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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Poems by Pathik Parmar

Translated from Gujarati by Dr.G.K.Vankar

Why don’t you write?

Write that the parrot of my village
After uttering Rama does not blabber any more.
Look, in your village, this dog wanders playing mischief
In his eyes swim black poisonous snakes
Write that in my village
No one moves with begging bowl
Which is worse than hunger.
Look, stop a bit, who is standing there with
a sob at the end of the village?
Who is shouting after looting honor on a bright day?
Write why the people who watch this silently
are not bitten by a snake?
(From Bahishkrut)
Gokul and Kaniyo1

There lives in a small village named Gokul
He lives in a distant street.
The village thrives on cattle and dissecting it
When Kaniya prepares Konkani* he is breathless
In the village peacocks dance and white doves fly
At Kaniya’s house the dogs bark and crows fly
There is a flood of milk in the village and here
Mud house of Kaniya drowns in blood.
If a cattle dies in the village, in the handcart
Kaniya brings it in the street then everything is light
People in village enjoy butter and sweet milk and
Kaniya’s family relishes ghughra** and lives.
On auspicious occasions in the village, Kaniya beats his drum
The village lads dance.
If the vultures fly over the vas2
The village guesses that a cattle has died.
When the meat is boiled in the whole street
Its smell irritates people high born
When Kaniyo with his son
Goes to the river to bathe, pisses in it
People drink that water.
The same people feel polluted if Kaniyo touches them.
What a pity!

1- Gokul is where Lord Krishna lived, Dalit name for Krisha is Kaniyo
2 - dalit street
* dried meat
** fried meat
( From Bahishkrut)

The Poet
Pathik Parmar
Dr. Pathik Parmar, born 15 June, 1956, teaches Gujarati literature in Mahila Arts College, Bhavnagar.
His most important dalit poetry is in the form of songs. He has also written ghazals. His collections of poetry are 'Jhankhana Pathikni' (1973), 'Dwidal '(1978), 'Vatta '(1981), and 'Bahishkrut' (2003).
His address: 3839/160, Urban,Talaja Road, Near Kach Mandir, Bhavnagar, Gujarat.
Tel: 0278-2566250.