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The Day of the Dandora*

August 11th, 2010 by naren bedide


Mid-day heat

Black heartbeats

on sweating tarred roads.


Jatara Jatara**

of the body cells

for the beat.




Roar..the lion's roar

Step..the tiger's step.


The sky trembled

and the ground shook

when the whole jaati

danced the chindu***.


Only the Madiga dappu

is the guide for movement.


My translation of J.Gautam's Telugu poem 'danDOra rOju' (from his collection of poetry 'nalu dikkula nuncii ranDi').


* Dandora: danDOra means proclamation. It refers to the custom of proclamations or announcements etc the Madigas would make by calling attention of the villagers through their dappu (drum) beats. Also refers to the Madiga Dandora assertion movement.

** Jatara: pronounced jaatara, is Telugu for village or folk festival.

*** Chindu: C.P.Brown's Telugu-English dictionary calls it 'a dance, hop, jig'. Refers to a folk dance mostly performed by the Madigas.


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