Mind Your Lingo. Um.

I see DesiPundit picked up Mind Your Lingo. Thanks mate! Anyway, I know I focussed on recent outpourings from Indian writers in there but I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Kama Sutra is but a starting point for a rich body of classical Indian works. Anil Menon writes:

Indian erotica is a bit like a thali: the saffron-infused Sanskrit raitha, the rustic sabzi of Brij, the rich madulai of Tamil, a wati with chilled Bengali, sweet-sour Telugu pickles, rough Marati pol ... And the brown rice of our poets is nearly unlimited. There's Bhartrihari. And Vidya. And Rajasekara, Cempulappeyanirar, Vallana, Peyanar, Bilhana, Bhavabuti, Srinatha, Vallabharya and the thousands of other poets who have kept shell necklaces jostling from 500 B.C. to 17th October, 1981.

As for recent times, my nod to the best passages of "the-earth-moved" variety goes to Vikram Chandra's Love and Longing in Bombay - there are two sequences in there that are absolutely breathtaking. It's a great book, one of the best from an Indian author in recent times. Interestingly enough, it seems Chandra took the name of his first book, Red Earth and Pouring Rain, from a Tamil erotic poem. From Anil Menon again:


"What could my mother be
to yours? What kin is my father
to yours anyway? And how
did you and I meet ever?
But in love
our hearts have mingled
as red earth and pouring rain."

A master indeed.

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- July 23, 2006 2:31 PM // Books