“You are all knowing, friends,
What sweetness is in Miss Pushpa.
I don’t mean only external sweetness
but internal sweetness.
Miss Pushpa is smiling and smiling
even for no reason but simply because
she is feeling.”
Sounds a bit strange, but also strangely familiar, doesn’t it? This is a poem titled “Goodbye Party to Miss Pushpa T.S” by Nissim Ezekiel. Click here to read the entire poem, which is a part of a whole series by the same poet. The beauty of the poem, and why we at LearnEd find it so fascinating, is the language used in the poem. The poem is a take on how Indians have evolved their own version of English over the years. Ezekiel brings out the essence of “Indian-English”. The poem talks about who Miss Pushpa is, where she is from, what her family is like and what her plans for the future are. However, this is done through the amusing point of view of a colleague, in a language that has widely come to be associated with an Indian way of speaking English. . The poem misuses the present continuous tense and uses turns of phrases and syntax found in the Indian language, like when Ezekiel writes, “Whatever I or anybody is asking/ She is always saying yes.” Not only does this make the reading humorous, but at LearnEd, it encourages us to work at recognising how English changes from culture to culture!
If you have laughed while reading it, and yet realised that your language and communication may have room for improvement just like the voice in the poem, Project LeapOn is your next destination!