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Wind – Subramania Bharati

Subramania Bharati teaches us how we should stand against our oppressors. In the poem he presents the wind-God who destroys everything weak. He wonders why the mighty God is fond of poking fun only with the weak. The poet therefore advises the weak (like him) to make them strong.

Stanza 1

Wind, come softly. 
Don’t break the shutters of the windows. 
Don’t scatter the papers. 
Don’t throw down the books on the shelf.
There, look what you did – you threw them all down.
You tore the pages of the books.
You brought rain again.

Meaning
  • Come softly – Blow softly.
Questions & Answers
  1. How does the poet want the wind to behave?
    The poet wants the wind to behave softly and peacefully, without breaking his shutters, without scattering the papers and without throwing down the books on the shelf.
  2. What is the poet’s tone?
    The poet’s tone is authoritative. He is not pleading to the wind. He commands the wind to come swiftly.
  3. What has the wind done to the poet?
    The wind has broken the shutters of the poet’s windows, scattered the pages on which he writes and threw down the books on his shelf.
  4. Why is the poet angry with the wind for its bringing rain again?
  5. What do you know about the poet’s areas of interest from he stanza?
Stanza 2

You’re very clever at poking fun at weaklings. 
Frail crumbling houses, crumbling doors,
Crumbling rafters, crumbling wood, crumbling bodies,
Crumbling lives, crumbling hearts.

Meaning
  • Poking fun – Making fun of someone
  • Weaklings – The weak
  • Frail – Weak
  • Crumbling – Falling apart
  • Rafters – A beam (a long piece of wood) forming part of the internal framework of a roof.
Questions & Answers
  1. Is the poet praising the wind in the second stanza? Why do you think so?
    No, the poet is not praising the wind by enumerating its activities. On the contrary, he is poking fun of the wind by asserting that it is too weak and afraid to fight with the strong ones. He blames that the wind overpowers only the weaklings.
  2. The poet is presenting the India during the British rule. Comment.
    During the British rule from 1600 to 1947, Indians were much similar to the weakling the poet is presenting in the poem. Indians felt inferior in front of the mighty British. The mighty British ruled the weak Indians because the latter were weak and unorganized. When Indians requested the British to have pity, the British grew more dominating until the weak began its struggle against the strong.
  3. What does ‘crumbling hearts’ refer to?
Stanza 3

The wind god winnows and crushes them all
He won’t do what you tell him. 
So, come, let’s build strong homes, 
Let’s join the doors firmly. 
Practice to firm the body. 
Make the heart steadfast. 

Meaning
  • Wind God – According to ancient Indian traditions, each natural power is controlled by a God. (Is it so?)
  • Winnow – Blow a current of air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff.
Questions & Answers
  1. Is the poet submissive to the wind-God? How can you say so?
  2. What is the poet’s suggestion for standing (challenging) the ruthless (cruel) power of the wind?
  3. How is the poet different from the religious priests who ask the weak to yield to the powerful?
  4. Does the poet motivate people to rebel against the Wind-God? What is his real motivation?
Stanza 4

Do this, and the wind will be friends with us. 
The wind blows out weak fires. 
He makes strong fires roar and flourish. 
His friendship is good. 
We praise him every day. wind, come softly. 

Meaning
Questions & Answers
  1. With whom does wind become friendly?
    Wind becomes friendly with fires that are not ready to give up.
  2. What happens to strong fires when wind blows into them?
    Strong fires become stronger every time wind blow into them.
  3. In what sense is the friendship of wind good?
    Wind and its friendship is good because wind is able to make us strong. The more the wind blows on us, we try to resist and every time we resist, we become stronger.
  4. What does this poem teach you personally?
    The poem teaches us a great lesson. In the society or in schools we meet people who are more powerful than us. If we are too weak in front of them, they tend to overpower us some way. (Incomplete)

What do you think?

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