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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Poems by Purushottam Jadav

Translated from Gujarati by Dr.G.K.Vankar

Do something

But these diyor* began to walk, do something to these feet.
But these diyor began to run, do something to these feet.

That’s why we had shut the door,
And secured the stopper with a lock.
But these diyor began to enter, do something to these feet.

That’s why we had lit a fire, so that the feet get charred
But these diyor began to reach, do something to these feet.

That is why we had tied the ponytail, and had a stick in the hand.
But these diyor began to abuse, do something to these feet.

That’s why we became very great and did as much bad as we could,
But these diyor began to slap, do something to these feet.

That’s why we made them unequal, one high, one low
And as if it were not enough made walls in between
But these diyor began to break, do something to these feet.

(From Hayati)

*abuse; literally brother-in-law
Feet : According to a legend Shudras were born out of feet, here feet is a symbol of Shudras

The corpse

The corpse is lying
All its parts are rotten

But it’s as dear as life to some,
That’s why some carry it on their heads and sing their praise.
So strong is its stink here, there and everywhere
It would burst one’s head.

That’s why some sprinkle sprays of several kinds
And try to make it fragrant.

But those with nose are not in the least
Ready to tolerate it anymore,
They wish to bury the corpse as soon as possible.
Those with nose and strong hands have labored a lot
To prepare a coffin. They are about to put
The corpse inside and close the coffin.
One last nail hammered and Rama Nama Satya Chhe..

It’s a ritual to sing the virtues of the deceased.
But the deceased had no virtues and hence
This ritual cannot be observed.

None can stop the corpse reaching its destination.

(From Hayati)

You awake, my sister’s son

There was no water and you got milk, delicious dishes
You are sleeping under cover of night, dimming the lamp
You wake up, my sister’s son!

The occasion would come and the time will flee before you wake
You wake up, my sister’s son!

I will do I will do and it will remain unfinished the wise
the whole village will laugh and taunt you
You wake up, my sister’s son!

There were people who would die if you ask
The snake took away the print and only the songs remain.

The house is yours, make it a temple
Bhim* will testify you, you just ask.

(From Hayati)

* Bhim – Dr Ambedkar

The Poet
Purushottam Jadav

Purushottam Jadav, born 11 December, 1960, is a Government employee and a noted dalit poet. His poems have been included in Dalit poetry anthologies. He is known for his commendable poetry recital.His address: 106/1, Ch Type, Sector 21, Gandhinagar 382021, Gujarat.
His Cell: 93759 68520.


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