Posts filed under ‘Kosh’

From the Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes

Bill Watterson

Listen (to Kosh read)

I made a big decision a little while ago.
I don’t remember what it was, which prob’ly goes to show
That many times a simple choice can prove to be essential
Even though it often might appear inconsequential.

I must have been distracted when I left my home because
Left or right I’m sure I went. (I wonder which it was!)
Anyway, I never veered: I walked in that direction
Utterly absorbed, it seems, in quiet introspection.

For no reason I can think of, I’ve wandered far astray.
And that is how I got to where I find myself today.

Explorers are we, intrepid and bold,
Out in the wild, amongst wonders untold.
Equipped wit our wits, a map, and a snack,
We’re searching for fun and we’re on the right track!

My mother has eyes on the back of her head!
I don’t quite believe it, but that’s what she said.
She explained that she’d been so uniquely endowed
To catch me when I did Things Not Allowed.
I think she must also have eyes on her rear.
I’ve noticed her hindsight is usually clear.

At night my mind does not much care
If what it thinks is here or there.
It tells me stories it invents
And makes up things that don’t make sense.
I don’t know why it does this stuff.
The real world seems quite weird enough.

What if my bones were in a museum,
Where aliens paid good money to see ’em?
And suppose that they’d put me together all wrong,
Sticking bones on to bones where they didn’t belong!

Imagine phalanges, pelvis, and spine
Welded to mandibles that once had been mine!
With each misassemblage, the error compounded,
The aliens would draw back in terror, astounded!

Their textbooks would show me in grim illustration,
The most hideous thing ever seen in creation!
The museum would commission a model in plaster
Of ME, to be called, “Evolution’s Disaster”!

And paleontologists there would debate
Dozens of theories to help postulate
How man survived for those thousands of years
With teeth-covered arms growing out of his ears!

Oh, I hope that I’m never in such manner displayed,
No matter HOW much to see me the aliens paid.

I did not want to go with them.
Alas, I had no choice.
This was made quite clear to me
In threat’ning tones of voice.

I protested mightily
And scrambled ‘cross the floor.
But though I grabbed the furniture,
they dragged me out of the door.

In the car, I screamed and moaned.
I cried my red eyes dry.
The window down, I yelled for help
To people we passed by.

Mom and Dad can make the rules
And certain things forbid,
But I can make them wish that they
Had never had a kid.

Now I’m in bed,
The sheets pulled to my head.
My tiger is here making Zs.
He’s furry and hot.
He takes up a lot
Of the bed and he’s hogging the breeze.

Kosh writes,

Well, CnH[Calivin and Hobbes] has always been my favorite strip and it is something that I invariably turn to, when I am down or in a foul mood. And it is not just the sharp humor, its not just the art, its the way it can touch something deep within you – its a world I keep wanting to escape to. And this poem has the quality of one of those wandering dreams – multiple images tied together that somehow makes sense.

I first heard this poem back in 8th standard i think… my english prof did a brilliant reading (actually, an ‘enactment’) of this during one class. I remember the whole class giggling away – some of us fell down laughing!! – its one of my fondest memories! :)

Philosophy, pop-art, magical realism, anthropomorphic tigers, space expeditions, transmogrifiers, pain and pleasure. All this in just three frames worth of work with indian ink and a small sable brush. Bill Watterson’s genius lies in his ability take on these topics and million more with great élan (albeit) as a six-year old and his sardonic (stuffed) tiger. His poetry is a seamless extension of what he does so very well with his comic strip.


April 13, 2007 at 10:33 pm 4 comments

Verse XLI – The Gardener

Rabindranath Tagore

Listen (to Kosh read)

I long to speak the deepest words I have to say to you
but I dare not – for fear you should laugh
That is why I laugh at myself and shatter my secret in jest
I make light of my pain, afraid you should do so.

I long to tell you the truest words I have to say to you
but I dare not – being afraid that you should not believe them
That is why I disguise them in untruth, saying the contrary of what I mean
I make my pain appear absurd, afraid that you should do so.

I long to use the most precious words I have for you
but I dare not – fearing I should not be paid with like value
That is why I give you hard names and boast of my callous strength
I hurt you, for fear you should never know any pain.

I long to sit silent by you,
but I dare not – lest my heart come out at my lips
That is why I prattle and chatter lightly and hide my heart behind words
I rudely handle my pain, for fear you should do so.

I long to go away from your side
but I dare not – for fear my cowardice should become known to you
That is why I hold my head high and carelessly come into your presence
Constant thrusts from your eyes keep my pain fresh for ever.

Beautiful verse from Maali (The Gardener), sent in by Kosh, our newest contributor.

This poem struck a chord in me. I have great respect for the effortless humility Tagore achieves, not attempting to hide his wit and talent, but just being that way – serene and sublime, yet direct and honest. An expression of what it really is — the pain.

As the nobel committee puts it,

“because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”

An article on Tagore by Amartya Sen, on the nobel website.

And the introduction to the Gitanjali by W.B. Yeats – introducing Tagore to the western world.

Tagore has the rare distinction of being the only person to have penned national anthems for two countries.. The first 10 lines of Amar Shonar Bangla or My Bengal of Gold form the national anthem of Bangladesh and Jana Gana Mana, which we have featured before is the Indian national anthem.


March 19, 2007 at 6:45 am 4 comments