In his comment on my previous post Pankaz the Pinchas Hodi referred to la Marioneta and pointed out that Gabo (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) described it as Kitsch. La marioneta was a short piece of poetic prose which was originally attributed to Gabriel Garcia Marquez as a farewell letter to his friends after being diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. It was later uncovered to be the work of a Mexican ventriloquist named Johnny Welch. How Marquez came to be associated with this poem was a mystery and he is supposed to have said that he would never have written something as kitschy as La Marioneta. Most of us received it on the internet and I loved it and yes, shed a few tears too (the first tear and the second tear!)
For those who missed it then, here it is - a translated version of the original Spanish poem.

LA MARIONETA ( the Puppet)

"IF for a moment God would forget that I am a rag doll and give me a scrap of life, possibly I would not say everything that I think, but I would definitely think everything that I say.

I would value things not for how much they are worth but rather for what they mean.

I would sleep little, dream more. I know that for each minute that we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.

I would walk when the others loiter; I would awaken when the others sleep.

I would listen when the others speak, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream.

If God would bestow on me a scrap of life, I would dress simply, I would throw myself flat under the sun, exposing not only my body but also my soul.

My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hatred on ice and wait for the sun to come out. With a dream of Van Gogh I would paint on the stars a poem by Benedetti, and a song by Serrat would be my serenade to the moon.

With my tears I would water the roses, to feel the pain of their thorns and the incarnated kiss of their petals...My God, if I only had a scrap of life...

I wouldn't let a single day go by without saying to people I love, that I love them.

I would convince each woman or man that they are my favourites and I would live in love with love.

I would prove to the men how mistaken they are in thinking that they no longer fall in love when they grow old--not knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love. To a child I would give wings, but I would let him learn how to fly by himself. To the old I would teach that death comes not with old age but with forgetting. I have learned so much from you men....

I have learned that everybody wants to live at the top of the mountain without realizing that true happiness lies in the way we climb the slope.

I have learned that when a newborn first squeezes his father's finger in his tiny fist, he has caught him forever.

I have learned that a man only has the right to look down on another man when it is to help him to stand up. I have learned so many things from you, but in the end most of it will be no use because when they put me inside that suitcase, unfortunately I will be dying."

12 Responses
  1. Paavai Says:

    I sucked up the three and four after letting one and two roll down my cheeks :)-

  2. This is fuken stolen from me! This shit fuken I wrote millions of months ago. This is a fucken piece where Usha left a comment. This fucken blosspot is plagiarism. :D

  3. Pinchas Hodi Pvt. Limited reserves the right to all articles and blogs published by the Limited (though the limited itself steals from various sources, thus making bootleg bullshit). The limited takes notice of this stolen blog and soon the Limited's attorney would serve you notice.

  4. Not everyone should refer to GGM as Gabo either. The Limited notices this as another act of plagiarism. :D One more notice!

    Of course, if you are very old, you can call GGM Gabito (little Gabo.. Senora --> Senorita), like his parents did!

  5. Visithra Says:

    love the last 5 lines - so beautiful - thanks for sharing

  6. Usha Says:

    Kitsch or not, it opens up the mind to some good thinking on life and what gives it meaning finally, no?

    Pinchas: Yes, I know you did a post and tried to link it. When i browsed your blog I could not get the reference. If you send it to me I'll be happy to link it.
    Your legal notice wont be valid, as I have the right to steal anything from you!and in any case the poem is within "quotes' hahahahhaha...
    And by the time the lawyers get into action, being so old, I 'd be gone..hahhahahahahahaah.
    (That is called the last laugh!)
    And I'll meet GABO there before you!

    Visthra:aren't they lovely!

  7. ravi Says:

    And i wud pay any premium to read this post of u provided if u put a price tag for reading this post but thank god its as free as the fresh air that god provides for all of us. God bless n Happy Holi to u n ur family.

  8. That's lovely...thank you. And don't all of us love kitsch sometimes? Btw, was pleasantly surprised to read your post on kitsch. I'm also fascinated by the word and came across it first in Kundera's ULoB. Cheers!

  9. Mahadevan Says:

    I am moved by the line 'True happiness lies in the way we climb the slope'. How true! Journey is always more pleasant than destination. There is a thrill in expecting and anticipating, which the actual cannot deliver. 'Hope prolongs the happier hour' said Thomas Gray. We are dead, the moment we fail to look forward to something.

  10. Usha Says:

    Ravi: wow,but the credit belongs to Johnny Welch who wrote it.

    Anandita: Welcome and Kitsch is one word when used effectively and properly conveys so much in so little, no? Another such word I love is cliche!

    Mahadevan: Every line gives you something to think about. And thanks for another brilliant quote which is so true.

  11. We are sad to notice that our comments have not been approved or published!

  12. La Marioneta made me weep, weep and weep more. I felt so sad and dehydrated that I drank 3 shots of White Russian. Now I feel better! Thank you.