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Archive for December, 2011

O Great Man (mahapurusa)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

O Great Man

Those who strewed thorns in your path

today offer you flowers

and sing your praises

— now this is really too much —


During the dark procession of time

you lit the flowers of light

but these imposters, these villians

crushed, extinguished those flowers.

Today those flowers have turned into a wildfire

and those villains are fanning that wildfire

— oh now this is too much–


Like an elephant ramming a gate

you pounded on the temple door

the stones of the temple shook.

Under the holy name of religion

they long ago enslaved the gods

Your honest painful claim

of the right to see the gods

was crushed, thrown out of the village.

Now they decorate the great tree

that sprouted on that spot

–now this is really too much–


It is clear that nature belongs to all

but these people bought that too.

Every drop of water in Chawdar Tank

was stamped with their name,

the alert watchman of this culture

guarded the imprisoned water.

They feared that your touch

would poison the water and

they anointed you with your blood

when you were dying of thirst.

And now they pour water

into the mouth of your stone effigy

–oh now this is really too much–


Hira Bansode's Marathi poem Mahapurusa was first published in Sakal in 1980. Source: Images of Maharastrian women in literature and religion. Edited by Anne Feldhaus.

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