Makarand Paranjape

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Makarand Paranjape Poems

Dear Reader,

A poem at the centre of the collection,
Is missing, as you can gather.
To speak truly, its absence, equally

In the grilled window overhead
Before ringing the bell
I see your face.
It is only love, nothing else.

To have designs on another
Degrades oneself;
The old Greek was right,
Platonic love is the best.

Our distances are intimate,
We grow vast in our silences.
In freedom we have blossomed,
Not having thwarted one another.

The path is six hundred years old.
On the way you will see peacocks
And, if you are lucky, some deer.

He lies near the stinking pond
filled with guts and blood;
all around him-devastation and death.

I read the love poems of others
With quiet disgust-
The unending obsession with sex,
The sad broken lives


The see-saw of our relationship tires me.
But neither of us seems to be able to get off.

We have nothing in common
And that's what keeps us together.

Homage to Shiva-Shakti
The first and greatest of lovers,
Whose love bears the burden of cosmic mysteries;
Then obeisance to Ganesha, Lord of the masses,

Untouched by the words it sings
The voice retains its pristine quality.
Even when the lyrics signify messy happenings-
Heart-break, perfidy, crass sensuality:


All the cliches in love poetry, it turns out, are true.
Eyes have sex organs and sex organs have eyes.

Each vacation, we measured our years
by the progress of the new tar road.

The sky has darkened before its time:
a swarm of locusts,
not a thunder-storm.

To make even one single person happy,
To love her completely, to give her without restraint

Before he committed suicide
Magan Bhai met me one night
my parents were out at a movie.

At the end of my labour
A familiar voice consoles me in intimate whispers:
Don't worry, honey, you haven't erred
In this public celebration of our love.

The unkempt municipal garden
between the college and the railway station
provides the setting for our action.

She got a lot done by doing so little;
She said, 'I love you,' and left the rest to him.

She fed him, nursed him, and slaved for him;
She was no feminist but, when the time came, she left him.

Love always exceeds its objects
which, however great or beautiful,
are subject to time, decay, and death

In the city of sin the dizzy wheel spun
twirling glittering talons of light.

Makarand Paranjape Biography

Makarand R. Paranjape is an Indian poet and professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India. Early Life and Education Makarand Paranjape was born in 1960 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He was educated at the Bishop Cotton Boys' School, Bangalore, followed by B.A. (Hons.) in English from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi in 1980. Thereafter he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, from where he first did M.A. in English in 1983, and subsequently his Ph.D in English in 1985 on the topic "Mysticism in Indian English Poetry". Career Makarand Paranjape has been teaching undergraduate/postgraduate students for almost 30 years. His teaching career has spanned the better part of the globe. A large part of this has been spent in USA and India, where he has lived and worked. He started his career in 1980, as Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He returned to India in 1986, joined the University of Hyderabad, first as Lecturer and then Reader. In 1994 he joined the Dept. of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT Delhi as an Associate Professor. Since 1999, he has been a Professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Centre for English Studies. He has published over 120 Academic Papers in various refereed journals and edited books within the country and internationally. In addition, he is the author of several poems and short stories, over 200 essays, book reviews, and occasional pieces in academic and popular periodicals in India and abroad. He was a columnist in Sunday Observer, Business Standard, The Pioneer, and Life Positive. He is chairperson of the Centre for English Studies, JNU, and is a member of the Board of Studies, the Academic Council of JNU, and the Vision Committee of JNU; the Coordinator for UGC Special Assistance Programme, in the Centre for English Studies, JNU from 2003 to 2008; the Principal Investigator of the Project on Indian Perspectives on Science and Spirituality, from 2006 to 2009. He is the General Editor of a series of reprints of rare and out of print Indian English titles published by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. He is the founding Trustee of Samvad India Foundation, a Delhi-based non-profit, public charitable trust, and also the founding editor of Evam: Forum on Indian Representations, an international bi-annual, multi-disciplinary journal on India. He was the chairperson for the Europe and South Asia region of Pan-Commonwealth panel of judges for the 2008 and 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize; he also served as the Indian host judge for the 2010 Prize awarded in New Delhi. Honours Homi Bhabha Fellow for Literature, 1991–1993 Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, 1996. Shastri Indo-Canadian Research Fellow, University of Calgary, Canada, Summer 2000. Visiting Professor, Ball State University, Indiana, USA, Fall 2001. IFUSS Fellow, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA, Summer 2002. Mellon Fellow, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2003 and Summer 2004. Coordinator, UGC Special Assistance Programme, 2003 onwards Joint-Coordinator, China-India inter-cultural dialogue, 2004–2005 GPSS research award, 2005–2006 Australia India Council Fellow, 2005–2006 GPSS Major Award 2006-2009 Chair of the Jury for South Asia and Europe of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2007-2009. Visiting Professor, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, April–October 2009 Shivdasani Visiting Fellow, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, University of Oxford, Michaelmas Term, 2009 (October–December) ICCR Chair in Indian Studies, National University of Singapore, August 2010 onwards)

The Best Poem Of Makarand Paranjape

In Lieu Of The Missing Poem

Dear Reader,

A poem at the centre of the collection,
Is missing, as you can gather.
To speak truly, its absence, equally
Baffles me. Did I lose it to computer virus
Or did the censor excise it;
Or were there only twenty-nine in all,
Making this the unwritten poem?
Or does this represent the overwhelmingly absent presence,
Suggesting, like nirvana or the impossible
Revolution, something that we strive towards,
But never attain-I mean, Love?
Thus it becomes all that I was unable to say,
The sunya in the heart of purna,
The cavity in the middle of the decentred
Text; in a word, the death of the self,
(Or instead of the missing poem, these sixteen lines.)

Makarand Paranjape Comments

The Muse 06 October 2019

Congratulations on being selected for Poem of the Day

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