'America' Tribute Series: Part III - Aruni Kashyap

The third and the final poem in this series is by Aruni Kashyap. The America tribute series celebrates poems by various Indian poets that are either inspired or, are adapted from Ginsberg's AmericaWe thank the author for granting us the permission to use this poem.

Dear India
- A Collage poem

(A tribute to Ginsberg’s America. First published in The Sunday Guardian, 2012)

Dear India, what kind of an idea are you? Do you
bend at all? Do you sway at all, trimming
your bluish shades? Why are you
proud of a 50 year old shame?

Dear India, please do not forget the sweaters women in Assam had knitted,
the ornaments they had donated and do not forget,
that James Bond has killed 150 men and
has slept with 44 women since
the first movie came out in 1962. That is
also an important matter.

Dear India, there were few boats that night,
when people were fleeing Tezpur, feeling
betrayed after they'd heard Nehru's speech.

Dear India, please wake up.
Have some strong Assam tea (Korongoni will do but
I love Golaghat Tea too - you can get it in small
250 gram packets if you don't want to spend a lot)
and stop glorifying 1962 as it is not the only story.

Dear India, have you read A Single Man?
Christopher Isherwood's novel
set in November 1962, about a gay man in LA? Have
you heard of the book? About the Cuban Missile Crisis?
You know, I am a great fan of Lata Mangeshkar. I think she is super cool.

Dear India,
In 1962, An American Airlines Boeing 707 crashed on takeoff
at New York International Airport after a rudder malfunction
caused an uncontrolled roll, resulted in the loss of control of the aircraft
and the loss of all life on board - there are other
stories, please read some at least, India.

Dear India : go fuck yourself with your atom bomb,
with your commonwealth games
with your T-3 airport.

Dear India,
you need an education.

Dear India, why do you make me
feel ashamed so often? As if seizing the virginities
of fourteen-year olds by Indian soldiers in 90s
wasn't enough. Dear India, please pack
your bags, and go to school. It is getting late, your Assam tea
will not remain hot forever. Dear India, you might
just miss the bus - have you done your homework? Madam
will make you kneel down in front of the class if it is incomplete. Please
do not stick your arms and legs out of the windows of the bus and better
finish your tiffin today: including the bananas.

Read other poems from the 'America' Tribute Series.

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