Tragedy of Oedipus
History, Legend, Literature, poetry

The Greater Tragedy Than Oedipus

Tragic Oedipus  wandered blind
In the bazaars of colorful Athens
crimson blood oozing out
from hollowed eyes. 
Cursing gods
for his fate so harsh 
carrying shame of
copulation with mother.
Strong guilt  sits heavy 
for slaying, his own father. 
Roaming from street to street
Asking same question,
“Why was I the chosen one”
Begotten out of the cursed
Womb of Jocasta 
Doomed by abhorrent 
act of Laius
In  self pity and gloating
had he forgotten of the
little boy sodomized 
Shame horror
subsequent death
Chrysippus condemned  
for acts of evil that men commit 
for which naive boys
and girls pay heavy price 
In his misfortune did he
think of young  Chrisypuss
dishonored , violated. 
Did he not ponder upon
wickedness that men carry
atrocities  for which many
Young ones are robbed
Of single drop of dignity.

Sailing to Byzantium by W. B Yeats

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

( My favorite poet, W.B Yeats )

Great Land
History, Inspiration, Legend, Literature, Love, Nature, poetry

The Great Land

Standing in the land of the great Apaches

Midst blooming wild poppies

and the mammoth elephant grasses,

thinking of the dream that once Martin Luther had.

May be the days of  chivalric Camelot are over,

as I heaved reclining on the grand arm chair;

vicious winds from the North gushed 

echoing footsteps of a massive feet

opening a narrow pass for the

grim shadow of Lincoln to flicker by,

leaving behind trails of the Fallen Soldiers

on the path once trodden by the

fierce Indian Tribes.

Tragedy of Oedipus
Books, History, Humanity, Kindness, Compassion, Legend, Literature, Love

The Greater Tragedy Than Oedipus

Tragic Oedipus  wandered blind
In the bazaars of colorful Athens
Crimson blood oozing out
From  hollowed eyes
Cursing gods
For his fate so harsh 
Carrying shame of
Copulation with mother
Strong guilt  sits heavy 
For slaying, his own father
Roaming from street to street
Asking same question,
“Why was I the chosen one”
Begotten out of the cursed
Womb of Jocasta 
Doomed by abhorrent 
act of Laius
In  self pity and gloating
had he forgotten of the
little boy sodomized 
Shame horror
subsequent death
Chrysippus Condemned 
For acts of evil that men commit 
For which naive boys
And girls pay heavy price 
In his misfortune did he
think of young  Chrisypuss
Dishonored, violated
Did he not ponder upon
wickedness that men carry
Atrocities for which many
Young ones are robbed
Of single drop of dignity.
Tanya Shukla

(In Greek mythology, Chrysippus  was a divine hero of Elis in the Peloponnesus, the bastard son of Pelops king of Pisa in the Peloponnesus and the nymph Axioche or Danais. He was kidnapped by the Theban Laius, his tutor, who was escorting him to the Nemean Games, where the boy planned to compete. Instead, Laius ran away with him to Thebes and raped him, a crime for which he, his city, and his family were later punished by the gods. But over the years while studying Greek Mythology, people often remember tragedy of Oedipus but left out Chryisppus which according to me is a bigger tragedy. Many young boys get raped or sodomized but their stories never come to surface, this is just my attempt to bring Chrysippus story through poetry. who was sodomized and raped in the Greek mythology of Oedipus)


Chrisypuss, Wikipedia


Kubla Khan, the emperor
Legend, Literature, Love, Nature, poetry

Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
A stately pleasure-dome decree: 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through caverns measureless to man 
Down to a sunless sea. 
So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round; 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, 
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; 
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. 
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted 
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover! 
A savage place! as holy and enchanted 
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted 
By woman wailing for her demon-lover! 
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, 
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, 
A mighty fountain momently was forced: 
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst 
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, 
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail: 
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever 
It flung up momently the sacred river. 
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion 
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, 
Then reached the caverns measureless to man, 
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean; 
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far 
Ancestral voices prophesying war! 
The shadow of the dome of pleasure 
Floated midway on the waves; 
Where was heard the mingled measure 
From the fountain and the caves. 
It was a miracle of rare device, 
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice! 
A damsel with a dulcimer 
In a vision once I saw: 
It was an Abyssinian maid 
And on her dulcimer she played, 
Singing of Mount Abora. 
Could I revive within me 
Her symphony and song, 
To such a deep delight ’twould win me, 
That with music loud and long, 
I would build that dome in air, 
That sunny dome! those caves of ice! 
And all who heard should see them there, 
And all should cry, Beware! Beware! 
His flashing eyes, his floating hair! 
Weave a circle round him thrice, 
And close your eyes with holy dread 
For he on honey-dew hath fed, 
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a leader of the British Romantic movement, was born on October 21, 1772, in Devonshire, England.)
Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is my all time favorite poem. Published in 1816 it remains Coleridge’s one of the most admired poems. The poem is masterpiece as far as the language and imagery goes. Coleridge wrote it after having an opiate induced dream about the great Mongol ruler Kubla Khan and his famous palace in Xanadu. To me this poem remains a literary magic, for I’ve never enjoyed a poem as this. Whenever I read it I am transported back in the history to the magnificent and mythical palace of Kubla Khan. I hope you all enjoy this as much I)
Books, History, Literature

Five Must Reads For Literature Lovers

Pride & Prejudice


This all-favorite by Jane Austin still reckons with book lovers in the twenty-first century, nearly 250 years after its publication. Sparks fly high between the fierce and outspoken Elizabeth Bennet and arrogant William Darcy in this romance. The story follows the life of Elizabeth Bennet a sassy and intelligent young woman, who is never afraid to speak her mind and her quest for love. Despite all the recent feminist onslaught, it continues to entertain and delight readers across the globe due to its universal appeal. 

Jane Eyre 


This coming of age novel by Charlotte Bronte narrates the exceptional survival tale of protagonist Jane Eyre. Published under the pen name “Currer Bell”, on 16 October 1847, novel was the first of its kind. Although dismissed by critics as anti-christian at the time of its publication. The novel rose to meteoric rise since then and Jane is considered the first modern female heroine. The novel charts Jane’s progress from a docile orphan to a career woman and her subsequent marriage to Edward Rochester. 

Sons and the Lovers


D.H Lawrence’s magnum opus The Sons and Lovers published in 1913 was the first novel on the premises of psychoanalysis. The novel exploring the complex relationship between the protagonist and his mother, a result of oedipus complex.  The novel narrates the story of Paul who is obsessively devoted to his mother and hates his father. The relationship often borders on romance and desire. The novel reflects Lawrence’s own devotion to his mother and was largely written at the time of his mother’s illness. 

Things Fall Apart


No other novel comes closer to depicting the horrors of coloniasation as Nigerian author Chinua Acheb’s masterpiece, Things Fall Apart published in 1958. The first modern African novel has since become an important historical document tracing the influence of colonialism and important work in post-colonial studies. the novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo(“Ibo” in the novel) man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia.

One hundred years of Solitude 


Published in 1967 by the celebrated Columbian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years Of Solitude remains a classic. No other writer has depicted the latin American society so vividly and realistcally as Marquez. The novel adopts the magic realism as a style to depict the complex and almost mythical reality of Latin American countries. The novel traces the story of Buendia in the fictional town of Mocando. Published at a time of literary latin -American boom. The novel has been since published into thirty-seven languages and is a must for anyone who wants to explore the Colombian culture and myth. 



History, Legend, Nature, poetry

Rip Van Winkle

A gentle slumber, 
On one treacherous 
December afternoon
Few drops of cheap
Sparkling Chardonnay 
Met one Rip Van Winkle
Trudging through meandering
Folds of Catskill mountains
Blabbering majesty of 
King George the great, 
Staring amusingly at the
Denim pants; cellular in 
Hands, wheeling of the 
Eagle afloat, howling of 
The winds, chirping of the 
Brook below, in semi 
Delirious state saw a
Flowing silverish beard
A foot long, smoking pipe 
Things have changed 
Wondered he, for sure 
Bygone are the days of 
Innocent laughters, idyllic 
Vacations, gone are the days
Where the only malady a 
Broken heart, only worry a 
Loaf of bread.

( Inspired from the short-story Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. The story was first published in 1819. Its story about a drunk drunk Dutch American who falls asleep in Catskill mountains and wakes up from slumber after twenty years after American Revolution. I was reading this story couple of months back and was inspired to pen down a poem)


Autobiographies & What We Can Learn From Them

My affair with autobiographies began at the age of 12 when my mom gifted me an old tethered copy of Diary of Anne Frank. I remember being very ecstatic on having received it and was completely hooked on to it. Over the years I’ve read it numerous times, and every time I read it, I feel the same joy. It transports me back to my childhood as well of Anne’s Germany of the 1940’s. Not only it’s a great read but is an important historical document on the Holocaust.

Recently I got hold of the autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the most iconic first ladies in the US history. It came as a surprise to me that behind the garb of an exceptional political figure lay a woman like any other. Here was a woman who was an American aristocrat in every possible sense, placed on the high pedestal but still went through anxieties and apprehensions. Book narrates a tale of an extraordinary life marred by doubts and insecurities.

Learning From Someone’s Mistakes

I believe learning from somebody life is easier than going through long boring books of history or didactic pieces. There’s so much that one can learn through the lives of great historical figures.  An autobiography is not simply a book but a treasure house of experiences and wisdom. We can learn valuable lessons from it. It can also offer us glimpses of our lives merged in the author’s story. I realized that great personalities undergo all the normal emotions that the ordinary humans go through. What keeps them apart from the rest is their ability to pull themselves up in the time of adversity.

The Relatability Factor

I remember reading the biography of Gandhi in middle school and relating very well. Like the great Gandhi, I was often singled out for my illegible handwriting. As strange as it sounds now, but I actually took great pride in the fact that my handwriting is as bad as Gandhi’s. Similarly, as I was flipping through the pages of Eleanor Roosevelt’s biography, I could easily relate to her early marriage days. Like any young bride, she entered the Roosevelt house with feelings of awe and fear. That was the same feeling I felt when I married into my husband’s family. The funniest part of all, she had a mother-in-law just like mine. Need I say more about it?

Autobiographies Are Motivating

Autobiographies are not only great pleasure reads but also very inspiring. They offer you a first-hand experience of trials, sufferings, and ordeals of the author. You can witness the journey which went into making an ordinary person extraordinary.  When it comes to motivation, no other autography comes to my mind other than Nelson’s Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom.”  It’s a soul-stirring tale of one man’s struggle for the freedom of his nation. A lone man who dared to challenge the hegemony of brutal imperialists. How can one miss out the poignant story of Helen Keller in her autobiography, “The Story of My Life.” The exceptional story of courage and willpower.

Autobiographies are important historical documents as they provide a first-hand experience of important historical events. They can be a great source of inspiration without being preachy. I believe they are must on everyone’s bookshelf.