Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa. T.S. by Nissim Ezekiel

Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa. T.S. by Nissim Ezekiel
            Nissim Ezekiel is a popular figure in the field of Indian Writing in English. In his lifetime, he has written so many poems like “The Night of the Scorpion.” and “Enterprise,” which are entertaining and enlightening.
The poem,” Goodbye Party for Miss.Pushpa” comes under his sixth volume of poems, namely “Hymns in Darkness.” The occasion is a farewell party given to Miss T.S. Pushpa by her friends and colleagues in her office when she leaves for a foreign country to improve her prospects. The speaker wishes her a happy voyage, and praises her for her good qualities. In fact, Nissim Ezekiel makes fun of the way in which semi-educated Indians speak or write the English language. He ridicules the errors in grammar, syntax, and idioms which many Indians commit while speaking the English language. In other words, he mimicks the Indian way of speaking English with so many faults, and the poem is highly amusing.
            The speaker says that their dear sister, Miss Pushpa is leaving for a foreign country, and they all wish her bon voyage. In his speech, he again and again uses the present continuous tense instead of the simple present, which creates a ridiculous effect. He says that they “are all knowing” the sweet nature of Miss Pushpa who “is smiling and smiling for no reason, but simply because she is feeling”. The speaker goes on to say that her father was a renowned advocate in Bulsar or Surat, and that he is “not remembering” the correct place. Then he suddenly remembers that the place is Surat. He seems to be a poor speaker when he points out the irrelevant fact that he stayed there once with his uncle’s very old friend whose “wife was cooking nicely.”
            Again, the speaker starts praising Miss Pushpa, and says that she is very popular with men and ladies also. Whenever he asked her to do anything,  she said,” Just now only I will do it”. Clearly the speaker means Miss Pushpa’s readiness to do any work, and the unnecessary use of “just” and “only” exhibits the Indian speaker’s ignorance of the usage of English words, creating laughter and fun. The speaker’s frequent wrong use of the present continuous instead of the simple present is further revealed in his speech when he says that he is always appreciating Miss Pushpa’s good nature, and “she is always saying yes” when he or anybody “is asking” any help. The speaker concludes his amusing speech, saying that they are wishing Miss Pushpa bon voyage. He informs that Miss Pushpa ‘will do the summing up”, when the other speakers finish their talk. What he means is that Miss Pushpa  will respond to their words of praise in the end. Thus the poet makes fun of the faulty Indian way talking English.

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  1. Nissim Ezekiel is a male poet. Please do check the gender of the poet in the above article.