Sunday, November 11, 2018

Satchid Anandan writes


Slowly, slowly they pass by
Those who breastfed and put us to bed
who worked hard to send us
to schools and colleges
those who scolded and punished us
who revered and envied us,
hugged and desired us,
those who longed for our death,
one by one, slowly, slowly.

Slowly, slowly
A part of us too passes with them,
a small part, a breath, some blood,
a bit of pollen.

All that we climbed up we climb down
All that we climb down we walk
All that walk fall, like leaves,
the greener side down,
clung to earth.

A breeze blows above us
The memories of those who passed
envelope us with the odours of
pepper, garlic, wild jasmine.
Slowly, we come alive, like some statues
coming alive at midnight,
loiter along the ancient times
and recall that old life, line by line,
through measured verses.

The river goes on singing,
the primal song of those who do not die
It cuts across the banks, like time
that has no borders, bodiless,
Man and Woman (Ali and Nino) -- Tamara Kvesitadze

1 comment:

  1. Tamara Kvesitadze was trained as an architect, but in the 1990s she started to make dolls in Tbilisi. Inspired by a popular novel “Ali and Nino,” originally published in Wien in 1937 and subsequently published in more than 30 languages, in 2007 she created “Man and Woman,” a moving 8 m (26 ft) metal sculpture. It was installed in Batumi, Georgia, in 2010 as “Ali and Nino.” Every day at 7 PM the twin figures of the statue begin their 10-minute movement in which they briefly merge for an embrace. They represent the fictional lovers Ali Khan Shirvanshir, a Shi'ite Muslim Tartar, and Nino Kipiani, a Georgian Christian princess. The German novel was written by “Kurban Said” (a pseudonym meaning “fortunate or joyful sacrifice”). The actual author was probably an Azerbaijani Jew named Lev Naussimbaum, who fled Baku in 1918 due to political street violence, traveled through Turkestan and Persia, where he may have converted to Islam, returned to Baku, fled again when the Bolsheviks took the city in 1920, and then fled from Georgia when they took Tbilsi and Batumi. In Germany he began writing as Essad Bey in 1926. In 1931 he joined the German-Russian League Against Bolshevism, and between 1932-1936 wrote, among many other works, fanciful biographies of Vladimir I. Lenin, Joszef Stalin. czar Nicholai II, Muhammed, and Reza Shah of Iran, and the Nazi propaganda ministry included his writings on its list of "excellent books for German minds." However, after his Jewish identity was uncovered he was expelled from the German Writers Union in 1935 and needed a new pseudonym. As “Kurban Said” he published 2 novels but when Germany annexed Austria in 1938 he fled to Positano, Italia, where he died at 37, probably of Buerger's disease, a rare blood disorder which causes gangrene of the extremities and was common among male Ashkenazi male Jews; probably because he disavowed his Jewish identity, he was mis diagnosed with Raynaud's Disease, which is more prevalent in women. An Italian translation, “Ali Khan,” was published in 1944 by “Mihammed Essad Bey,” leading to the 1st identification of Nussimbaum as the author (although Vacca bello, aka Dr. Ahmed Giamil Vacca-Mazzara, an Italian from Tripoli who was his drug dealer, claimed that he himself was the real Kurban Said when he arranged for the book to be published). Other suggested authors include the Austrian baroness Elfriede Ehrenfels, who had registered the book with German authorities in Austria in lieu of the proscribed Nussimbaum, and Azerbaijani author Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli. In any event, whoever wrote the book, it was heavily plagiarized from the Georgian novelist Grigol Robakidze’s earlier work “The Snake’s Skin” (which he published in Georgian in 1926 and then translated into German in 1928 as “Das Schlangenhemd”).


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