New Delhi-based sociologist, Dipankar Gupta’s book – LOCKDOWN Limericks and Rhymes, was written during the lockdown days. To quote him, “In those days of gloom, I found writing limericks and nonsense rhymes a great stress reliever. They also helped in shrugging off the frustration one feels when people lose all sense of civic obligations and flout Covid 19 appropriate behaviour wantonly…”
A book review by Humra Quraishi
Title of the book –LOCKDOWN Limericks and Rhymes
Author- Dipankar Gupta
Illustrator – Disha Chakraborty
Publisher – LG Publishers Distributors
Pages – 96
Price – Rs 495
Lockdown days changed us all …brought along changes amongst those of us who were fortunate enough to have survived that disastrous phase. In fact, not just survived but many of the ‘survivors’ saw to it that each pass day was spent not in moaning and mourning, but in indulging in creativity to its fullest.
One such person is the well-known New Delhi-based sociologist, Dipankar Gupta. His book – LOCKDOWN Limericks and Rhymes, was written during the lockdown days. To quote him, “In those days of gloom, I found writing limericks and nonsense rhymes a great stress reliever. They also helped in shrugging off the frustration one feels when people lose all sense of civic obligations and flout Covid 19 appropriate behaviour wantonly…As all indulgences in imagination require no higher authority for approval, I gave free reign to my limited abilities in composition…”
So here comes this limericks-rhymes book by sociologist Dipankar Gupta, who has been earlier writing extensively on castes, peasants, modernity and citizenship.
And as I have been reading these limericks and rhymes well tucked in this book, what caught attention are the illustrations that go along. Absolutely compatible. Highlighting the verse. Illustrations so well done that one keeps gazing at them whilst reading the accompanying verse.
Dipankar Gupta has chosen a diverse range, focusing on what the corona virus did or rather undid for the human being. The characters he chooses to relay the varying thoughts and expressions and realities range from Chengiz Khan to our everyday ordinary folk.
Leaving you with Gupta’s this verse:
Slumdog Limericks /
Four of us live in a slum zone,/
In a tiny room, never alone/
But we keep, without fuss,/
Social distance between us,/
As we talk long distance on the phone./
Washing hands for 20 seconds is a joke./
There’s no taps in homes of us folks./
We have so little time/
To soap off the grime,/
That dirt sticks to us like a cloak./
Always cough or sneeze into tissues.
Trash them after to stop misuse./
Or else, we are also told/
Use your elbows fold,/
But you can’t cut that off like refuse.’
Leaving you with a few opening lines from his verse titled –
Chengiz Khan, the Wise/
In his days, great Genghis Khan/
Went to Poland via Isfahan/
Bulgaria and Romania/
But he never set foot in Wuhan…’