My own life experiences from early childhood to the age of 35 are the subject of the poems. I married in 1962 and opted for going to Vietnam representing India in the Peace Mission. So to say I had my honeymoon with my innocent wife travelling in Second World War French aero planes all over South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and Cambodia. We saw death face-to-face while witnessing public execution of Viet Cong by American soldiers. The US used napalm bombs to kill the communists. The Vietnamese girl running naked escaping from napalm bombs is very famous. She lives in US, the enemy whose bombs tried to kill her. Read the lines:
Can the bomb be polished with pity And fall clean on a city How many hairs make a beard wise How many wars, man civilize?
Mahatma Gandhi has been my ideal man from early days and I feel there is violence in plucking a fruit or nipping a leaf.
I who feel As if I draw red blood Even as I pluck fruit Or nip a leaf
There was a special corner in me from Childhood for the sisters and brothers of the Dark Continent.
Read poem to ANGELA DAVIS in the collection.
Jawaharlal Nehru who passed away while we were in Vietnam appears in the poem also Indira Gandhi with whom my wife had several meetings in Delhi and Cochin.
I close by saying READ ME I AM IN POEMS K (Kalarickal) P (Pranchu) Joseph
Collection of Poems ( Writers Workshop, Kolkata) 1973.
President APJ Abdul Kalam.