Falling Figures - E. V. Ramakrishnan
“The distinguishing characteristic of EVR’s poetry is its ability to combine irony with wonder, critique with elegy, metaphor with moral concern, a capacity for image with philosophical immersion.”
- Arundhati Subramanian
Previously, I had shared a love poem by E. V. Ramakrishnan. I turn to his writing again today, to try and make sense of the circus of politics that we are witnessing today.
I read these lines in the context of a militant and misplaced nationalism that plagues the nation today. Throughout EVR’s poem there is a play on perception and reality. It is as if the poet is seeing events through a screen, at times echoing the deception of media through a newspaper or a television screen, and is unable to come to terms with the trauma of the real. I can understand this climate of fear that is articulated by the poet and courses through the veins of the electorate. Everyday we are seeing statements made by people in high posts in government, or the administration, that are
filled with violence. In fact, such speech has been normalised.
EVR’s poem references the famous image of Qutubuddin Ansari cowering in fear during the 2002 riots in Gujarat. The jingoistic fervour that swept through the mob then, is echoed routinely on social media and on television screens today. We are all searching for the difference between a “prayer” and a “false affidavit”.