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Caste Certificate

August 28th, 2010 by naren bedide

He doesn't have a warrant,

nor is there any case filed against me


his eyes search intensely for me

while I cringe in fear and humiliation;


here, life is

a cops and robbers game.



When one gets a seat

the notice board

becomes an informer,

while fellow students become para-military squads,

until I finish my course

I am Christ carrying the cross.



After I get a job

my reservation becomes Judas

selling me off for my enemies' mockery,

like I have no merit

except that piece of paper;

when the Tumkur B.E.,*

smirks maliciously at me

I hang as a tear drop

from the thorn of many boycotts.



Now it has become my crown,

the sword hiding in my scabbard,

my caste certificate

shall become the foreword

of the new history I shall write.


My translation of Madduri Nageshbabu's Telugu poem 'Caste Certificate' (from his collection of poetry 'velivaaDa').

* Tumkur B.E: refers to someone who has an engineering degree obtained from a private college funded by capitation fees.


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