Bijay Kant Dubey


Bhagjogini (Glow-worm) , My Daughter, A Countryside Poor Girl-child of India


Bhagjogini, my small daughter, where are you,
A countryside goril,
Brorn and brought in the villages
Of far flung hamlets and thorps,
Sleeping early in the evening,
Arising early in the morning
As for bringing water,
Sweeping the floor,
Taking the cattle out,
Throwing cowdung out
Adnd cleaning the shed,
Applying the mud paste over the muddy kitchen?

Taking breakfast whatever stale food of the nighttime available,
Late into the day,
When the school starts by 10 a.m. not
After this,
A small girl had to go to school
But could not
As is a girl,
Cooking food,
Assisting her mother,
Collecting fire woods
To push into the earthen oven.

The frock running loose,
Somehow adjusted with the safety pins,
Faded and torn
But she smiling sweetly
Without any complaint
But who knows
What it is in her fate
As her parents will marry off
At a tender age of twelve or thirteen,
Threatened by child-age pregnancies.

Bhagjogini, how beautiful the face,
How simple the looks of hers
Undefiled by any urbanism,
She is a poor girl,
A simple one,
Passing her days in lonely countryside,
Away from human haunt
And population,
Into the hamlets and thorps
Of thatched mud houses and huts
Even though landed her joint family is
And to grow in a big family is to know
The comforts as well as problems
Collectively so much.

A little bit lousey,
Without the hair oil and cosmetics,
She goes on doing the household works,
Sweeping the courtyard every
Morning a nd evening,
Showing the candle to the household deity at eve
And to finish the work
Or to help the mother
As for to cook from the evening
Without the proper light,
Just an earthen lamp burning
For a short while
And the village asleep
To pass by the night.

A girl child is she,
Will go to some other’s house,
Not own,
But of the others,
She is a girl othermanly,
Will not stay here,
Has to go to
And the son a saviour of patriarchy,
Of the clan,
Such a view has kept her neglected
For so long,
Ignored and ignoed down the ages
That she is a girl child,
A female baby, not a male baby,
Keep her ill-fed, ill-clothed
And what to say,
The villages too had been so much poor and undeveloped?

The tears of India, how to describe it
In terms of the foreign invasion and loot,
Misgovernance and unrule,
Poverty and conservatism,
Orthodoxy and untouchabilty,
Cast and class differences,
Ethnicity and racism,
The purdah system and the gender bias,
The bifurcation of society,
Poor house planning and olden methods,
Society held by faith and doubt,
Inactivism and fatalism,
Witchcraft and witch-hunting,
Hocus-pocus, voodoo?

Submitted: Friday, September 06, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 09, 2013

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