The Indian English After The English; A Compromised Contentment; The Sound of Third Wave; Fear of Handcuffs in Pandemic; Let’s be Pepys

The Indian English After the English 

The questions,
The English or English?
English Medicine or Allopathy?
Allopathy or Homeopathy?
Homeopathy or Anandaiah medicine? 

always flicker here 
like the restless flame 
on Mahatma Gandhi's Tomb 

with the teasing definite article 
or hidden mischief of the 
alluring coordinating conjunction.

My Experiments with truth of 
a handful of hidden nuances 
sandwiched in the crevices 
of this colonial tomb in the 
corridors of our patriotic psyche, 

crawl in and out 
with their spindly legs, 
alluring our the proficient hands 
that hold the letters of the nation.

The English' alphabet's 
the integral subject of 
our academe's perennial 
present continuous tense, 

with we being it's 
green-bunched predicates
the verbal action of which 
incessantly flows in 
our flamboyant veins, 

with our ever-fresh status 
of being direct objects 
with clenched fists of 
our syntactical fury against 
the perennial noontides.  

The tireless struggles 
to shake off it's hold 
ends in those grace marks 
our own teachers give 
in the final exam results. 

The perfectly grammatical active voice  
with those intransitive verbs of 
our passive voice still whine at the 
scattered,  and  greying 
colonial foundation stones 
that grin in ubiquitous plentifuls 

at our chronic addiction 
to vocal and aural tips 
of our higher education's 
anglicised body. 

My son proudly salutes 
to our royal flag in the 
school Independence day costume 
looking at the brimming 
Aphrodite chocolate basket, 

it's holder being 
the Sanskrit teacher, 
who calls him aside 
after the momentous flag hoisting 
and tells off, 

Yatho Hasta thatho Drishti, 
Yatho Drishti thatho Manah
Yatho Manah thatho Bhaava, 
Yatho Bhaava thatho Rasa

But again the embarrassed English grammar 
blinks on the school's peeling Black board 
that whitens only in strokes of 
momentary chalk scripts 
in his Grammar class. 

In the visions of those winkless motifs 
of my subconsciously preoccupied notions, 
a mason always leisurely spreads 
the-vengeful faced lichen-tinted bricks 
from this Good Earth for the intensified, 
tense future tense of a de-Anglicised grammar 
on the flickering pages of my academe. 

On the shifting sands of the Suryalanka Beach 
the last flock of gray-winged Gulls explode 
a take-off heading west, leaving behind 
those rhythmic cackles of crystalline intonation 
of a non-ethereal language.
A Compromised Contentment 

When I often clench at my father's fist
that clenched at me 
with his fistful of my calendars
he perforated those luminous dates in

with hard and fast nailed hands 
taking over the clock of 
my home he timed and alarmed
time and again, 

the hope in the twitters 
in the Sunrise of my children's
sincere drawings, on the crystalline 
pages of their sky 

always reminds that my day's yet 
towards an evening 
where they will watch theirs 
boast of the proud moments 
I'll have saved for them, in the air
The Sound of Third Wave 
a letter from Machilipatnam

Every bulletin roars 
like a gun point obligation 
on the temple of the
nation's fourth estate,  

as if a noontide of 
an unscreened affidavit, 
is in store for us, 

even as the country just unmasks 
it's locked down face 
washed afresh by the 
first monsoon drafts. 

unlike the sweet silence 
of those pre-Covid nights, 
in the blissful ignorance of 
any sudden morning of cold fever, 

today our nights pace in our beds 
with the discordant creaks 
of a haunting uncertainty 
of next minute and a more 
uncertain nightmarish morning, 

we panic with our children 
on our weak hearts, 
while the incessant sounds of 
those monstrous hydraulics 
play second fiddle to orchestrate 
some Neroic dreams of national vistas. 

In the duel between the 
fear-muffled sound 
of the public fury and that of 
a Theia Mania's failed dream, 

the non-violent history of democracy 
dons a sooty apocalyptic cassock 
of an unholy ghost 
with the barbaric strategy 
of its infantry 
towards our infants 
in the mythic proportions.
Fear of Handcuffs in Pandemic

Bhayiom Aur Behanom!

in this Good Earth today the 
police handcuffs  search for the 

rickshaw pullers' and coolies', hands
which, tired of finding work, pasted 

the anti-government posters, resorting to 
avenge the opposition's voice to protest the 

scarcity of children’s vaccine sold off 
in the welfare of national vistas, seen 

in the jaw-dropping sculptures, 
naked, crowds of Kumbh Mela 

or the magnificent domes of Ayodhya.
Elsewhere a special team searches 

for a photo journalist that captured the 
pictures of the government ambulances
a minister used to transport cement for 
a new parliamentary Bhavan, while the
TV channels don’t cover their absence  
in government hospitals fearing handcuffs. 


1.	Bhayiom Aur Behanom is typical of Prime Minister Narander Modi’s public address 

Kumbh Mela: an annual Hindu pilgrimage festival that happens on the famous Indian river banks
Let's be Pepys
(remembering Samuel Pepys during Covid)

because, though engulfed 
by the plagued clock, 

he met his mistress 
with life, burning  

as breath of hope.
Since love is waxed 

at this periphery between 
time and eternity, let these 

home remedies of love from 
our long quarantined hearts 

be out in our physical quarantines, 
shut up and relive the first love 

paying back our long 
pending dues of home 

for God's sake opening up 
those fermented silences 

and burn into flames, to flee  
this contagion, as smoke upward.

Note: Diary of 17th-century British naval administrator named Samuel Pepys shows how life under the plague mirrored today’s pandemic.  


Photography Credit: Jason Rice (detail)

Sreekanth Kopuri is an Indian poet, current poetry editor of Kitchen Sink Magazine, Alumni Writer in Residence, Athens and a Professor of English from Machilipatnam, India. He recited his poetry in University of Oxford, John Hopkins University, Heinrich Heine University and many others. His poems appeared in Christian Century, Chicago Memory House, A Honest Ulsterman, Heartland Review, Lannang Archieves, Tulsa Review, A New Ulster, The Rational Creature, Nebraska Writers Guild, Poetry Centre San Jose, Underground Writers Association, Athereon Review, Word Fountain, Synaeresis, Wend Poetry, Vayavya, Ann Arbor Review to mention a few. His book Poems of the Void was finalist for the Eyelands Books Award Greece, 2019. He is the recipient of the Immanuel Kant Award for his collection of poems on Silence 2020. He lives in his hometown, Machilipatnam, with his mother.