Dharma Rasa by Kuldip GillDharma Rasa by Kuldip Gill

Dharma Rasa

byKuldip Gill

Paperback | January 1, 1999

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Rasa theory, part of Indian genre theory and Sanskritic poetics, describes an elaborate typology of nine essences or emotions, ranging from adbhuta (wonder) to raudra (fury) to karuna (sorrow) to santa (serentity). This first collection of poetry by Kuldip Gill is rich with these emotions.

Gill, a Sikh woman who immigrated to Canada in 1939, creates poems that open different worlds as they inform and fascinate. This is a poetics that intertwines English and Punjabi, life in Canada and life in India, past and present, myth and imagination. The reader is invited to accompany Gill as she reads the love letters her father wrote to her mother; travels to British Columbia on the CPR Steamship Empress of Japan; visits the streets of New Dehli and Benares; and relives her family's struggles and challenges as they try to make a home in a new land.

Lush and lyrical, powerful and evocative, Gill's words will sing to you long after you've finished her last poem.
Kuldip Gill was born in Faridkot District, Punjab, India. She immigrated to Canada at age five and then attended school in the Fraser Valley. She worked in the forestry and mining industries for twenty years and then obtained her PhD in anthropology from UBC. She has taught at UBC, SFU, and at the Open Learning Agemcy. She taught a cre...
Title:Dharma RasaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:108 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.28 inPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:Nightwood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889711704

ISBN - 13:9780889711709

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Read from the Book

Mama always sat us down before herwhen she opened the India chest,showed us embroidered bagh,phulkari cloths, chadars, saris,family letters and masala spices,talked a bit about everything.We sat in awe of what she said,of what she showed us:the beauty of jali embroiderycolours she dyed, indigo, amber, gulabi,and the alchemyof hundreds of bits of mirrors covering cloth,reflecting us.She told us about our waddi-bebbeour bhua and taia in our lineage,of how we carried out our sekeria,our relationships, arranged marriages(there are four sets of kinsmen you can't marry)and how we lease our lands. We can go anywherein this world, our roots are always with us.She put them back into her peti,taking care we learned to foldletters, tapestries and cloths alongold lines, pressed,locked in.

Table of Contents

Love Letters - Canada to India, 1930s
Oud Ja Kayla Kauva (Fly Away Black Crow)
My Eyes Hurt When You're Not Here
The Dream Train
Love Song
Kildeer's Dance

I.Hand to Hand to Hand: Would Theirs Be a Life to Disregard?
II.Death's Messenger
III.After Death - Love Letters
Identities: Heart and Soul

Sonja Beti
Travelling Through the Borderlands
Trans-Pacific Ships: The Empress of Japan
Have You Seen the Rain in Kerala?

Attar of Roses and Almonds - Queensborough, 1940
My Mother's Ladner Farmhouse Kitchen
Indian Miniatures: Zenana Lady and Falcon-gentle

BIBHATS RASA (The gruesome)
Village Girls in Rajasthan
The Kashmiri Carpet Weaver's Son
Benares: Two-Wheeled Carts
The Stone-Carrier Woman - New Delhi
Murmurs of Murder: She Crossed the Kala Pani
Your First Mother
A Lobotomy

VIRA RASA (The heroic)
Homelands - India, 1972
The India Chest
The Candy Man
Hay Beds and Brick Chulas, 1914-1915

BHAYANKA RASA (The timorous)
My Mother's India and the Queensborough Kitchens
The Old Abbotsford Temple: A Child's Queries About the Pictures
The Old Abbotsford Temple: A Young Woman Reflects on the Bhog

SANTA RASA (Serenity)
The Cart
Blue Heron - Ruskin, BC

HASYA RASA (The Comic)
ESL Dialogue: Two Voices
Sikh Women's Dress Code - Queensborough, 1941-1947
Sikh Men's Dress Code - Queensborough, 1941-1947
A Very Properly Killed Chicken

Ghazal I
Ghazal II
Ghazal III
Ghazal IV
Ghazal V

Notes on the Text