23 October, 2020

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If You Can Dear Sir!

By Rajasingham Narendran

Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can tell  the truth when all about you
Are lying in your name  and the people blame  it on you,
If you are dishonest and good men expose you,
Pause to explore whether you can be honest;
If you can follow the rules  and not be tired by what it takes,
Or if lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t act to look too good, nor talk to rouse hate:If you can dream a vision—and let  the people know;
If you can think—and  think through your thoughts;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the lies  you’ve spoken ,
Exposed  by braves to make the people know the truth,
Or watch the promises  people gave their  votes for, broken,
And stoop and remedy ’em up with honesty:If you can make one heap of all your mistakes,
And admit to them  in one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And gain, to start again at your beginnings,
And be honest about correcting  your mistakes;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To leave a respected country  long after you are gone,
And not hold on when there is nothing good to give,
Except the Will to say to the people, “ Good bye!”:If you can talk with crowds and be honest,
Or walk with Kings and not lose your head,
If neither foes , kin nor fair weather  friends can hurt you,
And  all citizens count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving time given to you,
With  worthy  and  honest service,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, Dear Sir!
*The intro – (With apologies to Rudyard Kipling) – of the earlier version of the poem above was mistakenly edited out . We apologize to our readers and to the author.
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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Excellent one! Dr.

    • 10
      2

      Doctor RN

      If you can resist the temptation to write verse
      and that too taken from somebody else;
      If you don’t get carried away by feigned praise
      from men with less than perfect motives;
      If you can realize there is nothing worse
      than bad sex but bad poetry, and
      If you can stick to your prose – homely
      but always brimming with impassioned truth;
      Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
      And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, Dear Sir!

      • 2
        9

        ” that too taken from somebody else;”

        MottaMacho, Bestiality Breed

        The English you write is also borrowed and murdered.

        You don’t have the guts to look at the mirror because you are preoccupied like Namal imagining the African Booty Shake No??

  • 2
    2

    Excellent. If every day can be filled with some exquisite lines of poetry …! !

  • 4
    3

    With apologies to Rudyard Kipling?

    • 1
      1

      `With apologies to Rudyard Kipling`

      iRationalist what a dumbass toque macaque!

      Heard of David Bowie lyrics and the prose of George Bernard Shaw??

      Heard of the Brand Kipling the monkey products??

  • 2
    2

    Good one for a break Dr R N.

    If we had no politicians life would have been a different story.

    If the walls could speak they would tell you the story.

    The old missionary school will never be back again to remind us of IF!

  • 4
    0

    Good advice to the leader of a country, but wasted in Sri Lanka. After 30 years of waiting in line patiently, despite being overlooked many times, Mahinda Rajapaksa has jetisoned the virtues he was admired for, and embraced all the madness of power with scant regard for what is right and just. Good sense and humbleness have been abandoned, instead he has foolishly adopted all the trappings of a despot, a pretender at the most. Reminds me of the last King of Kandy and what he must have been like.

  • 2
    3

    It’s been said before, what is the point?

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175772

    • 2
      3

      Good ones can be repeated over and over again. After several centuries Shakespeare’s poetry is studied by students of English Literature. That is the point my dear Paul.

    • 0
      0

      The original by Rudyard Kipling had a father to son theme. This adaptation or modification has the citizen to national leader theme. They both share the ‘IF’ and the rhyme, but are quite different otherwise. It is funny some choose to call this plagiarism, not knowing that latter means copying in toto without acknowledging the original author. In this instance, despite the major differences, the original authorship was acknowledged, as subsequently indicated and amended by CT.

      Upul, thanks for your much needed comment that appears subsequently.

      Dr.RN

  • 4
    3

    Plagiarised a poem about honesty? This must be what irony looks like!

    • 3
      0

      The material I sent to CT had an apology to Rudyard Kiipling within brackets and under the title.

      Dr.RN

      • 2
        5

        Narendran,

        If you relaized that CT failed to insert your “apology to RK,” couldn’t you have then promptly sent a comment to that effect? Did you have to wait till you got “outed” by vigilant commentators?

        Narendran – why we (at least some of us who have followed your past contributions) have difficulty in giving you the benefit of the doubt is because of your own history.

        You made serious allegations against the Tamil Diaspora and Tamil leaders just as recent as mid-year last year. Now you have realized that your assumptions, praise and support to the Regime were all massive blunders and reality has finally hit-you! On top of that you yourself sanctimoniously proclaimed that the three simplest words “I am sorry” is a magical remedy for reconciliation. I have now asked you more than five times why you do not follow your own “wisdom” and apologize to Diaspora for undeservedly, and ill advisedly accusing them.

        Why do you disappear every time that question is asked? Doesn’t decency require an objective response, even at some humility, especially of an educated one! Trying hard now to bury the past by projecting to be “holier-than-the-Pope” is not going to help, especially among those who have followed your past writings and recognize your masquerades.

        • 1
          0

          He does not have to apologise to racist who are responsible for the mother of all stepfathers VP.

          The Indians have not apologised to him for the killing which the low breed JT’s are responsible.

          The Romans have been the most intelligent copycats the world has ever seen and they never denied it. There is an art of copying go back and learn the basics of what is patent right is.

          Lakshman Kadirgamar was an international authority at Patent Rights I remember so well and you castrated villagers killed him.

          If not for the west where would you be??

          If not for the Romans where would you stupid arrogant jealous imbeciles be? Living under rocks.

  • 2
    1

    Dr.Narendran, did you studied in Sri lanka and got qualified as a doctor ? in PHD or MBBS.

    as if you do not know the reality of politics and its promises during the elections. what ever it may be do you honestly believe that you have lost your rites during the time you lived in colombo. are you truly trying to advise the leaders or you want to show the world that present man has lied to the world. what is your motive, you want spit on your face after becoming a man you are now.. be a man to accept the reality and not the propaganda for the paid cause.

    • 2
      0

      Halt,
      Whoever you may be in real life, you deserve an answer to the questions implicit in your comment about my motive. Please read below the link to what I wrote in 2005 (‘An open letter to the Sinhalese’):

      http://www.infolanka.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001127.html

      Since, the brutal war has been brought to an end, at tremendous cost to this country. its repercussions are yet reverberating. How have our leaders responded to resolve the contentious issues concerning the Tamils in particular, and the country at large? What are we making of the absence of war?

      The infrastructural restoration and additions in the north and east are indeed welcome and are much appreciated. The people are beginning to recover in a physical and economic sense. They are indeed happier than they ever did during the past 30 odd years. However, there are yet thousands who were more directly affected by the war, yet suffering for no fault of theirs. They are yet mourning their dead and missing, and many yet are destitute. There are war related social repercussions that are blighting our society. Only governance sensitive to these concerns can resolve them effectively.

      Further, the Tamils need something more than bricks and bread, as humans, as the years advance post-war.That is their right to determine their destiny as Tamils within Sri Lanka- a country where the minorities have no say in governance.

      When politicians become national leaders, they should become statesman and provide enlightened leadership. This has not happened in independent Sri Lanka! As a citizen I have a right to grouse and express my opinion.

      I could have become whatever I am now or better, elsewhere, but I would not have had the Sri Lanka I love elsewhere.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 0
        1

        “They are indeed happier than they ever did during the past 30 odd years”

        Then why try to take revenge from MR and SL gov for destroying LTTE? Isnt MR the best thing happened to tamils?

        The war crimes are not about the problems tamils in north face now.

        • 0
          0

          Sach,

          The poem was about the quality of governance in general, with only one reference to the equality of peoples. View the poem as that from a citizen, who also happens to be a Tamil.

          My reply to Halt was in the context of his comment. I have never hesitated to praise the government when it was due and criticise it also when due, in terms and relative to the time frame and evolving priorities post-war. The MR government has miserably failed to understand that the Tamil problem is much deeper than the issue of bread and bricks ( & Tar). Yes, reconstruction, resettlement and restoration of normal life were priorities soon after the war. There is no doubt the government did well on this score. What it has done on the reconciliation front- to trust the Tamils and win their trust ; win over their hearts and minds- has been woefully inadequate and insensitive. A soothing balm was not applied to the wounds, as it should have. There were irritants that prevented the wounds healing as they should have.

          Further, the government has miserably failed on providing durable political solutions, considering that almost five years have lapsed since the war ended and reneged despicably on the promises made to the Tamils and the world. It has been both the reluctant bride and the raping husband in turns on the political issues of importance to the Tamils in the evolving post-war context. Humans are political animals and the Tamils are human too! The government should know that political issues will come to the fore once the war-related crisis start to recede, I also concede that sections of the
          Diaspora Tamils and even the TNA prioritised political issues and politicised the post-war human tragedy. I condemned them for this then and do so yet.

          Dr.RN

  • 1
    3

    what a joker he fails to give due credit……Rudyard Kipling will be turning in his grave

  • 0
    1

    If not – bugger off and don’t bother to come back.

    Punnakku

  • 0
    0

    CT,
    Thank you for the correction.

    Dr.RN

    • 1
      5

      Narendran,

      Not withstanding CT’s correction and not withstanding your “pretense of relief” with the above acknowledgement (remember, you sat back and relished the “excellent” and other platitudes, without as much as a sqeek for more than a day now), I expect your response on my comment above – part of which I repeat here:

      You made serious allegations against the Tamil Diaspora and Tamil leaders just as recent as mid-year last year. Now you have realized that your assumptions, praise and support to the Regime were all massive blunders and reality has finally hit-you! On top of that you yourself sanctimoniously proclaimed that the three simplest words “I am sorry” is a magical remedy for reconciliation. I have now asked you more than five times why you do not follow your own “wisdom” and apologize to Diaspora for undeservedly, and ill advisedly accusing them. Why do you disappear every time that question is asked? Doesn’t decency require an objective response, even at some humility, especially of an educated one!

  • 2
    1

    Shoot the messenger! Screw the message. Classic Lankan mentality. Who gives a rats arse if Rudyard Kipling or Tikiri Banda penned the damned poem. Someone made an effort so the rest of us can enjoy it.

    If you did not enjoy it, move on dude. Life is too short to waste your time doing what you do. Some of us read CT to catch up on the new, strange and ugly. We don’t come here to insult, insinuate or judge. At the end of it all, we do not know each other, as much as some like to pretend they do.

  • 1
    2

    Dr.RN is not the only one proficient in poems

    (With apologies to mahatma gandy)

    Hooker filed her taxes for occupation put prostitution
    tax collector said prostitution was illegal occupation
    then she put chicken farmer instead of prostitution
    tax collector asks how come now this for occupation
    she says i raised over thousand cocks in my prostitution

    —–

    (with apologies to Margarat Thatchie)

    Mary is on the pill
    but is plagued with doubt
    because when she has sex
    the pill falls out

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