Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I have become the tide:J.V.Pawar


I have become the tide

As the sand soaks up the water at the shore
So my great sorrow.
How long will it be like the sand?
How long will it cry out from its obstinate will to exist?

As a matter of fact, it should have been in tide like the sea out there
Much would have been gained by rolling over the drawls around here.
Even the sea has a shore ,why doesn’t my sorrow have limits?
Why didn’t those who squeezed oil from the sand have any inkling of sorrow?
The wind that blows every day
That day yelled in my year-
“woman stripped”
‘village boycott”
“man killed”
As it spoke,it gave me a mantra,”make another Mahad”
My handa now move toward the weapon on the wall.
I’m now the sea; I soar, I surge,
I move out to build your tombs.
The winds,storms,sky,earth
Now are all mine.
In every inch of the rising struggle
I stand erect.
Translated by Jayant Karve and Eleanor Zelliot

Translator’s notes: the oil from the sand idiom is from the classical Brahman poet Waman Pandit and carries the implication that if you try hard enough you can  squeeze oil from the sand.the mantra refers to the first satyagraha of the Ambedkar movement. That in Mahad in 1928 to drink water from a public reservoir. When that ended in violence , a later conference in Mahad was called and the portions of  the Hindu law book, Manusmriti ,which justify untouchability were burned.


  1. Such a fentastic poem in imagery

  2. Thank you so much for making this wonderful poem available. Please publish more Dalit poems. Thank you!