Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan
I am glad you banned my books,
you made me a hero overnight -
till last year no one knew my name
today my name is being taken in
the same breath as Rushdie, Nasreen.
Publishers are a bit upset though,
the ban has actually done them in -
pumped good money into the printing,
but one feels happy for photo-copiers,
they also have a right to living.
Ah, you removed my poems from the school textbooks
they won't be reading them in classrooms anymore;
but yesterday while walking behind the dumping grounds
I think I heard those naked kids recite a few lines
from my banned poems – where did they pick up the lines?
from neighbourhood gossips? from the local fish market
or from local trains’ chatter as they crossed the lines?
Nah, I was not happy when you first banned my books.
Now I don’t mind at all, rather I am quietly grateful
for the little bit of fame you brought me overnight –
You don't mind a bit of fame, do you, if it comes free?
I know you will soon ban my pens, my shoes
my glasses, my pajamas, my little funny tools
with which I plied my trade, made my living.
Soon you will also ban them from doing
anything that I did - not to walk like me
talk like me, sing like me, whisper like me -
for my whispers are of the most suspicious kind
the kind of thing that fuels disturbances
earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards, tsunamis.
It'll be a good thing if you also banned the sun,
the moon, the sky, the sea, the caged bird
and the free bird also of whom I have sung
for that will make people take more notice
of the sun, moon, the caged bird and free bird
of which world has become a bit forgetful lately.
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Comments about this poem (Banned Artist by Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Percy Bysshe Shelley
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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