Some thoughts from an OC – Suresh Sethi 1961-66

WRITINGS by Suresh Sethi

Suresh Sethi  E-mail: sureshsethi49@yahoo.co.in

My poems have been published in:

Poetry, Australia : Australia Five Poets Magazine           

Journal Of South Asian Literature:USA

The Canadian Forum      : Canada                                         

Queens’s Quarterly        : Canada

The New Quest               : India

Indian Literature              : Sahitaya Academy–India

The Penguin Book Of Indian Poetry: India 2012 

Signatures                : National Book Trust Of India 2003

19 Poets Ed: Keshav Malik : New Delhi 1981

The PEN                          : U.K.

The P.N. Review             : U.K ( Carcanet Press) 

The Colorado North Review: USA


Born:1949, Ferozepore, Punjab and went to school in: Bishop Cotton

School-Shimla (Himachal Pradesh). Did graduation from Punjab University in Chandigarh. Worked with a MNC for twenty-five years before taking early retirement to devote my self full time to writing. Married with a son and daughter.

I have translated more than thirty books of OSHO from Hindi into English. These books include a wide variety of discourses of OSHO on the Saints of India, The Upanishads, The Gita & day to day problems of modern man. I have also written a weekly column for the English Daily—The Tribune, Chandigarh  and for the Punjabi Newspaper `Ajit’ which is published from Jalandhar-Punjab.

I have also published a collection of poems in Punjabi.

My first collection of poems in English: Musings Of A Tom Brown School Boy– was published last year by Authors’ Press, New Delhi.

                                                                                Suresh Sethi


Musings of a Tom Brown School boy

High up in the Shimla hills, I stood

my gaze through the big passes

of Himalayas. Splashing overhead

a restless raven tips its wings

on coniferous pines. This land

with a boundary stone, strange flags,

traditions, mottos, was mine,

as my youth tied to expensive tags

of English breeding, stiff upper lip,

and my tongue was taught to wag

to prosodies of Harrow and Eton;

house spirit, school song, the discipline

of a Spartan, and the confidence

of the conquerors and the manners

of an English gentleman.

In the long, cold and austere dormitories,

home was just beyond the valleys.

All these years of homesickness,

brought no images of a mother’s pangs

of separation. All those years now haunt me

of an unfulfilled promise.

When the school padre opened the Bible,

in Shimla’s elite and venerated public school;

with his starched cassock, sonorous voice

booming in a hushed cold class-room

with our faces cupped on elbows, expectant,

we listened. In the cool breeze of the Himalayas;

he talked of Jesus healing the sick, the great

victories of king David, the Acts of Apostles;

and the stories of the Prophets.

Eagerly we took notes. Our minds on the exams.

In private we devoured the passages

of king David making love to his wives,

and wondered how a holy book

could possibly have such vulgar details!

The padre talked of the resurrection of Jesus; the

tricks of satan:

with sin heating our flushing faces!


 In a Himalayan churchyard

(at the grave of Headmaster R.K. Von Goldstein)

Now you lie on this consecrated ground,

And exiled stoic facing the charge to the very end.

Here, in a famous resort of a Himalayan beat

Snow is relaxing its grip; springs’ levers

Are opening dark pores; tenderly like healing fingers.

From below the railway gauge whistles

Noisy, gate crashing tourists to this town.

Through the key-hole I see your last night,

In coveted silence, listening to rich baritone tunes

While you lovingly mull over

The England countryside of the twenties.

Gently patting your Alsatian dog,

You sip brandy, cigar smoke curls up to the ceiling.

On your lap is an ode of Keats.

 A cool dependable full-back who term by term

Handled the bully, the underdog, the tongue-tied

With an equanimity of a commander—

And set a personal example of courage and honor

`play up and play the game.’

Taught us to own up to life in toto.

Now in an alien land under a modest headstone

The shades travel further and leave you alone;

But this is exactly how you would have wanted it;

Knowing that a man can clear space in any wood,

Ignoring titles, footage but still stick to his word—

Then let death trip the plank anywhere without a hint.


COVID-19 

Krishna,

I know you love to show off your magical powers—

To bring massive upheavals on this earth:

And then justify them with your old excuse—

‘ I have to reduce the burden of Mother Earth’.

Hence the great war of Mahabharata;

Followed by countless, wars, floods and famines—

And now Covid-19,

Your latest arrow from your armory of Maya.

( to add insult to injury you admit you could have prevented all of them)!

I admit and acknowledge:

 That you are the Big Boss of the Cosmos—

And you are legally allowed to do anything you want to do:

But please for a change—

Can’t you send us the virus of: love, peace & happiness—

I mean just for a change?  


3 thoughts on “Some thoughts from an OC – Suresh Sethi 1961-66

  1. Akers N.K.

    Wish your wife quick and complete recovery Teddy Platts.
    My elder brothers were in school when Whitmarsh knight Sr.was senior master and talked of him with so much admiration.

    Reply
  2. Teddy Platts

    Your poems took me away for a few moments, away from despair, fear, and prayer. My beloved wife Celia was admitted to hospital 12 hours since, suffering the cruel stroke which descended, an unwanted attendant on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. Life has been brought into sharp focus, our frailty and reliance of a beloved partner. Thank you for your poems, I totally get the inference and understanding of your pen. Btw,I was also born in 1949! I’m not an OC but a dear departed friend and former colleague, John Whitmarsh – Knight was a master at BCS.
    Keep safe. from Teddy Platts

    Reply

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