Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Pariksith Singh is, first of all, a poet and a philosopher, though not of any academic mould. He has evolved and is still evolving, his own philosophy of life and work which he has been articulating in terms of his very personalized poetry and equally personalized medical practice. Whether healing a patient, running a business or writing a poem, Pariksith Singh is always looking for that “perfect expression of the spirit in matter” – and this is P. Singh’s unique and consistent signature in all his works. P. Singh’s literature is the articulation of this “inner quest” for the spirit’s perfection in matter, and therefore an expression of the eternal struggle of form (matter) to attain the supreme fluidity of content (spirit) and content to attain the perfect expression in form.

Casually

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Casually
Without importance
Into this world arrive
Without splitting
Or choosing
As if the breeze should steal
Into the garden without a flutter
Of leaves
Arrive unannounced and leave
Just as soon
Without a ruffle
As a wave should rise in a still pool
And melt in the quietude
Ever so lightly
Depart even
As you arrive

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Radha's Geet: At The Golden Shore

Dr. Pariksith Singh

At the golden shore
Alone
I have lost all meaning
Anonymous
Among nameless things
Why does the lone star
Make me transparent?
The antariksha is both
Without and within
Where empty of thought
Awareness is timeless
Objects rise and fall
Residue of feeling
Collapse without name
All that remains
Is dark space
That I am

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Sky Bird

Dr. Pariksith Singh

To fly
Is to be
The infinite space
To rise
Into openness
The vast opens as I
My love of transparence
Fills me now
To flesh and marrow
The journey upon my breast
Enters each cell
As the journey within
Each horizon
My new home
Where stillness is flight
And skin porous as space
The seeking of flesh
To be light
A bird of thought
Behind each background
Secretly preening
The gyre of each dream
Ascending higher
To the Great Bird
Can each bird
Winging through my pen
Escape the tyranny of word?
The expanse of flight
Caught within
A secret winging
And space too
Is turned into
The thought of a bird

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Twilight

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Slowly we drift into shadows
As twilight grows dun
Selves of gray
Disappear in the dark
Our bodies buried
Under their own
Subliminal weight
Slide into the murk
In the pure abyss of night
With closed eyes
Shorn of thought
Each object is seen
In entirety
A little lamp still
Burns unseen
Within the quiet
Center of things

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Zakhm phir se khula

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ज़ख्म फिर से खुला तो हुआ आईना
लहू की जगह बस एक शुआ आईना
तेरा ही अक्स झलकता था नज़रों में
दिल से उठती बस एक दुआ आईना

A wound opened again and became the mirror
In place of blood, a ray of light the mirror
Your reflection alone shimmered in my eyes
Only a prayer arising from my heart the mirror

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Ye Nayaa Andaaz Hai Aapkaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ये नया अंदाज़ है आपका
ख़ामोश हर अलफ़ाज़ है आपका
मिलते हो जब हट जाऊं मैं तुम
फ़ाश भी हो राज़ है आपका
This is your new style
Each word of you has fallen still
You meet me when I disappear
Even exposed you are under a veil

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Waqt Guzar Gayaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

वक़्त गुज़र गया मेरे दोस्त मगर शाम वही है
पीने वाले गुज़र गए पर जाम वही है
बाजारों में भाव भी कल उठते चले गए
बिक जाने का मगर दाम वही है
Time has passed us by, my friend, but the evening is the same.
The revelers have passed us by, but the wine is the same.
Yesterday, the prices of things in the bazaar went up high
The price of getting sold here still remains the same.

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Swayam ka Ghuspaithiya

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Meri Maa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Brahm se Bhram

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Beghar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Meri Pratiksha

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Tum Preyasi

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Saagar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Prem

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Mera Shoonya Poora kar do

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Laapata

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Apni Shraddhanjali

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Janm Diwas

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Sab Kuchh Jazb...

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Vichitra Sunahrapan

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Nidraheen Raatein

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Tum Ek Vishaal Saagar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Viraasat ka Ghar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Mera Prarambh

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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Mook Ho Gaye Shabd Mere

Dr. Pariksith Singh

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The Paradigm of Quantum Physics

Dr. Pariksith Singh

One of the great achievements of modern science in the last century is Quantum Physics. While confusing to many, counter-intuitive and disruptive of the traditional Newtonian world-views, it has, nonetheless, liberated modern thought from limitation of senses and common logic. To realise that the Universe at the sub-atomic level is no longer made up of discrete particles and that location of these ‘particles’ is dependent on probability is a revolution in understanding.
My personal encounter with Modern Physics began in the 11th grade, as we were introduced to Maxwell and Planck, Heisenberg and Bohr. I must say that the fascination has only grown. As the insights began to sink in and continue to do so,(yes, even after more than three decades, it grows on one), it became a fascinating story to try to follow and understand.
What happened along the way was that physics that had been boring and Cartesian became alive and resplendent with poetry. Gazing at a table in front of me became as awe-inspiring as gazing at distant stars in the night. While I chose a career in Biology and Medicine, Physics remained a life-long journey of exploration and discovery. However, I must confess that there was still a gap somewhere. It just did not register fully- the monumental realization of what had happened. Until I read Carlo Rovelli and his two books, ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ and ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’.
With a lucidity that I have not come across in any of the books on Physics yet, he details how Einstein’s Special and General Theories of Relativity were a tremendous leap of imagination. Einstein’s understanding that gravity and space are not two separate entities, but one and the same, transformed the way we see the world. Space is not emptiness pervaded by a gravitational field but space is gravity. And I was spaced out.
Similarly, when Heisenberg says that 'he imagined that electrons do not always exist; they only exist when someone or something watches, or better, when they are interacting with something else’, changes our understanding of how electrons function. Thus, the world is not built of ‘things’ as our common sense might surmise. How then does this probabilistic transformation affect the natural world we live in, still needs to be further investigated and understood. How does our DNA, for example, get affected by such uncertainty, needs to be ‘quanta-fied’.
Physics continues to search for the Holy Grail, the Unified Field Theory. Various approaches have been tried; the Superstring Theory, the S Matrix, and now the Loop Gravity Theory. Rovelli even tries to understand the self or consciousness in terms of Physics and to this he devotes his last lesson in his “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’. And this is where he seems to flounder.
For understanding consciousness in terms of physics would be like trying to investigate organic life by investigating inorganic matter or trying to explain mind by explaining organic life. The principles can’t be encapsulated in the older frames of reference. To understand organic life in terms of matter would be a cardinal error and one would have to step out of the frame of reference of matter, evolve new modes of studies and modelling to begin to approach the phenomenon of life.
Consciousness may not be a by-product of quantum phenomenon. It may not be explicable by the Standard Model of elementary particles. Nor are its terms in the realm of thought or physical experiment. Consciousness has to be tackled and studied in entirely different paradigms, determined by its very own nature and characteristics.
Nonetheless, Rovelli’s books are definitely a step forward in higher education. Every student of science, art or humanities would do well to understand the implications of Quantum Physics. It is sad, that even after nearly a hundred years after Quantum Physics was accepted as a valid model to explain the events of the atomic world, its impact on religion, philosophy, theology and other sciences has been minuscule. Religions continue their indoctrinations with Cartesian paradigms. Philosophy has struggled after existentialism, Wittgenstein and deconstruction. And theology still sees a God outside the Universe sitting mightily as a judge or schoolmaster measuring our sins and good deeds for further reward or retribution.
An understanding of Quantum Physics leads to thought more grounded in reality and subtilizes the gross manner in which our sciences and humanities are expounded. I hope that such books are shared with students in high schools everywhere, whether they belong to arts or non-physical sciences. If not, it would be akin to limiting Beethoven’s concertos or Picasso’s art only to students of music or painting.

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Faiz Ahmed Faiz: The Neo-Classicist

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Last night, your lost memories came to me
As spring steals into the wilderness
As the morning breeze skims the desert gently
As a patient finds solace without cause
These lines, among the peaks of Urdu poetry, are written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, widely considered as one of the greatest poets from the Indian sub-continent. Born in Sialkot, British India, in 1911, he stayed on in Pakistan after independence. A classical poet to the core, he extended the traditional idiom of Urdu poetry. Where in the past Urdu poetry was restricted to the Saaqi, the wine, roses and nightingales, he changed the concept of the divine wine-bearer to mean the social and political revolution which would bring justice, freedom and equality to the oppressed. For him love for the Saaqi became a call to arms to create a new world order based on the principles of liberty and fraternity. It is perhaps these opinions that got him in trouble with the authorities. Arrested for subversive activities twice in Pakistan, he spent about 5 years in prison between 1951 and 1959. Yet, this did not blunt his desire to speak on behalf of the underprivileged in various capacities throughout his life.
Faiz was Chief Editor of Pakistan Times, and later, Editor of Lotus magazine published by Afro-Asian Reuters Association. He was awarded the prestigious Lenin award by U.S.S.R. in 1962. In his day he was deemed one of the worthiest nominees for the Nobel Prize. That he did not win it is one of the gravest omissions in the history of the award. Faiz passed away in 1985.
He remains one of the most romantic poets in world literature, comparable to Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth or Tagore. However, what makes his poetry unique is how it moves effortlessly between romanticism and reality. One of his most famous poems, typical of his style, starts off in this manner:
Do not ask for love as before, my dear!
I had thought that if you are, life is light,
If you are sad, what quarrel is worth the world’s sadness?
Your face is the reason for spring in the Universe.
What else is there in the cosmos if not your eyes?
But as the poet realizes the harsh realities of life, he is forced to confront them and sing a different tune:
Life has more torments than love alone
And greater solace than being with the loved one.
Do not ask for love as before, my dear!
Faiz does not jar the reader’s sensibility with startling juxtapositions or shock the brain with post-modern effects, merely for the sake of it. Each line is measured, deliberate, refined, quiet. Yet, when he makes a transition from one thought process to another, the results could not be more striking, in part due to their subdued texture underlining a sharp contrast. In the example given above, we find a clear contradiction between two visions and compelling movements. One is the pull of the beloved; the other, the suffering of his people. Faiz does not scream, he whispers; when he speaks softly, you pay attention because of what he has to say, not solely because of how he says it.
He does not break rhyme or rhythm like free-verse poets. His images are apt and not arbitrary like Lorca. His music rings with compassion, subtlety, wit and innovation in its neo-formalism. If Ghalib was the Father of Urdu Poetry, Faiz, to my mind, is the Father of Modern Urdu Poetry.
Faiz is old but new, traditional but contemporary. His feelings are true and deep. Whether it is in dealing with his beloved or the masses, his is not rhetoric or high-pitched falsetto. One feels the presence of a genuine emotion, an individual concern growing so deep that it becomes universal. Faiz cannot be classified only as a communist, even though he was associated closely with the socialist movement; his empathy makes him a true bearer of his religion even though he seems irreligious on the face of it. His compassion rings true and cannot be restricted to a movement or philosophy.
Faiz loved his people and his land deeply. But he was not blinded by his love. Being a true humanist, he showed his appreciation for all peoples and lands. He was able to overlook the cultural and religious baggage that well-meaning people carry, especially when it came to the rivalry between India and Pakistan. That he remained as popular in India as in Pakistan is testament to his reach beyond borders.
For any student of Modern Poetry, Faiz remains extremely significant. He needs to be studied until he becomes a part of one’s blood. Faiz ranks among the great poets of any language. He is as great a peak as Tagore, Yeats, Neruda, Rilke, Eliot or Sri Aurobindo.
Classics never die. They grow as you mature and mature as you grow. The poetry of Ghalib or Tagore or Shakespeare or Faiz is immortal and worthy of being read again and again till it changes us for the better. Even in suffering, it sings of joy and hope.
Be close to me…my assassin, my beloved, stay close to me…
When the night moves, the dark night, having drunk the red blood of skies…
Laughing, singing, ringing the epileptic anklet of pain…
When the night moves, funereal and empty…
Stay close to me…

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The Ghazal: A Poorly Adapted Form in English

Dr. Pariksith Singh

The ghazal is perhaps one of the most exotic forms of poetry. Steeped in oriental traditions and imagery, it stands unique in being a major non-narrative lyrical form of poetry in world literature. No other form poem follows the classical rules of rhyme and rhythm, and yet, gives a complete leeway to the poet to vary subject matter at will with each stanza.
Briefly, a ghazal in its classical form comprises an odd number of thematically related or unrelated couplets strung together by a common rhythm and a rhyme scheme (aa, ba, ca, da, ea, …). On the one hand, this makes it highly conducive to poetry of love and mysticism allowing impulsive shifts of thought and free association; on the other, it also places greater demands on the poet in some ways. As one critic has pointed out, the ghazal is easy to write but difficult to master. Free verse may hide (or reveal, depending on how one may look at it) much of a poet’s mediocrity but a ghazal will starkly highlight it. Even in Urdu, there are seldom more than a few poets writing quality ghazals at one time and a good ghazal is as difficult to write as perhaps a good sestina.
The word ghazal derives from the word ghazaal from Arabic, which means a gazelle. And that perhaps sums up in one word what the form stands for. Delicate and graceful, quick and erratic, the gazelle moves in leaps and bounds, often changing directions from one jump to another, often reversing its course entirely, capricious yes, but ever delightfully energetic and beautiful.
Historically, the ghazal originated in Persia and migrated along with the moguls to India. There it became one of the foremost vehicles of poetic expression of a new language, Urdu, which came out of a commingling of Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Punjabi and Hindi. In Urdu Literature, its importance rivals that of a sonnet in English.
The Exemplars of the Urdu Ghazal
The ghazal was used highly successfully by Mirza Ghalib, easily the greatest poet in Urdu to this date. He exploited the natural rhythm and felicity of the language to reach new heights of simplicity and lyricism. An example of Ghalib’s wit can be seen in this translation (translation mine) of his ghazal:
You bring a rose to your face and say, like this.
Show me with my own lips how to lean for a kiss.
How to steal hearts without a word from your lips.
Each action of hers reeks with attitude like this.
When I suggested that her guests leave,
She asked me to get up and go, like this.
Do you feel that closeness brings an end to passion?
The waves in the sea still toss and turn, like this.
Those who say that the Persian ghazal is greater than Urdu,
Read them a selection of my verse, like this.
With time, however, the ghazal adopted new themes and imagery. It gave up the traditional rose, the moon and the Saaqi (the wine-bearer). Fervent religious reformers like Iqbal and romantic realists like Faiz entrenched it indelibly in the consciousness of the Indian sub-continent.
The Ghazal in English
The ghazal, thus, is full of great possibilities. It can be sung, it can move masses, and it can be a prayer or an ode or an elegy or a love-lyric or a call for revolution. Unfortunately, it has never fulfilled its promise in English. This may be due to the lack of awareness of its true structure, the lack of rhyming words in English, or the non-linear structure of the form itself, which requires a new mode of thinking. More likely, this is so because it has never been successfully adapted into English. The language has always risen to new challenges in the past and all that may be needed is to create an appreciation of the form among poets and critics.
Adrienne Rich and many others have written free verse ghazals. They have used a string of couplets in vers libre, usually more than four or five, and unrelated in content, as their criteria of ghazal. To me, this is equivalent to calling a fourteen-line poem a sonnet. While I do not contest a poet’s freedom to modernize and improvise, I feel that an attempt must be made to create the ghazal in its classical form, too. One should know the rules before deciding to break them.
The Mastery of the Craft
One must appreciate that the ghazal in some ways is diametrically opposite to free verse. The ghazal, as discussed earlier, while adhering to external form rigorously, leaves the emotion to leap from one couplet to another. It relies solely on unity of rhythm, the radeef, while free verse poems usually rely on unity of thought or image. An analogue to the ghazal may be the renga in its classical form with strict rules regarding syllable count, season words, etc., and a strictly non-narrative structure. The other kin to a ghazal may be sequence, though the sequence has no formal structure.
The first couplet in a ghazal provides the zemeen or basis on which all subsequent couplets stand. The theme of the following couplets may be unrelated, may contradict the previous one, may represent another perspective on the idea, and may even be part of a narrative (though this is less common). The second line in a couplet sometimes may even be unrelated to the first.
Often each couplet is an entirely different poem in itself, yoked to others only by reason of rhyme and rhythm. The strict limitation of form and length with stanzas of two lines only, each of which is an independent poem in itself places immense pressure on the poet. He must excel with each line. He has to touch the reader’s or listener’s intellect or emotions quickly and just as quickly move on. There is no time for expostulation.
The ghazal writer relies on pun, paradox, bathos and other literary devices or tarqeebs. Brevity is the key. An example of witty spiritual insouciance or romantic flirtation can be seen in this line from Ghalib and Faiz respectively (translations mine):
Is it ordained that each shall get the same reply?
Come, let us take a trip to Mount Sinai.
Love in the heart makes them upset;
On my lips, it becomes a secret.
The English Ghazal
To attempt an English metrical equivalent, one should perhaps limit oneself between five to twelve feet per couplet, like most English meters. Each line may include two hemistiches, though this is not essential. The two lines in a couplet may not have the same number of feet.
The earliest English poetry, to my understanding, was based on rhythm and not so much a metrical prosody. Urdu, being a relatively new language, does the same. The zemeen or basic rhythm is the key. Usually, each line is end-stopped and does not use, what Coleridge called, a feminine ending. Thus, a typical zemeen in Urdu may sound taut and simple as in this couplet:
That you were not aware,
We could hardly care.
Or it may be more spread out and complex:
Such pain that even wounds could not be witnesses;
At your arrival, there were no apocalypses.
(Above two examples translated from my ghazals in Urdu)
In place of rhyming the last word of each couplet, one may use a phrase as a refrain, as in Ghalib’s ghazal in the first section of this essay. Or one may use slant rhymes or incomplete rhymes and that would depend on the creativity of the poet. Or, one may use internal rhymes to bolster the refrain, e.g.,
Wounds of light have dared to flow
Since I moved closer to you.
Kiss them with the lips of sight,
The tongue of eyes whispers to you.
Lost in the stars you wake anew,
Mirrors at night are jewelers to you.
(Translated from my ghazals in Urdu)
All these rules, however, are only on the surface. The true measure of a ghazal is its saleeqah or the way a certain thing is said or not said, or left unsaid. Wit is highly prized along with nazuk-khayali or the subtlety of thought of feeling. An example of this fineness of perception can be seen in this couplet of Ghalib:
At each turn, you ask me who am I.
Tell me, is this the way to reply.
The ghazal then, to quote T. S. Eliot in another context, is a ‘precise way of thinking or feeling’. Trans-creating it into English may mean a new self-discipline and self-development. If the attempt succeeds, ‘a new wing to the opulent mansion of English poetry’ will be added and we shall have learnt something new in the process. Seeing the resourcefulness of the modern poets in English, I have no doubt that the English ghazal will soon become a native in this foreign soil and thrive in this land of immigrants.
(Parts of this essay published in ELF: Eclectic Literary Forum, 1997, Volume 7, Number Three and in SIRS, a resource publication for libraries in U.S. and Canada.)

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The Future of Indian Poetry

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Indian poetry in English is flat. There is no depth. This was my impression when I read some anthologies edited by Pritish Nandy few decades ago. This remains my impression after reviewing an anthology of more modern poets that I chanced upon recently. I came out with the feeling that I had read a newspaper. To be fair to Indian poets, much modern poetry is similar. Mental. Superficial. Sensational.
DH Lawrence had said that the best literature transforms your blood. My blood remains the same. The skin sags a bit more.
Save a few poems. A few poets.
Ezra Pound described poetry as comprised of three components: logopoeia, melopoiea and phanopoeia. Meaning, music and image. A very anatomic dissection reveals this as the sinews and muscle of poetry. But the best poetry accomplishes something else that is significant. It brings together an intense fusion of thought and feeling, of sensation and gut, intensity and subtlety, wideness and height and depth.
In the Indian context, the term ‘bhaava’ has been used, which implies a profounder feeling and thinking and sensing. TS Eliot while discussing metaphysical poets talks about a poetry where thoughts are felt. Bhaava implies such a fusion but it is yet more than a coming together of mind and heart. It means ‘to be’.
Great art absorbs one, drowns the reader or beholder. Technical perfection is one requirement, perhaps a basic one. But the identification of consciousness with the art opens it to new perspectives, insights, visions. Such new vistas in modern poetry are missing. As Steve Jobs complained, while discussing the products with his developers at Apple, ‘There is no sex in them.”
I am afraid that we have become TS Eliot in pyjamas if not ‘Mathew Arnold in a sari’. To turn this around, we will need to be bold and uncompromising.
A high fusion of content and craft, theme and style is what will distinguish excellence from mediocrity. Indian-English poetry does not seem to dare greatness. That might happen when Indian literature re-discovers or explores its own roots. As Tagore did.
What are these roots or myths? What are the conditions or the darshan? Or perhaps an even deeper question. Who are we? What is unique about us? This is journey we must make, no matter how excruciating or unfulfilling. To boldly sing in our own voice, steep ourselves in our svadharma, to draw in our own blood. To carry it as a woman carries her child in the womb. That is the only way we can deliver a new being, art with its own individuality.
To paraphrase McLeish, I would say, ‘Great poetry must not mean, but be.” In bhaava, in the dare, in the sva-darshana or self-seeing. Such is the future of our poetry if we may dare to hear and trace the notes of our own heart-beat. Shall we follow?

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The Musical Structure of Four Quartets

Dr. Pariksith Singh

The Four Quartets is a masterpiece. It is Eliot at his maturest, though perhaps not necessarily best with each line. The great achievement of this poem, if one may call it one poem, is its verse structure made to look or sound like a quartet. While it is impossible for a poem to sound like a quartet, Eliot has used different ‘instrumental voices’ in his ensemble to project a similar interplay of sounds.
In this essay, I have restricted myself to the versification in each quartet as opposed to the substance. Eliot has also very adroitly created an interaction of various themes and images to run parallel to his musical structure. But that is a subject that would invite another exposition beyond the parameters of this essay.
What is a quartet? Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines it as a musical composition or movement in four parts each performed by a single voice or instrument. Usually, a quartet comprises of two violins along with a viola and a cello. The violins touch the highest frequencies of sound, the cello the lowest, while the viola employs the middle range of frequencies. Usually, the instruments play at the same time though one instrument may dominate at one time or another. It is important to understand the musical composition of a quartet to better appreciate what Eliot accomplished as a poet.
The only way Eliot could create another voice poetically was by employing a different line-length and verse-form to represent each different instrument. He used blank verse and lyrical structures, narrative and dramatic forms, at times resorting to Dantesque terza rima, at times breaking into Chaucerian diction. He broke each quartet into different segments, varying the sound-texture of each segment. Some of the segments could stand as separate lyrics of their own. Some are more like verse essays, where he thought slowly, deliberately.
Throughout Eliot has retained a classical approach—just as one would expect a quartet to be— though at times he breaks off into free verse. He does not try to split the page into two vertical poems running parallel to another, like Mallarme did—an experiment which failed, incidentally, even in Mallarme’s masterly hands.
If we take ‘Burnt Norton’, for instance, the meditation in the beginning of the poem is a hidden iambic pentameter:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
The second segment begins with an intricate and dense versification, that is lyrical, rhymed and in tetrameter.
Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
He then employs the famous Upanishadic line ‘at the still point of the moving world’ in a heptametric section that, to me, is the epitome of meditative poetry:
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards…
He then moves again to pentameter, continuing the meditation, yet changing the color of the sound:
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood…
He begins the third segment switching back and forth between tetrametric and pentametric lines, then startlingly moves to a trochaic line that is a heptameter:
…Time before and time after,
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London…
He reverts to a pentametric line immediately after and again alternates between four and five syllables in each line.
The fourth segment is short, the first five lines lyrical and rhymed:
Time and the bell have buried the day,
The black cloud carries the sun away.
Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis
Stray down, bend to us; tendril and spray
Clutch and cling?
The next five lines vary in length with each line, still rhymed, lyrical and involved, the first line only a word, like a note floating in air.
Chill
Fingers of yew be curled
Down on us? After the kingfisher’s wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.
The fifth segment begins with a tetrametric tone, slow and deliberate, bringing to a synthesis the various voices that played through the entire piece. However, he quickly moves to the pentameter with the next line:
Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach…
He again alternates between four and five syllables to each line and ends the poem with a burst of tetrameter:
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always—
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.
The other three quartets employ a similar—though not same—interaction of voices, each comprising of five segments. Each quartet has a distinct flavor to it, and together, all four reach another new synthesis in musical composition.
The Four Quartets are truly Eliot’s magnum opus. He attempted to create a new interaction of verse forms and tones in his work like a quartet and succeeded brilliantly. His quartets are not quartets musically speaking but are more in the nature of verse artifacts, curiosities, something truly novel and a remarkable addition to the vast repository of English poetry.

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Neither-Nor

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Recently, I was invited to Pondicherry Literary Festival, held August 17-19 last month. This came as a surprise request from a well-known critic and poet, Makarand Paranjape. We had renewed our acquaintance just a couple of days prior to this request. I had sent him a booklet of my poems, ‘The Fawn’, in 1991 to which he had responded in a kind but critical manner. And I always remembered and appreciated that. While he was visiting the US recently, a mutual acquaintance got us connected. This chance invitation started a sequence of events that amazed, amused, perplexed and annoyed me.
I accepted the invite after some hesitation since it came just a couple of weeks prior to the LitFest and we had little time. But I agreed to join the Festival since it seemed too fortuitous to me at that time. I would have the opportunity to visit Pondicherry, a city I have visited since I was in Medical School, and that too on August 15, which is the birthday of Sri Aurobindo, for whom as a revolutionary, writer, poet and visionary I have utmost respect. It was the time I was planning to release three books of mine, two on poetry and one on Health Care in the US. So, I thought, the event might help give the books some publicity. I had no idea about the political storm that was brewing.
While I was in Newark airport, getting ready to board the flight to New Delhi, I came upon a press event held in Pondicherry by a few leftist organizations that opposed the festival. They referenced the article from Le Monde, a newspaper in France that mentioned my name and called me a rightist and therefore opposed the LitFest since it was an event organized by rightist forces. I was surprised since I had not known yet that I belonged to the right-wing. I pulled the article that Le Monde had referenced and found that it was something that I had sent to several media outlets more than a year ago. It was an article that cautioned Modi against concentrating all the power in the Prime Minister Office since it could have harmful and unforeseen consequences. Rightlog chose to publish it. Nowhere in the article was there blind worshipping of Modi, nor did I support him whole-heartedly. I praised him for what I thought were his achievements and brought up my reservations where they were due.
I was tagged as a rightist since Rightlog published it. The content of the article had no meaning. I doubt that the Le Monde correspondent read it. Nor was there any attempt to ascertain my views on Modi, the LitFest or even what I thought about the liberal-conservative divide in the US or the Congress-BJP battle in India. It was sloppy journalism at its worst but the leftist parties in Pondicherry picked it up and petitioned Alliance Francaise to stop supporting the event.
By the time, I reached Pondicherry the little turbulence had gathered into a hurricane. Alliance Francaise dropped out at the last moment from allowing the organizers to use its venue to stage the event. They had to hustle to find alternative sites. On the morning of the inauguration, a group of miscreants gathered at Alliance Francaise to protest against the event. Fortunately, the event had already been moved to another site by that time.
I came to hear some of the best speakers, writers and thinkers of India at the event some of them can easily represent India internationally. We had Bibek Debroy, Sanjiv Sanyal, R Jagannathan, Alok Pandey and Makarand Paranjape among many others. I did not realize that the event had been tagged, labeled, and consigned to oblivion by the Left because it invoked Sri Aurobindo and Bharat Shakti, because the leftist writers and thinkers had chosen not to attend it even though they had been invited, because some of the organizers had been labeled already as rightists. The event was not attended by mainstream media. No coverage was given to stalwarts such as Bibek Debroy and others in the newspapers. My own father who was travelling with us tagged an exhibition on Indian Civilization and Spirituality as rightist because there was no Gandhi in it. That is when I received a vital insight.
I realized that the atmosphere in our country over the last 20 years had moved to an extreme divisiveness where raw emotion and sensationalism had taken over journalism and reason had fled our shores. And it was similar to what I had experienced in the US over the last decade or so. In any case, I visited Sri Aurobindo’s room and paid my respect. I sat at his Samadhi without a single thought or reaction over how vitiated our social discourse had become. I was just grateful that I could sit there on August 15 and release my books.
We came to Jaipur and my father arranged a press event, where, thankfully, all his journalist-friends whom he had known over the last 30 years came. I was questioned in a professional manner. I was interviewed for various TV channels and I did a poetry reading of my English and Hindi poems. Then came the question I had not expected in that more friendly atmosphere. “Are you a rightist and are your poems affiliated with a particular political party?”
And as I answered, I got my second insight. I said that the division between the right and left to me sometimes seemed artificial. I am a doctor who chose this profession because I wanted to help and heal. Does that make me a leftist? And I believe in free enterprise? Does that make me a rightist? And if caring for people, advocating health insurance for everyone, having empathy for the downtrodden and the poor and the weak made me a socialist I was proud to be one. And if supporting enterprise and businesses and individual freedom made me a conservative, I would be happy to hold that flag any day. Then I quoted something I had heard recently, “A bird needs two wings to fly, both the right and the left. So does our country.”
And I was done. And I had just begun.
When did loving one’s country became the right of one side or the other? I refused to accept the tag. I rejected them with all my passion and my being.
When did Swami Vivekananda become a rightist? He who loved the oppressed and forgotten and wanted to worship ‘Daridra Narayana’, the Divine who lives in the poorest and the most miserable, and had the deepest empathy for anyone who was suffering?
I am a leftist and a rightist. I am a green party member and I am libertarian. I refuse to allow others to pin me to who I am and who I choose to be and who I am allowed to be. I escape all categories and eschew all classification.
Truth is neither left nor right; Truth is the center. The only true one.
How shall I be pinned? I am invisible. I defy classification.
And I am reminded of Walt Whitman as I say this:
“You say I contradict myself.
Very well then, I contradict myself.
I contain multitudes.”

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Sri Aurobindo, the Challenge of a Poet

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Of all the poets over the last few centuries, Sri Aurobindo presents the most unique challenge to the reader. He is not difficult with contorted meanings like Celan or surrealist like Lorca or complex like TS Eliot. These others can still be fathomed if one spends enough time with them; they can be extremely dense, sometimes cryptic to the max, yet, the challenge is in meaning or import.
But Sri Aurobindo needs a new experience and consciousness to understand. In this, he is akin to the ancient Vedic rishis who composed the Vedas and Upanishads. An entirely new range of discernment and awareness is needed. Sri Aurobindo challenges one’s DNA as it were.
Modern poetry has been extremely severe, almost savage, in its criticism of his poetry, though his prose seems relatively well-placed now. The question is is there anything of value in his poetry and, if there is, does it need to be discovered on terms set by him?
To my mind, Sri Aurobindo is exploring the consciousness inherent in sound, among other things. In his best poems and lines, we see a sound-significance that is transformative. He is a poet of sound and the consciousness of sound. When we read passages in Savitri such as ‘The Adoration of the Divine Mother’ or sonnets such as ‘Nirvana’, we find the spiritual experience clearly described verbally but, on closer attention, the experience is created with the sound of the incantation and the harmonies created by a remarkable choice of words. In this, his aim to catch the Upanishadic element in English verse seems to have been realized.
We also see in his poetry the fusion of abstract with concrete, what to us is barely perceived or perceivable is described clearly by him with precise details. This is confusing and vague to the uninformed mind and creates a reaction in the modern mind. But in his best poems, he has found what we might call ‘the subjective correlative’ to paraphrase Eliot.
It is the misfortune of Indian poetry that Sri Aurobindo’s classicism was a mismatch in the age of Eliot and Pound. A lot of bad verse has been written in imitation of the modernist poets in the 20th century and the achievements made by Sri Aurobindo in verse were seldom realized. His experimentations with form poems and new rhythms in English are quite remarkable and sometimes extremely successful, e.g., ‘The Image’ written in quantitative hexameter or the sapphics in his poem ‘The Descent’.
Fame and fortune of a poet are no reflection of his or her excellence. It is my surmise that Sri Aurobindo’s greatness and achievements as a poet shall be duly recognized by Indian critics and critics around the world once they separate their instinctive dislike of his classicism and read him with a more discerning eye and ear.
We have far lesser poets who are well-known and studied with less than half a dozen good poems to their credit. Sri Aurobindo has many more, not only as a poet but also as a poet-translator of Upanishadic and Vedic shlokas.

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test Literature 15 apr 2

Dr. Pariksith Singh

test Literature 15 apr 2

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test Literature 15 apr 1

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Casually

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Casually
Without importance
Into this world arrive
Without splitting
Or choosing
As if the breeze should steal
Into the garden without a flutter
Of leaves
Arrive unannounced and leave
Just as soon
Without a ruffle
As a wave should rise in a still pool
And melt in the quietude
Ever so lightly
Depart even
As you arrive

Read More
Radha's Geet: At The Golden Shore

Dr. Pariksith Singh

At the golden shore
Alone
I have lost all meaning
Anonymous
Among nameless things
Why does the lone star
Make me transparent?
The antariksha is both
Without and within
Where empty of thought
Awareness is timeless
Objects rise and fall
Residue of feeling
Collapse without name
All that remains
Is dark space
That I am

Read More
Sky Bird

Dr. Pariksith Singh

To fly
Is to be
The infinite space
To rise
Into openness
The vast opens as I
My love of transparence
Fills me now
To flesh and marrow
The journey upon my breast
Enters each cell
As the journey within
Each horizon
My new home
Where stillness is flight
And skin porous as space
The seeking of flesh
To be light
A bird of thought
Behind each background
Secretly preening
The gyre of each dream
Ascending higher
To the Great Bird
Can each bird
Winging through my pen
Escape the tyranny of word?
The expanse of flight
Caught within
A secret winging
And space too
Is turned into
The thought of a bird

Read More
Twilight

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Slowly we drift into shadows
As twilight grows dun
Selves of gray
Disappear in the dark
Our bodies buried
Under their own
Subliminal weight
Slide into the murk
In the pure abyss of night
With closed eyes
Shorn of thought
Each object is seen
In entirety
A little lamp still
Burns unseen
Within the quiet
Center of things

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Zakhm phir se khula

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ज़ख्म फिर से खुला तो हुआ आईना
लहू की जगह बस एक शुआ आईना
तेरा ही अक्स झलकता था नज़रों में
दिल से उठती बस एक दुआ आईना

A wound opened again and became the mirror
In place of blood, a ray of light the mirror
Your reflection alone shimmered in my eyes
Only a prayer arising from my heart the mirror

Read More
Ye Nayaa Andaaz Hai Aapkaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ये नया अंदाज़ है आपका
ख़ामोश हर अलफ़ाज़ है आपका
मिलते हो जब हट जाऊं मैं तुम
फ़ाश भी हो राज़ है आपका
This is your new style
Each word of you has fallen still
You meet me when I disappear
Even exposed you are under a veil

Read More
Waqt Guzar Gayaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

वक़्त गुज़र गया मेरे दोस्त मगर शाम वही है
पीने वाले गुज़र गए पर जाम वही है
बाजारों में भाव भी कल उठते चले गए
बिक जाने का मगर दाम वही है
Time has passed us by, my friend, but the evening is the same.
The revelers have passed us by, but the wine is the same.
Yesterday, the prices of things in the bazaar went up high
The price of getting sold here still remains the same.

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The Paradigm of Quantum Physics

Dr. Pariksith Singh

One of the great achievements of modern science in the last century is Quantum Physics. While confusing to many, counter-intuitive and disruptive of the traditional Newtonian world-views, it has, nonetheless, liberated modern thought from limitation of senses and common logic. To realise that the Universe at the sub-atomic level is no longer made up of discrete particles and that location of these ‘particles’ is dependent on probability is a revolution in understanding.
My personal encounter with Modern Physics began in the 11th grade, as we were introduced to Maxwell and Planck, Heisenberg and Bohr. I must say that the fascination has only grown. As the insights began to sink in and continue to do so,(yes, even after more than three decades, it grows on one), it became a fascinating story to try to follow and understand.
What happened along the way was that physics that had been boring and Cartesian became alive and resplendent with poetry. Gazing at a table in front of me became as awe-inspiring as gazing at distant stars in the night. While I chose a career in Biology and Medicine, Physics remained a life-long journey of exploration and discovery. However, I must confess that there was still a gap somewhere. It just did not register fully- the monumental realization of what had happened. Until I read Carlo Rovelli and his two books, ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ and ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’.
With a lucidity that I have not come across in any of the books on Physics yet, he details how Einstein’s Special and General Theories of Relativity were a tremendous leap of imagination. Einstein’s understanding that gravity and space are not two separate entities, but one and the same, transformed the way we see the world. Space is not emptiness pervaded by a gravitational field but space is gravity. And I was spaced out.
Similarly, when Heisenberg says that 'he imagined that electrons do not always exist; they only exist when someone or something watches, or better, when they are interacting with something else’, changes our understanding of how electrons function. Thus, the world is not built of ‘things’ as our common sense might surmise. How then does this probabilistic transformation affect the natural world we live in, still needs to be further investigated and understood. How does our DNA, for example, get affected by such uncertainty, needs to be ‘quanta-fied’.
Physics continues to search for the Holy Grail, the Unified Field Theory. Various approaches have been tried; the Superstring Theory, the S Matrix, and now the Loop Gravity Theory. Rovelli even tries to understand the self or consciousness in terms of Physics and to this he devotes his last lesson in his “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’. And this is where he seems to flounder.
For understanding consciousness in terms of physics would be like trying to investigate organic life by investigating inorganic matter or trying to explain mind by explaining organic life. The principles can’t be encapsulated in the older frames of reference. To understand organic life in terms of matter would be a cardinal error and one would have to step out of the frame of reference of matter, evolve new modes of studies and modelling to begin to approach the phenomenon of life.
Consciousness may not be a by-product of quantum phenomenon. It may not be explicable by the Standard Model of elementary particles. Nor are its terms in the realm of thought or physical experiment. Consciousness has to be tackled and studied in entirely different paradigms, determined by its very own nature and characteristics.
Nonetheless, Rovelli’s books are definitely a step forward in higher education. Every student of science, art or humanities would do well to understand the implications of Quantum Physics. It is sad, that even after nearly a hundred years after Quantum Physics was accepted as a valid model to explain the events of the atomic world, its impact on religion, philosophy, theology and other sciences has been minuscule. Religions continue their indoctrinations with Cartesian paradigms. Philosophy has struggled after existentialism, Wittgenstein and deconstruction. And theology still sees a God outside the Universe sitting mightily as a judge or schoolmaster measuring our sins and good deeds for further reward or retribution.
An understanding of Quantum Physics leads to thought more grounded in reality and subtilizes the gross manner in which our sciences and humanities are expounded. I hope that such books are shared with students in high schools everywhere, whether they belong to arts or non-physical sciences. If not, it would be akin to limiting Beethoven’s concertos or Picasso’s art only to students of music or painting.

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Casually

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Casually
Without importance
Into this world arrive
Without splitting
Or choosing
As if the breeze should steal
Into the garden without a flutter
Of leaves
Arrive unannounced and leave
Just as soon
Without a ruffle
As a wave should rise in a still pool
And melt in the quietude
Ever so lightly
Depart even
As you arrive

Read More
Radha's Geet: At The Golden Shore

Dr. Pariksith Singh

At the golden shore
Alone
I have lost all meaning
Anonymous
Among nameless things
Why does the lone star
Make me transparent?
The antariksha is both
Without and within
Where empty of thought
Awareness is timeless
Objects rise and fall
Residue of feeling
Collapse without name
All that remains
Is dark space
That I am

Read More
Sky Bird

Dr. Pariksith Singh

To fly
Is to be
The infinite space
To rise
Into openness
The vast opens as I
My love of transparence
Fills me now
To flesh and marrow
The journey upon my breast
Enters each cell
As the journey within
Each horizon
My new home
Where stillness is flight
And skin porous as space
The seeking of flesh
To be light
A bird of thought
Behind each background
Secretly preening
The gyre of each dream
Ascending higher
To the Great Bird
Can each bird
Winging through my pen
Escape the tyranny of word?
The expanse of flight
Caught within
A secret winging
And space too
Is turned into
The thought of a bird

Read More
Twilight

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Slowly we drift into shadows
As twilight grows dun
Selves of gray
Disappear in the dark
Our bodies buried
Under their own
Subliminal weight
Slide into the murk
In the pure abyss of night
With closed eyes
Shorn of thought
Each object is seen
In entirety
A little lamp still
Burns unseen
Within the quiet
Center of things

Read More
Zakhm phir se khula

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ज़ख्म फिर से खुला तो हुआ आईना
लहू की जगह बस एक शुआ आईना
तेरा ही अक्स झलकता था नज़रों में
दिल से उठती बस एक दुआ आईना

A wound opened again and became the mirror
In place of blood, a ray of light the mirror
Your reflection alone shimmered in my eyes
Only a prayer arising from my heart the mirror

Read More
Ye Nayaa Andaaz Hai Aapkaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ये नया अंदाज़ है आपका
ख़ामोश हर अलफ़ाज़ है आपका
मिलते हो जब हट जाऊं मैं तुम
फ़ाश भी हो राज़ है आपका
This is your new style
Each word of you has fallen still
You meet me when I disappear
Even exposed you are under a veil

Read More
Waqt Guzar Gayaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

वक़्त गुज़र गया मेरे दोस्त मगर शाम वही है
पीने वाले गुज़र गए पर जाम वही है
बाजारों में भाव भी कल उठते चले गए
बिक जाने का मगर दाम वही है
Time has passed us by, my friend, but the evening is the same.
The revelers have passed us by, but the wine is the same.
Yesterday, the prices of things in the bazaar went up high
The price of getting sold here still remains the same.

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The Paradigm of Quantum Physics

Dr. Pariksith Singh

One of the great achievements of modern science in the last century is Quantum Physics. While confusing to many, counter-intuitive and disruptive of the traditional Newtonian world-views, it has, nonetheless, liberated modern thought from limitation of senses and common logic. To realise that the Universe at the sub-atomic level is no longer made up of discrete particles and that location of these ‘particles’ is dependent on probability is a revolution in understanding.
My personal encounter with Modern Physics began in the 11th grade, as we were introduced to Maxwell and Planck, Heisenberg and Bohr. I must say that the fascination has only grown. As the insights began to sink in and continue to do so,(yes, even after more than three decades, it grows on one), it became a fascinating story to try to follow and understand.
What happened along the way was that physics that had been boring and Cartesian became alive and resplendent with poetry. Gazing at a table in front of me became as awe-inspiring as gazing at distant stars in the night. While I chose a career in Biology and Medicine, Physics remained a life-long journey of exploration and discovery. However, I must confess that there was still a gap somewhere. It just did not register fully- the monumental realization of what had happened. Until I read Carlo Rovelli and his two books, ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ and ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’.
With a lucidity that I have not come across in any of the books on Physics yet, he details how Einstein’s Special and General Theories of Relativity were a tremendous leap of imagination. Einstein’s understanding that gravity and space are not two separate entities, but one and the same, transformed the way we see the world. Space is not emptiness pervaded by a gravitational field but space is gravity. And I was spaced out.
Similarly, when Heisenberg says that 'he imagined that electrons do not always exist; they only exist when someone or something watches, or better, when they are interacting with something else’, changes our understanding of how electrons function. Thus, the world is not built of ‘things’ as our common sense might surmise. How then does this probabilistic transformation affect the natural world we live in, still needs to be further investigated and understood. How does our DNA, for example, get affected by such uncertainty, needs to be ‘quanta-fied’.
Physics continues to search for the Holy Grail, the Unified Field Theory. Various approaches have been tried; the Superstring Theory, the S Matrix, and now the Loop Gravity Theory. Rovelli even tries to understand the self or consciousness in terms of Physics and to this he devotes his last lesson in his “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’. And this is where he seems to flounder.
For understanding consciousness in terms of physics would be like trying to investigate organic life by investigating inorganic matter or trying to explain mind by explaining organic life. The principles can’t be encapsulated in the older frames of reference. To understand organic life in terms of matter would be a cardinal error and one would have to step out of the frame of reference of matter, evolve new modes of studies and modelling to begin to approach the phenomenon of life.
Consciousness may not be a by-product of quantum phenomenon. It may not be explicable by the Standard Model of elementary particles. Nor are its terms in the realm of thought or physical experiment. Consciousness has to be tackled and studied in entirely different paradigms, determined by its very own nature and characteristics.
Nonetheless, Rovelli’s books are definitely a step forward in higher education. Every student of science, art or humanities would do well to understand the implications of Quantum Physics. It is sad, that even after nearly a hundred years after Quantum Physics was accepted as a valid model to explain the events of the atomic world, its impact on religion, philosophy, theology and other sciences has been minuscule. Religions continue their indoctrinations with Cartesian paradigms. Philosophy has struggled after existentialism, Wittgenstein and deconstruction. And theology still sees a God outside the Universe sitting mightily as a judge or schoolmaster measuring our sins and good deeds for further reward or retribution.
An understanding of Quantum Physics leads to thought more grounded in reality and subtilizes the gross manner in which our sciences and humanities are expounded. I hope that such books are shared with students in high schools everywhere, whether they belong to arts or non-physical sciences. If not, it would be akin to limiting Beethoven’s concertos or Picasso’s art only to students of music or painting.

Read More
Casually

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Casually
Without importance
Into this world arrive
Without splitting
Or choosing
As if the breeze should steal
Into the garden without a flutter
Of leaves
Arrive unannounced and leave
Just as soon
Without a ruffle
As a wave should rise in a still pool
And melt in the quietude
Ever so lightly
Depart even
As you arrive

Read More
Radha's Geet: At The Golden Shore

Dr. Pariksith Singh

At the golden shore
Alone
I have lost all meaning
Anonymous
Among nameless things
Why does the lone star
Make me transparent?
The antariksha is both
Without and within
Where empty of thought
Awareness is timeless
Objects rise and fall
Residue of feeling
Collapse without name
All that remains
Is dark space
That I am

Read More
Sky Bird

Dr. Pariksith Singh

To fly
Is to be
The infinite space
To rise
Into openness
The vast opens as I
My love of transparence
Fills me now
To flesh and marrow
The journey upon my breast
Enters each cell
As the journey within
Each horizon
My new home
Where stillness is flight
And skin porous as space
The seeking of flesh
To be light
A bird of thought
Behind each background
Secretly preening
The gyre of each dream
Ascending higher
To the Great Bird
Can each bird
Winging through my pen
Escape the tyranny of word?
The expanse of flight
Caught within
A secret winging
And space too
Is turned into
The thought of a bird

Read More
Twilight

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Slowly we drift into shadows
As twilight grows dun
Selves of gray
Disappear in the dark
Our bodies buried
Under their own
Subliminal weight
Slide into the murk
In the pure abyss of night
With closed eyes
Shorn of thought
Each object is seen
In entirety
A little lamp still
Burns unseen
Within the quiet
Center of things

Read More
Zakhm phir se khula

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ज़ख्म फिर से खुला तो हुआ आईना
लहू की जगह बस एक शुआ आईना
तेरा ही अक्स झलकता था नज़रों में
दिल से उठती बस एक दुआ आईना

A wound opened again and became the mirror
In place of blood, a ray of light the mirror
Your reflection alone shimmered in my eyes
Only a prayer arising from my heart the mirror

Read More
Ye Nayaa Andaaz Hai Aapkaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ये नया अंदाज़ है आपका
ख़ामोश हर अलफ़ाज़ है आपका
मिलते हो जब हट जाऊं मैं तुम
फ़ाश भी हो राज़ है आपका
This is your new style
Each word of you has fallen still
You meet me when I disappear
Even exposed you are under a veil

Read More
Waqt Guzar Gayaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

वक़्त गुज़र गया मेरे दोस्त मगर शाम वही है
पीने वाले गुज़र गए पर जाम वही है
बाजारों में भाव भी कल उठते चले गए
बिक जाने का मगर दाम वही है
Time has passed us by, my friend, but the evening is the same.
The revelers have passed us by, but the wine is the same.
Yesterday, the prices of things in the bazaar went up high
The price of getting sold here still remains the same.

Read More
Swayam ka Ghuspaithiya

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Meri Maa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Brahm se Bhram

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Beghar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Meri Pratiksha

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Tum Preyasi

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Saagar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Prem

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Mera Shoonya Poora kar do

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Laapata

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Gatimaan jagat (from Eliot)

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Apni Shraddhanjali

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Janm Diwas

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Sab Kuchh Jazb...

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Vichitra Sunahrapan

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Nidraheen Raatein

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Tum Ek Vishaal Saagar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Viraasat ka Ghar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Mera Prarambh

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Mook Ho Gaye Shabd Mere

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 01

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 02

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 03

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 04

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 05

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 06

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 07

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 08

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 09

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 10

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 11

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 12

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 13

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 14

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 15

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 16

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 17

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 18

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 19

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 20

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 21

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 22

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 23

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 24

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
The Paradigm of Quantum Physics

Dr. Pariksith Singh

One of the great achievements of modern science in the last century is Quantum Physics. While confusing to many, counter-intuitive and disruptive of the traditional Newtonian world-views, it has, nonetheless, liberated modern thought from limitation of senses and common logic. To realise that the Universe at the sub-atomic level is no longer made up of discrete particles and that location of these ‘particles’ is dependent on probability is a revolution in understanding.
My personal encounter with Modern Physics began in the 11th grade, as we were introduced to Maxwell and Planck, Heisenberg and Bohr. I must say that the fascination has only grown. As the insights began to sink in and continue to do so,(yes, even after more than three decades, it grows on one), it became a fascinating story to try to follow and understand.
What happened along the way was that physics that had been boring and Cartesian became alive and resplendent with poetry. Gazing at a table in front of me became as awe-inspiring as gazing at distant stars in the night. While I chose a career in Biology and Medicine, Physics remained a life-long journey of exploration and discovery. However, I must confess that there was still a gap somewhere. It just did not register fully- the monumental realization of what had happened. Until I read Carlo Rovelli and his two books, ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ and ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’.
With a lucidity that I have not come across in any of the books on Physics yet, he details how Einstein’s Special and General Theories of Relativity were a tremendous leap of imagination. Einstein’s understanding that gravity and space are not two separate entities, but one and the same, transformed the way we see the world. Space is not emptiness pervaded by a gravitational field but space is gravity. And I was spaced out.
Similarly, when Heisenberg says that 'he imagined that electrons do not always exist; they only exist when someone or something watches, or better, when they are interacting with something else’, changes our understanding of how electrons function. Thus, the world is not built of ‘things’ as our common sense might surmise. How then does this probabilistic transformation affect the natural world we live in, still needs to be further investigated and understood. How does our DNA, for example, get affected by such uncertainty, needs to be ‘quanta-fied’.
Physics continues to search for the Holy Grail, the Unified Field Theory. Various approaches have been tried; the Superstring Theory, the S Matrix, and now the Loop Gravity Theory. Rovelli even tries to understand the self or consciousness in terms of Physics and to this he devotes his last lesson in his “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’. And this is where he seems to flounder.
For understanding consciousness in terms of physics would be like trying to investigate organic life by investigating inorganic matter or trying to explain mind by explaining organic life. The principles can’t be encapsulated in the older frames of reference. To understand organic life in terms of matter would be a cardinal error and one would have to step out of the frame of reference of matter, evolve new modes of studies and modelling to begin to approach the phenomenon of life.
Consciousness may not be a by-product of quantum phenomenon. It may not be explicable by the Standard Model of elementary particles. Nor are its terms in the realm of thought or physical experiment. Consciousness has to be tackled and studied in entirely different paradigms, determined by its very own nature and characteristics.
Nonetheless, Rovelli’s books are definitely a step forward in higher education. Every student of science, art or humanities would do well to understand the implications of Quantum Physics. It is sad, that even after nearly a hundred years after Quantum Physics was accepted as a valid model to explain the events of the atomic world, its impact on religion, philosophy, theology and other sciences has been minuscule. Religions continue their indoctrinations with Cartesian paradigms. Philosophy has struggled after existentialism, Wittgenstein and deconstruction. And theology still sees a God outside the Universe sitting mightily as a judge or schoolmaster measuring our sins and good deeds for further reward or retribution.
An understanding of Quantum Physics leads to thought more grounded in reality and subtilizes the gross manner in which our sciences and humanities are expounded. I hope that such books are shared with students in high schools everywhere, whether they belong to arts or non-physical sciences. If not, it would be akin to limiting Beethoven’s concertos or Picasso’s art only to students of music or painting.

Read More
Casually

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Casually
Without importance
Into this world arrive
Without splitting
Or choosing
As if the breeze should steal
Into the garden without a flutter
Of leaves
Arrive unannounced and leave
Just as soon
Without a ruffle
As a wave should rise in a still pool
And melt in the quietude
Ever so lightly
Depart even
As you arrive

Read More
Radha's Geet: At The Golden Shore

Dr. Pariksith Singh

At the golden shore
Alone
I have lost all meaning
Anonymous
Among nameless things
Why does the lone star
Make me transparent?
The antariksha is both
Without and within
Where empty of thought
Awareness is timeless
Objects rise and fall
Residue of feeling
Collapse without name
All that remains
Is dark space
That I am

Read More
Sky Bird

Dr. Pariksith Singh

To fly
Is to be
The infinite space
To rise
Into openness
The vast opens as I
My love of transparence
Fills me now
To flesh and marrow
The journey upon my breast
Enters each cell
As the journey within
Each horizon
My new home
Where stillness is flight
And skin porous as space
The seeking of flesh
To be light
A bird of thought
Behind each background
Secretly preening
The gyre of each dream
Ascending higher
To the Great Bird
Can each bird
Winging through my pen
Escape the tyranny of word?
The expanse of flight
Caught within
A secret winging
And space too
Is turned into
The thought of a bird

Read More
Twilight

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Slowly we drift into shadows
As twilight grows dun
Selves of gray
Disappear in the dark
Our bodies buried
Under their own
Subliminal weight
Slide into the murk
In the pure abyss of night
With closed eyes
Shorn of thought
Each object is seen
In entirety
A little lamp still
Burns unseen
Within the quiet
Center of things

Read More
Zakhm phir se khula

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ज़ख्म फिर से खुला तो हुआ आईना
लहू की जगह बस एक शुआ आईना
तेरा ही अक्स झलकता था नज़रों में
दिल से उठती बस एक दुआ आईना

A wound opened again and became the mirror
In place of blood, a ray of light the mirror
Your reflection alone shimmered in my eyes
Only a prayer arising from my heart the mirror

Read More
Ye Nayaa Andaaz Hai Aapkaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

ये नया अंदाज़ है आपका
ख़ामोश हर अलफ़ाज़ है आपका
मिलते हो जब हट जाऊं मैं तुम
फ़ाश भी हो राज़ है आपका
This is your new style
Each word of you has fallen still
You meet me when I disappear
Even exposed you are under a veil

Read More
Waqt Guzar Gayaa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

वक़्त गुज़र गया मेरे दोस्त मगर शाम वही है
पीने वाले गुज़र गए पर जाम वही है
बाजारों में भाव भी कल उठते चले गए
बिक जाने का मगर दाम वही है
Time has passed us by, my friend, but the evening is the same.
The revelers have passed us by, but the wine is the same.
Yesterday, the prices of things in the bazaar went up high
The price of getting sold here still remains the same.

Read More
Swayam ka Ghuspaithiya

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Meri Maa

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Brahm se Bhram

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Beghar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Meri Pratiksha

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Tum Preyasi

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Saagar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Prem

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Mera Shoonya Poora kar do

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Laapata

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Gatimaan jagat (from Eliot)

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Apni Shraddhanjali

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Janm Diwas

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Sab Kuchh Jazb...

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Vichitra Sunahrapan

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Nidraheen Raatein

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Tum Ek Vishaal Saagar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Viraasat ka Ghar

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Mera Prarambh

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
Mook Ho Gaye Shabd Mere

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 01

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 02

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 03

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 04

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 05

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 06

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 07

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 08

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 09

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 10

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 11

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 12

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 13

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 14

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 15

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 16

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 17

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 18

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 19

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 20

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 21

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 22

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 23

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
There Was A Girl I Loved Once 24

Dr. Pariksith Singh

Read More
The Paradigm of Quantum Physics

Dr. Pariksith Singh

One of the great achievements of modern science in the last century is Quantum Physics. While confusing to many, counter-intuitive and disruptive of the traditional Newtonian world-views, it has, nonetheless, liberated modern thought from limitation of senses and common logic. To realise that the Universe at the sub-atomic level is no longer made up of discrete particles and that location of these ‘particles’ is dependent on probability is a revolution in understanding.
My personal encounter with Modern Physics began in the 11th grade, as we were introduced to Maxwell and Planck, Heisenberg and Bohr. I must say that the fascination has only grown. As the insights began to sink in and continue to do so,(yes, even after more than three decades, it grows on one), it became a fascinating story to try to follow and understand.
What happened along the way was that physics that had been boring and Cartesian became alive and resplendent with poetry. Gazing at a table in front of me became as awe-inspiring as gazing at distant stars in the night. While I chose a career in Biology and Medicine, Physics remained a life-long journey of exploration and discovery. However, I must confess that there was still a gap somewhere. It just did not register fully- the monumental realization of what had happened. Until I read Carlo Rovelli and his two books, ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ and ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’.
With a lucidity that I have not come across in any of the books on Physics yet, he details how Einstein’s Special and General Theories of Relativity were a tremendous leap of imagination. Einstein’s understanding that gravity and space are not two separate entities, but one and the same, transformed the way we see the world. Space is not emptiness pervaded by a gravitational field but space is gravity. And I was spaced out.
Similarly, when Heisenberg says that 'he imagined that electrons do not always exist; they only exist when someone or something watches, or better, when they are interacting with something else’, changes our understanding of how electrons function. Thus, the world is not built of ‘things’ as our common sense might surmise. How then does this probabilistic transformation affect the natural world we live in, still needs to be further investigated and understood. How does our DNA, for example, get affected by such uncertainty, needs to be ‘quanta-fied’.
Physics continues to search for the Holy Grail, the Unified Field Theory. Various approaches have been tried; the Superstring Theory, the S Matrix, and now the Loop Gravity Theory. Rovelli even tries to understand the self or consciousness in terms of Physics and to this he devotes his last lesson in his “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’. And this is where he seems to flounder.
For understanding consciousness in terms of physics would be like trying to investigate organic life by investigating inorganic matter or trying to explain mind by explaining organic life. The principles can’t be encapsulated in the older frames of reference. To understand organic life in terms of matter would be a cardinal error and one would have to step out of the frame of reference of matter, evolve new modes of studies and modelling to begin to approach the phenomenon of life.
Consciousness may not be a by-product of quantum phenomenon. It may not be explicable by the Standard Model of elementary particles. Nor are its terms in the realm of thought or physical experiment. Consciousness has to be tackled and studied in entirely different paradigms, determined by its very own nature and characteristics.
Nonetheless, Rovelli’s books are definitely a step forward in higher education. Every student of science, art or humanities would do well to understand the implications of Quantum Physics. It is sad, that even after nearly a hundred years after Quantum Physics was accepted as a valid model to explain the events of the atomic world, its impact on religion, philosophy, theology and other sciences has been minuscule. Religions continue their indoctrinations with Cartesian paradigms. Philosophy has struggled after existentialism, Wittgenstein and deconstruction. And theology still sees a God outside the Universe sitting mightily as a judge or schoolmaster measuring our sins and good deeds for further reward or retribution.
An understanding of Quantum Physics leads to thought more grounded in reality and subtilizes the gross manner in which our sciences and humanities are expounded. I hope that such books are shared with students in high schools everywhere, whether they belong to arts or non-physical sciences. If not, it would be akin to limiting Beethoven’s concertos or Picasso’s art only to students of music or painting.

Read More
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