India — Large, Charming and More

POETRY FORMAT, 3 May 2021

Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

India is a vast country that has the hottest places
Yes and the coldest regions on the planet
How come? Well, don’t we have the Himalayas
The word himalaya means home of snow
Then we have the home of  clouds – Meghalaya
Clouds, yes; rain of course — rainiest place on the summit

How many languages? Too many — twenty two
In our Constitution, and a few hundred more
And how many does an ordinary person speak?
Perhaps one and a half. What do you mean?
He speaks his mother tongue and bit of Hindi
And a language spoken by a thousand people, Sindhi

But he likes Hindi songs and often becomes poetic
How? He talks to his beloved like this
‘Don’t ignore me my love; your tears will flood the attic
Cannot afford the palatial home that you inhabit’

How many religious faiths do we have?
Large number— eight or ten or perhaps eleven
Large number of Muslims, Sikhs, many Christians
And Parsees and Baha’is and Buddhists and…

What about Hindus?
Of course —
Hindus who feel that Hindustan is the safest place for all
You may be rich or poor, man or woman, short or tall

Hindus love Lord Krishna, the naughty Krishna
Who will win your heart by his musical flute
And the wise words he showers in the Bhagwad Geet

Food is something one always talks of
If we don’t have enough to eat
We go and see the various dishes on the next street

How beautiful — taste….
No, no my friend, how delicious fragrance
Come to India on your next trip
And carry back home this unheard of elegance

India is a beautiful country
I’ll be waiting for you mon ami
You won’t need a Google translator
To enjoy its magnificent charm
As long as you have me by your arm.

______________________________________________

Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 May 2021.

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