, April 19, 2015

Waste Land

1.  The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, stirring
The winter-frozen blood in the veins, rousing
Mosquitoes and dust storms, dousing
The light in the souls with the fire of the sun.

You came riding waves of promises,
Development topped the list,
Quality was sought in and through workshops,
Sweatshops are what we are left with.

Unreal City,
Under the glare of the blaring sun,
A crowd flowed over bulldozed debris,
Performing the rituals chanted by the Guru.

“You! hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, - mon frère!”

2.  A Game of Chess

The Chair she sat in itched her bum with allergens,
Her dress, words and smile sanitised by detergents,
“Your move, your move,” cried she ready to pounce
On the King on every board, every board she played against
Keeping multiple gadgets alive on her capacious crowded table.

“Bulldozer,” people called her.
Queen, she considered herself.
Heads rolled when she smiled.
Tails wagged when she screamed.
The Guru chanted mantras of success
For her the chessmen transmuted into pawns.
Before her the world prostrated
And the Guru laughed his way to the bank.

3.  The Fire Sermon

The chelas lit the fires
On pyres of protests
Ghar Vapsi, ghar vapsi,
Chanted the fires
That danced in the darkness
Of development built on infinite debris.

4.  Death by Sun

The bulldozer took on feminine agility
And achieved multiple orgasms beneath variegated costumes
When the April sun scorched the souls
That longed for spring rains and resurrection.

5.  What the Thunder Said


But there was no thunder
There is no promise in the Waste Land
Except farts from bums
Rested on chairs that cause allergy.

Note: The poem is a silly parody of T S Eliot's famous poem of the same title and same parts. I admire Eliot. I claim nothing. Not even understanding Eliot.  I'm not worthy to lick his boots. But I love his imageries.  I love the way he can tease us out of our complacencies.  Out of our hypocrisy, perhaps.  Not out of our greed, I'm sure. Greed for power and wealth and land and...    


  1. Oh, the comparisons! I hope I understood most of it right...

  2. I understood as I read your posts about the school. It was sad. But the poem has a sharp humor :)

    1. Land is being taken away from farmers, people are ejected from their homes, students and teachers are thrown out of School... Development comes at some price! Or have we converted everything into a commercial enterprise?

  3. It's only you who could appropriately match Eliot's genius in words and in spirit!
    Amazingly done!!

  4. Same plight, different eras; I would say. :)

    1. Yes, Saru, only the time changes, people don't- unfortunately.

  5. I adore Eliot, so I was a little taken aback when I read the beginning....but you did so much justice not just to the great poet but to your words as well.....I don't have words enough to praise you Sir.....just a salute....

  6. Sattire and it shows pain too....kudos truly!

    1. You got it absolutely right, satire and pain.


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