Bijay Kant Dubey


India Cannot Be India If The Soul of It Is Not Taken Into Confidence


India cannot be India if the soul of it is not understood,
The villages far and wide,
Scattered across, littered over
A vast tract of land,
The muddy houses, straw-thatched,
Hatched with bamboo briars,
The hearths burning,
I mean the earthen ovens,
The nights solitary and secluded
Without the lamps.

Many going half-fed, half-clothed,
Sleeping on the muddy floor
On a date-leaf woven mat
Or if available, on the bamboo rope-cot,
Passing the days
In faith and belief,
In utter submission to God,
Praying to the Snake-God,
Offering worships,
Believing strongly,
God, be helpful,
But Destiny is not all.

The household oral stories from the Bhagavadgita,
The Ramayana and the Mahabharata,
The source of learning
And life very slow in the villages,
Just festive occasions gearing them up,
Saying their pains and troubles to Goddess Kali,
Going by dreams and worships,
Just in the follow-up of soothsaying and oracles,
Feeling themselves
Or asking the priest to guide,
Showing the hands to the sadhu
As for karma and dharma,
The stars, the sunrise, the sunset and the moonrise
Telling about time.

Take stale food in the late morning,
Tea had not been,
One time food and that too at twelve past,
Nearing three p.m. was possible,
The joint family the bone of contention
As well as helpful too,
With nothing to do,
Nothing to read,
Go and pass your time
Under the shady peepul tree or the bunyan tree
In the hot and humid sweating summer
Or bask in the sun
In cold and chilly winter
When the wind blows,
Chilling the bones.

Submitted: Thursday, January 23, 2014

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