Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa TS

our dear sister
is departing for foreign
in two three days,
we are meeting today
to wish her bon voyage.

You are all knowing, friends,
what sweetness is in Miss Pushpa.
I don’t mean only external sweetness
but internal sweetness.
Miss Pushpa is smiling and smiling
even for no reason
but simply because she is feeling.

Miss Pushpa is coming
from very high family.
Her father was renowned advocate
in Bulsar or Surat,
I am not remembering now which place.

Surat? Ah, yes,
once only I stayed in Surat
with family members
of my uncle’s very old friend,
his wife was cooking nicely…
that was long time ago.

Coming back to Miss Pushpa
she is most popular lady
with men also and ladies also.
Whenever I asked her to do anything,
she was saying, ‘Just now only
I will do it.’ That is showing
good spirit. I am always
appreciating the good spirit.
Pushpa Miss is never saying no.
Whatever I or anybody is asking
she is always saying yes,
and today she is going
to improve her prospect
and we are wishing her bon voyage.

Now I ask other speakers to speak
and afterwards Miss Pushpa
will do summing up.

– Nissim Ezekiel

Submitted by:

Tia, who says “A colleague showed me this poem, I think for Indians in general it needs no explanation as to what Ezekiel is doing!”


I like a number of Ezekiel poems, and one of the things common to most of them is how he manages to pick out a convincingly Indian-sounding voice when writing in English. Sometimes he does a bang-up job of using the right phrase, at other times it sounds clunky, or not quite right somehow.

On a personal note, I’ve been guilty of this exact phenomenon on occasion, except that I transliterate from English into Tamil, and then realise after the fact just how wrong it sounds. It’s getting better, but I can sympathise, commiserate, what have you, with the narrative voice.

You can hear the poem being read out loud here. We’ve run other poems by Ezekiel. You can read a short bio of Nissim Ezekiel here and a longer obituary piece here.

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