A Different History- Sujata Bhatt

A Different History
By Sujata Bhatt

Student Worksheet: A Different History

a different history

Great Pan is not dead;

he simply emigrated

to India.

Here the gods roam freely,

disguised as snakes or monkeys;

every tree is sacred

and it is a sin

to be rude to a book.

It is a sin to shove a book aside

with your foot,

a sin to slam books down

hard on the table

a sin to toss one carelessly

across a room.

You must learn how to turn the pages gently

without disturbing Sarasvati,

without offending the tree

from whose wood the paper was made.

Which language

has not been the oppressor’s tongue?

Which language

truly meant to murder someone?

And how does it happen

that after the torture,

after the soul has been cropped

with a long scythe swooping out

of the conqueror’s face-

the unborn grandchildren

grow to love that strange language.


About Ms. N's Rhyme and Reason

Hi, In the beginning was the word. Hence begins the history of humankind, in all domains of evolution. The thriving of civilizations has depended on how articulate were their teachers- the ones who descended with the learned art to their offspring generations. This phenomenon of transmitting of genetic code of learning has been at the heart of my inspiration to teach. This art somehow has transformed into a mantra for me, and it has never ceased to amaze me. Although to become a perfect teacher one might take a lifetime, but if one tries to be perfect, one negates the reason to experiment and fail. Hence, I may have faltered in some of my approaches, but my aspiration has been to try rectifying the short-coming, to connect again with the subject-matter and my pupils, to demystify the intended outcome, to enthuse the learners again, and to keep the cycle going.
This entry was posted in GCE O Level Literature in English, Poetry Anthology for the year 2012-13 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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