India — Large, Charming and More
POETRY FORMAT, 3 May 2021
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 May 2021.
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