Soap by Nissim Ezekiel

Some people are not having manners,
this I am always observing,
For example other day I find
I am needing soap
For ordinary washing myself purposes.
So I’m going to one small shop
nearby in my lane and I’m asking
for well-known brand soap.

That shopman he’s giving me soap
but I’m finding it defective version.
So I’m saying very politely — –
though in Hindi I’m saying it,
and my Hindi is not so good as my English,
Please to excuse me
but this is defective version of well-known brand soap.

That shopman is saying
and very rudely he is saying it,
What is wrong with soap?
Still I am keeping my temper
and repeating very smilingly
Please to note this defect in soap,
and still he is denying the truth.

So I’m getting very angry that time
and with loud voice I am saying
YOU ARE BLIND OR WHAT?
Now he is shouting
YOU ARE CALLING ME BLIND OR WHAT?
Come outside and I will show you
Then I am shouting
What you will show me
Which I haven’t got already?
It is vulgar thing to say
but I am saying it.

Now small crowd is collecting
and shopman is much bigger than me,
and I am not caring so much
for small defect in well-known brand soap.
So I’m saying
Alright OK Alright OK
this time I will take
but not next time.

Summary

The poem pictures an ordinary experience of a teenager in this poem. he says that he needed a soap and went to fetch it from the shop. He says that some people do not have manners, and narrates his encounter with the shop keeper. while reading the poem the reader has to look at the use of the English language 9in this poem. The reader should give the incident a least importance for that is not the focal point of the poem. the central idea, however, is the inappropriate use of the English language.

Some people are not having manners,
this I am always observing,
For example other day I find
I am needing soap
For ordinary washing myself purposes.

In these lines he poet uses present continuous tense instead of the past. The poet has written many such poems which comment on the wrong usage of the English language. As per the incident the poet wanted a bathing soap of a good brand, but the shop keeper was showing him an ordinary one. The poet didn’t like it, though. an argument is flared up between them two, and they tried to impress each other in English-wrong English. The poet calls him blind, and the shop keeper turns to be angry with him.The next part of the poem seems to be funnier foe they abuse and threaten each other in a very Indian way… Come outside and I will show you.Finally the poet recedes and agrees to accept the same piece of Soap, for people started gathering around, and the poet thought that he was too small to fight the old man.The poet focuses on the Indian culture, public places and the strange way the people behave. The poem is one of the Very Indian Poems Written in Indian English.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.