6’O clock I and me, crossing the Ganges on a freight train, see the horizon enveloped in life. Indian women with their own elegance borrow water from the goddess. Men, after the holy dip, join their hands before the sun.
Heart of India Lies in this stream, which spread and Sanctify their souls.
I can see life and death at the same time. Bodies which no longer breathe, are being drown in it. Also, the bodies which breathe are drawing water to drink. But it’s difficult to find which body is alive and which one’s dead.
Plastics, garbage, dance on surface, to enter bodies, Whether breathe or not.
And now the river’s crossed. I look inside. The bodies beside mine have closed their eyes. Some are open, but are of no use. Their mouths are whispering to each other in their own fashion. Some talk of politics, some about the mythology. Oh! They also know the stories about the purity of Ganges. But…
None of these stories Can sanctify the drops which Purify these mouths.
Now I need to be ready, for my stoppage is arriving. I dare not call it my destination as it’s already decided. The sacred Ganges that I crossed is the ultimate end of this body. Like all of them, I also have to die before death. [“I’m a critic of left wing ideology.” “You’re right. They don’t respect the indian culture.” “By the way who will win the election this time. What do you think?”] And here comes my stoppage. Let’s meet new bodies, new eyes and new mouths.
About the Ganges at Six
The Ganges is considered as the most sacred river of India. The natives purify themselves by the holy dips. But the catastrophe that the river is facing is being ignored. That’s what I chose as the theme of my poem.
This prose enveloped haibun has been written in response to Colleen’s Poetry Challange. Thanks to her for giving such beautiful words every week. This time the words were Grace and style and my synonyms are Elegance and fashion. Hope you enjoyed it.
Ved came back to his house. He was lost somewhere. “When you can’t find a solution, try solving other problems. You may find the solution to it on your own, at the end.”- Read a message from Lavanya on his phone. Ved wanted but failed to gather the courage to reply her back. But this message reminded him of their past. It was a time when Lavanya used to be a girl who knew nothing but to “live”. She never disclosed her other side to anyone. But Ved was the one, with whom she revealed her hidden side, but still not everything. One day, Ved called and asked her to meet- “Where?” “The Coffee House.”
Next day, Lavanya came before the time and was waiting for him. After about half an hour, Ved came. She smiled and didn’t say anything. “Sir, ma’am, your order?” “Two cups of Mocha”- Replied Lavanya to the waiter. Ved begun to speak. “Lavanya, are we good friends?” “Yes.” “Then would you mind if I say something wrong to you?” “Why, are you going to abuse me?”- Lavanya asked with a laughter. “No, not at all.” “Then tell me whatever you have to say.” Ved gathered a lot of courage and proposed her. He seemed to be scared and his eyes were closed. Suddenly a voice came- “Your order sir, two cups of mocha.” Ved slowly opened his eyes and looked around.
Then he looked at Lavanya, she was smiling but didn’t say anything. Suddenly, the phone rings and Ved comes out of his past. “You met her even after my warning, now you see how I will punish you both.” -said Abhay on the call. “No, please don’t hurt her anymore. You can punish me but forgive her.”- Ved requested. But Abhay disconnected the call. Ved wanted to kill Abhay and make Lavanya free of his grip. He wanted to call her and ask whether she is fine. But he didn’t want add to her troubles.
Hope you are enjoying the episodes. Episode 1 and Episode 2 of The Coffee House are already uploaded. For instance, if you missed any of the previous episodes, go and read it.
Also, if you’ve any suggestion regarding the posts, let me know through the contact page. Further, if you write poetry or prose, your work is invited.
Dead, dark street, haunted By a shadow. Alone, she walked, Unearthed the mound, sat At the edge, meowed and jumped, And the shadow left the street.
About “The Shadow”
This tanka is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. This time the two prompt words are Dig and Grave. Since using the prompts is not allowed, I am using their synonyms.
My synonyms are mound and unearth.
Because a tanka poem displays a mood or a state of mind, this poem is doing the same. It presents the state of the speaker’s mind.
The person’s mind has been compared to a dark and dead street. There is a shadow which I have compared to a cat.
Since cats are considered to be a bad sign, I have used her shadow. This shadow haunts the street. But later, it is seen that it jumps into the tomb itself and leaves the street.
By this poem, I wanted to present the idea that all of us create our fear. And only we can overcome it. We take ourselves to a bad situation and only we can make it better.
Well this was my perspective. You should find a meaning to this poem yourself. Every poem has the capacity to be interpreted in infinite ways. So do your own interpretation. I have just given my perspective and I eagerly wait to know what’s yours!
To know more about Colleen’s Poetry Challange, visit the link given at the end.
Further, a lot new is about to come on the blog. So be ready and subscribe for the newsletter. If you’ve still missed the episode 1 and episode 2 of The Coffee House, go check them out, because the new episode is on the way.
Lavanya became absolutely quite for a minute. Both of them were feeling the same at this moment. Lavanya broke the silence and asked – “For how long are you supposed to be there?” “They didn’t say anything about it.”– Ved replied. Lavanya’s hopes were dead after this reply. Every corner of this place was mocking at her. Ved was sitting still beside her. Suddenly he said- “I think I should reject their offer. I can find some other investor and…” “But it’s quite difficult to get an investor once you reject them. Because they’re very powerful, I don’t think any other investor would ever go against them.”– Lavanya interrupted. “..Yes you are right Lavanya but I can’t leave you alone here.”
Ved was puzzled and he didn’t know what should he do now. Suddenly Lavanya’s phone rings. “Will you let me know where the hell are you?” Lavanya was numb and her hands were shivering. Looking at her condition Ved realized that it’s Abhay on the call. “Ved I need to leave now. I’ll see you soon.”– Lavanya says with a fake smile and leaves. Ved’s eyes turn red but he feels helpless. He keeps staring at the door even after Lavanya had left. He was thinking something while sitting in the coffee house for a long time.
Finally, it was the closing time. So, the manager requests him to leave. Meanwhile, Ved looks at the two cups full of coffee on the table, left untouched. He comes out of the coffee house and sits on the stares outside. All the employees looked at Ved. It was absolutely cold outside. “Sir you won’t get any taxi after sometime, you should go home now.”– said the manager. “I don’t have a home man, it’s a house..lonely house.” “But sir…” “You please go to your home. You people are best at your work. I liked your coffee.” The manager smiles and replies- “Thank you sir. People say that our coffee smells really nice. But I guess you would have liked it more if you would have taken a sip.”
Manager leaves in a taxi and Ved is left alone. A feeling of fear of losing and a guilt of missing something filled his heart.
Abhay, a new character in the Coffee House?
Was it the guilt of missing the coffee or something else? Stay tuned to know what was it. A new character, Abhay, has been introduced today. So he might have a major part to play in the next episode. But before that the question remains “Who is Abhay?”. The answer is about to come in episode 3. Till then enjoy the episode 2 and if still haven’t read episode 1, go and read it. Will be back with the new episode very soon. Subscribe to the blog if you enjoy the content and share the link!
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Anarchy, the relentless rise of East India Company is the latest book by William Dalrymple. This is the book which reveals the real truth behind the rise of East India Company in India.
Before I move further into the details of this book, I would like to tell you something about the author. William Dalrymple is a writer and historian. So as a professional, his words are the result of a passionate research done to present facts. He is also the writer of the book The Last Mughal. Hence, we can say that he is a true historian who recognizes the rich history of India. This will sound even more true to you once you go through the rest part of this review post.
So let’s begin!!
Anarchy, The Relentless Rise of East India Company
The book tells the story of the East India Company like never before. It describes a lots of words in English dictionary and says that how they’ve been taken from Indian languages.
Let me tell you something about the word “loot”. It is actually an Indian word. It means “to plunder”. This is what East India Company did in India and hence, the word became a part of English dictionary. As Dalrymple puts, a visit to the Powis Castle will reveal a lot about the story.
Powis castle in Wales is a magnificent building that has more of mughal treasures than any other castle in India. It was the age of Robert Clive as the viceroy of India. One can find a sequence of rooms filled with gold and jewels in this private house. There’s also the palanquin of Siraj-ud-daulah, the nawab of Bengal. Also, the campaign tent of the tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan can be found here.
As I have mentioned the nawab of Bengal, I must tell you when it all actually started. It was the Battle of Plassey in 1757 which resulted in the rise of company powers somehow. The Battle of Plassey in India, is remembered and taught as a day of loss. But in England, the students are taught the opposite.
The Revealing Pictures
Now let’s collect how the book brings out these revealing pictures of British India. As already said, this age belonged to Robert Clive. He won the Battle of Buxar and thus, the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II had to pay Diwani to him. You would have already read about the Battle of Buxar in your schools. The consequences of this battle were horrible.
The first Multi National Corporation, East India Company got the right of minting, tax collecting and other financial control of the three richest provinces namely Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. So this was first step toward the destruction as put by William Dalrymple.
India Before The Conquest
Now if I put it clearly here, India contributed more than 40% to the world’s GDP in the 18th century. Infact the author says that what Manchester would be in 19th century, Bengal was in 18th century. So as felt by William Dalrymple, the conquest of India is remembered as a national event in both the countries, Britain and India. One remembers it as a victory and other as a series of oppression, resistance and ultimately freedom.
But there is a fact that both the countries have ignored. The British government didn’t seize the Indian subcontinent. No military coup was sent from Britain to India in order to conquer it. But the civilization fell into the hands of East India Company, the word’s oldest Multi National Corporation.
I won’t go into much details of the book. But I would suggest you to go through it once. You will see how revealing the content of the book is. How Anarchy was established in the country. And most importantly, the book will tell you about the unjust rule of a corporate power.
My Personal Opinion about the book “Anarchy”
Honestly, I would like to mention one thing about this book. Though William Dalrymple presents a quite innocent picture of the British government, his opinions seem to be a bit biased. I personally felt a constant effort to prove that whatever happened in India was just due to East India Company is made through out the book.
Further, it felt a bit weird when he writes that East India Company didn’t bring anarchy to India. India was already in a state of anarchy when the company came. This may be called his personal opinion as we already know that they’d already attacked the subcontinent a number of times before the conquest.
And yes, the question remains that if the company was the only guilty, then why did the government didn’t seize its operation. We have read about a number of royal charters passed by the king and Queen of Britain. Infact they shared a very good relationship with the company employs as they were always invited in the ceremonies and parties held there.
So I must say that the company alone was at fault may be a biased statement. But such statement can be expected from a professional historian. All the historians put their personal opinion along with the facts, so Dalrymple did the same.
But the book becomes a must read if you are much into history.
You can buy it from the link given at the end of this post. Will be back soon with a new post. Till then, if you missed reading our previous book review, go and check it out. Share it with others too and subscribe to the blog for the upcoming posts.
Love Wonders Who’s serving This charm to it. Glowy mornings stir Bubbling desires to stay As a shade of its spectrum, Spreading all the colours it has, While the sunbeams falling on its face With an elegance never seen before.
This is a part of Colleen’s poetry challenge. Prompts for this Tuesday’s poetry challenge are Spell and Treat. As theme is Synomyms only, we chose the words Charm and Serve.
Also, the challenge was to write a poetry in the specified forms only. So we thought to write an Etheree. Before you think what’s Etheree now, let us help you.
Etheree is a poetic form with 10 lines and it’s syllable count increases by one with each proceeding line.
We hope you enjoy this piece and request you to show your love and support to the blog. Share the blog with your friends. And, please let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions regarding our content.
By the way, two new categories have been added to our list. The Book Review every week and the episodic story. Latest is the episode 1 of The Coffee House, go read it if you still haven’t. We will be back with Episode 2 very soon, till then stay tuned.
Finally, if you want to know more about Colleen’s poetry challenge, go check out the link.
While siting in a coffee house, Lavanya’s eyes were fixed on the entrance door. Suddenly a voice is heard, “ma’am, here’s your order.” Her eyes were still fixed at the door and she replies “..but I didn’t order anything!”
But suddenly Lavanya’s pink cheeks turned red and she looked at the man behind. “How was the meeting? What did they say about the idea? Why didn’t you reply me Ved? I texted you more than 30 times…” “Calm down Lavanya, please take a breathe and let me speak. Everything went well and they liked the idea. Infact, they’re ready to invest in the plan. But…“- Ved replied. “But what?”- Asked Lavanya.
“They loved the idea but they said that I lack experience in the field of business. So I have to learn something about it and then they’ll invest in my plan.”– Ved seemed to be a bit disturbed.
Lavanya tried to cool him but while looking at his face, she realized that there’s some bad news for sure. So she took a long breathe and asked Ved to tell her what’s the matter. Ved looked at her. An innocent girl who cared about nothing other than their moments of togetherness was constantly looking into his eyes. It seemed as if she was trying to solve the riddle herself.
“They offered me to work under them for some time. They said that I’ve a mind of a businessman and all I need is some experience. But investing in the plan of an inexperienced person may not be a good deal, according to them.” -he replied. “Okay then that’s great! I knew you’ll make it out. You should accept the offer and definitely gain some experience. It’s so kind of them that they thought this.”
“Yes of course.”- Replied Ved in a low voice. “You should start this job as soon as possible. By the way where’s the office?” Lavanya felt a little bad as they won’t be able to meet so often as none of the company’s branches are located in this city. But she was happy for Ved. “London“- replied Ved.
Why “The Coffee House” today?
We have started to bring something new for our readers. So this week, it’s the beginning of a story which will go in episodes. This was the first episode of The Coffee House. More episodes are due to come in the upcoming posts.
Stay tuned for other episodes. Till then read our previous posts.