Friday, May 21, 2010

Goodbye Party for Ms. Pallavi M

I recently had the privilege of being given a fond farewell by my well meaning colleagues. After they "facilitated" me with a bouquet and a book, the speech given in my honour reminded me of Nissim Ezekiel's poem Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S.

My very own "Goodbye Party" homily was just as farcical. Part appraisal, part insult, and part malapropisms, it redefined the “Send-off” concept. Indeed, we English teachers have much to applaud ourselves for. In our incompetence, we tend to convert everything into stand up comedy.

The goodbye speech evoked such strong emotions in me, that my lachrymal glands shrunk instantly and I could not produce the expected histrionics. I regret to say that I failed to shed a tear.

In hindsight, I wish I had recorded the momentous event. I am sure that that is the important stuff you share with your grandchildren.

Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S. :

our dear sister
is departing for foreign
in two three days,
we are meeting today
to wish her bon voyage.

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.

Miss Pushpa is coming
from very high family.
Her father was renowned advocate
in Bulsar or Surat,
I am not remembering now which place.

Surat? Ah, yes,
once only I stayed in Surat
with family members
of my uncle's very old friend-
his wife was cooking nicely…
that was long time ago.

Coming back to Miss Pushpa
she is most popular lady
with men also and ladies also.

Whenever I asked her to do anything,
she was saying, 'Just now only
I will do it.' That is showing
good spirit. I am always
appreciating the good spirit.

Pushpa Miss is never saying no.
Whatever I or anybody is asking
she is always saying yes,
and today she is going
to improve her prospect
and we are wishing her bon voyage.

Now I ask other speakers to speak
and afterwards Miss Pushpa
will do summing up.

                                    ~ Nissim Ezekiel

About The Poet :

Goodbye Party For Miss Pushpa T. S. was written by Nissim Ezekiel, one of India's foremost Indo-Anglian poets. He was born in 1924 and was educated in Mumbai and London. He produced several volumes of verse and plays and was an art critic. Ezekiel died in 2004 at the age of 79.

Most of Ezekiel's poetry is for adults, as it is serious and quite difficult to understand. In this poem, however, Ezekiel uses simple Indian' English. Here he is making gentle fun of the people who cannot speak English properly by including in the poem common mistakes made by speakers whose mother tongue is not English. There are grammatical mistakes, strange arrangements of words and phrases and idioms which are direct translations of expressions in Indian languages - they all sound very odd in English. The poem is in the form of a speech made by one of Miss Pushpa's friends. It should be taken in the spirit in which it was written.

Courtesy :