Monday, August 14, 2017

A. V. Koshy writes

Swapna Sundari
(First Draft.)

Oslo, Norway

Orange Street (7) was playing in town.

You were not there

I searched for you 
in the streets of the city

and even in the community

the conference centre

of the sect or cult

Once I almost found you 

wearing high leather boots I loved

But it was not you

The fields were beautiful

the skies heavenly

and at midnight it was

bright as noon!

Saw an old house

the bed large and empty

grass on it

saw cable-cars and trams

The sun shone through the windows in the middle of every night

making it all seem what it was, dream like...

but that piece of the heart that was

broken off, missing

given for you and for many

was still not being eaten, being drunk

Love of God

Love of country

Love of a virgin

Love of spirituality

Nothing quite makes up for

that little bit of blood dribbling

out of the corner of one's longing mouth

because one has a bit of the heart, lost

aching, looking for

what it could never find

as it was not meant to search for it, from the start

but only was to let itself be found.

(7) A rock group from India that was then touring Norway and played in Oslo.

 William H. Johnson - A View Down Akersgate, Oslo (c.1935).

A View Down Akersgate, Oslo -- William H. Johnson


  1. Anirban Chakraborty and guitarist Saibal Basu formed Orange Street in New Delhi in 1995, at a time when India was obsessed with everything “not Indian.” Over the next few years they toured India and Sri Lanka. In 2000 they released “Drive Carefully for Our Shake” and in 2002 “Candywalk.” In 2003 Anirban reorganized the band’s personnel and sound; guitarist Donny, drummer Ashwin Andrew, bassist Dara, Hindustani classical singer Imran Khan, and the dhol player Parveen Sethi combined heavy rap-rock with Indian classical & traditional dhol shot through an electronica bed. In 2004 and 2005 they toured Europe, including Scandinavia.

  2. Though Christian burials from the site have been dated to prior to 1000, Oslo was founded in 1040 and established as a kaupstad (trading place) in 1048 by Haraldr Sigurðarson “Harðráði”(hard ruler). In 1026 his half brother Ólafr Haraldsson (St. Olaf II) had lost the Norwegian throne to Knútr Sveinsson “inn ríki” (the Great) of Danmark, who installed his son Svend as regent; in 1030 Ólafr was slain trying to recover his kingdom, and Haraldr was exiled. He became a mercenary commander under Jaroslavŭ Volodimirovičŭ Mǫdry (Yaroslav I the Wise), who had united Veliky Novgorod and Kiev to become grand prince of Rus’. Around 1034 he took his army to Constantinopolis and became the commander of the Varangian Guard (Tágma tōn Varángōn), the elite Byzantine unit that served as the emperors’ bodyguards. After extensive military action in the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Bulgaria, he returned to Rus’ in 1042 to make his preparations for regaining Norway from Ólafr illegitimate son Magnús Óláfsson “góði” (the Good), who had been crowned king of Norway in 1035 at 11 when the nobles overthrew Svend. In 1040 Magnús and Knútr’s son Hardeknud “Tough-knot" agreed that the first of them to die would be succeeded by the other, so in 1042 when Hardeknud died in England (where he was also king), Magnús became king of Danmark as well. In 1046 Haraldr joined forces with Knútr’s nephew Svend Estridsen, who claimed the Dansk throne for himself, but Magnús agreed to share the Norwegian kingship with Haraldr. Magnús died the following year, leaving Haraldr as king in Norway and Svend as king of Danmark. Haraldr raided the Dansk coast almost every year until 1064 when he relinquished his claims to Danmark in exchange for Svend's recognition of himself as Haraldr III of Norway. (Svend ruled Danmark until his death in 1076, was married three times, and fathered at least 20 illegitimate children, including five future kings.) Not long after renouncing his claim to Danmark, Tostig Godwinson pledged his allegiance to Haraldr and invited him to take the English throne from his brother Harold II. (Their mother was Knútr’s sister-in-law, whose brother had married Knútr’s sister, the mother of Svend. Knútr had made their father Godwin earl of Wessex by 1018. When Knútr died in 1035 he was succeeded as regent in England by his son Harold "Harefoh" [Harefoot] while his brothers Hardeknud and Svend were absent in Scandinavia, and his half-brothers Ēadƿeard Andettere [Edward the Confessor] and Ælfred Æþeling [Alfred the Noble] were in exile in Normandie until 1036, though Godwin ruled south of the Thames on behalf of Hardeknud until 1037, when Harold was crowned king. On his behalf Godwin captured, blinded, and killed Ælfred. But Harold died at 24 in 1040, and Hardeknud seized the throne three months later and exhumed and beheaded Harold. Hardeknud died in 1042, at 24, and was followed by Ēadƿeard, who married Godwin’s daughter in 1045. Godwin died in 1053, followed in Wessex by Harold, whose brother Tostig became earl of Northumbria in 1055, but he was removed from power by noble rebels in 1065, perhaps at Harold’s instigation. Harold Godwinson was crowned king in January 1066, the day after Ēadƿeard died childless.] In September 1066 Haraldr invaded northern England and defeated local forces near York but was slain by Harold at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, William of Normandie, another claimant to the English throne, invaded, defeated Harold at Hastings, and conquered England.

  3. Dr Ampat Koshy is a versatile writer who is also a marvelous orator. I have read few of his writings but that has made me to decide to adore him as a world class writer


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