Monday 27 April 2015

A threnody for Oberon Waugh- by an Indian changeling

Like every whilom Conspiracy against the Common Weal
Class is a gradient we too gratingly feel
Pitiable is Vatsalya, by stealth, to hoard
A Heritable Wealth, Mums scant afford

Ilk to what Columbus sought and Da Gama found
 Recking not restive Tuatha De underground
Phantom gelt, a Faerie Queene
A Virgin yet so her abortions preen.

Friendship, we are counselled to, for but Fathers, feel
So Devotion, bare, blazon Karma's burning wheel
Fate Ixions fake propter quia patrem
So 'Monstra, Saqi, te esse Matrem'

Prince Auberon! too briefly tho' your wit had play
For three decades it kept Old Etonians at bay.

Monday 20 April 2015

A green ghost & Chief Justice V.R Krishna Iyer

    I had the privilege of meeting the late Chief Justice in Moscow, where my father was posted, in 1982. I had just graduated from the L.S.E and so could pass for an orthodox Tambram Leftist like my maternal grandfather. My elder sister on the other hand was in a rebellious mood and initially insisted on appearing before the great man in her hip St. Stephen's/ JNU jhollawallah uniform of khadi kurta and blue jeans. Mum was furious and rushed out of the kitchen to force my sister to put on a green saree and large bottu. Sister became resentful. She stalked silently into the drawing room, where the learned Judge was holding me enthralled with anecdotes of Soviet advances in E.S.P and Parapsychology, and sat opposite him glowering intently.
The Chief Justice, who had come to Moscow for medical treatment for his eyes, frowned a little but chose to ignore my sister. Silently, she stood up and departed darting at the old man many a dark and louring glance.
Clearly this Tambram patriarch was a misogynist. 
Later, the Chief Justice had a word with my Mum. 'There is an evil presence in this house,' he said, 'A misshapen entity manifesting as a hulking greenish presence.'
My sister was greatly delighted to hear this. She immediately changed into her jeans and came outside to have her photograph taken with the avuncular Judge who cooed and purred over her Amazonian stature and Stakhanovite indifference to feminine adornment.

Thus, it turned out, Krishna Iyer was no patriarchal misogynist. Like other men of  his generation, he had been deeply in love with his wife and had been devastated by her passing. Indeed, the wife of a brother Judge (a Rightist North Indian Hindu) found a way to influence the great man by pretending to have received messages from his departed spouse chiding him for his incorrigible Leftism.

His faith in what Mendelev called 'Spiritizm' too was not reactionary at all but innocently progressive- the truth is, the childish mischief of the Fox sisters, though both ended as alcoholics, was a benign tutelary Genius for the, alas not eternal quite!, adolescence of the Left.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Cast a cold eye

That Tolkein's ring Sir Mortimer found
Fits no severed hand below Mohenjo Daro's mound
& Ekalavya suffers Khandava's pain
No upa-Nishaad, let Nala explain

Milesian misprision the Aos Sí detect
Nature is a Resource must defect
& Lob's theorem, by Zorn's lemma
Proves Puissance the Prisoner of its own dilemma.

Prince! That thy silver hand its sword outlast
A but cold eye in that Smithy is cast.