Friday, December 9, 2022

Bah rupiya

Dr. Devaraju Maharaju

That, you all the great people

Do roles like me,

Recite dialogues like me,

What do I know? Me your slave,

Why do you thrash me?

This is my profession,

We are Bah rupiyas.

Any role that my fathers, and fathers did not do,

Did I do it today afresh?

Why do you thrash me?

The other day I was in Rama’s role – true

Yesterday I was Krishna – true

Why lie, I even got alms aplenty,

That today I have done this role of a Sanyasi

The Lords, donors, and rulers in the village

Altogether why do you thrash me,

me your slave?

My world is my own,

What do I know what happen in this world?

A gentleman gave a white shirt, I wore it.

So proud, you a beggar, they said

A mother gave an old red saree

I put it as an upper cloth,

‘So, that is what it is’ they said,

Put me in police station and thrashed me,

That now this turban is yellow cloth,

They beat me black and blue, me your slave

What is there in which colour,

what do we know my master-

we are without any colour

apart from the coal black, like the darkness

in our life is there another colour?

To change colours, we don’t know,

That for a life without colours, any colour is ok

We have made a thought.

The roles of you great people,

We do and we live, but,

Do you ever do our roles?

We may eat green grass-

Without food, without livelihood, without care, without medication

When we appear like a dry stick,

‘Ah, you do the role of sick very well’ laughed they,

But, a spoonful of gruel, did anybody care?

The rice in your fist, the grain in your hand, when we see,

Where the colour goes, where the role goes, (nobody knows)

In the eyes the blood, swirls into water

And that is for us the festival

God roles we have done, true

But, God did we become?

Without hunger, thirst,

Rice is white,

The chutney is of red soil colour,

Grass for the pancake is green

That these three colours make our flag,

In childhood, my uncle told

Sitting in a green field, as if eating

Bellyful we felt,

As if all the hurdles were crossed,

But what use

Those who spin the wheel of Dharma on the flag

Are your lot,

How you turn it,

How you hold it is known to you,

But we don’t have rice, we don’t have chutney,

Land cracked and cracked

As if further killed – our lives

Are the same as time passes,

Don’t tell my father, that it is famine every where

Famines will be there under own feet

Which are cracked and cracked.

Why your shoes will be there, where there are famines?

I don’t even know up to how much he studied!

Came on a motor and went on a motor

‘How do you sing? How do you act?’

He asked and wrote and went.

Recorded in a rolling box and went.

For me who tell the life out here,

                        There is nothing.

But, for the man who comes this hour

                        And goes this hour

Who looks something here and

                        Tells something there

It looks they give big degrees there

                        And big jobs too,

It is right, if we speak out the truth

It would be like plucking the hair in the nose.

As we keep watching the motors came

The air-planes came and the trains came,

A little dust in our eyes, little sand and coal,

We neither got into them, nor down

Like the rice in the earthen pot,

We are boiling throughout the country,

If you see one of aim from this,

Isn’t the situation of the country known?

What is there wherever we go, on whatever we go!

People who lick the salt of sweat

Are there in any place it looks!

All who look at our muscle?

But none at our belly!

All those who go hungry,

Our brothers and sisters,

Are all the same everywhere,

May it be famine, may it be typhoon

We die, we live,

That when you come on air-plane,

We wait for you,

We come wherever you come,

We run after your car,

Not that your car give us something

Out of nothing like the Baba,

That you yourself, if not now, may be tomorrow,

Will ask on something we follow you,

That we are Dana Karnas, you send it

This mother earth – Kunti,

Has deserted us and thrown away

If you talk to us heartful,

We give our skin and make shoes for you

To show that no cloth on our body

We never come to you!

We may tell you, if you do not know,

Like the bird, like the tree, all is open!

A little house or yard we do not have’

But the whole country is ours, they say!

A single paisa we do not get

But all bank loans are ours they say!

Like you by a buffalo in the market

It looks your employment for us

With the rope of money, you have

Tied us to the highness

Ours is unknown turmoil

After the endless toil, life is sour now

With the pointer of your highness

You still poke at it!

How does this sour heal?

That we do not have education,

Have we to tell specially,

Our words speak for us

The sky above, the earth below

Water in the tank, fish in the water

Flowers in the plant, flies on the flowers

We saw and grew

That is why we look like flies to your eyes.

Ant and the dog has taught us work

Don’t know where all the work has gone

For your eyes we are ants and dogs!

Like the water out of the tap,

Nicely, and slowly, roughly, you speak,

But where are we – like the sheep – ruffians

Through the path, through the channel,

Through the turn, through the churn,

Like the flow, the flow that comes,

Our words flow from the mouth throughout the life.

Ours are not fine words – but coarse words,

But they are never false words my father!

Are not we the seeds that lie in soil?

            And grow in soil,

Are we allowed to grow into green!

            Or to blossom into bloom,

Like the seed in soil, lost in soil,

Like the baby in the womb, lost in the womb,

What do I tell – that is it!

In the grab of Indrajit – the cunning,

We don’t know, where you hide!

But all your pen stroked hit in always

Men came and men went,

In the attire of Lord Buddha!

But with the wounds – our ‘Swan’

Neither opened its eyes,

Not fluttered its wings!

(Translated by the poet)

Also read: A POEM

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Also read: What are the origins of Vedic culture?

Dr. Devaraju Maharaju
Dr. Devaraju Maharaju
The author is a famous litterateur and a Professor in Biology.

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