"Bohemian looks and the pursuit of medicine were invariably at odds. Just as the slim volumes that lay scattered amongst his medical tomes: Tagore's Gitanjali, Seth's All You Who Sleep Tonight. His hostel mates found it baffling that he could recite 'Jodi tor daak shune keu na aashey tabey ekla chalo re' in a distinctly non-Bengali accent, the first two lines that is, and the complete verse in English, and not know the lyrics to the raging Bollywood ditty of the week."
- The Long Walk Home
Vikram Seth is one of my favourite contemporary poets. So much so that his 'All You Who Sleep Tonight' finds a mention in my second novel, The Long Walk Home, where I use a mention of this particular book of poetry to flesh out a character, Anant (as above).
"Sit, drink your coffee here; your work can wait awhile.
You're twenty-six, and still have some life ahead.
No need for wit; just talk vacuities, and I'll
Reciprocate in kind, or laugh at you instead.
The world is too opaque, distressing and profound.
This twenty minutes' rendezvous will make my day:
To sit here in the sun, with grackles all around,
Staring with beady eyes, and you two feet away."
From 'All You Who Sleep Tonight' by Vikram Seth