Thursday, 8 December 2016

K. V. DOMINIC'S POEM 'PRICKING QUESTIONS FROM THE GRANDSON'


Pricking Questions from the Grandson
K. V. Dominic
My little grandson toddling
on front yard of my house
seems to prick me with
questions one after another
Grandpa, what have you left
for me or my siblings to be born?
Polluted is air I breathe
and toxic is food you serve me
Your parents bequeathed you
pure sky and virgin soil
They weren’t selfish
and were thoughtful
of their descendants
How can I survive here?
Too hot is the sun
Electricity fails very often
Swarm of mosquitoes
disturb my quiet slumber
Instead how happy
was your childhood!
If temperature thus
soars year after year
how much more I have to
bear till I reach my youth
middle age and old age?
I have only begun my voyage
And miles to go to reach
my unknown terminus
I even doubt how long
I can row my boat
against huge tsunamis
rushing to gulp me
How fortunate you are
as your parents were!
Unlike your humane parents
your generation proved inhuman
and mercilessly exploited
the bounties of this planet
and drank to the lees
not leaving anything
for our generation’s survival.
© K. V. Dominic

Interview with K. V. Dominic by Dr. Rohit Phutela

Interview with K. V. Dominic
Dr. Rohit Phutela

1.      RP: Could you name a few most influential writers in your life?
British writers William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Milton, William Wordsworth, William Blake, Charles Lamb, P. B. Shelley, John Keats, Robert Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Mathew Arnold, American poets Robert Frost and Emily Dickenson, Indian Writers in English Rabindranath Tagore, M. K. Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Nissim Ezekiel, R. K. Narayan and Jayanta Mahapatra are the writers I like most. My poetry is mainly influenced by philosophers and philosophical writings. They include the Buddha, Christ, Adi Sankara, Swami Vivekananda, Sree Narayana Guru, The Mahabharata, The Ramayana, The Vedas, The Upanishads, The Bhagavat Gita etc.

2.      RP: Can you give an introduction on the birth of a poet in you?
I started writing poetry seriously very late in my life, at the age of 48. The reason why the poetic muse eluded me till I was forty-eight might be that my life had gone smooth and comfortable without much itching of mind or arrows struck into it. As Jayanta Mahapatra wrote, poetry comes out of a “bad heart”—a heart that makes one turn secretly into a leader or a loser, pushing one to choose values, attitudes and do the not-so-obvious things (Mahapatra, “Piercing the Rocks: Silence to Poetry”). I do believe that I matured very late, at the age of forty eight, to be able to choose values and impart them to my students as well as to the readers of my poems. I could find that even though the world is progressing materialistically at a rapid speed using modern science and technology, spiritually or morally it is degenerating at the same speed. The material progress is concentrated only on a single digit percent of the people and the vast majority is exploited by this millionaire minority. The wealth of the planet should be distributed evenly among its inhabitants—humans, non-humans and plants.  Exploitation of the vast majority is visible in all fields of life—politics, religion, etc. Administrators and political leaders of the nations as well as leaders of all religions are exploiting the innocence and ignorance of the laity. I would like to see a revolution or radical change in this world. I dream of a socialistic world. Poetry seems to me the best medium to express my views and through my poems I want to impart some messages to the readers. The more they read my poems the happier I am.

3.      RP: What is the capital idea of your writings?
People today are crazy after materialism, and divinity in them is being lost to such an extent that they give no importance to principles, values, family and social relations, cohabitance with human beings and other beings. Instead they are trying their maximum to exploit their fellow beings, other beings and the planet itself. If it goes like this, the total destruction is not far away. It is the duty of the religious leaders, political leaders and the intelligentsia to inject the lost values to the masses and thus preserve this planet and the inhabitants from the imminent devastation. Instead, majority of these leaders become mafias and inject communal and corruptive venom to the minds of the masses. Corruption has become the hallmark of these leaders and influenced by them the masses also deviate from the right track to the evil track. And who will save this society? My answer is: writers, particularly poets who are like prophets. The major theme of my poetry is the eternal relationship between Man, Nature and God. Though baptized a Christian, I am primarily an Indian, and it is my duty as a teacher and poet to instil Indian values to my students and countrymen and also propagate these noble values to the rest of the world. I believe in the concept of jeevatma and paramatma (individual soul and universal soul) and that all living beings are part of paramatma or God. Again I believe in the Indian concept of Aham Brahmasmi (I am the God). Advaita seems to me more reasonable and acceptable than Dvaita. Thus I find the eternal affinity between Man, Nature and God. Man is not given liberty to kill other beings nor is he allowed to uproot plants and trees for his luxuries.
Disparities in society, problems of the poor, the down-trodden, the marginalized and the old, politics, terrorism, communalism, corruption and exploitation by political parties and religions, description of Nature, multiculturalism, global warming, conservation, horoscope, casteism, dignity of labour, child labour, poverty, unemployment, environmental issues, celebration of man’s intelligence, skills and selfless service for society are the main themes of my poetry.

4.      RP: Why independent India failed to produce another Rabindranath Tagore?
Versatile geniuses like Rabindranath Tagore are seldom born. We haven’t got another Shakespeare even after four centuries. If you ask why India hasn’t got another Nobel laureate for literature my answer is that there were no western promoters like W. B. Yeats for any Indian writer after Tagore. I genuinely feel that there have been many Indian writers, both in regional languages as well as English, who could be awarded the Nobel. 

5.      RP: Do the writers in India including you enjoy the real freedom to create literary work
It’s a pity that we have limited freedom of speech in India. Though India is a democratic country one has to be very careful when one writes. Unlike the western countries, religion has become a passion or weakness to the people. In fact it exerts venomous influence in the minds of the people. Reason gives way to blind faith which is much often superstitious. So a writer has to be very vigilant when he writes on religious matters.

6.      RP: What is your opinion about web-journals and magazines for poetry?
Web journals and magazines give much opportunity for budding poets who can’t afford to get a publisher for his printed volume. As printing business has become less profitable and expensive, particularly for creative works of less established and emerging writers, web journals and magazines do a great service to vent out emotions and imaginations of such writers.

7.      RP: How do you foresee the future of Indian English writing?
Indian writing in English has bright future. It has become as competent as British, American, Canadian, Australian and African Literature. We have already had four Booker prize winners. Indian English has its own characteristics. Influences of Indian regional languages make it distinct from other Eglishes. So Indian literature in English shall not be compared with other English literatures. The real struggle for Indian literature in English is from within the country. The government—both Central and State—do not promote it as they promote vernacular literatures.

8.      RP: Absolutely. How does globalization affect poetry?
Globalisation is the offshoot of capitalism or materialism. As dissemination of ideas and culture across the world occurred as the result of globalisation, poetry gained something. The poem one writes or the poetry book one publishes goes to every nook and corner of the world within minutes is an advantage poetry got from globalisation. But at the same time the spirit of globalisation is material whereas that of poetry is spiritual. As an effect of globalisation people become more money minded and selfish. So what they want to read is not poetry which preaches noble values, ethics and spirituality, but those books which are keys to comfortable and luxurious life.

9.      RP: What is your innovative poetic style? Give example if any?
As a poet, I am responsible to my own conscience and I want to convey an emotion or a message often through social criticism. I have a commitment to my students as a professor; to the reader, scholars and writers as an editor; and to all human and non-human beings as a poet. I give priority to the content of a poem than to the style of language. That is the reason why my poems lack much imagery and other figures of speech. I am of opinion that poetry should be digestible as short stories and novels are appealing to the ordinary laymen. I adopt simple vocabulary and conversational style often in poetry, which again attracts the ordinary readers. Here I am influenced much by the Victorian poet, Robert Browning. Newspaper reports as well as features of actual incidents, tragedies, role models in society, etc. I choose very often as subject matters for my poetry. Thus social realism has been portrayed much in my poetry. I haven’t come across any poet who has used such themes in abundance.

10.  RP: How has your life been different since your books came out?
I have received dozens of reviews and articles by eminent writers and critics on all my three poetry books, Winged Reason, Write Son, Write and Multicultural Symphony. Most of them have been published in several international journals and edited books. An edited book of critical/research papers on my poetry is being printed. Since readers appreciate and welcome my poetry they want more from me and my responsibility increases. Since I am also an editor of two international journals as well as several books most of my time is devoted to writing and editing.

11.  RP:  How have the serene and striking environs of Kerala, your native land, shaped your sensibility as a writer?
Kerala is God’s own country with regards to its topography and to certain extent, climate. Rainy season for nearly six months makes the State green forever. There are so many rivers, brooks and lakes besides the Arabian Sea on the western side. The Sahyas on the right side stands like a huge umbrella protecting the State from intolerable heat and cause the clouds for rains. But I am not content of my fellow beings here. They are trying to turn this heaven into a hell. The way they exploit the nature and damage environment often irritates me. Though literate, they play discordant notes to the symphony of nature. They are belligerent among themselves dancing to the tunes of dirty politicians and religious leaders. They have little love for non-human beings, plants and environment. I was compelled to present a paper entitled “Kerala God’s Own Country Turning to Devil’s Own Hell” in the SAARC literary festival at Agra in 2013. In fact my own people here make my mind bitter and aching to write so many poems dealing with social criticism.

12.  RP: Do you believe that poetry can create change in the world?
I believe that only poetry can change and save this world. But the pity is that people have less reading habit when visual media conquered the world. Again the reading public is attracted to fiction which serves the likes of the contemporary mind. As world is after materialism, fiction satisfies people’s needs rather than trying to impart nobles values and thus try to save the humanity and the planet itself from total destruction. Great poets and great poems are there but how can the readers be attracted to them, is the question. How to survive in this world competing with the friction writers is a great challenge for poets. Tastes of the readers can be changed if publishers, academia and governments genuinely try.

Dr. Rohit Phutela is an avid scholar of English literature with a penchant for intensive research in English studies. He has to his credit more than 40 research papers and books like Indian Diaspora, Postcolonial Deliberations, Indian Contours, Communication Skills II, The Narrative of Diaspora and Life Narratives in Literature under his belt. He is Assistant Professor of English at DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, India.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

K. V. DOMINIC'S POEM 'COCONUT PALM'


Coconut Palm
K. V. Dominic


Tall and majestic coconut palm
shot like a rocket to the sky

with a brilliant view of 
sparkling leaves and alluring nuts.
Best friend of human beings;
foot to tips not any inch useless.
Standing erect on lean tall foot
and growing up to hundred feet
bearing tones of leaves and fruits.
A marvel to all architects.
No human hand can build
such a parallel pillar.
Kudos to the Architect of architects!

© K. V. Dominic. From my poetry book Write Son, Write published by Authorspress, New Delhi in 2011
Le Cocotier
K. V. Dominic

Grand et majestueux cocotier
Fusée élancée vers le ciel
Splendide image
De feuilles vernissées et de noix séductrices.
Notre meilleur ami ;
De la tête au pied pas une once inutile.
Debout sur ton maigre tronc
Jusqu'à trente mètres
Aux couleurs des feuilles et des fruits.
Merveilleuse architecture.
Aucune main humaine n’aurait pu imaginer un tel pilier.
Gloire à l'architecte du monde!
(FRENCH TRANSLATION BY MS. DOMINIQUE DEMISCAULT)

Friday, 25 November 2016

K. V. Dominic's Poetic Tribute to Mahasweta Devi







A Poetic Tribute to Mahasweta Devi

K. V. Dominic

Mahasweta Devi literally means Goddess Saraswati
Her mother’s name Dharithri meaning Earth
Yes, Mahasweta Devi who departed us on 28th July
was Saraswati to millions of tribals, dalits and marginalized
who were lifted from doom and  darkness to resurgent light
She was indeed proud daughter of Mother Earth
committed to protect Earth and her inhabitants
from all kinds of exploitations and maternal assaults
Didi, you were the loving compassionate sister as well as
mother of the millions of helpless miserable fellow beings
Even at ninety you were eager to fly to wipe out tears
You could hear the scream of tortured people and
neither health nor distance could stop your incessant flights
Didi, you were the crusader of the downtrodden,
tribals, dalits, women, landless, migrants, prostitutes
You were savior of denotified tribes Lodha and Shabar
You were their mouthpiece—spoke for them, raised funds for them
legally fought for them, and organized them to fight for their rights
Didi, you are role model to all writers in the world
Unlike others writing from mansions full of luxury
and shedding crocodile tears at the plight of the poor
you lived among them, ate from their plates and
braved all dangers supporting their noble survival cause
Gandhi and Mother Teresa influenced you a lot
Practised in your life what you wrote and preached
And your social life and literary life merged into one
Your writings created an Everest in literary world
More than hundred novels and over twenty books
of short fiction all dealing with human sufferings
And your priority was for content than to form
Didi, you wanted to work for ever for your people
And hence told “I don’t want to die. I want to live forever.”
Only your body has departed and your spirit remains immortal
And like the mahuva tree which grows on your grave
the values and messages you have sown in the minds
will germinate and spread all over the world and
bower aching minds from terrible burning issues



Thursday, 24 November 2016

K V Dominic's Poem "Dogs’ Curse on Human Beings"



Dogs’ Curse on Human Beings
K. V. Dominic


Curse upon you human beings
You are the most selfish
ungrateful and cruelest 
of all creations on this planet
Irrespective of your ruthless
cold-blooded callous nature
we love you and serve you
better than your family inmates
As reward for our service
you dispose our dear puppies 
road sides. They run starving
across dashing vehicles
Some are dead while others
live on littered wastes
you throw after use
Cruelty thy name is man!
You have made your pets
stray dogs struggling for life
Your throw out culture
throwing kitchen wastes of 
meat and fish on road sides
turned some carnivores who
are violent than the herbivores
Famished, a few become violent
and prey upon pedestrians
And you start massacre
killing all stray dogs labeling 
violent or man-eaters
Compared to our violators
multitudinous are your 
criminals and murderers 
Do you kill them all 
as you mercilessly butcher
roads after roads?
Mind you, this world is 
not your grandpas’
We too have a right 
as all other animals have
to live and share 
its sustaining wealth.
© K. V. Dominic

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Report of the 5th National Level Two day Literary Festival of GIEWEC in Collaboration with the Department of English, JKC College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on 11th and 12th November 2016

Report of the 5th National Level Two day Literary Festival of GIEWEC in Collaboration with the Department of English, JKC College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on 11th and 12th November 2016

Dr. K. V. Dominic

Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics (GIEWEC) in collaboration with Department of English, JKC College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh conducted its fifth two day national level literary festival at JKC College on 11h and 12th November 2016. The topic for the festival was "Multiculturalism, Human Values and Language and Literature."
In the inaugural session at 10.30 am on 11th November, Prof. T. V. Reddy, President of the GIEWEC was the Chairperson. Prof. P. Gopichand, Associate Professor of English as well as Organizing Secretary welcomed the guests and audience. After the lighting of the lamp Dr K. Basavapunnaiah, President of J. K. C. College, made the inaugural address. It was followed by messages from J. Murali Mohan, Secretary and Correspondent of J. K. C. College, SRK Prasad, Director of PG Courses of J. K. C. College and Dr. I. Nageswararao, Principal of J. K. C. College. They all thanked GIEWEC for the collaboration. They also praised Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela for their meritorious service to the college and to the writers in India and abroad by conducting nine international poetry festivals annually. Prof. T. V. Reddy then made a brief speech on multiculturalism. Dr. K. V. Dominic expressed deep gratitude to the management of J K C College as well as to the organizing secretaries Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela. He also thanked the faculty and students of the Department of English as well as all participants of the festival. The proceedings book of the festival was launched by Dr K. Basavapunnaiah, President of J. K. C. College. Prof. P. Nagasuseela, Associate Professor of English as well as Organizing Secretary delivered the vote of thanks and thus the inaugural session ended at 11.30 am.
In the book launching ceremony that followed nearly twenty new books of the participants were launched. The authors include Dr. T. V. Reddy (Tirupati), Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi (Kolkata), Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee (Kolkata), Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ (Ahmadabad), Profs. P. Gopichand & P. Nagasuseela (Guntur), Dr. S. Kumaran (Salem),  Dr. Pamela Jeyaraju (Pondicherry), Dr. S. Ayyappa Raja (Chidambaram, T.N.), Dr. Molly Joseph (Kerala), Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya (Kolkata), Ms. Reema Das (Assam) and Dr. K. V. Dominic (Kerala).
In the plenary session at 12 noon, Prof. T. V. Reddy, Dr. K. V. Dominic, Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi, Fr. Varghese Paul, Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela, Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya presented their papers. After lunch, there was poetry reading session chaired by Prof. T. V. Reddy. Fifteen poets read their poems on various themes.
In the paper presentation sessions that followed Dr. S. Kumaran, Dr. S. Ayyappa Raja, Dr.  Joji John Panicker and Dr. Pamela Jeyaraju chaired as well as presented their papers. More than twenty participants presented their papers. From 9 pm to 10 pm there was a cultural programme of the students of J K C College which entertained the participants.  
GIEWEC’s General Body Meeting was conducted at 10.30 pm. In the election to the executive committee of GIEWEC, the twelve member committee was unanimously elected. The following are the new office bearers and committee members:
President – Prof. T. V. Reddy
Secretary – Dr. K. V. Dominic
Vice President – Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi
Vice President – Prof. P. Gopichand
Joint Secretary – Dr. Joji John Panicker
Treasurer – Dr. S. Kumaran
Members of the Executive Committee
Dr. Poonam Nigam Sahay
Dr. Ketaki Datta
Prof. P. Nagasuseela
Dr. S. Ayyappa Raja
Dr. Pamela Jeyaraju
Prof. Sibasis Jana
      On 12h November, Saturday, at 9.30 am there was the valedictory function. Prof. P. Nagasuseela welcomed the chief guests and audience. On the Dias were Dr. T. V. Reddy, Dr. K. V. Dominic, and Prof. P. Gopichand. After brief addresses by the dignitaries, merit certificates and certificates of excellence were awarded to the students of JKC College. Cash Prizes of Rs. 5000 were given to the best performers as well as to the entire group. The chairpersons of the paper presentation and poetry reading sessions were honoured with mementos. Shri Sudarshan Kcherry, the founder member of GIEWEC as well as publisher of Authorspress, New Delhi, Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya, Dr. K. V. Dominic and Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi were honoured with mementos by the local organizing secretaries.  The festival ended with Prof. P. Gopichand’s vote of thanks.
Overall, the festival was a grand success. The credit goes to the Secretaries of the Organising Committee, Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela who took the initiative several months before and got GIEWEC’s proposal sanctioned by the college management. They worked really hard for several days and nights and could very well coordinate their colleagues and students for the great outcome. GIEWEC’s bouquet of gratitude to them!


Report of the 5th National Level Two day Literary Festival of GIEWEC in Collaboration with the Department of English, JKC College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on 11th and 12th November 2016

Report of the 5th National Level Two day Literary Festival of GIEWEC in Collaboration with the Department of English, JKC College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on 11th and 12th November 2016

Dr. K. V. Dominic

Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics (GIEWEC) in collaboration with Department of English, JKC College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh conducted its fifth two day national level literary festival at JKC College on 11h and 12th November 2016. The topic for the festival was "Multiculturalism, Human Values and Language and Literature."
In the inaugural session at 10.30 am on 11th November, Prof. T. V. Reddy, President of the GIEWEC was the Chairperson. Prof. P. Gopichand, Associate Professor of English as well as Organizing Secretary welcomed the guests and audience. After the lighting of the lamp Dr K. Basavapunnaiah, President of J. K. C. College, made the inaugural address. It was followed by messages from J. Murali Mohan, Secretary and Correspondent of J. K. C. College, SRK Prasad, Director of PG Courses of J. K. C. College and Dr. I. Nageswararao, Principal of J. K. C. College. They all thanked GIEWEC for the collaboration. They also praised Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela for their meritorious service to the college and to the writers in India and abroad by conducting nine international poetry festivals annually. Prof. T. V. Reddy then made a brief speech on multiculturalism. Dr. K. V. Dominic expressed deep gratitude to the management of J K C College as well as to the organizing secretaries Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela. He also thanked the faculty and students of the Department of English as well as all participants of the festival. The proceedings book of the festival was launched by Dr K. Basavapunnaiah, President of J. K. C. College. Prof. P. Nagasuseela, Associate Professor of English as well as Organizing Secretary delivered the vote of thanks and thus the inaugural session ended at 11.30 am.
In the book launching ceremony that followed nearly twenty new books of the participants were launched. The authors include Dr. T. V. Reddy (Tirupati), Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi (Kolkata), Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee (Kolkata), Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ (Ahmadabad), Profs. P. Gopichand & P. Nagasuseela (Guntur), Dr. S. Kumaran (Salem),  Dr. Pamela Jeyaraju (Pondicherry), Dr. S. Ayyappa Raja (Chidambaram, T.N.), Dr. Molly Joseph (Kerala), Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya (Kolkata), Ms. Reema Das (Assam) and Dr. K. V. Dominic (Kerala).
In the plenary session at 12 noon, Prof. T. V. Reddy, Dr. K. V. Dominic, Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi, Fr. Varghese Paul, Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela, Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya presented their papers. After lunch, there was poetry reading session chaired by Prof. T. V. Reddy. Fifteen poets read their poems on various themes.
In the paper presentation sessions that followed Dr. S. Kumaran, Dr. S. Ayyappa Raja, Dr.  Joji John Panicker and Dr. Pamela Jeyaraju chaired as well as presented their papers. More than twenty participants presented their papers. From 9 pm to 10 pm there was a cultural programme of the students of J K C College which entertained the participants.  
GIEWEC’s General Body Meeting was conducted at 10.30 pm. In the election to the executive committee of GIEWEC, the twelve member committee was unanimously elected. The following are the new office bearers and committee members:
President – Prof. T. V. Reddy
Secretary – Dr. K. V. Dominic
Vice President – Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi
Vice President – Prof. P. Gopichand
Joint Secretary – Dr. Joji John Panicker
Treasurer – Dr. S. Kumaran
Members of the Executive Committee
Dr. Poonam Nigam Sahay
Dr. Ketaki Datta
Prof. P. Nagasuseela
Dr. S. Ayyappa Raja
Dr. Pamela Jeyaraju
Prof. Sibasis Jana
      On 12h November, Saturday, at 9.30 am there was the valedictory function. Prof. P. Nagasuseela welcomed the chief guests and audience. On the Dias were Dr. T. V. Reddy, Dr. K. V. Dominic, and Prof. P. Gopichand. After brief addresses by the dignitaries, merit certificates and certificates of excellence were awarded to the students of JKC College. Cash Prizes of Rs. 5000 were given to the best performers as well as to the entire group. The chairpersons of the paper presentation and poetry reading sessions were honoured with mementos. Shri Sudarshan Kcherry, the founder member of GIEWEC as well as publisher of Authorspress, New Delhi, Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya, Dr. K. V. Dominic and Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi were honoured with mementos by the local organizing secretaries.  The festival ended with Prof. P. Gopichand’s vote of thanks.
Overall, the festival was a grand success. The credit goes to the Secretaries of the Organising Committee, Profs. P. Gopichand and P. Nagasuseela who took the initiative several months before and got GIEWEC’s proposal sanctioned by the college management. They worked really hard for several days and nights and could very well coordinate their colleagues and students for the great outcome. GIEWEC’s bouquet of gratitude to them!