Not the usual cake

Miles to walk to live, to revoke the helplessness in leap.

Pick up the chunk which can’t be undone

Aching shoulder, numbing head

Over the open sky with sunny lanes.

Wished I could find some twig,

And shoot tall with a shade of different leaves.

Feelings left behind, dwelling my mind of frames.

Tune to turn away this helpless deed,

The fire of hunting stomach bleeds.

I carefully balancing on the Buffalo dung,

Overhead and roll far away in sun.

I don’t know who decided ‘We’ to be the one,

My accidental birth made my head hoist this tub of dung.

Scrapes the cattle shed and shackled chains,

To pile up the dungs collected from touchable lanes.

We can’t say, as needs to be un- clayed.

Bagged a thirty kilos grains upon the patched lap;

Badged as reward for being inhumane slaves,

At the end of every seasonal chain.

The weight of the dung waves,

For every coming six months un-traced.

When the sun is seated notched like a king,

I pat the dungs along like the succession of followed up drills.

The chunk dap flat upon the bricked walls,

Round dung cakes stick like a babies nipple-ed mouth.

My hand never weighed the weight of the ink,

But got imprinted upon the dunged cake.

My breathe was cramped, eyes partake under the veiled sight.

My feet was trained to un-walk as the deed finished.

My touch was like a plagued monstrous being.

And felt life would be easy,

If was born a Shadow- less breeze.

The earthen stoves fired on,

By the chunks of dung cakes made by me.

My imprinted palm upon the dung cakes;

Crosses the border walls of upper caste,

Lands upon the bake stations and turns into flames.

I am a chambermaid, doomed to inevitable curses,

By my bloodlines dipped in drainage lanes.

Dung cakes, which wheels my needs;

Still my upper caste employers not ready,

To pour water to me in this scorching heat.

As I am at last an untouchable to be,

As heat can never beat the stigma upon my being.

As the upper caste employers, cast my work to deed,

Unlike my community which is known to be a Dalit!






Author – Sonali Gupta

Gumla, Jharkhand, India.

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