• malavikameh

Hindutva and Derek Walcott

I slept the whole day, and my mother's message "Call now", was delivered to me in the morning. I woke up and rubbed my eyes. I need to sort and clean my room and drape the clothes. Ugh! I am tripping on ma maa mahesha, my friend tells me Mahesh Babu looks like a bratty uncultured nepotistic machismo. I argue with him that he looks good. I get a message from my friend, "dear, let's meet today". Ok! I tell her, and my phone chimes again it's my mother, "Mole, call now". Ok! Maybe I will call. So I call.

"AAA... Hi"

She goes "Why do you not call?"

"What is it?"

"Achan is going to Gujarat" That's about my father.

"Oh! Ok"

"I am afraid"



I laugh, my mother is the cutest, and the most logical person I have met on this earth. She does the best jokes, but they are so logical, that I sit and trace their connecting points as if tracing a constellation and laugh at the profundity of it. She goes on "Don't laugh"

"Don't worry, Modi won't come down and kill him"

"Don't say that, I am afraid" she shares her worry with me.

"Hmm..." I chuckle.

"Everything I hear is so different these days."

"Do not read the news" I advised her.

"It is scary, do you not even feel the fear" she insists

"Are you scared about Modi, or are you scared about his trip, or are you scared of staying there"

"All of it"

"Ok, then, bye!"



"nothing, ok"


Another message from friend "ab to firangi ho gaya"

"Hey what's Modi doing these days, educate me"

"ab to firangi ho gaya"

What is this, a radio?

"Dude, I am serious, what does he do these days"

"ab to firangi ho gaya"

Ok, this is a radio.

"Yogi Adityanath's hate speech" is a news piece from a junior.

"IIT Madras Alumni meet up" "Do you want me to add you to the mailing group", asks another friend, no, just pass me the news.

"What am I your peone?"

"Just pass the message man!”

I stumble upon my old friend's blog on IIT Bombay and his lucid, intricate writing. Wow, great human, great stuff!

The firangi ho gaya friend messages me

"you complain a lot"

"I DON’T, I NEVER, YOU COMPLAIN TO ME ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!" these are in caps, and I want to stress on it, all the time.

"you say a lot of ok"

I am the most agreeable person on this planet right now. "What exactly is your problem"

"you are so confused"

"Is that your problem"



"You need to grab control of your life"

"is that your problem"

"You need to be always in control of things, people should be scared of you, you should scare people. Speak loud, and scare people. That’s how you get control"

"Are you Modi"

"Modi is not in control, RSS is. Modi is a puppet"

"The puppet works, speaks, talks and acts, by the way"

"Won't stand"


"Won't stand"


"Just won't, too difficult to do it with a whole country as diverse as this"

"Well, they are doing it part by part"

"I don't buy that narrative"

"What narrative"

"The part by part"

"oh! ok, why not"

"federalism doesn't work like that"

"write on this"

"I am lazy"

"who needs control, were you saying"

"you, the poetess. I am the lazy one"

"just write on it"

"no I am too lazy. You are mad, just running around all the time. Sit, feast on your life"

"Derek Walcott wrote it when he was old enough for all that fancy, and success, a friend here shared it, I happened to read it again."

"doesn't matter, literature always works in power"

"I think literature works in power because you say sit feast on your life along with federalism"

"Oh! if your highness says so"

"I just encouraged you to write, and you are mocking me"

"Explain it dude"

"I don't think I will ever be able to write a poem like that one, the second last line says, strip off the photographs and frames, and love letters, I have none, I either delete or burn. I haven't recorded my life, nor can I imagine sitting across a mirror being happy."

"Well that's an old Derek Walcott as you just said"

"I am not going to say a word to that"

"I think literature works in power because you say sit feast on your life along with federalism, what was this"

"all my poems got rejected"


"Well, I don't know if I am right, but for federalism, you always have several layers. Reminds me of a poster outside our school walls, like a coat of paint on the wall. Have you seen how the painters make these wall advertisements? I used to stand and watch them a lot. They paint on top of the other; with several coats. Perhaps that's how you make something, coating on and on. Can you make anything without redoing things? Can you paint a map on the school wall, without covering it again and again? Can you paint a map without tracing where it came from? But tracing thrice over and over, on top, one on one gives you a deep sense of origin. This sense of origin, I think works in favour of all political parties, for the Nehrus and Gandhis, a centralised uniformity as a westernised India, for the RSS and BJP, the nominalised casteist, extreme Hindu politics, for the left, the USSR Socialist implementations. All these categories are not exclusive. What happened after independence is perhaps the moment, that we didn't know existed before. I heard someone say partition here, and I wanted to correct them, not partition- Indian Independence, which carries the wounds of India-Pakistan, India-Bangladesh partition. Indian federalism is akin to a school map, which is rugged: the sunken, leprotic texture of the wall shows through all that effort of another human, yet on touching it, it preserves a smoothness I can't ignore. Indian federalism is an Indian school map."

"All things you write are vain but beautiful like the dichotomy between your plain, quaint, creased, primitive face and the bubbly, happy voice”

” What crap! I don’t look primitive!!!!!! and that’s a bad analysis of my looks and my voice.

k bye.”

When we sit and feast on life, do we remember how it was made? ‘The Indian Government and its Hindutva agendas', something pops up on my screen. Hindutva on a laptop, I name my blog entry, nah nah. maybe Hindutva through a mobile phone, nah nah. Hindutva, I wish, through the newsrooms, dude no! I want a catchy title right now, Hindutva and Derek Walcott, sounds cool.

The poem:

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