Friday, 12 May 2017

A Wonderful Anthology of Sorts!

It was a memorable gift – a precious gift that I received in a long time, from a wonderful brother!

A lovely book! 

And an anthology of poetry at that! 

Professor Muthu and Professor Sebu, are two energetic, dynamic youngsters with an enthusiasm that is contagious, and a passion that is fiery!

What, do you think, could happen when such dedicated professors set out to write and publish an anthology of poetry? 

You wonder! 

Well, history is written! Or should I say, ‘RE-WRITTEN!!!’

The title of this wonderful anthology is highly symbolic too!


An anthology that comes out from the passionate heartbeats of five dynamic young poets who have many things in common – all of them studied Tamil at Madras Christian College, all are first generation graduates, and all of them are co-founders of Thudi, a youth movement dedicated to challenging oppressive social structures.

Bharathi Prabhu is currently carrying on doctoral studies on Tamil Culture and Buddhism at Madras Christian College. The others teach Tamil. Dumma Francis at Tagore College of Arts and Science, Parthiban at A. M. Jain’s, Muthu Kandhan and Sebulon Prabudurai at the Madras Christian College.

The translator of the book, Glen Frieden graduated from the Middlebury College, Vermont, USA, specializing in Russian and History. His interests include poetry, literature, music and organic farming.

The book is dedicated to Mrs. Anne Meredith Dayanandan.

The legendary Dr. P. Dayanandan (who needs no introduction to MCC-ians worldwide) has written the introduction to this wonderful anthology. In his thought-provoking introduction, Dr. Daya says that, “Had they [the five young poets] been in college a hundred years ago, one of them might have become a President of India! Bankers, industrialists, judges, bar-at-laws, election commissioners, advisors to Prime Ministers, Principals and Vice-Chancellors – options were many. As first generation readers after 2000 years of denial of education the ‘wounded psyche’ perceives a society still cursed with discrimination and injustice running wild. The poets are naturally sad and angry; they tease and mock; and they expect no sympathy from anybody, even if it exists. The poems are relevant because they record contemporary realities in and around the modern metropolis of Chennai.

Glen Frieden, after finishing college in the US, was here in Tambaram in 2010. Talented and brilliant, Glen knows his English and Russian languages and literature as well as his music. Like many of his friends, he dreams and believes in change and other possible worlds. 20 years before Glen was born, his father’s elder brother, Ray Frieden, was on the cover of the April 1969 Life Magazine as a student protester when anti-Vietnam War demonstrations erupted at Harvard University. Thirst for justice and freedom seems to run in some families! Friendship comes easily and naturally at this age of sensitivity and mutual seeking of each other’s worlds.

These are just excerpts from a profound preface. The Translator’s preface by Glen is also noteworthy. The book has a vibrant cover design with highly symbolic cartoons adorning almost every alternate page. It is worth a read for at least a hundred times! Such is the impact, the impression and the imprint it leaves on your minds and hearts!

Copies of the book can be had from the Department of Tamil, Madras Christian College and from the authors themselves, as well!

Fifty poems – fifty heartprints at that! – and the last one is a passionate signing off by Dr. Daya himself.

LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD fills you with energizing strength for today and provides a bright hope for tomorrow!

[Dr. Dayanandan's picture courtesy: Sincere thanks to Mr. Suresh Muthukrishnan]

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