Classic Assam Tea and Indianness
Chai is a big part of our desi identity. And as desis, we have a number of Indianisms that make us who we are. We at Poetry Teas believe that Nissim Ezekiel's poetry would be a perfect accompaniment to your cup of desi chai.
Because no other poet has captured Indianisms in such a tongue-in-cheek way. Nissim's poetry, which dates back to the 1950s, strongly reflects a post-colonial India.
Nissim Ezekiel: An Accidental Indian
Nissim's ancestors were Bene Israeli merchants who landed on Indian shores following a shipwreck. Nissim spent most of his life in Bombay and had a love-hate relationship with the city. Indeed, he often remarked that the home was a "marsh that reflected things as is." Some of Nissim's poems are written in Indian English, and their humour is crackling.
Get your tea biscuits ready, as we dip in.
By God's grace, all my children
Are well settled in life.
One is Sales Manager,
One is Bank Manager,
Both have cars.- Nissim Ezekiel
Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S.
Coming back to Miss Pushpa
she is most popular lady
with men also and ladies also.
- Nissim Ezekiel
The wrong English makes it seem that Miss Pushpa is probably coquettish. But living in India, we know perfectly well that there's no malice in this. This is Indian English. Sweet, and innocent.
What you think of prospects of world peace?
Pakistan behaving like this,
China behaving like that,
It is making me really sad, I am telling you.
- Nissim Ezekiel
This poem was a scathing critique of jingoism. The language was deliberately chosen to mirror the conversations of ordinary Indians, and it was celebrated not only in India but also England.
Nissim Ezekiel's poems reflect the messiness of being Indian, and by extension, of being desi.
By now, you must have finished your tea. But we suggest, don't stop reading Nissim Ezekiel's poetry!
Before you go, there's one more reason why you should have another cup of chai soon.
Health Benefits of Drinking Assam Tea
- Contains antioxidants
- Improves blood circulation
- Good for oral health and metabolism
- Boosts weight loss
- Improves bone health
- Increases alertness and keeps the digestive tract healthy
Keep the chai cups flowing!
To buy Poetry Tea's Assam Tea, click here.