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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 21, New Delhi, May 8, 2021

Remembering T S Eliot | Arup Kumar Sen

Saturday 8 May 2021, by Arup Kumar Sen

We are going through a time when the normal parameters of life are suspended. Pathologies of our modernity are being manifested day by day in the post-COVID world. According to media reports, people are dying in India due to lack of supply of medical oxygen, and mass cremations/burials are taking place. The Indian State has miserably failed in ensuring the minimum life-support facilities to the victims of the corona virus. This moment of darkness brings back to our memory T S Eliot’s portrayal of hollowness of modern life in his famous poem, The Hollow Men:

“This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness...
... ... ...

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper”.

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