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14 Jun

Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa TS: Nissim Ezekiel

Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S.

Nissim Ezekiel

In this poem, Nissim Ezekiel uses simple Indian' English. Here he is making gentle fun of the people who cannot speak English properly by including in the poem common mistakes made by speakers whose mother tongue is not English. There are grammatical mistakes, strange arrangements of words and phrases and idioms which are direct translations of expressions in Indian languages - they all sound very odd in English. The poem is in the form of a speech made by one of Miss Pushpa's friends. 

The poem "Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S.” is a monologue. At the beginning of the work, the speaker explains that Miss Pushpa is going to a different country and states that she’s a sweet person. He explains that the woman comes from a prominent family and gets sidetracked with his own memories. After digressing, the speaker states the Miss Pushpa is a popular person who is kind and always willing to help others. At the end of the poem, the speaker asks the others at the party to give their own farewell speeches.

I 1. b

  2. c

  3. b

II 1. Miss Pushpa T.S. is addressed to as “our dear sister”.

2. Miss Pushpa is described as a popular lady who is sweet, gentle and always cheerful.

3. She keeps smiling because there is genuine happiness in her heart.

4. Whenever someone asks her to do something, she is more than willing to do it.

III 1&3.The language of the speaker in the poem “Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S.”  is a wonderful demonstration of the fun and follies of Indian English. On the one side, the poem is a parody, ridiculing the mistakes that Indians commit while speaking English. On the other, the poem can be seen as an exploration of the wealth and diversity of Indian English. The poem is a superbly crafted parody of a farewell speech. The speaker addresses Miss Pushpa, who is going abroad to improve her career prospects, as “our dear sister”. Soothing words are often used.In typical Indian fashion, he says that she is “departing for foreign in two three days”. The passion for strange and clichéd words is illustrated by the use of words like ‘bon voyage’. Frequent use of ‘-ing’ forms is another aspect of Indian English that the poem exploits. Present continuous tense is often use in place of simple present tense, evoking both fun and confusion. ‘Also’ and ‘only’ are used and reused frequently as in phrases like “with men also and ladies also” and “just now only”. Further, the speaker digresses from the main topic of the farewell speech, often describing things entirely unconnected and insignificant. Out of context anecdotes are a major feature of the poem. The mock formality and grandeur of urban social gatherings are brilliantly satirised here. In this sense, the poem can also be viewed as a satire.

2. Miss Pushpa is described as a popular lady who is sweet, gentle and always cheerful. Praises are showered on her throughout the poem in an effort to demonstrate her innate goodness. Anecdotes are used to illustrate her dedication and commitment. She is portrayed as a gentle and kind hearted lady with both “internal sweetness and external sweetness”. She is always pleasant since she experiences genuine happiness in her heart. She hails from a rich and affluent family and her father is a renowned advocate. She is extremely popular among her colleagues, both male and female. Whenever someone asks her to do something, she is more than willing to do it, clearly illustrating her good spirit. 

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Copyright © Manu Mangattu, Assistant Professor, Department of English, SGC Aruvithura

Provide your Feedback/Suggestion/Requests for notes to manumangattu@gmail.com

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