14 November 2008

The Borgoad

To Horace, Dryden and Pope; grudgingly, to Ananya Borgohain


Here me well, guide me through,
O thou Departmental Muses of Literature few:
First thou Queen Bee,
So fair and bright!
Then King G,
Homer’s seed, eternally alright.
Next you Sh-,
So stoic and composed,
Much aft the manner of noble Octavius’ nose.
You, good M, Wife not of Bath-
Possessed, perhaps, with Dryden’s great craft!
Thou Alexandrian Grandma,
Sailing in black Othello’s wake
Greenblatt’s disciple, singing in Bradley’s praise!
You, O Chughtai, our Library’s dread Queen,
Shakespearean master, beyond gender seen.
Now to thee Banger, O Pitampurian Knight,
Thy blessings in Bengali I seek with delight!
As I do with D, in her own Paradise Lost,
Trying to find, only tragic Lucifer knows what!
And finally you, O newly come S
Atwood’s delight, in theory compressed!
Listen to my song, inspire me anew,
For this once while, descend into view,
Leaving behind thy wicker-thrones few.

Unpremeditated verse I shall offer none
(Alas, old Puritan, I shall go not thy way!)
Conscious and deliberate ‘twill all shall be
Pretentious and assuming, certain disgrace to Pope’s remedy
I shall be what I am, you’ll find here no hope.

Of childhood and teenage, little can I show:
Nature’s child (one of the daredevils, y’know),
Once across the great Serpentine Blue she flew,
Much like what young Icarus thought to do,
Then there was a blast, a grievous blow;
Sooth to say, ‘tis all the Eagle knew!

Come I now to Dhillika, so fair and wide
Looking, indeed, like an Ahomya bride!
To its tree-lined avenues, perennially new,
To Sophia’s Citadel, so green and old,
To the good Rai’s college, third of the triumvirate,
To a red-as-rose building, sanctuary of the nymphs,
To a rectangular room, lofty and out of view:
Here sleeps our Queen, our heroine great!
Resplendent in her nightie, battered and frayed,
Her eyelids heavy with the old man’s sand,
Soundly does she sleep, the four-pronged world at her feet!

Slowly comes Dawn, fiery Helios’ gentle herald,
Up rise all, to toil and work;
But our sovereign Queen heeds not a blooming whit!
She tosses around, turns her beauteous face, and
Under Morepheus’ spell, falls again in place.

Seven, eight, nine, and ten pass,
The Sun to its peak rises fast,
At eleven does a spirit gently ascend,
He positions himself, careful not to offend, and,
His Master’s orders still ringing in his ears, w
hispers thus to His beloved dear:
“Awake, O Lady, our mandrake fair!
Arise thou Augustan, thou critical Virgo great!
Take up thy Pepsodent, brush thy mangled hair,
Bathe this body, this fleshy cage,
Dress in thy outfit,
(A new one, of course, for repetition thou so incurably hates!)
Apply some kaajal, that oh-so-black soot,
Paint on some lip-gloss, spray some perfume and
So attired, mascara and foundation in place, venture out!
Great things are for thee set, onerous tasks arrayed!
Thousands to vex, millions to irritate!
KFCs to plunder, D-schools to lay bare,
Springrolls to gorge, breadpakoras to gobble,
CP to terrorize, the Metro to wail!
So arise from thy slumbers, O methodically busybodic maid,
Arise now my Lady, awake!”

So quoth this Spirit, this Hell’s angel great
Watching in earnest, fearing he should fail;
Lo! Parted she her eyelids, displayed she those orbs,
Those brown-black scourges of a zillion chickens small,
Turned she her gaze to that waiting devil apace and
Lo! she set him ablaze! and
As he burned down,
She relapsed into shade…

6 comments:

Nirbhay said...

I have sent your poem, in fact the blog-link, to my dad, mom and sister.
My dad is currently outside Delhi, but he also writes poetry, so he may post a comment---so may the others, and others they may send it to. I shall read the poem again.

Anant Pradhan said...

Believe me I tried but couldn't read through this poem. Probably my own fault but anyway. Tell me sometime when we talk what was it all about :).

Ishaan Mital said...

Good job again Mr. Pradhan.Having molded our botherations into something we can laugh at rather tahn be dogged by.What's more! You've even created a piece of literature in the process that is worth commendation!Having read it one may vaguely add that you really take your syllabus seriously. Your eye for detail and your tendency towards semblance of ideas determines its uniqueness.And finally, the larger than life image that you've conceived of Ms.B,in your characteristic manner what with such trivia as 'take up thy pepsodent' and 'this fleshy cage' not only do you make apparent the amount of knowledge you've garnered but also triggers the reader's the reader's imagination into thinking that there's more to it all than mere literary wizardry and boastfulness..a subtle strain of something that cannot be defined..

Prashansa Taneja said...

A classic indeed!

Prianca said...

i am simply impressed by this poem. speechless
you indeed take our texts too seriously. Alexander pope, if alive today, could have faced some serious competition from you.

Though i could not decipher all the teachers addressed in your poem correctly, i would love to know.
post back a reply. enlighten us. ;)

AP said...

Thanks Prianca!

Well, the Queen Bee is BMS, the pun being on fair. King G is RGM, Sh- refers to SS, good M is good KSM, NB is the Alexandrian Grandma (because she's travelled quite a lot), VC has been called Chughtai, DM, of course, is the Banger, D is PD (who teaches us Paradise Lost) and, finally, SM is the "newly come S".