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Mainstream, VOL LII No 9, February 22, 2014

AAP

Saturday 22 February 2014, by Badri Raina

O enfant terrible,
What a spanner you have thrown
Into the habibual settled ways
Of proprietors who can
Be heard to groan at the insouciance
With which you relentlessly amaze.
O picaroon of politics, there seems
No end to the tricks you invent
To get under the skin of the establishment.
 
Yet, with a billion lives at stake, can
You blame those who wonder whether
One swallow may that summer make
That fills the plain with uplifting heather.
 
Is it a danger that you may be
Too full of yourself, unthinking both
Of the contraries riding your footboard,
And of those outside who applaud
But ask some honest questions
Of your disdainful sufficiency?
 
Know that the dawn in which it is often
Good to be alive and to be young
Has frequently been squandered
In history by upright souls who
Pursued too abstract a purity.
Thus, O “non-ideological” brigade,
Let not perfect purity become the ideology
That puts paid to your admirable crusade.

Badri Raina