Image 01

Posts Tagged ‘Naren Bedide’

The Rebellious Fields

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Gaddar

The paddy fields ask, 
Where’s the farmer who quenched our thirst?
The cotton fields ask,
Where’s the farmer who sprinkled blood to protect us?
They hug each other and weep–don’t understand why
They roll on the ground and weep–Don’t understand why
The basmati asks,
Where’s the sweat-scented farmer?
The masoors ask,
Where’s that large-hearted man? 
They thump their chests and wail–don’t understand why
They question the dawn–don’t understand why
The palak asks, 
Where’s the farmer so dear to us? 
The coriander asks,
Where’s the farmer so full of goodness? 

They sobbed and sobbed and withered up–don’t understand why
They waited and waited and shrivelled up–don’t understand why
Windless, the red gram and the horse gram fields
Nod listlessly
They look in all directions and ask,
Where’s the farmer so full of love? 
They sink into sorrow–don’t understand why
They’ve fallen senseless in grief–don’t understand why
The snake gourd and the bottle gourd
The ridge gourd and beans
The eggplant so tender
Blood red tomatoes
All ask–where’s the farmer
Who kissed us before we started rotting? 
They slap their heads and cry–don’t understand why
They wail loudly and cry–don’t understand why

The onion and garlic
Groundnuts and potatoes – 
All of which nestle in the earth mother’s womb
As they grow up, ask
Where’s our father who would show us the world? 
They wept uncontrollably–don’t understand why
They rot and die–don’t understand why

All the cotton fields together
Spread a new garment over him
The dried sticks assemble themselves
Into a cot
The paddy straw becomes a mattress
So that his ribs wouldn’t hurt
The betel leaf presses her mouth 
Over his and kisses him
They cook seven kinds of rice
In a new pot
The kumkum tree shines 
As the crescent moon on his forehead
They all say
We will leave with the farmer who gave us birth
They hug each other and weep–don’t understand why
They roll on the ground and weep–don’t understand why
They cry, our existence has lost meaning
They burn and burn on the pyre
And rise as an inferno
They burn to ashes
The villain who poisons the farmer
The sugarcane fields dive into the water
Release the drawing bucket and return
The green fields become red–don’t understand why
They took to the path of the angry rebels–don’t understand why

Translation of Gaddar's Telugu song 'vori sElu aDiginaayi'. Translator: Naren Bedide. 

 

  

Nation of two statues

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Satish Chandar

Like everyone has his own mother

everyone has his own statue too

The statue in the village belongs to the village

The statue in the wada belongs to the wada

The village has a name and a voice

and a lifestyle,

The wada lacks air, water

and food to eat.

Look at the statue in the village

it wears only a loin cloth

Behold! The statue in the wada

sports a suit and shoes like a saahib!

A poor soul in front of the mansion

and royal splendour beside the hut

The agraharam sulked

while the slum beamed

Gruel filled the silver plate

while milk flowed in the begging bowl 

A cane and sandals for the statue in the village

While the statue in the wada got a new pen and books

This strange phenomenon in every village

mocked vedabhoomi

Why does the statue in the village exhibit humility?

Why does the statue in the wada display pride?

Those who had nothing.

Questioned the two statues.

Sacrifice, answered the statue with toothless smiles in the village

Justice, said the statue of fiery speech in the wada

The statue in the village said, 'I do not want

what you do not have'

The village maids wore many splendid silks

and expensive secret garments

While the mothers in the wada

covered their breasts with coarse cloth

The village lord

flaunted fancy dhotis and kanDuvas*

The poor father in the village

was satisfied with just a loin cloth

Stripped of his clothes

the village statue was a sorry, skinny figure..

While the statue in the wada

shone in garments the wada parents never knew

The whole village was startled

The wada sang its wisdom:

The village idealises giving up what it owns

The wada dares to dream of what it doesn't have

The statue in the village said: here's the wheel, spin it

The statue in the wada said: here's the state, rule it! 

 

*kanDuva: an upper garment worn by men, like the angavastram. 

 ~                    

Translation of Satish Chandar's Telugu poem 'renDu bommala dESam!', first published in 'soorya' newspaper on 10th March, 2008, and featured in the collection of poetry, Kavita 2008. Translated by Naren Bedide.           

Welcome The Shared Mirror

Log in

Lost your password?