Thursday, May 17, 2012

Little Cormorant, Big Guts.....

 My blog-and-FB friend  Bhavesh Chhatbar captured these wonderful scenes of a "little cormorant"  at the Okayama Garden aka Pu la Deshpande Garden in Pune.  To those unfamiliar  with Pu la Deshpande, he was one of the most celebrated , contemporary, best loved, humorous, satirical, musically talented, actors, author , playwrights/literary figures, of Maharashtra;  and one with a lot of guts, in the face of a government clampdown on freedom of expression that happened in 1975. Today, politicians misuse this freedom for personal advancement, and Pune has lately been witness to physical attacks, tarring ,throwing ink black, and defilement of homes and works,  of men of letters , who happen to think a bit differently.

The expressions on the face of the little cormorant, the location and the clicks just brought all this back in mind ....

at the air lectern
displaying full plumage
hands held out
in messiah position,
all the trunks and bushes
I practised my maiden speech.

Only to hear
wild crowd noises
shouting against me
and approaching
from the left
iron rods and tar
and ink pots in hand.

I watched,
wings together,
and looked away,

And I raised my wings,
once again,
to shrug off all doubts,
taking courage
from the man,
after whom the garden was named.

Among other things,
he would have
been amused
at the thoughtless protests
in throwing
dark colors
on someone
who was already black,
but shining..