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Posts Tagged ‘Death Anniversary’

A note from Shiva Kumar

I had written this poem in 2015 as a tribute to the master humourist, P.G.Wodehouse, who died on Valentine’s Day in 1975. Ace caricaturist Suvarna Sanyal paid me the highest compliment with his superb sketch showing The Master himself appreciating my poem. Thank you, SS!

 

 

A BASKETFUL OF PLUMS

Holiday morning, lovely day
To the bookshop, I’m on my way
The bookman called and said “come, quick,
Come a-running and take your pick.
A bunch of ol’ books have arrove,
A big crateload, a treasure trove.”

 

I wade in, my wish list in hand
Books all over, I can’t see land.
Dark grim tales to the left of me,
Sob stories to the right of me;
Pah! Bah! And Tchah! Far away be,
I want books which guffaw make me.

 

Melodrama, romance, forsooth!
Stuff, no sense in the bitter truth.
Yes, ribbing prose, tickling poetry,
But no science nor geometry.

 

Clarence, Freddie, Threepwood clan
Sir Galahad, the Pelican
Empress, Baxter, the angry swan;
Plum makes you chortle, that’s his plan.

 

Psmith the name with the silent P,
Sometimes dotty, always natty!
Ukridge the get-rich-quick schemer,
Out, looking for his redeemer.

 

Anatole, chef extraordinaire,
He cooks up a superb French fare;
But when he expresses his ire,
His English is simply hilare!

 

Come and meet Mr. Mulliner,
Angler’s Rest’s own story teller.
Or, the golf club’s Oldest Member,
Who many tales does remember!

 

Roderick Spode, Sam the Sudden,
Uncle Fred, Pongo Twistleton!
Sally, Gussie, Bingo, Catsmeat,
On my bookshelf you all I’ll greet!

 

Ah! There I spy a Bertie tale
With his antics he does regale.
By himself he’ll be in a bind
Thankfully, Jeeves isn’t far behind.

 

Wodehouse Omnibus, just you wait
Till I pick you up from that crate!
Plum’s the word for the humour stuff
Reading once is just not enuff!

 

A holiday morning well spent
Time flew, so fast, it came and went!
Now to curl up in the arm chair
Read away, come up only for air!

 

(Shiva Kumar is an electrical engineer by education. Having served in several industries, he and his Alma Mater are both relieved that he has never been called upon to prove his subject knowledge. He is otherwise adept at delivering uplifting shocks to those who follow him with his occasional blog posts, dishing out stuff that would make a reader laugh. His creative outpourings can be accessed at either https://sudden-elevenses.blogspot.com or https://thewiklyupdet.blogspot.com.He also loves to indulge in photography and listening to music. He likes nature and his favourite places to visit are the hills. 

 

Suvarna Sanyal has had a satisfying career pouring over bulky ledgers of a bank. He has an eye for the humorous and the unusual. He never fails to amuse with the sparkling illustrations he keeps coming up with. An Ace Caricaturist he surely is!

 

Permission to post this composition here is gratefully acknowledged.)

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Allow us to welcome you belatedly to this wonderful world on a special day,

When you turn one and fans in different continents are celebrating Plum;

For this is the day he decided to hand in his dinner pail,

Leaving a rich legacy of joy, should we ever become glum.

 

Unbeknown to you, you have brought happiness in many lives,

Not only to that of your parents and immediate family members;

But also to the lives of fans suffering from Corona-induced blues,

You brought hope to a sick planet and kept aglow joyful embers.

 

You dispelled our manner of death-where-is-thy-sting-fullness,

Keeping us safe indoors, devouring the works of the Master;

Reveling in the antics of those who lived almost a century back,

Keeping our sanity intact, building immunity, recovering faster.

 

In Plumsville, Death is surely not a dreaded phenomenon,

On the contrary, it confers wealth, castles and titles upon heirs;

Hiring Jeeves or Anatole, buying white jackets with brass buttons,

But not behaving like an American millionaire, putting on airs.

 

Your first year on this planet was a tough year indeed,

When many of us lost our clear vision of 20:20;

Plum’s works kept us afloat, giving us hope of a brighter future,

We have survived to the day and can read these lines aplenty.

 

A stern look from you and the virus would have gone into hiding,

Like a rhino retreating upon seeing a White hunter with a shotgun;

Enthused, we also took it head on, savouring our enforced isolation,

Relishing opportunities for introspection and having fun.

 

Like Bertie Wooster, you may approve of our chin up attitude,

Deploying nerves of chilled steel, surviving a sudden lockdown;

Oh, how we craved renting a cottage in the countryside,

Free of the fear of an Edwin the Scout who may burn it down.

 

Lest we may contract the dreaded virus,

We had to let go of Anatole, God’s gift to our gastric juices;

A Laura Pyke type diet regime we had to follow,

Partaking immunity boosting foods, sans any dietary excuses.

 

Many unopened books adorning our shelves we could go through,

Improving our intellect with tomes dished out by brainy coves;

Curled up in a corner with a tissue restorative by our side,

While affianced couples connected over internet, cooing like turtle doves.

 

Never in our lives did we imagine watching so many flicks,

Many inane, some average and few so very well made;

Homemakers turned creative and tried myriad recipes,

Prompting many of us to don a figurative skirt and chip in with due aid.

 

The pleasures of offline shopping sprees had to be given up,

Instead, online shopping alone saved the day for many of us;

With the giant wheels of commerce temporarily shut down,

A revival of the environment turned out to be a big plus.

 

Some rarely seen birds trooped in, giant butterflies fluttering,

The bees were active, flora and fauna flourished, sky was azure;

Flowers bloomed with gaiety, greener trees swayed gently,

Nature was bountiful; the air one breathed was pure.

 

Those in metros were severely hit, spinsters all alone and forlorn,

Musicals like ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ were sorely missing;

Engagements and nuptials had to be postponed, wedding plans trimmed,

Couples had a tougher time, unsure of even an act like kissing.

 

You have brought great joy into the lives of your parents,

As you grow, you shall surely return their nurturing ways;

They are bringing you up with lots of love and care,

Your innocent smiles and hugs brightening their days.

 

May your intellect be always one up on that of Jeeves,

Your investigative skills as sharp as those of Baxter the efficient;

In culinary skills, may you surpass Anatole, in smartness, Psmith,

A heart that bleeds for its pals may also be sufficient.

 

 

When it comes to heartily gorging on your daily nourishment,

The Empress could already learn a few things from you;

As to keeping the enthusiasm of a big sister under check,

Clarence could imbibe you, proving worthy in his ancestors’ view.

 

Your crawling skills would soon evolve into brisk walking ones,

If ever you get besotted with a Hollywood diva in your pre-teen days,

Like Thos, you may walk six miles to fetch the Sporting Times for Bertie,

Aspiring to win the Good Conduct competition, winning Greta Garbo’s praise.

 

You shall grow to be like a Hercules with nerves of chilled steel,

With abundant milk of human kindness coursing through your veins;

Following the Code of the Woosters with alacrity and aplomb,

Handling overbearing aunts, using Esmond Haddock’s tact and brains.

 

You chose to be born on a very special day,

Resurrecting the spirit of Plum, of whom your grandmother is a fan;

May your own life be full of light, sweetness and joy,

As long as a benevolent and humorous sun keeps cheering up man.

 

 

(Master John Jasper happens to be the grandson of Lucy Smink, a fan of P G Wodehouse Down Under. This impromptu composition is addressed to him. Permission of the family to publish it here is gratefully acknowledged.)

(Related Posts: 

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/lord-emsworth-and-the-girl-friend-a-visual-version

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/my-dear-clarence

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/the-gallery-of-rogue-kids-in-plumsville

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/when-masters-thos-bonzo-and-moon-rise-in-love)

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