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Author: Vikram Seth
Pages: 72
Year of Publication: 1981, 1991 (second edition)
Price: HB Rs 100, FB Rs 80
HB 81-7189-138-1 (8171891381)
FB 83-7189-139-X (837189139X)

About the Author:
Since Vikram Seth needs no introduction, given below is his authorial profile as it was recorded when Mappings, his first book, was brought out in 1981:

“Vikram Seth was born in Calcutta in 1952. He was schooled in India, and took his undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in Oxford University. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Economics in Stanford University. His subject is the economic demography of China, and he will be in Nanjing, China, in 1982-83 on a research project examining the Chinese birth control programme. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University.”


Sea and Desert

How do I merit such happiness? To have
The moon, the Pacific, and you beside me, waking
At three to sudden cold — dew, the stiff breeze
Along the headland; I have been watching you,
Your face lit in the full moon, restless, still,
As out beyond the strip of loam near the crags
Below, the moon lights up a calm yet shifting
Track on the ocean. Your face with its
Clean lines and tousled hair is beautiful
And it is hard to believe that even in
This stark and lovely place it is the cause
Of so much of my peace. You sleep again,
And I know this unusual beauty, that you’ve
Neither aimed for nor deserved, will recur
Again and again for me with sea and moon,
An image changing with these changing things,
Distracting me from neither, enhancing both,
A gift you could not help but give, something
I too have neither aimed for nor deserve.

Panipat / 9
Sea and Desert / 11
A Winter Word / 12
Departure Lounge / 13
Quaking Bridge / 18
Switching Off / 19
Sonnet / 20
Grand Canyon / 21
To a Fellow-Traveler / 22
Rakhi / 25
Tomatoes / 26
Home Thoughts from the Bay / 27
Rain / 28
From the Memoirs of Babur, First Mogul Emperor of Hindustan / 29
To Manijeh / 31
The Walkers / 33
Time-Zones / 34
After Three Years / 35
From Mount Tamalpais / 36
Thoughts while Traveling at Night / 37
Aubade / 38
The Yellow Cricket / 39
The Sultan’s Turret / 40
At Evening / 41
Moonless Night / 42
Guest / 43
The Balcony / 44
Even Such / 45
Close of Play / 46
Last Night / 49
Party for the Retirement of the Oldest-Serving British Museum Reading Room Book Attendant / 50
Dubious / 51
Bagatelles / 52
The Tale of Melon City / 53
Six Octets / 57
Distressful Homonyms / 59
Progress Report / 60
Point Reyes / 61
Sleep and Death 62
Mappings / 63
Moths / 64
Divali / 65
A Morning Walk / 70
Stump / 72

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