A different History by Sujata Bhatt
1-2-3) The poet addresses the movement of culture across the globe in the very first line, by mentioning the Greek God Pan. She talks about cultures moving with people and lifestyles by implying that the God Pan has not seized to exist but simply moved to India. By saying this Sujata Bhatt also indicates that there is a similarity between the cultures of the east and the west.
4-5) The poet says that the gods in India roam disguised as snakes and monkeys. By this she indicates that all the elements of nature, flora and fauna, are worshipped here.
6-7-8) Bhatt also sheds light on the fact that Indian culture is very deep rooted. She shifts her attention from worship of animals and nature to reverence and respect in India. She talks about customs and behaviour by mentioning trees being treated as sacred in India and how it is a sin to treat books shabbily.
9 -14) While talking about Indian customs and traditions, Sujata Bhatt uses a book as an example. She keeps repeating that it is a sin to treat books without respect, slam them down on a table or touch one with the foot or toss it around.
15-16) While still on Indian customs and behaviour, Sujata Bhatt reveals how it is very important in India to be careful, and not disturb the Goddess who resides in books, “Saraswati”.
17-18) She indicates how religion is dominant in the region by describing the Indian attitude towards something as common as a book. She talks about the need for Indians to respect books so that they would not offend the tree sacrificed to make the paper.
19-20) In this second stanza Sujata Bhatt addresses a number of key issues through rhetoric. Using language as strain of culture and a representative of the people, she asks the reader to understand and identify with the fact that people across the globe at some time or the other have been oppressors or the oppressed.
21-22) Again in rhetoric and again using language to represent people, she throws light on the fact that language is universal and is never intended to cause harm.
23-27) She goes on to hint at the influence of foreigners in the region by referring to the freedom struggle as the period of torture. Bhatt asks the reader to try and analyse and find a rational explanation as to why after the damage of invasion the foreign culture continues to linger in India. She personifies India as having a face and a soul, and refers to colonization and injustice as a long scythe.
28-29) Sujata Bhatt addresses the preference of English over native languages by addressing the youth in India and the unborn, who are preferring the foreign language at the cost of the extinction of native Indian languages and dialects.
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A Different History by Sujata Bhatt - Analysis Essay
1058 WordsMay 24th, 20135 Pages
Explore the ideas in the poem A Different History by Sujata Bhatt.
Sujata Bhatt reflects and explores on the ideas of ‘culture, ‘values’, human struggle, religion combined with its beliefs and acquisition of foreign or strange language. Bhatt invites the readers and takes them through the culture of India and its religious beliefs that every life respects them there. There is enough vocabulary to understand this in the poem. She also expresses her bitterness and strong emotions towards the struggle and torture borne by the people ‘here’ in the past. She wonders and ponders on the issues of ‘tongue’ and ‘language’ She shows her amazement and expresses her inability to understand how people ‘here’ learn to love the ‘strange language’ that…show more content…
She brings out the picture of togetherness in animals and trees. The simile ‘disguised as snakes and monkeys’ provides us the clue to the belief of sacredness.
Bhatt explains the fact that ‘sin’ doesn’t need to be a serious wrong act in ‘this culture’ but a small act can be ‘sin’. Bhatt uses three verbs that denote rudeness in behavior towards books. She uses ‘shove’ , ‘slam’, and ‘toss’ to explain how the culture ‘Here’ values knowledge. Though treating a book rudely is not an act of disrespect but an act of ‘sin’ here’; a serious connotation. Bhatt uses the word ‘sin’ three times to mean more than a wrong act in life. This throws light on the culture of ‘India’ and values observed here.
Bhatt gives a hint of religious beliefs in her though not really enthusiastically to prevent the idea of negativity in her ideas. She introduces ‘Sarasvati’ to the readers of English as a ‘goddess of Arts’ – knowledge, painting and music. She conveys that the people( ‘soul’) enjoy endless freedom ‘here’ but they are bound to observe the beliefs of this culture. The line ‘You must………..disturbing Sarasvati’ highlights the idea the freedom is in respecting one’s culture and self but not enjoying oneself which is selfishness. There is a hint of dualism in 17th and 18th lines. These lines express the value system which is an ‘obligation’ in this culture. We can understand this with the word ‘must’ in the poem.