The Song of Jar Jar Binks

Jar Jar Binks

I can smell the diction Taliban just beyond my window.
I can hear the rat-a-tat of their words,
its robotic monotony,
rattle of Kalashnikov.

Peeking out the pane, I see skyscrapers
raised on cacophony of flakes and wafers;
buzz and fuzz of tones,
grating of sandpapers.

Melody died, fell afoul of the tone deaf tribe,
it’s the denuded, the staccato
that flourishes and vibes
like a litany of manuals.

I have muted my lyre with the mist of my mind.
It still roils them, their vanity raises hood;
they toil, flail and fail,
pretend it is deadwood.

I can smell the diction Taliban just beyond my window.
I can hear the rat-a-tat of their words,
a waterfall of shards,
an Odyssey of crows.



  1. Dear Umashankar

    Only rapid minds can hate music and life … they hate liberal thought and freedom of choice.

    May the world work together and to-tali-ban such outfits?

  2. That is the whole problem – that it is indeed an ‘Odyssey’ of crows – no-one seems able to end their journey.

  3. I’m so tired of grammar Nazis and parlance puritans. I can only imagine how annoyed you must be by the diction Taliban! As long as the meaning of a sentence is accurately conveyed, who cares in what form it’s written?

    1. Helena, it is said that had Conrad fallen into the hands of an English tutor, we would never have heard of his name.

      All I do when I write is to try and transfer my thoughts exactly to the paper or screen, rarely thinking of the words or diction I am using at the moment. When on my second reads I come across uneven patches, I rework or rearrange them. I am sure I never write at the cost of lucidity.

  4. Seems like you hear and see a lot of things. Good for you. Essentially, I suppose, all writers or aspiring writers must do the same. Beautiful poem, by the way.

    1. ‘True hearts have eyes and ears, no tongues to speak; they hear and see, and sigh, and then they break.’
      ~Edward Dyer

      Well, Jar Jar Binks loosened his tongue a bit before his heart broke!

  5. So true. Its a balance between the diction Taliban and the anarchist who even questions why we should call a table a table I guess. The truth in my opinion lies somewhere between.

    1. Well said, TF! It is not uncommon to stumble upon sites that use words for word’s sake but which are sadly so out of context. Some people confuse bar tending with getting drunk but then that is a different story, isn’t it?

      If your reader can feel the story rather than feeling that he is reading the story, you know you have hit the bull’s eye. And the path to that end lies somewhere in between, just as you say.

  6. A wonderful rolling read US, a magical stream of prose in your `normal’ inimitable style.
    `…a waterfall of shards…’ indeed.
    Cheers, ic

    1. Thank you for the continued support, Ian. I hate to be writing posts like this but I do get irked by those subtle and some not so subtle hints. And this is what goes in my mind when I receive a comment posted through a proxy server (all parts of the same input):

      Comment: “Sir, too much vocabulary is very difficult to digest.. “
      My Thought: Whoever asked you to digest English, you moron?

      Comment: “Your grammar falter here and there”
      My Thought: Look who’s talking!

      Comment: “and you seem to use a lot of thesaurus”
      My Thought: Go ahead, you can use it too!

      Comment: “I just want to say, that using synonyms doesn’t make your English superior.”
      My Thought: Superior to yours, you lout?

      Comment:“The synonyms go with certain sense only.”
      My Thought: “Thanks for giving away yourself! I can tell you from a mile with that construct.”

      1. I don’t understand why people bring in grammar and grandpa into comments. For a blog I think the most important thing to do is spal chak.

        1. Typos happen, Subroto. But leaving them untended -forgetting the ‘spal chak’- is pure laziness. And hey, everything is important! But all this is applicable to those who understand the language. You think I give two hoots to cretins like that?

  7. This poem is beautiful. “litany of manuals” — such a vivid image of the boredom of procedure and canned phrases.

    I personally admire people who take the time to learn more of an art we all share – language. My thesaurus is one of my prized possessions. It’s a shame that more don’t use it. Too many beautiful words are perishing into extinction due to lack of passion for vocabulary; especially today in our texting world, where people communicate without punctuation and acronyms.

    Your writing, punctuation and vocabulary are superb; more so than many native speakers I know have. To see your beautiful command over the confusing, senseless English language is more than impressive.

    1. Charlene, with a tribute like that I can wade through a legion of zombies! I will forever remain a devotee of the troika of Dictionary, Thesaurus and Grammar. A deep bow to you!

  8. And the most interesting part is that the Grammar Nazi is anonymous. Isn’t he supposed to be fearless?

    1. Not only the Nazi is anonymous but hidden behind a proxy server too! Sadly, the sentences are a dead give away.

      Anyway Amit, you know you have arrived when you get stalkers! 😉

      1. I’d thank the stalker Umashanker. Look at how much s/he has accomplished!
        1. S/he has given us cause for much laughter.
        2. S/he has made you realize- as nothing else could have- that you’ve ‘arrived’.
        3. S/he has caused you to write this poem… and that itself is wondrous.


        PS: I love my Word thesaurus. 😀

  9. The diction Taliban needs to be wiped out – I saw one rise of FB – poking fun of Indian English. I didn’t waste my time explaining that it is an accepted dialect. It would be lost on that person who got left behind by the British!;)

    1. I love native words like ‘bazaar’, ‘guru’, ‘thug’ etc and I use them abundantly. But to tell you the truth, I hate ridiculous sentence constructs in any language.

    1. As fresh ones join the hordes, the Odyssey will continue. But the crows keep dying their own death. And as they they give up the ghost, there is a poignant cawing:

      “Sir, too much vocabulary is very difficult to digest..”

  10. Anonymous comments mostly say, “great article,” and having dispensed with that formality then proceed to give you precise directions to their website. This person, besides hiding behind anonymity wasn’t even insincerely complimentary :-). Deserves the lovely, and very apt, title “jar jar binks” which, incidentally, I had to look up. Hope you continue working my old brain. I enjoy the exercise immensely.

  11. There is only one thing can be said about them Oh god! they do not know what a “Tamsik” world they live in and continue to do the chain of Violence and blood bath.

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