Friday, April 30, 2010

Hokku, Koan & Zen Buddhism

Falling leaves
lie on one another;
rain beats on rain

~ Gyōdai

It is a Hokku by Gyōdai. Hokku is the pre-modern form of Haiku.

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (1870 - 1966) and Reginald Horace Blyth (1898 - 1964) are the two important pioneers who studied Japanese philosophy, literature and culture. Their works on Zen and Shin Buddhism and the Hokku and Haiku forms of Japanese poetry are considered to be the authoritative introductions on the subject. It would be interesting to note that the Japanese Professor D.T.Suzuki mentored the English gentleman R.H.Blyth, who was almost three decades younger to him. Both of them became close friends and later they were buried next to each other in the Tōkei-ji Zen Temple (The Divorce Temple) which was built in the 13th century. While the works of D.T.Suzuki had a profound impact on C.G.Jung, the works of R.H.Blyth influenced the interesting Beats like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Out of their enormous body of work, I could read only the two works of D.T.Suzuki, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (with a foreword by Carl Gustav Jung) and Studies in Zen; and only one work of R.H.Blyth, A History of Haiku (in two volumes - one from the beginnings to Issa and the other, from Issa to the middle of 20th century). The two books of D.T.Suzuki are indebted to the Jean Genet Project and the book of R.H.Blyth was a great discovery in the archaic shelves of The Asiatic Society of Mumbai some time ago. We shall dwell into the mysterious Jean Genet Project at some other opportune moment. Therefore, let us leave it that and get back to the Hokku and the Koan, as contemplated by our dear Anonymous.

What is Hokku?

R.H.Blyth explains it lucidly. It is not a poem and it is not literature! It is a way of returning to our moon nature, our cherry blossom nature, our falling leaf nature, in short, to our Buddha nature.

In Hokku, it is crucial to distinguish between what we see in Nature, and, out thoughts and ideas about what we see in Nature. Hokku stresses that our thoughts and words should not obscure the truth and the suchness of the thing we see in Nature. Things in nature should speak so loudly that we should not hear what the poets have said of them.

That is the fundamental distinction between a Hokku and a Haiku. In modern Haiku, the Poet, with a Capital P, is the most important thing, the inviolable sanctity of the will of the poet, the individual ego as embedded in the name of the poet is the pivot. Whereas in Hokku, Nature is the pivot. In Hokku, there are no poets. The writer is simply a mirror which reflects Nature. It is the duty of the writer to keep on cleaning the mirror from the dust of thoughts, words and self-will. The writer of Hokku should therefore reach a maturity and realisation of the dynamic of the Self, the words and the thoughts. Modern Haiku has never been able to achieve this because it is too much attached to the name, the will and the ego of the poet and to the writing of poetry. The pre-modern Hokku is then a remarkably humble and simple form of verse, where the writer disppears and the reader becomes one with the Nature and the thing which he experiences by reading about. It was Masaoka Shiki (1867 - 1902) who renamed the traditional Hokku which have started to incorporate the modern elements of the poet and the poet's individualised will in the process of writing, as Haiku. Theoretically then, we can say that there are elements of Hokku in the works of the Haiku masters Basho, Buson and Issa. Hokku predates these three Masters and the tradition continued through them, till it got fossilised into an opening stanza of the Japanese orthodox poetry, at the turn of the 19th century. There is no need to get confused between the theoretical distinctions between Hokku and Haiku, and suffice it to understand that though there are finer distinctions between the two, both the terms are being used interchangeably. As my beloved Tamil poet Achutan Aduka's beautiful poem says, The flowers keep blossoming and we keep naming them, it would be a rewarding exercise to experience the poetry than to get caught in the naming of it.

The very idea of the disappearance of the writer in Hokku, would be something totally incomprehensible to the rational, modern mind. This is radically different from the concept of automatic writing as espoused by the Surrealist Movement of the 1920s, from the post-structuralist concept of the Death of the Author as enunciated by Roland Barthes in 1967 based on the deconstructionist philosophy of Jacques Derrida and from the riposte of Michel Foucault in his essay What is an Author? published in 1969. They are a far cry from what Hokku calls for.

Hokku signifies the art of putting sensory experiences of various seasons of Nature and making the reader to experience it without the interference or the interpretation of the writer. It is also not a way to make a name for one's individual self as a poet. It is a way of life, a profound spiritual path in which all the clutter and dust of the mind gradually disappears. And the writing and the living becomes unified and holistic without any difference the two. Hokku and Haiku are both actually the processes of a lifetime and cannot be extricated out of its historic and cultural moorings, to be aped at one's own whim and will.

Descending geese -
their cries pile on one another;
The cold of night
~ Kyoroku

Falling leaves
lie on one another;
rain beats on rain

~ Gyōdai

These two Hokku by Kyoroku (1655 - 1715) and Gyōdai (1732 - 1793) are similar in their tonality though they are different in their tenor. By their very nature, a Hokku or Haiku, would demand each reader to be a poet. Without cultivating the art of evocation, it would be difficult to decipher out what gets succintly recorded in poetry from an observation of nature, in which certain truths and beauty of life gets subtly revealed.

Let me restrict myself to muse on Gyōdai's poem alone.

In autumn, the leaves would keep falling from the trees. The season of autumn and the withering of leaves are associated with the feelings of loneliness and melancholy. The falling of leaves from a tree symbolises the withering away of life. The following lines from Rainer Maria Rilke's poem Autumn Day would sum up the experience of such an autumn:

Who now is alone, will remain so for long,
will wake, and read, and write long letters
and back and forth on the boulevards
will restlessly wander, while the leaves blow.

That is autumn and that is falling leaves.

The feelings and emotions that are evoked while observing the falling of leaves would be at stark contrast to what happens when one looks at the falling of flowers from a tree. In this poetry of Gyōdai, it does not stop with the falling of the leaves. Instead, the falling leaves then lie on one another, bringing a totally new dimension to it. At this juncture, two important elements get embedded to the poetic experience : a companionship and an ancestry. The newly falling leaves lie on the already fallen leaves which is a movement in the temporality of life. In Zen Buddhism, it is called the being-time amidst the flow of change. This bestows a deeper meaning of continuity and a wider sense of time to the whole phenomenon. The poem then ends with a metaphorical reference to the rainy season, when the rain drops beat on rain to merge into unison. Rather it expresses a longing for such a confluence in time and space.

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

~ A Zen Koan

A Koan is a riddle or a perplexing question, a dialogue or a statement, or just a story which can never be comprehended by the rational or logical mind. It gets unravelled only by intuition and wisdom. In Zen Buddhism, Koans are used as a meditative tool for the awakening of the inner self. The Zen Masters use Koans to probe the students in order to validate the authenticity of their insights (Kensho and Sartori) and fathom the depth of their realisation. The Koan, What Is The Sound Of One Hand Clapping?, propounds the fundamental question as to whether the object and the subject of relentless seeking are one and the same. It is a way of Zen meditation to realise that the self seeks the self not directly but under the guise of the Koan itself. When this realisation is achieved, the two hands become one and that is the sound of one hand clapping!

Does it sound too weird?! Some of us might dismiss Koan as a simplistic bit of cleverness or a sheer waste of time in mental gymnastics. It does not seem to be so. Am yet to read the famous 13th century book The Gateless Gate which is supposed to be having a compilation of important Koans along with their commentaries. I've been searching for this book everywhere and not yet found one. But the fundamental issue is not about reading this or that book.
It is about meditation..

Let me conclude, with my favourite poem of Naojo, a female poet of medievel Japan and a beautiful Huna Koan, which is based on the ancient Hawaiian system of metaphysics :

Naojo ~

A shame to pick it -
A shame not to pick it -
The violet flower

A Huna Koan ~

What is the sound of one person loving?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chitra Pournami : Haiku of Issa


Summer night -

even the stars

are whispering to each other


I wish she were here

to listen to my grouses

and enjoy this moon


My grumbling wife,

if only she were here -

This moon tonight


The moon and the flowers,

years passing by,

walking around, wasting time


Bright moon,

welcome to my hut -

such as it is


Great moon

woven in plum scent,

all mine


The world of dew -

A world of dew it is indeed,

And yet, and yet ..


~ Issa


Nobuyuki Kobayashi Issa (1763 - 1828) is the last of the three greatest masters of Haiku, the other two being Matsuo Basho (1644 - 1694) and Yosa Buson (1716 - 1783). The personal life of Issa was interspersed with more tragedies than anyone could possibly endure. The Shinshu sect of Buddhism was more liberal during the time of Issa than that of his predecessor Basho. The beauty of Issa, when compared to his legendary predecessors is that, he started using local dialects and the language of daily conversation, which is a turning point in the history of Japanese literature. Issa had a natural warmth for humanity and was innately compassionate towards every living being. Issa is the pen name which means a cup of tea..


The solitude of night

Full moon shining -

Issa talks to me


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Earth-Quakes & Extra-Marital Affairs!

If you are judgemental and moralistic, you call it as adultery.

If you are non-judgemental and neutral, you call it as extra-marital affair!

Whatever be its name, it signifies infidelity or philandery, if you have any kind of intimate relationship with a person other than your legally wedded spouse. It need not have to be necessarily sexual. It can be psychological or even spiritual.

I don't want to sully my beloved philosopher Plato by using the widely misconstrued term Platonic. In both of his seminal works, Symposium and Phaedrus, Plato never discusses love devoid of erotic passion. Platonic relationship, therefore, would include both the physical and the spiritual. Plato only stresses that erotic enthusiasm ought to become the motivational power to be directed in the realm of art, literature, learning and philosophy!

Sigmund Freud has cleared the cloud considerably, when he stated that everything good or bad stems from the expression or repression of the sex drive. According to Freud, love is a continual game of sexual hide-and-seek. All relationships in love are sexual mating games of varied hues and colours. It is embodied in the Eros, which is the basic drive for the survival of the species. The interesting ascpect of Freud's theorisation is that he highlighted that the sexual instincts are remarkable for their plasticity. It means the facility with which they can change their aim and camouflage their real intent; and the ease with which they can substitute one form of gratification for another.

The real persons who know the power of sex are the ones who are deeply religious. For they are the ones who are too intimate with the leela of the Eros and the Thanatos. That's precisely why, when a religious leader forewarns you, it has be taken up seriously. If not, you may be condemned to hell along with various other penalties and punishments that would be accompanying it. So, in the interest of all of us, I thought it befitting to bring the following piece of advice to your kind notice, for necessary action at your respective ends.

A senior Iranian Cleric Mr. Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi has recently claimed in Tehran that extramarital affairs are causing more earthquakes in Iran, a country that straddles several seismic fault lines. According to the senior Cleric, one should not taint chastitiy and indulge in any form of extra-marital affair as it increases the incidence of earthquakes. This advice was not heeded by the Europeans and within a few days after it was prophesised by the Hon'ble Cleric, the volcanic eruption has happened in Iceland! Since we heeded the advice, we have been saved. But just because we are saved once does not give any license for any unchaste behaviour in future. Beware! Never indulge in extra-marital relationships!

Now comes the Million-Dollar Question : Read between the lines! It is only the extra-marital relationships which are reprimanded. Therefore, don't you think that His Holiness of Tehran is actually advocating Polygamy?!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pic & Quote Of The Month

I used to look down on the world for being corrupt, but now I adore it for the utter magnificence of that corruption.

~ Richard J. Needham (1912 ~ 1996)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Japanese Wife : A Lyrical Epic On Celluloid, Almost!

Model Aparna Sen : Photographed by Brian Brake in 1961
Actor Aparna Sen : In one of her early Films Activist Aparna Sen : With Medha Patkar & Mahasweta Devi at Nandigram Director Aparna Sen : Flanked by Raima Sen & Moushumi Chatterjee

Dear Aparna,

Writing a letter to you is like writing to a family member, whom i've never met or talked to. It is like writing to a distant cousin, the daughter of my mythical uncle, about whom i have only heard a lot from the folklores of my village. While growing up in a village and shepherding the flock, one gets to listen to the heroic stories of an illustrious uncle who dared to leave the countryside in search of a far away land long ago. And who has later made quite a mark for himself by pursuing his passions. Though he might never return to the village, we keep talking about him and his great feats in life. And not just that. When this uncle of ours happens to have a beautiful and intelligent daughter like you, won't our adoration magnify in multitudes? So everytime you turn a new leaf in your life, it adds to the repertoire of our folklore. It has now become almost an obsession, more so, after our beloved uncle's cute, little, sweetie-pie, grand-daughter has started to endear all our hearts to no end.

I grew up reading your father Chindananda Dasgupta's brilliantly written critiques on Indian cinema in the Sunday Express Magazine of the good old Indian Express duing the mid-1980s. It was an altogether different Indian Express when the Gail Wynard of India, Ramnath Goenka, was alive. When Arun Shourie was a worthy journo before metamorphosising into a careerist politician. You won't beleive it, but am still preserving some of those newspaper clippings of your father's articles since my school days. I vividly recollect one of those articles entitled Sculpting In Time, reviewing the book and cinematic works of Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I am yet to fully comprehend! The contribution of your father Chidananda Dasgupta to the creative spurt in Indian cinema by founding the Federation of Film Societies of India in order to introduce World Cinema to every nook and corner of the country is immense. The two fastidious film critiques who shaped the taste of moviebuffs and whose impact can be felt for decades are your father Chindananda Dasgupta and Iqbal Masud. Indian cinema owes a lot to both of them for eternity.

Your accomplished acting skills in Satyajit Ray's Teen Kanya and Mrinal Sen's Ek Din Achanak were alone seen by me. What a remarkable transition in a span of three decades! You had performed remarkably well in both the films. I became an ardent admirer of yours after watching your maiden directorial venture, 36 Chowringhee Lane. I could not get to see your Paroma, Sati, Yugant and Paromitar Ek Din. Out of these four, I am very eager to watch Paroma and Paromitar Ek Din, which are being critically acclaimed. Your 15 Park Avenue is an interesting attempt. But the most lovely one which you have directed next to 36 Chowringhee Lane is Mr. & Mrs. Iyer. It is an amazingly subtle film on the mutual care and affection between two human beings, against the communal backdrop of Hindus and Muslims in post-Independant India. I feel like watching it again and again.

Now let me recapitulate the latest film directed by you, The Japanese Wife.

The protagonist Snehamoy lives with his widowed aunt, after losing both his parents, in an idyllic house at the banks of river Matla in the Sunderbans. Seeing the address from the pen-pals' club in a magazine, Snehamoy writes to a Japanese girl named Miyage while completing his graduation. They become close pen-pals. And start exchanging hundreds of letters, pouring out their hearts, in Bengali and Japanese accented English respectively. Snehamoy joins as a school teacher in the village. Their relationship grows compatibe through the exchange of poetic letters, photographs and small gifts. They keep writing to each other whatever they feel and want to share - from the very ordinary to the most intimate. After many years of such devoted correspondence, Miyage proposes to marry him. Snehamoy broods over it for almost a month and writes back to her accepting the proposal. She sends him a silver ring with her name engraved on it and he sends her a pair of conch-shell bangles and vermillion powder to wear at the parting of the hair. They thus get symbolically married, without meeting each other, even once.

Snehamoy's aunt initially brings home Sandhya as a prospective bride. But Snehamoy is steadfast in his commitment to Miyage, which gradually gains the acceptance of his aunt. Sandhya gets married elsewhere and after a few years, she returns as a widow with a small son Paltu, coming to live with Snehamoy's aunt in the same house, as she is also her God-Mother. The silent Sandhya brings a new rhythm in the life of Snehamoy. His disheveled room in the upstairs gets tidied up and Sandhya's son Paltu becomes fondly attached to him. Paltu discovers the colourful kites sent by Miyage to Snehamoy and Sandhya beats up the boy for opening the gift box in the absence of Snehamoy. Together, Snehamoy and Paltu organise a delightful kite festival in the village. The hesitant Sandhya starts feeling that she is a burden to Snehamoy. She expresses it, while they get back together in the boat, after buying provisions for Paltu's thread-ceremony. Snehamoy chooses to remain silent. This nonchalance evokes muffled whimpers from Sandhya during the very same night. Snehamoy goes to sit near her and gently strokes her head, which lean towards him with a consummate yearning for solace. In a trice, she gathers herself and vanishes into her room. A ruffled Snehamoy loyally reports this incident to his wife Miyage and testifies his fidelity for her.

Upto this first half of your movie, you have woven the colourful threads of myriad human emotions delightfully well. After the intermission, your movie starts to falter so clumsily, much akin to the inability to hold the telephone receiver by Snehamoy, while attempting that long distance call to Migaye. It is not just the telephone line which gets cut abruptly. But it is actually your screenplay which plonks there. I've not read the story by Kunal Basu. But the screenplay adaptation by you flounders in the second half. The manner in which Snehamoy starts running from pillar to post in search of an elixir to cure Migaye's malignancy from divergent systems of medicine and the hackneyed sense of Indian windowhood as epitomised by the triad at the end of the movie are grossly affected. Not to say about the redundant contextualisation of time through a discussion about fax and internet with a PCO operator and the television images getting beamed in the saloon and the clinic. They are too trite. Poor Snehamoy is forced to keep his conjugal vows by masturbating in a parked boat so as to rest on his oars till he breathes his last. Thou shalt not spell out such a feminist retribution, Aparna!

In spite of these essentially script-oriented flaws, you have chiselled out on celluloid the lost innocence of an era in all its pristine glory and grace. An era when people intensely communicated through letters and anxiously waited for the bell of the postman's bicycle. The theme of your film somehow reminds me of Michael Radford's Italian epic movie Il Postino based on a fictional account in the life of Pablo Neruda. Your film would remind the upcoming generation that human beings can actually be good, simple and true. Without enrolling into any of the spiritual superbazars or indulging in any mental gymnastics. Just be naturally and spontaneously caring. Our contemporary life has made these fundamental attributes a rarity. In such testing times, your movie The Japanese Wife would stand as a testimony on humanism. The cinematography, music and casting are splendid. Your artistic finesse to make the river, the boat, the bicylcle, the umbrella and the cat speak their own languages is marvellous. The refusal to take money by the cart-puller, who drops the Japanese Wife at home, touchingly captures the instinctive goodness of the village folk. The background score resonating the calls of various birds of Sunderbans, including that of Aakkaatti, enriches the authenticity of cinematic experience. Yet another interesting beauty of your movie is that, never once in any of these passionate letters, the much maligned phrase I Love You, is explicitly expressed. Your movie is a nostalgic tribute to the art of letter-writing and to the fast waning simplicity and innocence of human relationships.

Thank you for being what you are.

Hope to get much more from you in future.

With Warm Regards,


Movie Rating : 9 out of 10

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Bauls : Troubadours Of Bengal

When I first watched Ritwik Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-Capped Star), it took me many nights to come out of the melancholy. And the only thing that kept caressing me all through is this beautiful song Majhi tor Naam Jaani naa. It is a bhatiyali folk song of Bengal sung by boatmen while going downstream along the Brahmaputra river. In this epic masterpiece, Ritwik Ghatak transcreates it into a quintessential Baul song with a wandering bard singing this enchanting song with an Ektara in hand. When i close my eyes and listen to it in the darkness of the night, i feel the solitude of the universe descending from the skies and embracing me in its eternal hold. And the longing for a divine consolation would pervade the entire being..

Have you ever listened to a mystical song sung by a celestial minstrel in a garden sorounded by colossally huge and grand old trees on a wintery evening? It is magical. For those magnificent trees can bring the Third Crescent of the waxing Moon and adorn it on the forehead of the singer in all its splendour. I've seen it happening right in front of my eyes. If you do not believe it, you will never be able to comprehend the beauty of that constant conversation between those sagely trees and the flowing wind. When Parvathy Baul sings and dances, with an Ektara in her hand and a duggi hanging alongside, her long tresses start whirling in the air. The voice of Parvathy Baul is the voice of the Gaia, the primordial Greek Goddess of the Earth. It transcends all human frontiers and beckons at the Moon. And then, as though awaiting for such a call for eons, you can see the Third Crescent eagerly reaching out to the plaits of Parvathy Baul and nest in them..

Your flute could not

have its music of beauty

if your delight were not in my love.

Your power is great

— and there I am not equal to you —

but it lies even in me to make you smile.

And if you and I never meet,

then this play of love

remains incomplete..

~ A Baul Song

The sound became the word. And music was born. Or is it the other way round? I do not know.

The etymology of the word Baul is traced to mean - being afflicted with the wind, being restless, being impatiently eager, or, being crazily ecstatic. The Bauls are a product of the creative effervescence between the Bhakti and the Sufi traditions in medieval Bengal. This wandering music cult comprises of heterogenous group of mendicants and fakirs with music as their only source of sustenance. They travel from village to village, with their single-stringed drone called Ektara being a constant companion. It is basically an oral tradition with very little record of their rich folk repertoire. They express their feelings and emotions on life, love and longing in the form of their songs. Lalon Fakir of the 19th century is considered to be the greatest of the Bauls. Rabindra Sangeet of Tagore is deeply influenced by the songs of the Bauls. Of late, Parvathy Baul performs in the Ruhaniyat festivals conducted across the country and has been instrumental in spreading the voice of the Bauls with renewed vigour and vitality. The songs of the Bauls express the spiritual yearning of the human heart to be in communion with the divine. It is essentially a religion of music and love..

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Days Of The Week

Monday morning blues are difficult to beat. The prospect of having to undergo yet another routine set of same motions for five more days looms large at the morning horizon with a sinister smile. A nausea for living emerges from your underbelly, raises slowly above, passes through your chest and gets stuck at your throat. Till you gradually forget about it in the unrelated flow of events which are mostly beyond comprehension. By the end of the day, you get logically warmed up and resign yourself to the fatality of life.

Tuesday is a hazy day. You get out of the bed by warning yourself that you gotta be optimistic about life. You start the day by convincing yourself that the mission of your great life is inextricably interwoven with the accomplishments of all those petty and mundane things which beckon at your desk. By the night-fall, your dalliance with the power of positive thinking gets transformed from the murkier to merrier. As you realise that there is no other choice left with.

Wednesday is the day of orgasmic mediocrity. You achieve spasmodic fits of excitement when you try to believe that you can easily kick out your wretchedness into oblivion. You avoid looking into your own eyes at the mirror for it may show you through. With a facade of stiffness you prance around as though you have taken life completely under your control. You fall asleep before the crack opens too wide.

Thursday morning you wake up sober. A sense of pride wells up in your heart. More because you become aware that you have crossed half-way through and you are still alive and kicking. You feel that you are not left behind in learning the tricks of your trade. You feel pretty amazed that you can fathom all those depths with a stunning equipoise as you can scale the heights of existence. It becomes difficult to accept the contradictions and convolutions of your mind. Thursday evening becomes a time to contemplate at the predicament of your life.

Friday morning brings you a mischievous smile. A beautiful day is ahead of you. You have tamed the bull by its horns. Now the time is up to relax and rejoice. The very thought that this is the last day of the week brings a million cheers. You can manage any impending disaster with such an ease as the promise of a weekend makes you glow. Friday night is to get high. To let loose your mangled nerves. To celebrate your victory for having protected your precious heart with both the hands without bursting upon the world.

And to thank all the Gods and Guardian Angels for having given a Saturday and a Sunday at every weekend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Moore Is No More : The Beauty Of Global Warming!

Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes

(Click on the strip to expand in another window and read it more legibly)

Please choose the correct answer :
What is the name of the Island under dispute between India and Bangladesh which was mentioned in Paragraph No.: 9 of the Joint Press Statement issued by the Hon'ble Ministers of External Affairs of India and Bangladesh at Dhaka on the 18th of August, 1980 AD?
(a) New Moore
(b) South Talpatti
(c) Purbasha
(d) All the above

Such intellectually challenging (rather, challenged!) questions would gradually be out of vogue from the competitive examinations being conducted to recruit Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay's clerks of various ilk in both India and Bangladesh.

Wonder why?

This Island has disappeared into the sea!

New Moore Island (a.k.a. Purbasha in India and South Talpatti in Bangladesh) was an island of about 3 x 3 km area situated in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of the India and Bangladesh. It is an uninhabited piece of sandy island, formed as a result of silt deposition from both the Ganga and the Brahmaputra over centuries. It peeped out of the sea after a cyclone in 1970. Since then, both India and Bangladesh have been claiming sovereignty over the island as there was a speculation of oil and natural gas beneath the surface, which was never to be found. The Government of India hoisted the national flag in 1981 and established a temporary military base with our warships frequenting every now and then. It became a contentious issue and was having an important mention in the Indo-Bangla bilateral talks between various External Affairs Ministers and Prime Ministers of both the countries during the last four decades. The Radcliffe Award and the mid-channel flow principle (a.k.a. Thalweg Doctrine) were analysed threadbare by the bureaucrats serving at the External Affairs and Home Ministries of both the countires.

And out of the blue, before the problem could be bilaterally resolved and an amicable solution could be worked out, the Island itself has vanished into the sea! It happened a few weeks ago. Scientists of various universities across the globe have brainstormed the issue and have discovered that global warming resulting in the rise of mean sea level is the prime accused which has led to the unfortunate submergence of this Island. Before closing the respective files on this Island, the bureaucrats of both the countries would be drafting certain order sheet and file notings. That would be one of the most amusing documents written in the history of human civilisation!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Way Of Your Love...

At first,

the way of your love

seemed easy.

I thought

I'd reach your union

with speed.

After taking a few steps,

I found the way

is an ocean.

When I stepped in,

a wave swept me

away. . .

~ Hamid al-Din Kirmani (13th Century)

(From : Love's Alchemy : Poems From The Sufi Tradition Translated By David and Sabrineh Fideler)