The Caravan edits Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst With Destiny’ speech

15 August 2014

Hi JN: Thanks for this great piece of work. It's a good start, and I think we're on our way to a fitting welcome for a new country. I know time is of the essence, given how busy the transfer of power and allied activities must be keeping you, so let me run you quickly through some mild suggestions for tweaks and changes. Let me know what you think! Thanks again.

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny

JN, are you sure about this phrase, "made a tryst"? I don't think you can "make" a tryst with anything. After all, it's not a synonym for "appointment." "Tryst" means "meeting." Perhaps you mean "pact"? "We made a pact with destiny" makes a lot more sense, I think—of course, even that requires the reader to grant you substantial poetic license, which they might be willing to do given the occasion. Then:

and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps

I'm not sure about this. If it's midnight here, there'll be bright daylight in all of North and South America. Does your poetic license extend quite this far? Imagine the international embarrassment if independent India's prime minister's opening speech contained something so laughable.