Tag Archives: Suresh Sethi

A few more – from Suresh Sethi



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?  



Beloved, day has come to an end—

celestial fire gone over the city fence.

Now the night comes a timely reprieve

for a daily panic:

finicky like the street traffic.


Set down your limbs for solace

and seek a kiss of grace

Say with a faithful chant: for a lonely want—

a confessional prayer

and go over with reverential fear.


Beloved, for a few hours let all doubts subside

and seek shelter in the dark.

Gently go over to sleep;

never mind to-night:

for tomorrow’s chronic rise.


            From my diary, November, 1979



obscures likes wingtips

in the acataleptic shade.


coruscate like a tooth in the dark.


are silent in the accrescent cricket wails;

as wind

goes rustling through their blind eyes.


feeling my bones fuses sleep.

My mouth

is stale with nicotine.


flicker hesitantly like

much discussed ideas half-explained.


wobble and long for sleep.




Already the swollen crevices of the heart

flood the pores of veins;

and memory with her illusive taunts

throws fear’s goblet stains.


Outside, winter creeps on soft soles.

The men go about their ways.

Only an occasional exuberance of wind

tells the parting of summer days.


Soon the moon will be a copper coin

sky heavily painted with blood;

and my reverberations like ill-begotten sons

shall tear my bed loose.


On the last ride when siren’s wail

shall sear through the traffic lights,

and I flutter alone within cold walls;

beloved, please be by my side.





               O God!


Some times:

let me suck at your breasts

for succor like a child.


Some times:

let me sleep in your lap,

my head resting with assurance on your strong thighs.


Some times:

with your vast wisdom

wean out my thread of life

from the entanglements of this world.


Some times:

show me the way out

from the confusions of dead ends.


Some times:

stop this incessant ticking

of the metronome of my head.


Some times:

lift me lovingly like a grandfather

who never asks any questions.


Brilliant like the sun at noon,

and reporting like the nervous telephone;

the latest OCA News lies on my desk

with corporate graphs, minutes, tasks

of winter ahead. And embroidered here

on the last page of the year,

‘Lala’, your obituary is cut

out and zeroed like a bomber’s target.

The little extra I know about you is

accidental, the rest between stodgy covers

like any reference stands

an index for the groping hands.

In a two minutes silence

(mutely staring at my buttons)

I pay an official condolence:

You, who were one of us.


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.



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?  

The DODA Chronicles – part II

Chronicles of Doda!
( Translated from the original Hindi by the author)

Ibbetson House
23rd March 1961

My dear Mummy,
I have finally arrived in my new school! The train journey was very nice specially the Puris we ate at Barog and the tunnels on the way. I have to live with about fifty other boys in a long dormitory. I have been allotted one iron spring bed and one wooden locker. It was so cold in the night that I had to rub my feet for such a long time to keep warm. Since Naresh is a senior he sleeps with senior boys in a cubicle. Before going to sleep he told me I will have to get up at five and do P.T. and then he will tell me everything. All around me as usual there were gangs of boys sitting on beds talking very excitedly in git-bit English. I was feeling very lonely. Soon one very tall and dark Sikh boy came and said, all right, lights out, no more gassing. Every one go to sleep. I was wondering what is gassing? Will they be lighting gas lamps or what? But soon I was snoring.

Early in the morning there was a big rush and I heard a bugle blowing. Every one started running around. Naresh suddenly came and gave me some soft white paper and told me to go to the toilet. He said that I have to use it in place of water. I looked around me and saw that every one was charging to the bogs. Bogs here means the toilet. Mummy, this is the first toilet I have seen where there is no water. I was feeling very sleepy and tired. Naresh said, hurry up, brush your teeth and get ready. I cannot talk to any one here but for Naresh. Because he is the only boy here who knows Punjabi. I am really very surprised why no one here talks in Hindi or Punjabi! So I looked around and did what the other boys were doing and copied them. This is the first time I have used paper. I asked Naresh why they use this toilet paper here instead of water. He said, we are a English Public School and only lingoes use water. I asked him, where is your smart friend Vijay Khurana. He said, he is in Lefroy house, meaning the long dormitory next to ours and I will see him in the break. So I got dressed in white shorts and dark blue jersey and we went below to the dining room. It appears that I am the only new boy in this house. This inland letter form is coming to an end. Oh! Yes, let me tell you one more funny thing which happened on the first day. Early in the morning Mukesh who is in the lower house came running up the hill and shouted under our dorm: Naresh, can you please give me some toothpaste! Every one was so shocked and they all smiled and said, Oh, he is Sethi’s bra! I am feeling completely lost here.

How are Kukoo and Pappi? Don’t forget to keep on buying my Chandamama every month
Your loving and obedient son


The DODA Chronicles – part I

Letters from Doda!
(Translated from the original Hindi by the author)
Ibbetson House
15th March 1961

My dear Mummy,

Every Saturday is a letter writing day for us. I am sitting in my class of upper two and writing this letter to you. Mummy this is my first letter to you from school. Mummy, we had to first assemble at Kalka where Mr Advani who every one calls as Adoo was waiting for us to put us in the train to Shimla. The whole platform was filled with hundreds of boys and mummy, they were all dressed in suits and ties talking git-bit, git-bit in English and I could not make out head or tail of what they were talking about. No one was talking in Hindi or Punjabi. I stuck with Naresh who joined his gang of friends. They were all Punjabis but they were also talking git-bit, git-bit in English. Naresh said to them, this is my younger brother who will be joining school from this year. One boy was Vijay Khurana from Bombay and he was telling every one how a gang of robbers held up a bank in Bombay and walked away with ten thousand bucks! Mummy I was just wondering why should robbers steal cardboard boxes. The other two boys JPS Knigger and Jwanda became very excited and they also started telling what they would have done with so many bucks. Jwanda was saying, if I had ten thousand bucks I will enjoy with ten thousand dames. Vijay Khurana is a very smart boy and because he is from Bombay every one was listening to him with great interest. Naresh was asking him all sorts of questions about dames in Bombay and bars and all that type of stuff which any village rustic from Ferozepore can ask. Mummy it was so cold you just cannot imagine with snow lying on the way. The trains was going very slowly and some boys would jump off the train and bring some snow in their hands. It reminded me of our ice factory in Ferozepore. I did not say anything because I couldn’t understand anything. But every one else was talking and shouting and laughing. In Barog the train stopped for some time and I also got down. Suddenly some Chinese looking small boys got down from the next compartment and they were talking in Chinese. As I went up to pick up some snow, one of them made a grab at my snow. So I caught him by the neck and shouted at him in Punjabi. Suddenly he took out a knife. I was daring him in Punjabi to fight with me. It was very funny mummy. He was shouting in Chinese and I was shouting in Punjabi. Suddenly he stopped and said, no English. I smiled and said, no English. Meantime Naresh and his gang came running because some boy and told Naresh that your bra is having a fight. The Chinese boy put back his knife but in the process cut his finger and blood started coming out. He started sucking it. Naresh made us shake hands. Later on Naresh told me these boys were from Thailand and all Thai guys go to Rivaz house just like all boys from Africa join our house which is the Ibbetson house. I keep on forgetting the name of my house. So we got back into the train once again and Vijay Khurana once again started telling his tales of Bombay. Mummy Jwanda and Knigger are Punjabi villagers but Vijay Khurana is a Sahib.
Mummy it is so cold here you cannot imagine. It is just like going into our cold storage in Ferozepore. I will write again next Saturday

Your loving and obedient son



Written by, Suresh Sethi
Ibbetson 1961-66