I started looking deeper into Indian poetry only a few years ago -- both the ones written in English as well as those written in regional languages. During my time in India, other than the handful of pre-Independence works by poets who wrote mostly nationalistic or sentimental/romantic works, poetry was not (and still is not) mainstream. So, as I've continued to discover wonderful poetry of past and present poets in India, I've written appreciations of specific works to help shine a light on them (see links below).
June 6th, 1944 is the best-known D-Day in military history: the day the Allied troops landed on Normandy during World War II. At the time, it was the largest seaborne invasion and marked the beginning of the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe which finally brought down Hitler's Nazi regime. It is still somewhat incomprehensible how a single man managed to incite masses to commit the greatest horrors this world has seen -- involving more than 100 million people across 30 different countries and resulting in 50-85 million fatalities, including the genocide of millions of Jews and ethnic minorities during the Holocaust and millions of Chinese civilians who died during the Japanese occupation. 70 years on, we still shudder from the memories and the stories, given that almost everyone has relatives who were involved in WWII in some way or another.
Along the highway between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad in Gujarat, there is a little-known village called Adalaj. Its biggest claim to fame is its five-story, eight-sided stepwell, called Adalaj ni Vav -- a singular architectural marvel from the fifteenth century. Carved elaborately and intricately from stone, it took some twenty years to get built.