Treasure Island

Bijay Kant Dubey


Dark Daughter- - Your Toil, Tears and Sweats


Dark Daughter-
Tell you, tell you, who you are,
Tell me, tell me, who you are,
What your identity, where your home,
Who your parents
As see you
As the sculptures and figurines
Lying on the entrance
Of the terracotta temples,
Into the mist of the starlit skies,
Dark and lonely,
Stand you,
All alone,
Away from homes,
Nostalgic, homesick and reminiscent of
Your small, small brothers and sisters?

Dark daughter, tell you, tell you,
Who you are, what your identity, where your home,
Who your parents,
Are you a devadsi,
A sevadasi
Or a nautch girl turned into stone,
Who, who are you,
Say you,
Whose loving and affectionate daughter
Turned into stone,
Whose soothsaying brought you
To the temple complex
And turned you in a terracotta figurine
Embossed upon a clay-baked plate?

Did the temple priest and his oracle,
Did the soothsayer's words
Took your parents in blind faith
To devote and dedicate you
To the temple service,
The first child of theirs,
Did, did the astrologer plot and plan
For your fall
Or the horoscope-maker
Or the palmist saw it
Into the crisscrosses of destiny
Rather than foreseeing his own fate
And bringing you here
Into the nightly company of
The blindly faithful,
Brokers and half-addicts?

Dark daughter, view you not pitifully, tearfully,
Wipe out, wipe out the tears
Falling from,
Falling from the eyes,
As I cannot see the tears,
If gods and goddesses themselves cannot
Wipe out them from the eyes of a woman,
Then what to say of man,
Poor destiny and its ruling,
You a girl child,
Leaving your parents forcibly,
Away from them,
Grew you up in the temple complex
To be a devadasi, a sevadasi
Or a nautch girl,
But the things do not remain sacrosanct
Unto the last, mind it.

Dark daughter, dark you, dark the world,
The myths of darkness,
The womb of creation,
The stories wrapped in darkness,
Veiled and hidden from mortal man,
A sheet of mystery spread over,
In this world dark, dark,
Dark and wide,
Dark, dark and lonely,
Dark you, dark the world
Who to feel, feel it,
What is it that marauds the poor self of yours,
How the troubles and tribulations of yours,
The struggles and sacrifices,
What it that ails you,
Say you,
Say you, dark daughter,
The story of your poor and exploited life
Or womankind in all sorrow and pain?

Dark daughter, your troubles, tears and blood,
Your sweating and labour,
Your toil, tears and sweating,
The world could not,
Could not feel it,
Nor could take to believe in
That you too were a woman,
You too had a heart within,
Males just played with
The feminine sensibility of yours,
Permeating you to torture and exploitation
In the name of social custom
And religion,
Making you suffer, sacrifice and struggle life-long,
Taking the all out from you
And danced you in the temple complex
As a nautch girl performing classically,
Served you as a temple maid
Or in the service of a saint,
Remained you dedicated and devoted
To gods and goddess
As a devadasi,
What more to say to?

Wept you in the temple complex,
But none came to feel it
That, that the devadasi,
The sevadasi
Or the nautch girl too had a soul within,
A heart palpitating so humanly,
Wept you into the temple complex
A lonely girl,
Into the company of the blind people,
Mad after faith and ritual
And in whom, reasoning too was dead,
Dead and dried down,
A girl so feeble and frail,
So helpless and hopeless
Saw I embossed upon
As sculptures and figurines,
Telling of the construction works
And the hazards,
A woman wage-earner at work under heat and dust
Or treasons of darker man-woman relationship,
Entwined with whispers,
Full of so much psychological doubt, fear and suspense.

Submitted: Sunday, March 09, 2014
Edited: Monday, March 10, 2014

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Topic(s): Art

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