Monday, May 24, 2010

I Am a Generation!

I Am a Generation!

Through my eyes,
History changes and un-changes
As in the eyes
That saw it before mine.

And when I look back,
In the pages of history
Will I ponder,

"Who am I?"

I am the one
In the corner of a classroom
Writing poems
On the back of an engineering book.
Half baked poems and
Half learned lessons.

I am the one who
turned his back on temples.
I sit on noisy sidewalks
Sipping bitter tea
In plastic cups
And contemplate and reflect
Search for my soul.
In the bitterness.

I often cut my hair,
And color it
In accordance
With "post-modern art"
I am the face on the banners
Who has changed his name
To have some fame.

I forever join in the debate
On the soul of Gandhi
And sometimes,
The poetry of Tagore
The Nehru and the Ambedkar.
I am often caught,
On both sides of debate.

My mind ponders
On why Sukhi died.
(Sherman In RDB)
Patriotism or friendship?
Or was he afraid
Of the meaninglessness of it all
And of his existence.

I wear a secular mask
And I cried
And cheered a certain Mr. Khan
As he walked
To break the greatest boundaries
Of my times.(yes, perhaps.)
And beyond.

But I didn't walk
With Mr. Khan.
I wasn't stupid!

I am the one
Who applauded
A Slumdog Millionaire
As he charmed and amused.
I also slapped him in face,
For the other Slum-dogs
Who were still slum-dogs,
With empathetic heart
And well fed stomach!

All the while,
While, I split my pocket-money
Between petrol and pizza,
I never realized
I am not me.

I am a generation.

I wonder
What will I take to my grave...
A generation that had ambitions
Before it could dream!

A generation that put the blame
On the generations before,
And slipped into the grave.
With eyes shut.

I am scared
How history will be seen,
Through my eyes.

(c) Ankur Srivastava 

( For those who don't know about Sukhi and Mr. Khan.

Sukhi is a character played by Sherman Joshi in a Hindi movie, "Rang De Basanti". He reluctantly chooses to help his friends in killing the corrupt Defense Minister of India who was largely responsible for the death of their friend, the pilot who died in a crash of one of the MIG planes due to technical problems in the plane.
He then reluctantly goes with his friend to confess before the whole nation through radio and is killed by the forces. Through all this, he remains scared and confused and gathers some strength only when the end is near.


Mr. Khan is played by Shah Rukh Khan in "My name is Khan". Rizvan Khan is an honorable Muslim man from India, living with Asperger's Syndrome in US. When his son is killed by people due to the hatred against Muslims post 9/11, Khan selflessly embarks on a powerful journey through a contemporary America. He innocently becomes that most unlikely act of defiance, one of peace and compassion. In the name of the woman he loves, he wants to meet the president of USA just to tell him that, "My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist." )


Venkat said...

Excellent! You have reallys earched within and addresses the subject as honestly as you could. My recommendation would be to polish up some of the grammar, tighten it a bit and see what is possible about having it published in a magazine for the young Indian.

Ankur said...

Oh wow... thank you thank you thank you.. Yes, i ll take some help with grammar from someone.. i have had problems with time frame shifts here.. and i am looking for a place to get something published but i am clueless..
Am delighted at this response from you... glad you liked it so much.

Aayushi Mehta said...

Pretty amazing write. A generation well-defined, indeed. Loved your line of thoughts.

strider said...

It is an accurate portrayal of the generation through its defiance, its way with severing roots, its love for freedom yet its reluctance go deeper into their fears and a confusion to take a stand. It becomes even better to the end when realization dawns that being a generation more than an individual is very limiting. The history through the eyes of a new generation will be as unkind as it is now.

Very insightful write.

Usha Pisharody said...

The depths you plumb are so real and frightening. All you touch upon, the wanting to be part of change, yet, the hesitation, each in its place gives that peculiar condition that one now associates w this generation.

Very articulate, and yet simple enough to empathize and internalize.

I worry too, at this thought; with what i see coming out of classrooms, and feel just that bit guilty of perhaps having not done enough! *Sigh*!!!

Ankur said...

@ Aayushi
Thank you dear, so much. Am happy that I could do some justice..

Ankur said...

@ Arun,
Thank you for coming over and having a look at it, as you always do :). Your comment really says everything about the heart of the poem and what I wanted to convey :)

Ankur said...

@ Usha
Thank you mam.. questions and more questions in answer of those questions... yes, that is indeed what I feel.. lack of conviction and faith really shatters but I wont hold you(the teacher, the previous generation, the mother, the guide) responsible for it.. the blame should only go to the newer generation if someone has to be blamed

Kunal said...

I am a generation !

LOVED the sure know your way around themes.....though i personally think your bashful, soft spoken style (eg. here) works even better in pieces like i am the poem and that other the phases of this poem that deal with disillusionment, this very style, works....however, the phases that verge on a certain kind of antiestablishment (or portends, at least):-

I am the one who
turned his back on temples.
I sit on noisy sidewalks
Sipping bitter tea
In plastic cups
And contemplate and reflect
Search for my soul.
In the bitterness.

THERE, just after that, i think the piece called for a certain flamboyance and even, anger but instead, relapses into a well meaning probe into existentialism. IMO the other option would've brought out a nice contrast and made the protagonist more intriguing; because you're not just describing him, are you? but you're making a bigger point.

glad to have read this. truly.

Narendra Gangwar said...

I love walking haywire in search of some beautiful peace of soul. Your's is one...