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Archive for February, 2013


Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Baban Londhe

On a plain so vast our eyes could not reach

they would make speeches to their hearts' content

and shout out novel slogans,

blow a breath of hope on our overtired limbs.

At times, to our shanty towns they would come,

careful not to rumple their ironed clothes

crossing our lanes and alleys,

jumping across streaming gutters

when they stopped beside our doors

we felt inexplicably moved.

Viewing our pitiable state they would say

'Truly, this needs a social economic cultural change,

the whole picture needs to be changed.'

Then we would sing

their songs

in sonorous full-throated tones.

Acting innocuous, they would eat

the marrow of our bones.

Days passed by.

Darkness pressed from all sides,

We battled against sunshine and rain

And like fools awaiting salvation

we have stood our ground

and are sunk to the neck in mire.

But now they say plans are worked out

for our salvation

–covering our wasted tombs

in a new shroud

What munificence!


Baban Londhe's Marathi poem 'Shroud' translated by Charudatta Bhagwat. Source: No Entry For The New Sun: Translations from Modern Marathi Poetry. Edited by Arjun Dangle

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